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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Slacko PuppyIf you read my previous post you will know that I recently reviewed Puppy Linux and in particular the Wary version.

This was one of three versions of Puppy Linux that I downloaded. The other two are Slacko and Lucid Puppy.

This post is about the Slacko version of Puppy.


Downloading Slacko

You can download puppy from
http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm

The file size is 115mb which is slightly smaller than the Wary version which is 136 mb.

Installing Slacko

The point of Puppy Linux is that it runs from memory and so unlike most distributions there is no prolonged installation.

Once you have burned the ISO to disk you can reboot your PC and Slacko will boot straight from the CD. What is more is that because the whole operating system loads in memory the CD can be removed once the system has booted.

Boot Time


I am running Slacko on a Samsung R20 with 2 gb of RAM which should be more than adequate to boot Slacko.

The boot time on average for Slack on the Samsung R20 was 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

This is of course not spectacularly fast especially if you compare it to the latest Fedora but being that the whole operating system is loaded into memory during this time it is fairly impressive.



First Use

If you read my review of the Wary version of Puppy Linux you will know the first use asks various questions such as whether to use xOrg or xVesa, which timezone you are in and the keyboard settings.

In Slacko all of these are worked out by default and so your desktop appears straight away and is ready to use.

A small window appears welcoming you and then the window above appears allowing you to personalise your system.

My biggest mistake when I first started was to not look correctly at this screen and so the first time I tried to use the internet my keyboard was set to US instead of UK.

Setting up the Internet

As with Wary to set up the Internet with Slacko you need to click the connect icon.



The internet connection wizard is displayed.

As with Wary I do not find this the most intuitive of wizards. I would suspect a newbie would have a hard job deciphering this.

I wanted to set up my 3 mobile broadband mifi connection.

To do this I clicked on the Wired or Wireless LAN button.

The network connection wizard is displayed

There are three buttons to choose from. The first one is the simple network setup.

The simple network wizard will work for most people and is very simple to use. Your network should appear straight away and all you have to do is enter your key. Unfortunately for 3 mobile broadband it doesn't work.

Frisbee I found a bit confusing and despite finding my network and me entering the key I could not get the internet to work.

The Network Wizard works the same way as described in my previous post about Wary Linux and this is the method I ended up using to connect to the internet.

This is basically a 2 step process.

1. Click the wireless button and set up the network.

2. Click Auto DHCP.



When you click the wireless button the screen to the right appears.

Click the wlan0 button to get to the screen below which allows you to scan for wireless networks.


The scan button will find all available networks.

When you select your network enter the key and press save.

Then click use this profile.

This will send you back to the first screen where you can then press Auto DHCP.

As I mentioned earlier compared the *buntus it is a long drawn out process to connect to the internet.







Desktop

The desktop is laid out in a similar manner to the one described in my review of the Wary version of Puppy.

There are 4 rows of icons laid out in a logical order.

1. The first row has mainly system tools such as a command line icon, help, install, and file icon.

2, The second row has office style icons such as calc, paint, draw and play.

3. The third line has connectivity icons such as email, chat and connect.

4. The fourth line just has a setup icon.

At the bottom of the screen is a menu with
icons for virtual panes and a system tray with the usual icons for volume, connectivity, batter power and memory usage and of course a clock.

Just above the menu is the list of drives
Finally on the right hand side there are icons for locking the screen, compression and the trash can icon.

Personally I don't really like a desktop too cluttered with icons but that is personal preference.












Applications

All the applications within Slacko (and indeed Puppy in general) are lightweight. The reasons for this are obvious in that the whole operating system has to load into memory. If the system was flooded with resource heavy applications it would be like a jumbo jet filled with hippos trying to take off.

There are a whole host of applications installed by default including office applications to write documents and create spreadsheets.

Abiword is installed by default and it is perfect for writing letters.

The spreadsheet software is gnumeric. Whilst it lacks the functionality of Microsoft Excel and Open Office/Libre Office it has enough functionality to create fairly sophisticated sheets.

