On subsequent PL boots, you'll notice a few differences. (You need to attach removable media if that's where your customizations have been saved.) You'll find that PL has maintained its network configuration (assuming it was saved), the initial desktop (Welcome, woof, woof!) has been replaced with a plain-color backdrop, the applications you've installed are now accessible through the Menu structure, and an additional filesystem has been mounted under /initrd/mnt/dev_save. As before, all mounted devices appear under /mnt. See the updated output of df -h below:
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on /dev/hda2 50.9G 32.9G 17.9G 65% /initrd/mnt/dev_save /dev/loop1 495.8M 73.3M 422.5M 15% /initrd/pup_rw tmpfs 77.9M 77.0M 916.0k 99% /initrd/mnt/tmpfs /dev/loop0 77.0M 77.0M 0 100% /initrd/pup_ro2 unionfs 495.8M 73.3M 422.5M 15% / tmpfs 55.0M 96.0k 54.9M 0% /tmp shmfs 46.1M 0 46.1M 0% /dev/shm
For convenience, a symbolic link to /initrd/mnt/dev_save has been created at /mnt/home. This is the where all system changes and other PL-specific data have been persisted as per your first reboot. On my dedicated PL host, the contents of /mnt/home appear as follows—it's basically the entire contents of my hard drive:
Downloads RJE junk lost+found notes zdrv_300.sfs LJ pup_300.sfs pup_save.2fs
PL depends on the following files to persist user data across sessions and perform better:
pup_save.2fs: the standalone ext2 filesystem containing all session data—that is, cumulative changes applied to the base system.
zdrv_300.sfs and pup_300.sfs: the embedded 300 refers to the release. These two files were copied to the hard drive at the end of the first session. They also reside on the PL-bootable ISO image, but having them here allows the system to start and operate more efficiently.
PL will never access or modify any file other than the PL-specific files on its own.
Given its basic features and content, several potential niches immediately come to mind, even without exploring beyond the surface material covered here.
PL can be used as a portable computing environment. There's something very intriguing about carrying a computing desktop around on a key chain in a shirt pocket. PL's Universal Installer can remaster a current system snapshot on a USB drive (providing it's large enough), and that carry-along drive can be used to boot your customized PL and user data onto any PC that's capable of booting from a USB device. An overview of the USB setup process is available at www.pendrivelinux.com/2006/03/25/puppy-linux-on-usb.
If Windows or some other installed OS becomes inoperable, that could present an untimely dilemma—making your basic desktop services unavailable and blocking access to the data residing on the system drives. Booting PL from removable media and gaining access to those drives provide the core of a data recovery tool and a temporary (at the very least), usable desktop environment. Even if you're not dealing with an emergency now, it's a good idea to obtain and test a bootable PL image just to make sure you can boot it and see your system devices—your internal disks, the network and removable media devices. You'll be that much closer to data recovery and/or a functioning desktop platform should an emergency arise.
PL would be an excellent framework for any academic coursework that revolves around software development, system internals or small device control and the like. Advanced PL customization topics are well documented at puppylinux.net/puppy-unleashed.htm. A base PL image can be assembled from scratch and can be as inclusive or limited as your requirements dictate. Meanwhile, for those assignments that call for digging deeper into PL, kernel configuration/build-related topics are available at puppylinux.net/development/compilekernel.htm.
As I mentioned previously, my dedicated PL host was a proverbial paperweight. What modern OS could I practically operate on a Pentium III-class machine with “matching” resources? PL provides an excellent vehicle for getting these vintage platforms working again. Thinking more globally, this inexpensive platform (PL plus older generation hardware) can put a lot of computing power in the hands of people who might otherwise have none. Considering that this rich, but free, OS can operate reasonably well on seven- or eight-year-old hardware, PL presents some interesting opportunities. There are efforts abound to address the so-called digital divide, and PL can be a facilitator both locally and worldwide. Nonprofit organizations, less-affluent educational institutions and all individuals sensitive to technology costs would be excellent PL candidates.
I haven't noticed anything that would necessarily make PL a bad choice for general-purpose desktop needs—providing you feel comfortable with a few manual configuration steps (which is often the case with most distributions anyway) and installing a few desired packages that might be excluded in the default distribution.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Profiles and RC Files
- Understanding Ceph and Its Place in the Market
- Astronomy for KDE
- Git 2.9 Released
- Maru OS Brings Debian to Your Phone
- OpenSwitch Finds a New Home
- What's Our Next Fight?
- The Giant Zero, Part 0.x
- Snappy Moves to New Platforms
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide