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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
1st time Puppy user - Pros and Cons from a noob
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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dult

Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sat 31 Aug 2013, 11:18    Post subject:  1st time Puppy user - Pros and Cons from a noob  

Hello everyone,

I finally decided to try a linux distro. I choose Puppy for its portability and 'run anywhere' mentality.
I used open-source software (developing my own js libraries to replace flash).

I've been with windows since w95, and I've been hating it more and more. The last straw was when MS advised me to format windows because I MS Word wouldn't open...

I installed the latest stable precise Puppy on my 15 yo 256mb caseless drowned burned usb pen and pluged'it on my 1201n netbook.

It worked.

Everything worked. I even had access to the 2gb ram installed (half the time, windows can only access 1gb due to a bug in the bios).

Now, nothing is perfect, and neither is linux puppy. Here are my pros, cons, worries and solutions for you all to hear me complaint. REMINDER: this is just my opinion, I really like puppy.

Cons:
Fugly - I like oldschool graphics (I still use w95 theme in w7) but there are some ugly design decisions that I plan to correct.
Bloatware soup - No, not in the windows sense, but there is allot of software I don't use and that I don't want, but to uninstall I have to surf a never ending list of apps, which I don't want to meddle because I'm afraid to mess up something. A browser only version would be nice.
Fragmented documentation - Most web doc seem to be out of date or they don't apply here.
Too many choices - In the start menu, I have too many choices, most will be used only once. I'll search to see if there's a way to edit it.

Pros:
Fast.
Easy to install apps.
Easy to customize.

Worries:
Ram limitations - Since it runs all in ram, I'm afraid of installing too many apps and then have no ram left for heavy duty works (3d and video editing) - P.S.: This bad boy edits Full HD footage, I've tried.
Afraid to mess up - Since it is a new OS.

Solutions:
Like everything in Linux, I can customize it, and share it!.

Best Regards
NP[/b]
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dancytron

Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Sat 31 Aug 2013, 12:36    Post subject:  

The start menu is generated by the .desktop files in /usr/shared/applications. Just move them someplace else and then run "fixmenus" from console to regenerate menu. You can also just drag any icon from /usr/shared/applications to the desktop.

One of the best things about Puppy is how hard it is to mess up permanently. On a frugal install, the whole operating system is in a read only sfs file. The changes are in a separate save file. Get it the way you want it. Then backup the save file. Whenever you are going to do something you think might mess it up, backup the save file and if you don't like the changes you made, then use the backup.

see http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=87389



http://puppylinux.com/development/howpuppyworks.html
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3246
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sat 31 Aug 2013, 13:03    Post subject: Re: 1st time Puppy user - Pros and Cons from a noob  

dult wrote:
Since it runs all in ram, I'm afraid of installing too many apps and then have no ram left for heavy duty works

1. Actually...
Under most situations, a Puppy doesn't load eveything into RAM.
a. Where it DOES:
a1. When you boot [1st boot?] without using a pupsave, or else use the puppy pfix=ram command during the 5-sec pause during boot.
If you installed LOTS of stuff during the 1st session, then didn't make a big enough pupsave file at 1st shutdown, you might not have enough space in the pupsave.
Or...
a2. When you boot a [Puppy on a] multi-session optical disk.
If you then tried to save all of the many changes you'd made during the session, there would need to be enough space on the optical disk to take it.
Hence, it's a good idea to use a DVD rewritable [much more space available], not a CD rewritable.

b. Where it doesn't:
I'm no expert, but...
b1. I know it [normally] doesn't load everything, when a pupsave is in use; only loads what it needs to load.
e.g. When you run a program that isn't natively included [not on the Puppy CD], but was installed afterward...
That program will be held in the pupsave, and will be loaded only if/when you run it.
I believe there's a command [can be run during boot] that can tell the Puppy to load everything into RAM [including the contents of the pupsave].
I've never used it.

2. If you ever did run low on RAM during a session, I think Puppy would automatically make a swapfile [not a swap partition]...
And attempt to make it big enough to take the excess.
The Puppy experts may be able to explain this.
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dult

Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sun 01 Sep 2013, 11:19    Post subject:  

Thanks for the replies.

I'm liking to work with Linux Puppy, and I look forward to customizing it to my liking.