The paint application is mtPaint and there is a screen capture element which works very well. (All the screen captures in this document were created using mtPaint).

The web browser is SeaMonkey which works perfectly fine and contains the majority of features I would use a browser for.

There are tools for creating disks, backing up data, managing disk partitions. There are personal organisers, personal finance managers and address books.

One of my favourite tools is also provided, Geany. Geany is a light weight development environment. The reason I like Geany so much is that it loads files quickly, has  autocomplete for PHP statements but it isn't resource intensive.

There are music players (Gnome Player) and CD Rippers (PMusic)  and MP3 converters (FFConvert).

Package Management

Puppy Linux has its own package management using PETs. To install new PETs click the Install icon.

The screen that appears is in two sections. The top half of the screen deals with installing Puppy onto a hard drive.

The bottom half provides buttons to install new applications. Click the Puppy Package Manager to install new applications.

All the applications in the library are lightweight although it is possible to install Chrome/Chromium or Firefox. LibreOffice is also available. You can also install GIMP and Inkscape.

Summary

I said in my review of Wary that I don't think you would use Puppy as your main distro on your all singing and dancing laptop because why would you? If you have a quad core processor with loads of RAM and a massive hard drive you may as well install a distro with all the bells and whistles.

Puppy is good for net books and for older laptops and could easily be used for alternate purposes which I will write in more detail in a separate post.

So Slacko or Wary? I have to say I preferred the Slacko version. It looks a little more polished and the setup is slightly easier but there isn't much in it.

If you are using Wary and wondering whether Slacko would be better then I think you will not be saying "wow what have I been missing". There is a nice feature in Slacko which allows you to load in extra .sfs files which are storage areas placed on your hard drive for storing files.

I hope you enjoyed reading. Next time it will be Lucid Puppy.


Click here to buy Puppy on DVD or USB




Puppy Slacko's no slouch

Slacko PuppyIf you read my previous post you will know that I recently reviewed Puppy Linux and in particular the Wary version.

This was one of three versions of Puppy Linux that I downloaded. The other two are Slacko and Lucid Puppy.

This post is about the Slacko version of Puppy.


Downloading Slacko

You can download puppy from
http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm

The file size is 115mb which is slightly smaller than the Wary version which is 136 mb.

Installing Slacko

The point of Puppy Linux is that it runs from memory and so unlike most distributions there is no prolonged installation.

Once you have burned the ISO to disk you can reboot your PC and Slacko will boot straight from the CD. What is more is that because the whole operating system loads in memory the CD can be removed once the system has booted.

Boot Time


I am running Slacko on a Samsung R20 with 2 gb of RAM which should be more than adequate to boot Slacko.

The boot time on average for Slack on the Samsung R20 was 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

This is of course not spectacularly fast especially if you compare it to the latest Fedora but being that the whole operating system is loaded into memory during this time it is fairly impressive.



First Use

If you read my review of the Wary version of Puppy Linux you will know the first use asks various questions such as whether to use xOrg or xVesa, which timezone you are in and the keyboard settings.

In Slacko all of these are worked out by default and so your desktop appears straight away and is ready to use.

A small window appears welcoming you and then the window above appears allowing you to personalise your system.

My biggest mistake when I first started was to not look correctly at this screen and so the first time I tried to use the internet my keyboard was set to US instead of UK.

Setting up the Internet

As with Wary to set up the Internet with Slacko you need to click the connect icon.



The internet connection wizard is displayed.

As with Wary I do not find this the most intuitive of wizards. I would suspect a newbie would have a hard job deciphering this.

I wanted to set up my 3 mobile broadband mifi connection.

To do this I clicked on the Wired or Wireless LAN button.

The network connection wizard is displayed

There are three buttons to choose from. The first one is the simple network setup.

The simple network wizard will work for most people and is very simple to use. Your network should appear straight away and all you have to do is enter your key. Unfortunately for 3 mobile broadband it doesn't work.

