Puppy Linux Discussion Forum Forum Index Puppy Linux Discussion Forum
Puppy HOME page : puppylinux.com
"THE" alternative forum : puppylinux.info
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

The time now is Thu 24 Jan 2019, 08:38
All times are UTC - 4
 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Puppy's future
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
Post new topic   Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic
Page 1 of 2 [18 Posts]   Goto page: 1, 2 Next
Author Message

Joined: 02 Feb 2012
Posts: 380

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 01:52    Post subject:  Puppy's future  

First off, I apologize if this is in the wrong category. If so, sorry Flash.

Just a few observations that I've made, now that BarryK has announced his 2nd retirement...

BarryK appears to be moving on to ARM development, smartphones and tablets. That may be well and good, but I own a tablet (which is based on Android, and an Android based smartphone, too), and I'll be damned if I wipe out the current operating system that it provides, along with a plethora of free-apps, for a niche distro. I guess I can see using Puppy on Raspberry, but again, it is a 'niche' distro...not too much there in terms of a user base. Raspberry is cool, cliche, but not so much mainstream. And I'm willing to bet that it never will be mainstream.

I for one think that Gnu/Linux will survive for another decade or so, desktop or otherwise. Businesses use it, so do developers (even ARM app-developers need desktops/laptops), not to mention those that run servers. And let's not forget the gamers. No, I don't see Gnu/Linux drying up and disappearing in the near future. Will it loose users? Most definitely. Casual users are moving towards tablets. Will it disappear entirely? No, I don't think that will be the case. Even though I have a tablet, and enjoy it immensely, I still find myself using my desktop/laptop at least (if not more than) 80% of the time. There's just so much you can do with a tablet.

And as far as Puppy goes, I'd like to see Puppy move towards a singular distribution (in terms of its base) in order to focus on its strengths. I realize that traditionally Puppy is geared towards older hardware; this is commendable, and should certainly be followed up on. But Puppy should also gear itself towards modern hardware whenever possible.

For my taste it seems that Puppy has become too diverse in terms of its development base. Why do I say this? Well, if you've ever tried to develop on woof2, you'd realize that it doesn't work as advertised. While it may work well with Precise or Slacko, it fails miserably with Wary/Racy, Debian and Arch builds. Arch fails to boot into a desktop (and has a huge ISO size), and Wary/Racy/Debian fail to download much or their required apps, and not just a few...many. It appears that it would be best to concentrate on one thing, which is traditionally the Linux way, and then to do it well. It's all well and good to provide support for Precise, but if BarryK has left the building, how long will that be a viable base for developers using woof2? Same with Slackware? Arch would be a good candidate being that it would use the latest packages because it is a rolling release and woof2 tries to pull in the latest packages, but if you can't even boot into a desktop, and the ISO is huge, what good is it? Wouldn't it be better to base it on a singular distro, say T2 or LFS, in order to make use a dedicated repository? In terms of hardware support, at some point don't you need to say "Ok, here's where the line is going to be drawn...we're going to support computers aged X and newer?". You can't be everything to everyone.

You know, on the one hand I applaud someone like simargl for developing something like his version/vision of ArchPup, which isn't a Puppy at all. But...on the other hand, I perceive him to be an a-hole; I see his attitude to be counter-productive in terms of advancing the Puppy-brand. And you may perceive my attitude to be the same (to each their own). It may be that in the (near) future this may be the future of Puppy development (not the paranoid "he's stealing from me" thing, but more so the totally custom builds that move things away from Puppy).

Well, these are my personal Puppy Linux rants. And my woof2 rants, too Smile Maybe you agree, maybe you don't, but at least I've managed to get it off of my chest.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2545
Location: near here

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 07:49    Post subject:  

Maybe Woof could be developed to create better Puppy 'spins'. Maybe it could be combined with adding choices for architectures and packages. I like what porteus has done. allowing you to select options on the the download page-

Regarding Woof and Arch people may find this post by Barry informative-

I have fixed Woof to build from Arch packages, however I personally won't take it any further.
Firstly, size. My x86 Arch pup build is enormous. This is because Arch developers have given no concern for size in some packages, choosing to link some libraries statically where they need not have been.

Secondly, I am not sold on the rolling release model. For us Linux geeks it is OK, but I don't think it is good for the "great unwashed" (see Sages comment in the previous blog post).


There is a wiki page regard Puppy Development but its over a year out of date-

helping Wiki for help
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 

Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 768
Location: West Wales, Britain.

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 08:42    Post subject:  

BarryK was willing to spend endless time tweaking Puppy for the enjoyment of his testers. No one else is likely to have the time or inclination to do the same. Frankly, that is not a bad thing. Puppy simply needs a stable core which is supported long term which others can build their variants from if they choose to do so. Is there any agreement on what that core should be?

