Taking Puppy for a short walk
Puppy 2.0 was released several days ago and I'd been quite anxious to find the time to look at it. This major release brings about some significant changes to the underlying code as well as some visible changes - most notably the mozilla-seamonkey suite and kernel 126.96.36.199.
There aren't a whole lot of gui changes, although we now have a new background. Again, it's a tranquil generic skyscape, but this time it does state the distro and version number. The desktop holds a few more icons than previously for convenient access to some of the more commonly used applications like inkscape, xine, and gnumeric. You immediately know that your sound is working from the "woof woof" one hears when their desktop appears with an introduction in dillo.
The developers state that they've completely rewritten the whole startup process and indicate they've improved hardware detection. Although I still had to run the "connect" script upon boot, it did detect my ethernet card and obtain a lease from my dhcpd server. Another change this release is the ram recommendation. Previously 128mb was recommended, but the developers now state this might be a bit low to run the heavier applications such as seamonkey.
Some of the listed changes include:
- Redesign of the underlying architecture of Puppy for streamlined
booting from any media, running in a wide range of environments, and
installation to any media, including CD/DVD, hard drive, USB, Zip.
- Total rewrite of the boot and shutdown scripts for maximum flexibility.
No longer does Puppy automatically create a personal save-file on the
hard drive -- now you are in control and choose exactly where you want it
(note, you make the choice at the first shutdown). You can even save
personal files/settings to a floppy disk!
- Total rewrite of the main Wizards, in particular the Puppy Universal Installer and the CD/DVD Simple Remaster Wizards.
- Mozilla SeaMonkey suite, with web browser, composer, mail & news and addressbook.
- Inkscape vector editor.
- GParted graphical drive partitioning tool.
- Geany editor replaces the aging Beaver.
- Perl v5.8.0.
- Great little applets for the taskbar, to display free memory, volume control, network status.
- There is considerably more automatic hardware detection, with loading of the correct kernel modules.
- Kernel version 188.8.131.52.
- working automatic mouse detection
- Automatic serial modem detection for true hardware modems
- Pupsafe - a layer of protection above root.
- ALSA replaces OSS
- Bash as default shell
- Many more little utility applications
There are a lot of terrific improvements, especially with hardware detection and setup. It is still the same small fast useful distro to which we've grown accustommed while being updated with a modern kernel and other great additions. Despite ho hum appearances, it's a great little distro and has a fine selection of tools and apps that can be used as a rescue system, to resurrect older computers, or as an everyday workhorse.