Frisbee I found a bit confusing and despite finding my network and me entering the key I could not get the internet to work.

The Network Wizard works the same way as described in my previous post about Wary Linux and this is the method I ended up using to connect to the internet.

This is basically a 2 step process.

1. Click the wireless button and set up the network.

2. Click Auto DHCP.



When you click the wireless button the screen to the right appears.

Click the wlan0 button to get to the screen below which allows you to scan for wireless networks.


The scan button will find all available networks.

When you select your network enter the key and press save.

Then click use this profile.

This will send you back to the first screen where you can then press Auto DHCP.

As I mentioned earlier compared the *buntus it is a long drawn out process to connect to the internet.







Desktop

The desktop is laid out in a similar manner to the one described in my review of the Wary version of Puppy.

There are 4 rows of icons laid out in a logical order.

1. The first row has mainly system tools such as a command line icon, help, install, and file icon.

2, The second row has office style icons such as calc, paint, draw and play.

3. The third line has connectivity icons such as email, chat and connect.

4. The fourth line just has a setup icon.

At the bottom of the screen is a menu with
icons for virtual panes and a system tray with the usual icons for volume, connectivity, batter power and memory usage and of course a clock.

Just above the menu is the list of drives
Finally on the right hand side there are icons for locking the screen, compression and the trash can icon.

Personally I don't really like a desktop too cluttered with icons but that is personal preference.












Applications

All the applications within Slacko (and indeed Puppy in general) are lightweight. The reasons for this are obvious in that the whole operating system has to load into memory. If the system was flooded with resource heavy applications it would be like a jumbo jet filled with hippos trying to take off.

There are a whole host of applications installed by default including office applications to write documents and create spreadsheets.

Abiword is installed by default and it is perfect for writing letters.

The spreadsheet software is gnumeric. Whilst it lacks the functionality of Microsoft Excel and Open Office/Libre Office it has enough functionality to create fairly sophisticated sheets.

The paint application is mtPaint and there is a screen capture element which works very well. (All the screen captures in this document were created using mtPaint).

The web browser is SeaMonkey which works perfectly fine and contains the majority of features I would use a browser for.

There are tools for creating disks, backing up data, managing disk partitions. There are personal organisers, personal finance managers and address books.

One of my favourite tools is also provided, Geany. Geany is a light weight development environment. The reason I like Geany so much is that it loads files quickly, has  autocomplete for PHP statements but it isn't resource intensive.

There are music players (Gnome Player) and CD Rippers (PMusic)  and MP3 converters (FFConvert).

Package Management

Puppy Linux has its own package management using PETs. To install new PETs click the Install icon.

The screen that appears is in two sections. The top half of the screen deals with installing Puppy onto a hard drive.

The bottom half provides buttons to install new applications. Click the Puppy Package Manager to install new applications.

All the applications in the library are lightweight although it is possible to install Chrome/Chromium or Firefox. LibreOffice is also available. You can also install GIMP and Inkscape.

Summary

I said in my review of Wary that I don't think you would use Puppy as your main distro on your all singing and dancing laptop because why would you? If you have a quad core processor with loads of RAM and a massive hard drive you may as well install a distro with all the bells and whistles.

Puppy is good for net books and for older laptops and could easily be used for alternate purposes which I will write in more detail in a separate post.

So Slacko or Wary? I have to say I preferred the Slacko version. It looks a little more polished and the setup is slightly easier but there isn't much in it.

If you are using Wary and wondering whether Slacko would be better then I think you will not be saying "wow what have I been missing". There is a nice feature in Slacko which allows you to load in extra .sfs files which are storage areas placed on your hard drive for storing files.

I hope you enjoyed reading. Next time it will be Lucid Puppy.


Click here to buy Puppy on DVD or USB




Posted at 21:48 |  by Gary Newell

12 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

It has been a while since I had a look at Puppy Linux (www.puppylinux.org). so I thought I'd have another go to see how much it has improved over the past few years.

