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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Puppy's big problem with woof and woof CE
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oui

Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 3494
Location: near Woof (Germany) :-) - 3 PC's: DELL SX280 750 MB Pentium4, Acer emachines 2 GB AMD64. DELL XPS15

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 10:09    Post subject:  

Hi James Bond

jamesbond wrote:
Puppy grows big for two reasons:

1. New version of the same software is always bigger.
2. Support for more diverse kind of hardware requires more drivers and firmware and make it bigger.

Use older software? E.g. browser: youtube doesn't work, bank websites reject you.
Don't include all firmware (and drivers)? Or use older kernels? Soundcards don't work, network cards don't work, graphic cards, don't work ... you get the point.
Don't use bloated software? Ok, now try to use dillo or netsurf or anything else about the same size. See if you can survive the Internet today.

---

There are modern, complete Linux systems under 4MB today. E.g. those that runs on routers.
The catch? They support exactly *one* hardware platform. They perform exactly *one* function.

Long time ago, before I knew Puppy, I was mesmerised by a distro called Damn Small Linux (DSL). A complete Linux distro with everyday tools (wordprocessing, spreadsheet, watching videos) in less than 50MB. Compare this with Knoppix that as over 600MB. This is in the days of 56Kbps V92 dial-up modem download. What's not to like? So I got that. I burned that to a CD-R and boot it up.
1. My soundcard didn't work.
2. My network didn't work.
3. My screen resolution was odd (it supported only VESA resolutions, the X server being Xvesa).
4. The general UI was ugly (GTK1 or Xaw widgets - can't recall).
5. It can't open my Windows documents.
6. It cannot print to my printer.
Some of these weren't exactly DSL faults; back in the day many hardware didn't have Linux drivers. But when I booted Knoppix, all those things worked (to a certain degree).

Case in point? It's impossible to make a system that is general enough to satisfy everybody, and still keep it small. Compared to DSL, even the earliest functional Puppy (version 2.x onwards) were between 70 - 80% larger than DSL to begin with.

---

As a comparison, Firefox 52 alone is 47MB, that's XZ-compressed (which compresses things on average 2x smaller than GZip compressed employed by Puppies of old). Do you know how was the size of Firefox 6, from 2011? It was 16M, gzip compressed, which if compressed with XZ, will only be about 8 MB. That's a growth size of 500% - on Firefox alone.

Today, for example, Fatdog's kernel + drivers + firmware alone is 69MB, XZ-compressed. That's almost the size of Puppy 1.x, all for the kernel alone !!

Wait a minute, you say. Modern Tiny Core Linux has its Core package at 11MB. Ok. Does it has GUI? No. Does it support wireless? No. Does it have any apps at all? No. It's basically just an installer. You run it, and before you can use it, you must install other things. Now, get the list of apps in Puppy, and count the total size of TC + TCZ when those apps is included. You will quickly see that the number will be more or less the same.

Now you can argue that "who stuffs up so much apps in Puppy, apps that I don't use and don't care"? Well as I said, just because you don't use or don't care about the app, doesn't mean others don't. It is hard to satisfy everybody.

---

Conclusion: Puppy's size has nothing to do with Woof or Woof-CE. It's because Puppy's target audience grows (not only running in older computers but also in __new__ computers) and the demand of modern software computing (new browsers, new this and new that).

You want to make Puppy small, it's only possible (in general) by making it specialised. Specialised to your hardware, specialised to your needs with only software that you use. But wait! There is already such a specialisation tool, it is called "remaster tools" ... Wink


each one here know, that this kind to describe the problematic is wrong because each one here did try SliTaz...

SliTaz is known as a well working (*1 little distro smaller than DSL and long time enough having had Firefox in it's 22 Mb ISOm (at the tuime where Firefox did be in the ISO! (*2 )

your declaration on DSL remember baslin (*3 (in my eyes the juwel of small Linux distros), yes, you can't do all what you will in basic linux, it's true, but in 2 old floppy disks with 1,5 Mb, the second one normal let free room on the second one of the FD and baslin is graphical Linux, with drag and draw, with a calculator with well looking graphic sign for mathematical operations, with web connection, with a free hand drawing system and what a one (a modified version of Magic Point, the presentation of baslin, Puppy, Slitaz did never have a presentation!), with a smart looking file manager (a modified version of the browser links), etc. your description on DSL is about conform to some baslin experiences depending of hardware but baslin is

15

time smaller as the size you did give for DSL.

puppy before version 1.0 did be better and did also have between 20..30 Mb depending of the version, and work...

it is not a realistic approach!

(*1 with some exceptions ok, as especially with the graphic from intel , but the most linux have also had difficulties to manage them because linuxers don't like intel and intel doesn't like Linux Laughing

(*2 all the sources of the first SliTaz version build from sources, all extra packages (in big tarball for each version) from SliTaz itself, and all ISO's continue to be downloadable from mirror.slitaz.org !