I have my laptop divided into two partitions. Usually one was for windows and apps and the other for working files.

I'm thinking of keeping it that way with puppy. I was thinking of getting a small USB drive for the OS and APPs, and then keep my personal files on an external drive, and then use one of the pc's partitions to work.

But, can anyone advise me on the size of the USB? And version... Will Linux Puppy work/boot/swap/load apps faster with a 3.0 USB?
Should i get just the minimal USB size for all the apps I want or get a big one for swap space?

Thanks.
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3246
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sun 01 Sep 2013, 15:04    Post subject:  

I'm no expert, but...

1. "I have my laptop divided into two partitions. Usually one was for windows and apps and the other for working files."
Sounds good...
When I used Windows, I used that setup.

2. "I was thinking of getting a small USB drive for the OS and APPs, and then keep my personal files on an external drive, and then use one of the pc's partitions to work."
Sounds like a good plan. Very Happy

3. "can anyone advise me on the size of the USB?"
I have a couple of 1GB Flash Drives, a 4GB and an 8GB.
The 1GB are OK [never found them to be inadequate], but a little small.
I usually make 1GB pupsave files.
The 4GB is fine; the 8GB probably bigger than needed.
I guess it all depends what you do with them; how big are the things you store.

4. "Will Linux Puppy work/boot/swap/load apps faster with a 3.0 USB?"
I guess so, I don't have USB3, so I've no personal experience.

5. "get a big one for swap space?"
Swap space should go on an internal HDD for speed methinks.
A Flash Drive isn't suitable for swap since it would tend to wear out too quickly.
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Jasper


Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1031
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun 01 Sep 2013, 20:55    Post subject:  

Hi,

If you have 512 MB RAM or more, I suggest you defer any decision on a swap file or partition unless and until you discover it's needed.

I purchased two 16GB USB2 flash sticks for £5.99 each, post free. 6MB/sec write and 21MB/sec read. I use ext4 with partitions and my Puppy flies fast. and normally shuts down in 15 sec uless a huge copy operation is unfinished.
Try looking for USB2 bargains say, at least 8GB and perhaps 20MB/sec write speeds.

My regards
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dult

Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon 02 Sep 2013, 06:38    Post subject:  

Hi, thanks for the replies.

I'm looking for usb drives that will be very very small.

I seem to have some difficulty accessing external HDD or USB pens (othe rthan the OS one) from within an App... Doesn't puppy automount?

One workaround could be having a big USB drive, use it for all the work in progress and then archive it when finished.

I just applied for the steam beta for linux and I guess the usb drive is going to have to be big enough to hold a game in it...

Thanks everyone.
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3246
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Mon 02 Sep 2013, 06:48    Post subject:  

dult wrote:
Doesn't puppy automount?

In general, no it doesn't...except...
It will automount the PFS [Partition File System] holding the pupsave file that has been found and used at startup.

I believe it's possible to make special arrangements to mount at startup, certain chosen PFS's.

Normally, I manually mount a PFS [by clicking its icon on the desktop] right before I intend to do something with its contents.
And, of course, unmount it after I'm finished with it.
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dancytron

Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Mon 02 Sep 2013, 12:28    Post subject:  

Is there a reason you don't want to do a regular frugal install to the hard disk?
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cimarron

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Mon 02 Sep 2013, 14:44    Post subject:  

"A browser only version would be nice."

You're in luck. Puppymartin made BrowserLinux a few years back. The last version was based on Lucid puppy 5.1. Very stripped down, and a little nicer to look at. I used it as the basis for the puppy I now use (screenshots here).

The forum discussion on BrowserLinux is here.
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dult

Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue 03 Sep 2013, 04:28    Post subject:  

Just a note here. I'm very please with this community, 'cause even though this is a noob topic, with probably many more similar questions out there, you guy don't mind answering some questions that I didn't find a clear answer.

One thing I like about Puppy Linux is its Ubiquity. In the sense that your computer isn't a 2kg piece of hardware that you chug around to use. It's something small that would work on almost any machine. It's a philosophy I enjoy and one which I want to keep. It's the same motivation that drove me to open-source software, apps that work anywhere, regardless of specs, with efficency in mind.

In this day and age, imagine for students if what was though was 'carry this pen, plug it in the pc and work'. No need for maintenance of the schools pcs, they don't even need hdd! Just a processor (kinda minimalistic here, give me a break).