The home page for puppy has a number of different versions that can be downloaded so rather than choose one I chose to download three of them:

  1. Wary
  2. Lupu
  3. Slacko
This post is about Wary. There will be follow up posts about Lupu and Slacko shortly.

I burned the Wary image to a cd and rebooted my PC.

On the first boot of Puppy you are asked a series of questions such as your location and timezone. You are then asked which display drivers to run out of Xorg or Xvesa. The recommendation is to use Xorg and only use XVesa as a fall back option.

The laptop I am using (Samsung R20) is not that old so XOrg worked perfectly fine and instantly found the best resolution.

Finally after a few minutes I am taken to the default start screen.


The Puppy desktop is icon heavy. This is not something I normally like. I'm more of a minimalist. I like my desktop to be a nice picture with very little else on it.

There are five rows of icons.

The first row of icons are all system icons such as File (graphical directory browser), help, mount, install (package management), setup, edit and console.

The second row has office style icons such as write, calc, paint and draw.

The third row has connectivity icons such as browse, email and chat.

The fourth row has a calendar icon and video player icon.

The fifth row has one icon called connect which is used to set up network settings.

In the bottom left corner there are icons for each of your drives. On the right hand side there are icons for locking the screen, file compression and trash.

Finally at the very bottom of the screen there is a menu bar including a menu, icons for virtual panels and a system tray with battery monitor, clock, network setting and volume.

I don't know about you but the first thing I try when I load a new distro is to try to connect to the internet. The way to do this is to click the connect icon but the actual setting up of the internet was not as intuitive as I would have hoped.


From the image above you can see it shows eth0 and wlan0. For a newbie it is not obvious which one to select. What I would say though is that the help function is quite good.

In this case I was trying to set up my three mobile broadband so I selected wlan0.


Ok so a new screen is displayed with options to configure a wireless network, test the interface and configure the interface.

The screen is in a logical order of steps you need to follow so the first thing to do was to click the wireless button.

Finally we are at the screen where you can set up the wireless connection. (Think of it this way. When you run a Ubuntu based distro you usually click the little wireless symbol and it shows a list of wireless connections, on an xbox it shows you the wireless connections, even on the WII it shows a list of wireless connections. In puppy we are three screens deep before we are even close).

Clicking the scan button finally pulls back a list of available networks. Click the one you want to connect to. Choose the encryption method and enter the shared key. At this point it is a good idea to click Save. Finally click use this profile.

After a little bit of checking if everything has gone well you will be told the connection was successful. At this point you are still not connected to the internet. From the configure network interface screen you should now click the auto dhcp button. This will connect you to the internet.

A good thing now happens. A message appears asking if you want to install the Adobe Flash driver. I clicked yes and instantly went onto you tube to see if the videos would play.


As you can see from the above screenshot the video played perfectly well. (I watched the top 5 fifa 12 goals of the week).

At this point it is worth noting that you should probably consider rebooting. The reason for this is that it enables you to create a save file on your hard drive or a pen drive. This will basically provide you a way to install new software and store any files you create.

You will be asked a series of questions such as where the file will be stored and how big do you want it to be.

When you reboot it takes a fair while to actually start up but a helpful message appears telling you that this is a one off and next time it won't take so long. To test this theory out I rebooted again. Whilst it didn't take so long it still took quite a while. The reason for this is that puppy loads itself completely into memory. Whilst this has an effect on initial boot time it does free up your cd drive and all the applications load and run incredibly quickly.

What about the software that you get with Puppy? Ok so don't expect LibreOffice, Rhythmbox or Gimp. There are however loads of applications installed by default including image editors, video players, CD/DVD creation, lots of system utilities, screenshot capture tools, irc chat, a basic spreadsheet package, project management package and personal finance manager. To be honest there are too many tools to mention.

If you can't find the program you want there is always the ability to install other applications.  To install packages click the install icon. At this point you can choose to install puppy to your hard disk but the recommendation by the puppy people is that puppy isn't designed to run from the hard disk. In the bottom half of the wizard there is a button to run the puppy package manager.