(*3 is abandoned but seems to continue to be downloadable at http://distro.ibiblio.org/baslinux/ in two forms, especially a burnable ISO
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oui

Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 3494
Location: near Woof (Germany) :-) - 3 PC's: DELL SX280 750 MB Pentium4, Acer emachines 2 GB AMD64. DELL XPS15

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 10:25    Post subject:  

666philb wrote:
puppy has to grow as do all distros. ubuntus lucid release was about 700mb and it's bionic release is nearly 2gb.

jamesbond is right about "New version of the same software is always bigger."


no, it is not true. you can not compare so:

in Puppy or Slitaz are no developement tools in the ISO! the Debian's have as far as I know a basic set of them! You must compare with the devx file included!

and in Debian's, all the stuff for documentation is generally included.

former

as I generally install Debian's with 3 languages packs, my installations are especially heavy. a lot of puppyist will confirm like I, yes my last Ubuntu installation was really heavy... but it is not correct: you will never meet a Puppy installation in more languages excepted, perhaps ToOpPY (SliTaz were ALWAYS including version 1.0 in the 3 main Swiss languages plus English also 4 tongues!).

please compare comparable things and it is not easy...

my last installations from Devuan Jessie were minimal 540 Mb (nothing excepted base in English but base with all the usual tools, partially part of devx from Puppy) and an operable graphic installation FROM ME, like in Puppy (JWM and the small goodies from Puppy) under 1 Gb (see at the Devuan forum, they are documented as I install from base to my installations level with 3 lines of apt-get, the last one very long, all the graphical stuff)

yes, the other Debian's have systemd including the poor small lubuntu. lubuntu minimal also!

and systemd grows the poor main distributions all (Debian's but also Arch etc.)
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musher0

Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 14482
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 12:41    Post subject:  

Hello oui.

SliTaz does not count! I was never able to get it to desktop! However, mistfire's
PupTaz, or SliPup, or whatever it's called, ran (runs) fine on my old workhorse.

As to CorePup, yes it's small, but it's ugly, and as james bond mentioned, it
needs a lot of extras to make it into a decent distro.

Yes we have to add the size of the devx to the Pup to do a strict comparison.
Except ordinary users do not need the devx, only developers need it.

E.g., including the devx, josejp2424's latest DPup, DPupBuster, is ~ 375 Mb.
Without the devx: 273 Mb.

Now tell me: how big is Debian Buster, in its smallest incarnations?
3.7 Gb for the "dvd 1" at
https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/i386/iso-dvd
That's 13.5 times the size of José's DPupBuster.

And 636 Mb for the limited "debian-testing-i386-xfce-CD-1.iso".
That's 2.3 times the size of José's DPupBuster.

Now about taking the woof-CE devs to task, like you do --
I must say that I do not agree with all of their choices. But I am completely sure
they are sincere in those choices. It is clear to me that they are not increasing the
size of the Puppy on purpose, just to annoy Mr. Oui and the rest of us.

As jamesbond and 666philb mentioned, the apps and libs that our devs are
transforming into Puppies come bigger already from the source.

So, oui, please snap out of your "old soldier from the 1st Puppy generation"
complex? Those times are gone, my friend. Start living in today's world, please.

Best regards.

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~~~~~~~~~~
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I was born to love and not to hate. (Sophocles)
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666philb


Joined: 07 Feb 2010
Posts: 3497
Location: wales

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 13:04    Post subject:  

oui wrote:


no, it is not true. you can not compare so:

in Puppy or Slitaz are no developement tools in the ISO! the Debian's have as far as I know a basic set of them! You must compare with the devx file included!


just tried the 639mb debian stretch iso. it doesn't come with a compiler

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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
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Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 13:19    Post subject:  

oui wrote:
each one here know, that this kind to describe the problematic is wrong because each one here did try SliTaz...

Did you try it yourself?

Quote:
SliTaz is known as a well working (*1 little distro smaller than DSL and long time enough having had Firefox in it's 22 Mb ISOm (at the tuime where Firefox did be in the ISO! (*2 )

I tested Slitaz long time ago but I've forgotten. Your post here raised enough curiosity to try it again. The "current rolling release" versionn is 49M for 32-bit version and 48M for 64-bit version (dated Feb 2019).

The 64-bit version failed to boot even in qemu; its kernel panicked. So that's the end of the test.

