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A New Breed of Puppy: Grafpup Linux 1.0.2

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Grafpup is a tiny distro based on Puppy Linux focused moreso on graphic applications. It comes in a 75 mb download, similarly to Puppy, but it has taken out some of the general purpose, games, and multimedia applications and added more graphic apps. We test drove the newest version, Grafpup Linux 1.0.2, announced just today. Aimed at the professional graphic artist, most applications were quite useful even to a layperson like myself. When a distro comes in 75 mb, is chocked full of useful utilities and apps, and still includes gimp - you know they are doing something right.

It is a daunting task to get screenshots in Puppy Linux as it don't even include xwd and I find their xpaint very clumsy, but that was not the case in Grafpup. The very first thing I noticed was the inclusion of gimp. If no small screenshot application is available, gimp is wonderful. In fact, it has advantages as I can make my thumbnails in real time rather than going back later. I was enamored immediately.

Other than that Puppy is an amazing distro. They include all kinds of small utilities and original scripts for setting up your system in the tiniest of space. It just amazes me. But it points to the power of the commandline over gui apps. Since grafpup is based on puppy, you still have all these same wonderful tools available.

        

In addtion, there are plenty of other applications to complete most of your daily tasks. There is Scribus, Ted, leafpad, vi & mp console editors, and even bluefish for your desktop publishing or word processing needs. There is Opera, Dillo, and elinks for web surfing. Xine has been left as well as graveman and some other cd burning scripts under the heading of multimedia.

        

There are plenty of networking and connection tools, filemanagers, and monitoring applications/tools. The only problem encountered was with whois that quit responding with the first search, could not be killed, but then killed itself off within a few minutes.

        

And of course, Grafpup's claim to fame: Graphics. There are several graphic applications for image creation and manipulation. Too bad I'm not more intuned to this field, as it is, I looked at them with a superficial eye of the layperson. As stated, gimp was included, but they also included Cinepaint. I'm not an expert, but Cinepaint looked like gimp to me. I'm clueless of the advantages, but if this is your area of expertise, then know Cinepaint is included. Also included is XNview, Inkscape, mtPaint, gtkam and a color chooser.

        

The developers have been quite busy over this last development cycle. The Release announcement states:

There is an extensive list of changes/upgrades this release.
1:) Gimp has been updated to 2.2.10, with extra plugins for RAW decoding and CMYK conversion.
2:) Inkscape is updated to 0.43
3:) Scribus is now 1.2.4
4:) MtPaint is now 2.29.30 (development release)
5:) Gaim is now 1.50
6:) Xarchive replaces guiTAR
7:) Xlock screen locker
8:) Visual improvements including new wallpaper, splash screen, icons, menu improvements,less desktop clutter.
12:) Firewire support enabled.
13:) Icemc menu editor.
I’ve begun to make more use of the capabilities of ROX. The directory /usr/local/apps now has wrappers for the most used programs, which can be dragged to the desktop for shortcuts if desired. Additionally the icons on the desktop now display a brief explanation of what the program does when you hover the mouse pointer over them.

I found grafpup to be a fun and as amazing experience as Puppy Linux. It was stable, as were the applications. It can be installed onto your hard drive or usb key or just about anywhere you wish. It was nice with acceptable fonts and wonderful performance (as it automagically caches into ramdisk if possible). This is a wonderful little distro for anyone, not just graphic artists. I really liked Grafpup and hope you'll give it a try. There are a few extra screenshots in the gallery.

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