Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lupu 5.11 Review

Well, I have no news for the usual things, still waiting for stupid ps2dev to go up when I'm on, though I'm getting tired of it, so I'll most likely try modifying m0skit0's installation script for using the backup of the SVN, and share it afterwards.

That aside, the past while I've been jumping through portable Linux distributions, and I found one that caught my eye. At first I was trying to get Damn Small Linux to work from my USB, but there was a fatal flaw in that plan; DSL is based on KNOPPIX, which very specifically searches for its files on a CD/DVD. This meant lots of headaches attempting to get it to boot from my USB flash drive. Giving up on it, I went looking, and found Puppy Linux.

I'll admit I originally avoided it because of it's name, but after reading, it sounded good. It has a package system for upgrading it and adding anything you want, and the version I personally got, Lupu 5.11(Lucid Puppy) was built using Ubuntu, meaning it has access to Ubuntu packages as well. Seeing as how small size(it is only about 100MB) and customization were what I was looking for, I tried it.

One thing I noticed is that it is very GRUB friendly. There are 3 files needed to boot it, the initial ramdisk file, the kernel, and a SquashFS file. I put them all into my boot folder, added the entry to grub, and tested it. It worked first try flawlessly, and configured itself for my hardware mostly by itself.

Although some of the software included is very minimal and simplistic, it is very, very fast. It runs many times faster than my Ubuntu installation on my laptop, and some things that my Ubuntu claims my hardware isn't good enough for, Lupu runs flawlessly on the same machine, such as high resolution video. I will admit I even enjoy some of the more classic looking programs, the default file manager reminding me of Windows 3.1. Clicking the internet icon the first time asks you if you want to install a new browser, and I was able to quickly install Firefox, which seems to run faster on Lupu than on my Ubuntu, as well.

The only problem I can see with Lupu for newer Linux users is that some of the more complicated configuration doesn't all have easy interfaces, and not everything is flawless without some tinkering, or hunting for drivers. I still can't get the default messenger, AYTTL, to sign in without crashing. However, one thing it does do very well is save space. Although some programs can be quite large, and needing a large save file(mine is only 512 MB, though), there is a nifty little utility that is run after installing any package that asks if you want it to "trim the fat", meaning it will remove any unwanted documentation(such as other languages), and anything else it installed but does not seem to need.

Just as a note, as I didn't explain it before, like most persistent systems, Puppy Linux allows you to create a save file on your flash drive if you wish to use it like a normal desktop. You get to choose the size, but unless you plan to store files inside this(which I suggest you don't) it doesn't need to be very large, as I said, mine is only 512 MB. I suggest for storing files you just put those on the actual USB drive, as then you can access them from other systems as well just by plugging it in.

All in all, I've been enjoying Lupu to the point where I've considered installing it onto my laptop as my main OS, though I'm holding back on that for now, as I just reinstalled Ubuntu and quite like my setup. I highly recommend anyone looking for a lightweight Linux distribution to try Puppy Linux, especially Lupu in my experience, and especially if you're looking for something for a USB drive, although it has interesting features for Live Discs as well(such as PERSISTENCE, yes, purely on a CD/DVD)


  1. Great take on Puppy!

    The chat client problem is being addressed for the next version, I've had good luck with Pidgeon, but IRC is all I use it for. I've been using Puppy as my main OS for a couple of years.

  2. Puppy users have more fun

    New Lucid in Beta

    Stay Frisky

  3. Someone searched up and found my blog looking for help with flash on Lupu 5.11, I don't know if you'll end up coming back, but I'll answer anyways. You need to download the plugin yourself(Firefox should point you to the download page) and extract it into Firefox's plugin folder, which is either "~/.mozilla/firefox/XXXXXXXX.default/plugins/"(XXXXXXXX being random) or "/usr/lib/firefox/plugins/".

  4. Could you help me setting up psptoolchain for this OS? i find it rather difficult xD

  5. I suggest getting minpspw from (the linux 32bit package)

    Extract it to "/usr/local/pspdev/", and add these 4 lines to your ".bashrc" file in your home folder:
    # PSPSDK exports
    export PSPDEV="/usr/local/pspdev"
    export PSPSDK="$PSPDEV/psp/sdk"
    export PATH="$PATH:$PSPDEV/bin:$PSPSDK/bin"

    That should work, if you get an error about "", then go to "/usr/lib/" and look for a "", will probably have numbers after it too, make a link to the real file and rename the link to "", that should fix it.

  6. you forgot something ;). Look at the exports. they should be f.e.
    export PSPDEV="usr/local/pspdev/pspsdk"
    the exported folder name is pspsdk ;)

  7. nevermind, looks like the problem was that folder :O