The 32-bit version at least booted in qemu. It has 272 packages inside. Let's see what's inside.
1. Firmware - about 2MB uncompressed (vs 80MB for Fatdog). Not even a driver for iwlwfi, so if you have Intel wireless - sorry, no connection for you.
2. Modules (drivers) - about 11MB, 1024 files (vs 121M, 3829 files for Fatdog). I can't be bothered to look into the details but suffice to say more than a few modern gadgets won't work.
3. Kernel version - 3.16.55. The 3.16 line was released in 2014. Attempting to use devices made after 2014 may be problematic.
4. Xorg - either vesa or fbdev. No acceleration for you (either 2D or 3D).
5. Apps: the only decent app you have is midori. It is re-purposed for many stuff - e.g. the video player (video player is midori playing video), simple spreadsheet, etc.
6. Wordprocessor? None. Spreadsheet (of the real kind)? None. Email client? None. Compatibility with documents created in Windows? None. Printing? None. "bash" shell? No.

So what's in there (apart from midori)? Let's see: busybox, vnc viewer, epdfviewer, rdesktop, leafpad, mtpaint, galculator, gpicview, irc client, mhwaveedit, sakura terminal, xterm, pcmanfm, ssh tools (not counting system configuration tools such as alsamixer, theme changes, etc).

I get it that small is beautiful. But what good is a small ISO if we can't do anything with it?

Before you make Slitaz as the the "gold standard" of small Linuxes, have you actually downloaded it, and used it in a real machine, in every day situation?

NOTE: This is not a criticism of SliTaz. SliTaz has their own audience and their own objective. Puppy has a different audience and objective; and while there is an overlap between the two, Puppy supports more diverse hardware and wider audience needs - such as Windows refugee. Trying to force Puppy to live with Slitaz's size restriction is the same as trying to change Puppy's objective and audience to that of SliTaz's.

By all means if you love SliTaz, use it. If you need "Puppy-like" SliTaz, as musher0 said - use TazPuppy. Beware that TazPuppy is about 2x bigger than SliTaz.

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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3627

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 16:39    Post subject:  

I've just formed a initrd/vmlinuz pair using EasyOS 1.0.8 (4.14.91 x86_64 kernel). Around 10MB combined (4986KB initrd.xz, 5185KB vmlinuz) where that boots to cli and has mc installed (handy for file management and text editing) ... and net connects. Enough to tftp or wget or whatever from wherever ... perhaps to grab a remote main sfs, and then continue on with init to mount/switch-root that locally downloaded main sfs.

For the formation I stripped out all unused modules/drivers that otherwise would have had it up at 120MB or so. i.e. just left the sky2 module/driver as required for my eth0 hardwired connection.

'Bloat', if you want to call it that, is more a case of modules/drivers expansion to encompass a wider range of hardware.

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8Geee


Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 2083
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 19:20    Post subject:  

Not a coder, but I will opine this... WoofCE is a platform by which one can 'drop in' a kernel amongst other things. If one looks at older puppies, this is a great tool to keep older hardware insulated from the likes of Spectre/Meltdown and derivitives. As example I will point out sailor enceladus' Slacko5.7.1-WoofCE (kernel 3.18.135). What is considered a solid distro by 01micko is refreshed for the modern day problems mentioned above.

Its not a problem, or a bug... its a feature.

JMHO
8Geee

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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 1426
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 19:56    Post subject:  

I was going to add a smartarse response suggesting to go away and use KolibriOS if you want a small OS.

The last time I used it, it was around 2mb a few years ago. It booted to a desktop in 1 or 2 seconds, and basically did nothing.

It is now 26mb, and I haven't had a successful VM boot yet. Apparently it does work much better now, but my experience is yet to see that.

So no matter what OS you look at, size growth is inevitable if you want to continue to add features and support to it.

Unfortunately, Puppy is largely not a "primary producer" of programs, so to have the mainline programs in puppy, we have to put up with size creep from outside sources.
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dancytron

Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 1388

PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 20:10    Post subject:  

rufwoof wrote:
I've just formed a initrd/vmlinuz pair using EasyOS 1.0.8 (4.14.91 x86_64 kernel). Around 10MB combined (4986KB initrd.xz, 5185KB vmlinuz) where that boots to cli and has mc installed (handy for file management and text editing) ... and net connects. Enough to tftp or wget or whatever from wherever ... perhaps to grab a remote main sfs, and then continue on with init to mount/switch-root that locally downloaded main sfs.

For the formation I stripped out all unused modules/drivers that otherwise would have had it up at 120MB or so. i.e. just left the sky2 module/driver as required for my eth0 hardwired connection.

'Bloat', if you want to call it that, is more a case of modules/drivers expansion to encompass a wider range of hardware.


I imagine it would be possible to write a script that would strip out all the unused modules and drivers and then remaster the Puppy so that it would only run on one particular piece of hardware and be around 100MB smaller. But from a user point of view, what would be the practical benefit of that kind of crippled version?
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 20:34    Post subject:  

Quote:
I imagine it would be possible to write a script that would strip out all the unused modules and drivers and then remaster the Puppy so that it would only run on one particular piece of hardware and be around 100MB smaller. But from a user point of view, what would be the practical benefit of that kind of crippled version?