On my hardware nothing works as well as the T2 builds of Racy/Wary. Does anyone have the ability and inclination to update some of the libraries required by Firefox and Chromium? That is all Racy and Wary need.

Classic Opera 12.16 browser SFS package for Precise, Slacko, Racy, Wary, Lucid, etc available here Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 2031
Location: Israel, somewhere in the beautiful desert

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 15:29    Post subject:  

I agree with elroy.
My homepage
My GitHub profile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 

Joined: 23 Mar 2009
Posts: 508
Location: Western United States

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 18:20    Post subject:  

What is the key feature of Puppy Linux that has differentiated it from other Linux distros? To me, it is great support for older hardware. Extending the life of older hardware is what classic Puppy Linux was all about. From that "mission statement" everything else followed: the small ISO size, the focus on lightweight applications with modest hardware requirements, and so on.

Once you throw out support for older hardware as THE key requirement, IMO you no longer have a Puppy Linux. It may be BASED ON Puppy Linux, but it's no longer a Puppy. Once you decide that support for older hardware doesn't matter, then it no longer makes sense to fuss over ISO size and all the rest. Bundle Libre Office as the standard office suite? Sure, why not? Bundle Chrome and Firefox and Opera? Heck, yes. VLC as the standard media player? Of course. GIMP too. Dialup modem support? Why bother? And while we're at it, might as well ditch the whole "devx" SFS idea and just bundle all of that in as well--what's a couple of hundred Megs more?

Don't misunderstand me--I'm not being sarcastic. The need to support older hardware is a severe drag on any attempt to keep pace with the other major distros. So cut loose that anchor. Do it right and you'll end up with a nice, modern Linux distro, full of powerful apps and plenty of bells and whistles and eye-candy. It just won't be a Puppy, not in my book.

That's why Woof--albeit a clever idea and an amazing achievement--always struck me as an exercise in futility. The purpose of Woof was to get access to the rich depositories of major distros like Ubuntu and Slackware. But those depositories would inevitably and increasingly be filled with software that would run poorly if at all on the older hardware that classic Puppy Linux was designed for.

Some have suggested that the definition of "older hardware" should simply be adjusted upward, so that Puppy targets hardware that is (say) ten-years old, at any given time. But most hardware from 2003 is capable of running a full-blown Linux distro anyway. Extending the useful life of that hardware is not such an issue, as is shown by the fact that about a third of all Windows users are still on XP. I sympathize with those who adamantly oppose software bloat on principle--I'm one of them--but let's face it, the average computer user doesn't care, nor should they.

Let's have a clean break. Let Puppy Linux remain focussed on hardware from the Win98 to mid-Win-XP era. Let those who want to move forward set higher, modern minimum hardware requirements so that they aren't handcuffed by the past. But let's not pretend that these modernized derivatives are still going to be Puppies. They have a different charter and should have a different name to match.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5364
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 18:52    Post subject:  

What I want from puppy is:

1) A choice of kernels (to try to match the needs of each of my different machines without being forced to a newer / fatter kernel if I don't want it)
2) Access to programs that run quickly and avoid bloat. (because i feel that bloated programmes increase the risk of backdoor code / phone home code etc etc)
3) Speed
4) Speed
5) Speed
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4839
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 19:02    Post subject: new machines and puppy  

I've had no problems choosing Puppy to run new machines. The reason is that I define my "new" machine to be low-power and light, the likes of PCs with AMD APUs and Intel Atoms in them. These have always been dismissed by the big boys as "entry-level" hardware, meaning, that only the less demanding (or less able to pay) users would prefer them.

Remember that MS even attempted to douse the enthusiasm for low-power "netbooks" (Atom-based mostly) by limiting its screen size and RAM? That's like throwing the turtle to the river - only this time, the turtle is a Puppy. Umm, no, it's really the rabbit, the fast one. Laughing

So Puppy moves on with the times of changing hardware, and its niche remains to be the people who prefer to use "underpowered" computers. When the eeepc was introduced, Puppy literally was jumping with joy, while the other big OSes were choking.

Now, perhaps we can amend the description of Puppy's target users as those who prefer to use low-power computers ("underpowered", as the big monopolist would put it). That is, in addition to those who keep using old kit.

How do we know that there is such a user base for new but underpowered computers? We look right here. For example, jamesbond is already at Alpha3 of FatdogARM.

Shall this trend of using ARM processors as PC continue? I guess so. Shall I prefer to run Puppy on those machines? Yes, of course!

Puppy user since Oct 2004. Want FreeOffice? Get the sfs (English only).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Wed 02 Oct 2013, 23:41    Post subject:  

Some ideas:

The ISO size decision was made NOT as a RAM decision, but as a download decision. RAM to run PUPs have/has seemingly been available since I joined Puppy Linux. And the PCs many/most of the membership community have and are using work.

