Puppy Linux

Exploring everyone's pet Linux.

I see some potential here, and I would wager that PL continues to gain more attention and popularity. PL's agility and surprising completeness make it far from a one-trick puppy (okay, that'll be the last silly puppy quip). Given what PL offers, the ease of getting started and the almost stunning performance on vintage hardware, there is something here worth watching. A common experience in a desktop upgrade path is obtaining more powerful hardware, only to experience the same or slightly better performance. Imagine going the other way—regressing several generations of hardware and realizing better performance.

Who should test-drive PL? If you were interested enough to read through this material, you're a good candidate. It requires a small investment of your time and none of your money. And, its usefulness as a data/system-rescue utility is something every desktop user should keep in mind.

This article represents information that I was able to glean after kicking the tires for 40 odd hours—taking PL in directions that interested me. For completeness, I'll offer a bit of subjective criticism. PL is not a flawless desktop. I thought a few utilities could use a face-lift as they presented screens that looked a bit toyish—long on text and short on intuitive functionality. Because of that, there were a couple instances when I felt I either experienced a minor bug or committed a pilot error—couldn't really be sure. That's forgivable, because overwhelmingly, things worked as expected and as documented on the first attempt. I'm sure noticeable kinks will be addressed over time. For now, PL may very well stand alone within its sweet spot.

Louis J. Iacona has been designing and developing software since 1982, mainly on UNIX/Linux platforms. Most recently, his efforts have focused on Java/J2EE-implemented solutions for enterprise-scoped applications and leveraging virtualization techniques. Louis is currently on assignment at HP Software in Paramus, New Jersey, and can be reached at louis.iacona@verizon.net.