The reason for not making a frugal install is simply because I don't need it, and, as such, I don't want it.

Thanks

EDIT:
@Sylvander It seems on PET files are saved and loaded into ram.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 409
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Thu 05 Sep 2013, 23:47    Post subject:  

Hi dult, and welcome to puppyworld!
You wrote:
In this day and age, imagine for students if what was though was 'carry this pen, plug it in the pc and work'. No need for maintenance of the schools pcs, they don't even need hdd! Just a processor (kinda minimalistic here, give me a break).

I guess you explored the puppy sites before you became hooked, if not, take a look at this page, and follow the links to the different installation methods. Even if the pages are getting a bit old, they show the basic ideas behind puppy, including some very much like your comment above!

On multi-session live CD/DVD, Barry Kauler wrote:
Do you run an Internet Cafe? Imagine never having to maintain the PCs, ever again. Imagine cheap PCs without hard drive, no operating system. Imagine no more viruses, no security problems at all ...am I dreaming?

I have never installed puppy to a HD myself, I only use live CD/DVD.

tallboy

_________________
True freedom is a live Puppy on a multisession CD/DVD.
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dult

Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri 06 Sep 2013, 07:14    Post subject:  

tallboy wrote:
Hi dult, and welcome to puppyworld!
You wrote:
In this day and age, imagine for students if what was though was 'carry this pen, plug it in the pc and work'. No need for maintenance of the schools pcs, they don't even need hdd! Just a processor (kinda minimalistic here, give me a break).

I guess you explored the puppy sites before you became hooked, if not, take a look at this page, and follow the links to the different installation methods. Even if the pages are getting a bit old, they show the basic ideas behind puppy, including some very much like your comment above!

On multi-session live CD/DVD, Barry Kauler wrote:
Do you run an Internet Cafe? Imagine never having to maintain the PCs, ever again. Imagine cheap PCs without hard drive, no operating system. Imagine no more viruses, no security problems at all ...am I dreaming?

I have never installed puppy to a HD myself, I only use live CD/DVD.

tallboy


One of my criticisms is the fragmented/out-of-date documentation.

I downloaded a linux puppy manual, but it doesn't explain how everything works. Just basic functionality... the corner-stone for bug driven system.

Personaly, I got myself around portable apps in windows, and I didn't like going to the repo, ask to install blender and it adds two or three dependencies. I don't like this, a dependent system will have garbage that I don't know what to install or uninstall.

Anyway, searching the usb, I have a .sfs file and a 2fs file.

Sfs is loaded into memory, with all pet packages loading (like abiword and inkscapeLite), and 2fs is all the other files that are loaded, like my docs, or files scattered around /home. Right?

Thanks.
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3246
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Fri 06 Sep 2013, 08:05    Post subject:  

dult wrote:
...and 2fs is all the other files that are loaded

Wrong.
The stuff in the .2fs [pupsave] file is only loaded if/when, needed...
[Like if you run a program that's held in the pupsave; there by virtue of having been installed using a PET file]
Otherwise stuff in the pupsave isn't loaded.
i.e. Some is and some isn't loaded.
And changes made to the stuff that IS loaded may or may not be copied back, depending on this or that circumstance.
e.g. In general I NEVER save to the pupsave [copy back] any changes made during the session.
It only gets copied back if/when I tell it to save.
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dult

Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri 06 Sep 2013, 08:23    Post subject:  

Sylvander wrote:
dult wrote:
...and 2fs is all the other files that are loaded

Wrong.
The stuff in the .2fs [pupsave] file is only loaded if/when, needed...
[Like if you run a program that's held in the pupsave; there by virtue of having been installed using a PET file]
Otherwise stuff in the pupsave isn't loaded.
i.e. Some is and some isn't loaded.
And changes made to the stuff that IS loaded may or may not be copied back, depending on this or that circumstance.
e.g. In general I NEVER save to the pupsave [copy back] any changes made during the session.
It only gets copied back if/when I tell it to save.


Hmm. Its what I though. Quite interesting system.

Another thing that plagued my mind is:
This seems like a bunch of files inside an USB drive. Can I copy them directly to another USB drive or do they have to be installed O.o?

Also, can I change the username in the 2fs directly in the file?
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