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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Puppy or Damn Small Linux(DSL)?
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4784
Location: GB

PostPosted: Sat 19 May 2007, 05:37    Post subject:  

I posted that yesterday, CP!
Deli is not quite what it seems. Maybe it will run in 8Mb RAM, but this is a truncated console mode. For full GUI with Firefox, 32Mb is needed. Puppy can do that with swap space. ...And it is 130Mb.
Jinx is the one to beat.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1513

PostPosted: Sat 19 May 2007, 13:18    Post subject: Deli Linux  

I think you can get by with 16 MB of RAM in Deli if you use Dillo and links graphic, but it's more limited than Puppy offers with Seamonkey or Firefox. The biggest problem I had with Deli (0.7.1) was that the video settings only went up to what was possible with about 1 MB of RAM, so if you wanted, say, 1024x768 you were stuck with 8 bit colour.

It's a good attempt at a Linux distro for old computers though, and I'm glad it's found someone (Henry Jensen) to work on and develop it.
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wdef

Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Sat 19 May 2007, 14:37    Post subject:  

I'm very familiar with DamnSmallLinux, some of my scripts are in there.

It's quite different to Puppy in most respects, so how-long-is-my-organ type comparisons are a bit silly.

Puppy is probably easier for newbies in that there are more generous configuration GUIs and (eg) gxine and abiword are there ready to go.

For an old machine with 48MB ram though, provided I had a little geek aptitude, I'd go with DSL and then learn a about how to install uci and unc extensions to conserve ramdisk.

Where Puppy shines is probably running off flash, since it has the write-to-flash every 30 min architecture. Also, Puppy has a 2.6.xx kernel, gtk2, and Xorg, not to mention things like ipw2200 drivers, so it's consequently bigger and will run things that won't run on dsl out of the box. But dsl is designed to be light, small and stable, and it's very solid if you know how to use it and you don't need all the latest packages (though I've compiled quite a number of new progs to run on it).

Puppy is easier to compile things on.

I agree not a huge amount changes between dsl releases, possibly partly because the formula is not so bad as it is, but there are ongoing bug fixes and improvements, Geeks and geek-in-training who use dsl tend to be fans of unix minimalism, want the lightest possible system, and don't care much for bloat, KDE, Gnome, etc.

It's also nice to do whatever silliness you want on dsl and not have it bugger up your backup. On Puppy, everything is getting put into your pup_save.sfs, so, if you break your system, you usually have to throw that file (and whatever is it in) away, unless you want to mount it and try a repair. Not so with dsl. If it hangs and you reset, there'll be no backup. Or if you don't want to keep whatever you've installed/broken, you just disable the backup.

A plus for dsl is it's Knoppix heritage, which means it's got Klaus Knopper's virtuoso bash scripts doing things like hardware autoconfiguration. I do admire Mr Knopper's elegant and very tidy code (even if he is fond of opening subshells at the drop of a hat and doesn't seem to believe in indenting). Knoppix proper I always find just too big.

But Puppy's great too. These are different things.
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4784
Location: GB

PostPosted: Sat 19 May 2007, 15:12    Post subject:  

A more informed and eloquent assessment than the one I gave above, but I arrived at the same basic conclusions from the user's perspective. Not a scintilla between us, wdef. It is ludicrous to dismiss DSL - there are many more worthy distros meriting the torch - start with Zenwalk, for example!
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11108
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Sat 19 May 2007, 15:33    Post subject:  

Quote:
Or how about arachne with freedos (invented by Fish - glad to see them showing some iniatative) and using online apps . . .
http://home.arachne.cz/


Lobster wrote this?

Arachne about drove me nuts.

I eventually gave up, concluding either (1) it won't support NIC internet connections or (2) I'll never figure out how to do it.

From all I can tell, it was designed to work with real modems, not win modems or software modems.

Buying a modem is not a big deal, but my cable modem provider wouldn't know what to do with it anyway.

I guess I could try an alternate operating system like Microsoft Windows, but they're to fat for me and I don't trust them, maybe can't trust them.

Frankly, I think it would be a blast having a DOS system I could use for surfing the internet.

Bruce
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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Sat 19 May 2007, 21:34    Post subject:  

Bruce B wrote:

Arachne about drove me nuts.


me too but I had less distance to travel Smile

There is also DSL-not (a bigger DSL)
On the whole asking which distro to try on a Puppy forum seems to provide quite honest advice . . .