RAM size is one of PUPs advantages as it will work with as little or as much RAM as is available on the PCs

Processors and motherboards continue to advance as these provide good and useful speeds as the ever increasing applications exploit hardware for human use and advantage.

There is a PUP, currently, in the kennel for each and every PC that I am aware as having been built by vendor and user. This community demonstrates the widest variety of PC systems; from small to very large in scope.

The concern that we can address and deliver to current and new users is one where this community's developers started several years ago when they began to document the intended PCs and PC needs for the distros they produce for our use. This is a very good policy that they have adopted as it makes easy for any user to see what the developer intends, tested, and visualized for their distros.

Good ideas are being brought to the table in this thread's discussion.

Since time marches on, I think one way of looking at what the OP presents is that it could be time we, as a community, recognizing the change occurring, come up with some new ideas which makes attractive for ANY user to want to use Puppy Linux, regardless of what PC he may have. For example; one statement that could be present somewhere would list distros and some target PCs it is intended. If such a list is present, a quick scan would provide necessary guidance for user selection rather easy. Another example might change the mission statement to embrace the advancements in multimedia that has occurred.

I sure there are other avenues which could be pursued, also, to make Puppy Linux attractive such that it will continue to attract new users with even fresher ideas than we now possess.

For Puppy to flourish, we, like the PC hardware and network services, must also advance, one would think.

But, ...

Get ACTIVE Create Circles; Do those good things which benefit people's needs!
We are all related ... Its time to show that we know this!
3 Different Puppy Search Engines or use DogPile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 02 Feb 2012
Posts: 380

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 01:07    Post subject:  

Yes, some interesting input indeed! I particularly like the fact that we all have an opinion. Diversity is a good thing.

Well, to start with, concerning the belief that Puppy is intended only to be used with older hardware, and the notion that older hardware support is what makes a Puppy distro a Puppy, I would have to digress. I know from developing Carolina (and lina-lite, and also from observing the Saluki thread) that there are plenty of Puppy users out there that desire a modern back-end that can provide support for modern packages. There are plenty of users that have modern hardware that enjoy Puppy because it does provide a smaller footprint, not to mention a wonderful frugal install (which allows one to recover very quickly should they ‘trash’ their save-file); and speaking of a frugal install via a much more usable (and older) version of grub, it allows end-users to have multiple versions of Puppy side-by-side on their hard-drive in short order. No fuss, no muss. As far as Puppy support for older hardware goes, there already is a plethora of existing Puppy distros/derivatives that provide the Win95/WinXP era people with what they need. These are already available, rich in their diversity, thoroughly tested, and most of them very, very stable.

My main point in creating this thread was concerning the future of Puppy, in terms of keeping Puppy viable and attracting new users to the Puppy brand. Something like Puppy-Precise is at present very attractive, but what about down the road a bit? Ubuntu moves on. There’s no guarantee that woof2 will also move on. And I may be in the minority here, but I never cared for using another distro’s repositories; there’s too much lack of control in terms of pet size, and the said distro may make changes that could obsolete the Puppy backend, or particular packages, or even the Puppy version itself. Or, what if for example, down the road the Precise repository should cease to exist altogether? If no one is maintaining woof2, then where does that leave Puppy developers? To me, it would make more sense to put the woof2 emphasis on Debian support instead of Ubuntu. But even there it would need to be done in a manner that would incorporate the latest stable ‘flavor’ instead of hard-coding the present stable version. Things move on, and if woof2 depends on a hard-coded paradigm, then sometime down the road it will cease to be a viable method for creating Puppy distros. Actually, this is my main concern. That is the only reason that I suggested that Arch would be a better alternative because it provides a ‘rolling-release’. But all of those things could (and probably would) happen with Arch, too. And even though BarryK states that he’s successfully built Arch using woof2, and so have I, on my ‘puter it won’t go to a desktop. So there certainly are some issues there. I guess I’m trying to impress upon the Puppy forum that ‘woof2' isn’t even stable at present; what does that mean down the road in terms of Puppy development?

Yes, perhaps it would be simpler to “cut loose” and create my own distro independent of Puppy, but what if I don’t what too? Is it sacrilegious to have a desire to create a frugal-base Puppy that provides back-end support for modern hardware/software? Certainly, there is room for everyone, isn’t there? And that’s why I suggested simplifying things, focusing on one thing, doing one thing well....that is why I suggested basing future versions of Puppy upon T2 or LFS. A common repository for all.

And don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciate BarryK’s contributions concerning Puppy and woof2...obviously, without BarryK’s contributions neither would have come to fruition. I respect the hell out of BarryK...I’m only pondering what happens down the road now that he has decided to retire. On the one hand I see a lot of possibilities for Puppy Linux, on the other hand I see foobar.