Puppy uses packages called PETs and there is a huge selection to choose from. If you want GIMP you can get GIMP, if you want VLC you can get VLC.

Now it has to be noted that most of the packages are very light packages and that keeps with the whole Puppy ethos. If you want an all singing all dancing distro that has the most resource intensive packages with all the features then puppy is not for you.

So where does puppy fit in? Well it would run well on most netbooks that is for sure and it is great if you want to do a bit of web surfing and want to get online quickly.

The host of system tools makes it perfect for burning DVDs or creating screenshots. I don't think it is a distro that I would use for my main distro and I'm not sure I would recommend anyone else to do so. The thing is that it is ultra light so if you really want quick light tools then it is great but on your main computer, the one you paid a lot of money for that is capable of so much more why not have that extra bit of bloat with the bells and whistles and the snazzier packages.

I think the only fair thing to do now is to compare Puppy to other similar lightweight distros.

Lets start with Lubuntu. Lubuntu has the advantage that it is backed up with Ubuntu's huge resources in terms of package management and it is so much easier to get online. However how light is Lubuntu really? Take the LXDE away and it is every bit as heavy as Ubuntu. It is like having a bit of chocolate cake but removing the top layer of icing. I don't consider Lubuntu to be truly that light.

What about Bodhi? Bodhi is great. I have installed on my netbook full time. I like the boot speed time which leaves both Puppy and Lubuntu for dust. The selection of packages is good and there is a great repository.

Would I replace Bodhi with Puppy? Probably not. Do I like Puppy? Well it is ok. I like the selection of tools and now I have connectivity it works well enough. I've not had any issues but there isn't much to have issues with.

For those who have reached this far, thanks for reading. I will be posting about the other puppy versions soon.


Click here to buy Puppy on DVD or USB





Bewary the puppy

It has been a while since I had a look at Puppy Linux (www.puppylinux.org). so I thought I'd have another go to see how much it has improved over the past few years.

The home page for puppy has a number of different versions that can be downloaded so rather than choose one I chose to download three of them:

  1. Wary
  2. Lupu
  3. Slacko
This post is about Wary. There will be follow up posts about Lupu and Slacko shortly.

I burned the Wary image to a cd and rebooted my PC.

On the first boot of Puppy you are asked a series of questions such as your location and timezone. You are then asked which display drivers to run out of Xorg or Xvesa. The recommendation is to use Xorg and only use XVesa as a fall back option.

The laptop I am using (Samsung R20) is not that old so XOrg worked perfectly fine and instantly found the best resolution.

Finally after a few minutes I am taken to the default start screen.


The Puppy desktop is icon heavy. This is not something I normally like. I'm more of a minimalist. I like my desktop to be a nice picture with very little else on it.

There are five rows of icons.

The first row of icons are all system icons such as File (graphical directory browser), help, mount, install (package management), setup, edit and console.

The second row has office style icons such as write, calc, paint and draw.

The third row has connectivity icons such as browse, email and chat.

The fourth row has a calendar icon and video player icon.

The fifth row has one icon called connect which is used to set up network settings.

In the bottom left corner there are icons for each of your drives. On the right hand side there are icons for locking the screen, file compression and trash.

Finally at the very bottom of the screen there is a menu bar including a menu, icons for virtual panels and a system tray with battery monitor, clock, network setting and volume.

I don't know about you but the first thing I try when I load a new distro is to try to connect to the internet. The way to do this is to click the connect icon but the actual setting up of the internet was not as intuitive as I would have hoped.


From the image above you can see it shows eth0 and wlan0. For a newbie it is not obvious which one to select. What I would say though is that the help function is quite good.

In this case I was trying to set up my three mobile broadband so I selected wlan0.


Ok so a new screen is displayed with options to configure a wireless network, test the interface and configure the interface.

The screen is in a logical order of steps you need to follow so the first thing to do was to click the wireless button.