You could compile a kernel to be specific for your hardware, which will work, and possibly work better. But you'd lose portability (one of Puppy's many strengths). And you could strip out programs, libs and drivers you don't need to save space.

A good article is here:

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/905/what-is-the-benefit-of-compiling-your-own-linux-kernel

Right now, storage space is ridiculously cheap, with terabytes of storage for around a hundred dollars. And that is on super fast storage media. On modern hardware, Puppy with it's newfound bloat is still super quick, and takes up a miniscule percentage of the media.

If you have older hardware that can't keep up, then older Pups might be more suited.
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb 2019, 20:54    Post subject:  

That 10MB was high xz compression, that wouldn't actually boot (support not built into the kernel). 12MB using gzip combined initrd.gz/vmlinuz size). I've just compiled/added lynx to that however, so swollen to 14MB. mc file manager with its text editor alongside lynx web browser works well. Nice also to be able to manually craft a .html file using a relatively friendly mc editor and view it in lynx. As a test I downloaded as a bionicpup iso, 350MB in 40 seconds.
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s243a

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Feb 2019, 00:10    Post subject:  

rufwoof wrote:
That 10MB was high xz compression, that wouldn't actually boot (support not built into the kernel). 12MB using gzip combined initrd.gz/vmlinuz size). I've just compiled/added lynx to that however, so swollen to 14MB. mc file manager with its text editor alongside lynx web browser works well. Nice also to be able to manually craft a .html file using a relatively friendly mc editor and view it in lynx. As a test I downloaded as a bionicpup iso, 350MB in 40 seconds.


Are you sure it was the kernal that lacked support for xz compression rather than the initrd. I say this because I was playing with stemsee script to build a kernal and the initrd seemed to load as well as the xz compressed kernel, but the other sfs that was generated with the kernal (containing firmware or kernal modules) wouldn't load because xz compression wasn't supported for sfs files.
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Feb 2019, 06:39    Post subject:  

s243a wrote:
Are you sure it was the kernal that lacked support for xz compression rather than the initrd. I say this because I was playing with stemsee script to build a kernal and the initrd seemed to load as well as the xz compressed kernel, but the other sfs that was generated with the kernal (containing firmware or kernal modules) wouldn't load because xz compression wasn't supported for sfs files.

Could well be (I just assumed without actually looking). In practice I'm just leaving the initrd as-is (non compressed, 22MB). I only quickly xz'd and gz'd it to get some filesize figures and noticed that the xz version didn't actually boot.

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musher0

Joined: 04 Jan 2009
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Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Sat 23 Feb 2019, 11:59    Post subject:  

Hello all.

Another avenue to keep Puppy small would be to use as many on-line apps /
services as possible, instead of having them on-board. E.g. petihar's Triton 6.0.
(He was not the first, BTW, to take a Puppy down this path.)

Not that I totally agree with this approach, with all due respect to petihar's
competent work. However, some on-line apps are now as mature as on-board
apps, and in some cases, better. E.g. SpellCheckPlus, which, IMO, is much
more sophisticated and user-centered than HunSpell or aspell.

The give-and-take of this approach is that the user needs a powerful browser.
Will the space gained by not having (e.g.) abiword and gnumeric locally be
canceled out by needing firefox or vivaldi to be able to connect to (e.g.) the
SOHO on-line suite? Food for thought, isn't it?

BFN.

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oui

Joined: 20 May 2005
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Location: near Woof (Germany) :-) - 3 PC's: DELL SX280 750 MB Pentium4, Acer emachines 2 GB AMD64. DELL XPS15

PostPosted: Sat 23 Feb 2019, 17:42    Post subject:  

years ago, the creators of tiny linux distributions did only take care don't to install an avoidable mixture of heavy box packages like QT for only one use (we are GNOME Office users excepted for Gnome web, and have no realistic other choice in small iso's), divers versions of webkits for divers app's (a lot of app's, not only browsers, require today a specific webkit version, often all different, as graphic base) at the same time, or, now, qtwebengine, or KDE or other runtimes heavy stuff and dependencies over that! the increase of size is really dramatic if you don't care of that! if you renounce, the user stay free to add more as heavy he wants through ppm if he really needs that and remaster his heavy special version (*1 ! a lot of puppy stuff is not really used by all, don't forget that... and the trend is to develop not really necessary enthusiasm for new heavy stuff so special that common user have only small profit of it! each window manager different from JWM brings sacrifices of size (better would be SFS to bind, or not, over JWM) !

(*1 next profit is that you generally have no real overview which dependencies you can remove. if all app's would be use the same graphic base, if you remove ONE app, you can admit that the other continue to need all dependencies and can friendly forget to uninstall the dependencies of that app...
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