With all of that said, it certainly was refreshing to read the wide-ranging opinions that everyone has concerning this subject. In the end, no one is wrong.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 06 Feb 2013
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 04:14    Post subject:  

Number of people in a team that makes Puppy derivative, or official release based Ubuntu is equal to zero. That puts Puppy to a list of dormant Linux distributions, or is that correct? No developers means no future releases, and that is not surprising, Puppy Linux was one man show, and only distribution without real package manager and build system.

Puppy shouldn't be based on T2 or LFS, it needs rewrite of pet package manager with support for build scripts like all other distributions, with proper dependencies handling, to be fast and reliable.

But, who will write new package manager and with what motivation, when he will never get even simple "Thank you"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website 

Joined: 10 Dec 2005
Posts: 379
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 04:24    Post subject: ISO size  

Originally Puppy loaded everything into RAM. Later Puppies are more sophisticated.

So RAM size was the only criterion for limiting ISO size. If you can find Barry's original blog somewhere on the web this is all described in detail.

The fact that this made it easy to download over a low-speed link was an added bonus. (This was the reason I originally tried Puppy as I was downloading every small-sized ISO I could find in 2004).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10548
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 06:02    Post subject:  

I like what Raffy writes. I have EEPC and Acer D250 and D255
and an old Packard Bell with Celeron CPU and 512mb or was it 256MB RAM?

Ideal for lite distros like ?Puppy.

But am I really alone loving that Puppy do frugal install on NTFS
and same updates in save file in an easy to manually set up boot menu.lst

Only Porteus and latest Slack comes near in size and frugal install
on NTFS and with save file.

I use Google Search on Puppy Forum
not an ideal solution though
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 24 Aug 2009
Posts: 2992

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 08:20    Post subject:  

Linux distribution appear and disappear every year.
The ones that survive longer have a big core of developers (so can afford "defections" among other things).
Puppy is really a unique case of a 10-year old, one man show (and I do not mean to diminish all the people that contribute in puppy's development).
Puppy is what Barry Kauler wants it to be and so will be its future (he owns the name, you see).

The options I believe are
a) BK designating a (group of) person(s) to continue the Puppy/woof work
b) a (group of) person(s) working (together) along the woof lines will be christened by BK with "Puppy"
c) Puppy will follow the dormancy of other distros.
Given that BK (and Linux really) believes in do-ocracy, (b) is more likely that (a).

The real problem for (a) and (b) however, is the lack of either a financially secure, capable puppy developer that can devote 100% of his/her time on puppy (continuing the one-man-show model), or a group of developers with common ideas that can work together in a complementary way ( as this thread and many others suggest).

If these hold true for long, (c) will be the likely outcome. Sad
But do not wary the real name of linux is "phoenix". It can always regenerate from its ashes (maybe as a different animal sometimes Very Happy )

== Here is how to solve your Linux problems fast ==
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10548
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 14:52    Post subject:  

And hardware tech moves on.

puppy are used to work on Intel x86 CPUs but them change too.

Intel latest power saving tech has not reached the Linux kernel yet?

Intel: Clover Trail Atom chips ‘cannot run Linux’

Clover Trail is an x86 chip and thus it will run any compliant code thrown at it.
Technically, there is no reason that a user can not wipe out Windows 8 and install a Linux distribution on the tablet.

The issue is that Clover Trail is packed to the brim with power saving features,
very few of which will work when using a Linux-based operating system.

so until Linux kernel devs catch up and include that code
it will run too hot or to have a poor battery life compared to Win 8.

but it is worse. Would Intel even give away that needed code for free
to the Linux devs? Not likely so only Ubuntu would have money enough
to pay for to get access to the power saving code needed.


that would suggest that maybe the niche for puppy linux is
to be a lite OS for older Intel Atom CPUs like the D250 and
the others like that and for the AMD cpu and a few more?

For to allow people to use Puppy on cheap available machines
everywhere using a CD or DVD or USB or doing frugal install
or wiping out the old windows if that is preferred.

To expect any dev to be so motivated and dedicated that they take on
proprietary Intel code and reverse engineer some patch seems not likely.

I use Google Search on Puppy Forum
not an ideal solution though
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 1020

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct 2013, 17:41    Post subject:  

The way that article is written ... doesn't look to me as good reporting. Based on one particular processor model the author is making a far-reaching and broad-sweeping assumption. But he doesn't tell us, that Intel is the biggest contributor to Linux kernel. It has staff on its payroll, assigned to work exclusively on kernel development. Intel also supports the development of GCC. Starting from version 4.5.3, GCC has been steadily improving its support of Atom processors. Intel has a vested interest in Linux. It is a Linux friendly company, but the article implies otherwise.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message 
Display posts from previous:   Sort by:   
Page 1 of 2 [18 Posts]   Goto page: 1, 2 Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic
 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
[ Time: 0.1016s ][ Queries: 12 (0.0139s) ][ GZIP on ]