Finally we are at the screen where you can set up the wireless connection. (Think of it this way. When you run a Ubuntu based distro you usually click the little wireless symbol and it shows a list of wireless connections, on an xbox it shows you the wireless connections, even on the WII it shows a list of wireless connections. In puppy we are three screens deep before we are even close).

Clicking the scan button finally pulls back a list of available networks. Click the one you want to connect to. Choose the encryption method and enter the shared key. At this point it is a good idea to click Save. Finally click use this profile.

After a little bit of checking if everything has gone well you will be told the connection was successful. At this point you are still not connected to the internet. From the configure network interface screen you should now click the auto dhcp button. This will connect you to the internet.

A good thing now happens. A message appears asking if you want to install the Adobe Flash driver. I clicked yes and instantly went onto you tube to see if the videos would play.


As you can see from the above screenshot the video played perfectly well. (I watched the top 5 fifa 12 goals of the week).

At this point it is worth noting that you should probably consider rebooting. The reason for this is that it enables you to create a save file on your hard drive or a pen drive. This will basically provide you a way to install new software and store any files you create.

You will be asked a series of questions such as where the file will be stored and how big do you want it to be.

When you reboot it takes a fair while to actually start up but a helpful message appears telling you that this is a one off and next time it won't take so long. To test this theory out I rebooted again. Whilst it didn't take so long it still took quite a while. The reason for this is that puppy loads itself completely into memory. Whilst this has an effect on initial boot time it does free up your cd drive and all the applications load and run incredibly quickly.

What about the software that you get with Puppy? Ok so don't expect LibreOffice, Rhythmbox or Gimp. There are however loads of applications installed by default including image editors, video players, CD/DVD creation, lots of system utilities, screenshot capture tools, irc chat, a basic spreadsheet package, project management package and personal finance manager. To be honest there are too many tools to mention.

If you can't find the program you want there is always the ability to install other applications.  To install packages click the install icon. At this point you can choose to install puppy to your hard disk but the recommendation by the puppy people is that puppy isn't designed to run from the hard disk. In the bottom half of the wizard there is a button to run the puppy package manager.


Puppy uses packages called PETs and there is a huge selection to choose from. If you want GIMP you can get GIMP, if you want VLC you can get VLC.

Now it has to be noted that most of the packages are very light packages and that keeps with the whole Puppy ethos. If you want an all singing all dancing distro that has the most resource intensive packages with all the features then puppy is not for you.

So where does puppy fit in? Well it would run well on most netbooks that is for sure and it is great if you want to do a bit of web surfing and want to get online quickly.

The host of system tools makes it perfect for burning DVDs or creating screenshots. I don't think it is a distro that I would use for my main distro and I'm not sure I would recommend anyone else to do so. The thing is that it is ultra light so if you really want quick light tools then it is great but on your main computer, the one you paid a lot of money for that is capable of so much more why not have that extra bit of bloat with the bells and whistles and the snazzier packages.

I think the only fair thing to do now is to compare Puppy to other similar lightweight distros.

Lets start with Lubuntu. Lubuntu has the advantage that it is backed up with Ubuntu's huge resources in terms of package management and it is so much easier to get online. However how light is Lubuntu really? Take the LXDE away and it is every bit as heavy as Ubuntu. It is like having a bit of chocolate cake but removing the top layer of icing. I don't consider Lubuntu to be truly that light.

What about Bodhi? Bodhi is great. I have installed on my netbook full time. I like the boot speed time which leaves both Puppy and Lubuntu for dust. The selection of packages is good and there is a great repository.

Would I replace Bodhi with Puppy? Probably not. Do I like Puppy? Well it is ok. I like the selection of tools and now I have connectivity it works well enough. I've not had any issues but there isn't much to have issues with.

For those who have reached this far, thanks for reading. I will be posting about the other puppy versions soon.


Click here to buy Puppy on DVD or USB





Posted at 00:01 |  by Gary Newell

4 comments:

Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts. Please try to be constructive.

Offensive messages will be removed as will blatant adverts for misleading products and sites.

Thanks for visiting my blog

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