By Katherine Noyes, PCWorldApr 4, 2011 11:36 am PDT
Back in January I wrote about some of the features of Puppy Linux that make it particularly suitable for use on old and slow computers, but over the weekend a new version of the open source operating system was released with even more reasons to check it out.
Launched on Saturday, version 5.2.5 of the flagship Lucid Puppy Linux distribution–also known as “Lupu”–improves upon the release from early this year with a raft of updates and new features, making it “the most leading-edge Lucid ever,” in the project’s own words.
Now included in the easy-to-use software, for example, is version 4.1.0 of the Bash shell, replacing the previous version’s Bash 3. Version 4.03 of the Syslinux bootloader replaces Syslinux 3, while the window manager JWM 500 has replaced JWM 493. The included Gnumeric spreadsheet software, meanwhile, has been updated to version 1.10.13.
More themes are available in Lucid Puppy 5.2.5, and more programs are now available through the Puppy Package Manager. Also notable are improvements to the new release’s sound capabilities.
9th Most Popular
Though it’s based primarily on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx,” Lucid Puppy 5.2.5 now includes version 1.41.14 of the e2fsprogs filesystem utilities, which are the latest from Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal.”
Lucid Puppy 5.2.5 was also built using a more recent version of the Woof build system than the previous version was. Under the hood, it includes version 188.8.131.52 of the Linux kernel, according to a report on The H.
Puppy Linux is currently the ninth most popular Linux distribution, according to Distrowatch. The new software is now available for download as a 128MB .iso image file.
A Bloat-Free Alternative
Indeed, Puppy’s diminutive size is one of the distribution’s most endearing characteristics, as is the fact that it loads into RAM, making it extraordinarily fast. On most systems, in fact, boot time is just 30 to 40 seconds. Bootable from media including LiveCDs, zip disks, USB drives and hard drives, Puppy also automatically detects most hardware.
Like Damn Small Linux (DSL), Puppy Linux is a particularly good choice for any low-resources computing environment. Given the continuous updates and improvements to the software, however, it’s increasingly a good option for anyone seeking a powerful, highly secure, easily customizable and bloat-free operating system.