Be interested how you fared with advice on a DSL forum . . .
Let us know what you decide and how you get on. Smile

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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1513

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 05:21    Post subject: DOS computers  

Arachne's still being developed and has reached about 1.90, but it's quite limited for anything other than routine site browsing. It has a couple of good features that I wish other distros woul;d copy though, suich as favourites getting saved in an HTML file which can easily be used by another browser without the hassle of having to import them.

Here's the URL if anyone's interested;

http://www.cisnet.com/glennmcc/

I'd quite like to have a DOS partition on my machine, but Windows XP occupies this computer's primary partition and AFAIK DOS won't install on a logical partition.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1513

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 05:25    Post subject:  

wdef wrote:
I'm very familiar with DamnSmallLinux, some of my scripts are in there.

It's quite different to Puppy in most respects, so how-long-is-my-organ type comparisons are a bit silly.

Puppy is probably easier for newbies in that there are more generous configuration GUIs and (eg) gxine and abiword are there ready to go.

For an old machine with 48MB ram though, provided I had a little geek aptitude, I'd go with DSL and then learn a about how to install uci and unc extensions to conserve ramdisk.

Where Puppy shines is probably running off flash, since it has the write-to-flash every 30 min architecture. Also, Puppy has a 2.6.xx kernel, gtk2, and Xorg, not to mention things like ipw2200 drivers, so it's consequently bigger and will run things that won't run on dsl out of the box. But dsl is designed to be light, small and stable, and it's very solid if you know how to use it and you don't need all the latest packages (though I've compiled quite a number of new progs to run on it).

Puppy is easier to compile things on.

I agree not a huge amount changes between dsl releases, possibly partly because the formula is not so bad as it is, but there are ongoing bug fixes and improvements, Geeks and geek-in-training who use dsl tend to be fans of unix minimalism, want the lightest possible system, and don't care much for bloat, KDE, Gnome, etc.

It's also nice to do whatever silliness you want on dsl and not have it bugger up your backup. On Puppy, everything is getting put into your pup_save.sfs, so, if you break your system, you usually have to throw that file (and whatever is it in) away, unless you want to mount it and try a repair. Not so with dsl. If it hangs and you reset, there'll be no backup. Or if you don't want to keep whatever you've installed/broken, you just disable the backup.

A plus for dsl is it's Knoppix heritage, which means it's got Klaus Knopper's virtuoso bash scripts doing things like hardware autoconfiguration. I do admire Mr Knopper's elegant and very tidy code (even if he is fond of opening subshells at the drop of a hat and doesn't seem to believe in indenting). Knoppix proper I always find just too big.

But Puppy's great too. These are different things.


This is a good post, and raises a question about Puppy; is it possible to disable the backup to pup_save.sfs once you've got Puppy working the way you want it?
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2949
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 07:40    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
This is a good post, and raises a question about Puppy; is it possible to disable the backup to pup_save.sfs once you've got Puppy working the way you want it?

Previous answers to the question have involved remastering so that booting just the CD sets everything up how you want it.
You could also do this using a multisession CD and simply not saving the session at the end.
This makes me wonder if it is possible to put something in rc.local to change the PUPMODE after booting so that the session won't save unless you revert the PUPMODE explicitly.
I'm not sure if the architecture of the startup and shutdown scripts supports this but it might be worth investigating.

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wdef

Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 10:20    Post subject:  

Quote:

There is also DSL-not (a bigger DSL)


This has really great potential as the 2.6.XX, gtk2 sibling of dsl (it looks great too), but unfortunately is no longer in active development, apparently due to resource constraints in the dsl project. It's still an alpha version with a few mysterious bugs, such as hotplug being broken when it comes to loading ipw2200 firmware. If anyone out there in Puppyland knows how to fix this, please post over on the dsl forum, I'm sure Robert would love to hear about it.

However dsl-n has a steady band of followers who won't give up so I wouldn't be surprised if it is eventually revived (I hope so).

Quote:
is it possible to disable the backup to pup_save.sfs once you've got Puppy working the way you want it?


Quote:
This makes me wonder if it is possible to put something in rc.local to change the PUPMODE after booting so that the session won't save unless you revert the PUPMODE explicitly.


I imagine it should be possible to hack Puppy to create a bootcode so that when running from usb flash the copying of user files from the tmpfs filesystem to the mounted pup_save.sfs does not occur automatically every 30 mins and on shutdown but only on demand eg add a "backup now" (or perhaps at user defined intervals) configuration/command somewhere. People wanting to load their pup_save.sfs but not break it while doing risky stuff could use this.

Actually I suppose a whole new pupmode could be set up to use the tmpfs filesystem and do this for other types of boot, amount of free ram available notwithstanding (I'm not volunteering to script this just yet btw!!)?[/quote]
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GuestToo
Puppy Master

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 4078

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 13:46    Post subject:  

Quote:
favourites getting saved in an HTML file which can easily be used by another browser without the hassle of having to import them

Seamonkey and Firefox use a file called bookmarks.html in the hidden directory .mozilla/default/xxxxxxxx.slt in your home dir (/root)

just copy the file anywhere you like ... open it in any browser, if you like you can add the bookmarks.html file on your hard drive to the other browser's bookmarks/favourites ... if you like you can make the file your home page
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11068
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 15:20    Post subject:  

GuestToo wrote:
Seamonkey and Firefox use a file called bookmarks.html in the hidden directory .mozilla/default/xxxxxxxx.slt in your home dir (/root)

just copy the file anywhere you like ... open it in any browser, if you like you can add the bookmarks.html file on your hard drive to the other browser's bookmarks/favourites ... if you like you can make the file your home page

Hey, thanks. Very Happy That takes a big hassle out of trying a new multisession Puppy DVD.

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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1513

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 16:53    Post subject:  

Yes thanks, I'll be using that one too
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2949
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Sun 20 May 2007, 17:32    Post subject:  

Seamonkey preferences now includes an experimental section for a roaming profile.
You have to enter the details for an ftp account that you can write to and presumably it saves and loads your profile there automatically. I haven't used this.

I have a script set to automatically ftp my bookmarks.html to my webspace every hour. What is weird is sometimes when I am doing a web search I actually get directed back to my own bookmarks file. I must be a world expert on some of the stuff I'm interested in. It is really handy when I'm somewhere else knowing I can still access my bookmarks.

Another way of doing this is to use an online social bookmarking/tagging service such as http://del.icio.us.

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contribute: community website, screenshots, puplets, wiki, rss

Last edited by HairyWill on Tue 22 May 2007, 06:44; edited 1 time in total
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stevesr0

Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 169

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun 2007, 14:06    Post subject: My experience w DSL 3.3 vs Puppy Linux 2.16.1 on old laptop  

I am an old but nonadvanced user of Linux and have been using an old laptop (foreign generic 266 Pentium MMX w 192 MB RAM and 6 gig harddrive) to learn more about linux.

My primary strategy has been to use live CDs to test suitability of different distributions. Some have rather easily booted the machine and found the old sound chip and smoothly played internet radio stations (Knoppix 5.1.1), while others needed a nudge (DSL 3.3 needed a modprobe opl3sa2) and others needed the ALSA Wizard (Puppy 2.16.1). The Debian etch live cd, recognized my sound card automatically, but I couldn't get the radio to play. For others, I struggled but haven't managed to get sound working (Kanotix, which is based on Knoppix, Mepis 6.5.02 and 'buntus).

After trying many distributions, it dawned on me that I would confuse myself less if I limited myself to distributions that ran relatively fast as live CDs on this machine. I have been impressed with the subjective quickness of DSL, Puppy and also Wolvix (although I haven't performed objective measurements), and have been most recently trying to compare DSL and Puppy.

At this point, DSL is working better on this old laptop than Puppy in the following ways:
(1) Boot up time is much faster (on almost all live CD distributions other than DSL, I experience a 4 and a half minute pause while the program searches for the linux distribution on the CD).
(2) When the system is up, I can make sound workable in DSL simply by a modprobe command; in Puppy, modprobe gives me an error message and I have to go through the ALSA wizard configuration.
(3) When I try to play an internet radio station, with Puppy (Gxine) the sound cuts off frequently and seems sensitive to use of other windows, while it is continuous in DSL (XMMS) and not affected by activities in other windows.
(4) Since the laptop case is partially broken and I need to keep it taped to a surround, I am no longer trying to use my wi-fi cards on this machine, but rather just a Netgear NIC. With DSL, the connection was automatic, while I had to tell Puppy to use a tulip driver.

Overall, both of these distributions are good performers on this laptop, compared to most other live CDs which continually need to access the CD.

As I get more knowledgeable, my preferences will likely change.

In a few months (I am retired and don't need to rush this <g>), I will advance to trying a hard drive install.

Steve
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