I write articles on desktop computers related to maintaining, upgrading, and repairing a desktop computer. I also writ articles on tablets.
Advantages of Using Puppy Linux for your computers operating system
Puppy Linux is a free and easy to use Linux operating system which you can start up from the Puppy Linux start up CD or USB Flash drive which you made from the Puppy Linux ISO file by burning it to a CD with a CD ISO burning program like Roxio or Nero.
Since Puppy Linux is a Linux operating system it is very rare/almost impossible getting a virus, spyware, malware, registry problems, disk fragmentation, and other problems which you could very easily get when using a Windows based operating system like XP, Vista, 7, ME, 8.
Puppy Linux has a simple desktop operating system user interface which means if you used Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, and other desktop operating system, you'll know how to use Puppy without much of a learning curve. It is one of the easiest and fastest Linux based operating systems which you can use with out the need for installation on hard drive,
Puppy Linux can be used on slower computers since Puppy Linux is designed to work with older computers with slower CPUs, video card and less RAM. Puppy will be super fast on newer computers made in the last 5 or more years. On most computers, Puppy Linux will start up in about 1 minute even if your computer is slow.
Puppy Linux also can be burned to older 650MB CD-R blank disc since it only uses about 100MB of space more or less, so you can also create a 128MB or larger USB bootable flash drive preloaded with Puppy Linux.
Puppy Linux also comes pre-bundled with a lot of free software which most average user need like a media player, web browser, word processor, Spreadsheets, games, etc. It is also easy to add new software with the Puppy Linux Quickpet installer tool.
One of the main advantages of Puppy Linux is it can even run on a computer which does not have a hard drive since Puppy Linux starts from a CD or USB flash drive. A hard drive is useful for storing your changes and new programs you installed in Puppy Linux.
You can even use Puppy Linux to recover files from a broken Windows hard drive which is still functional, but refuse to book into Windows. If you know the location of a virus on a hard drive, you can even use Puppy Linux to delete viruses from your computer.
Puppy Linux also copies it's entire operating system to your RAM for super fast performance if you have enough free RAM to copy the entire Puppy Linux to RAM.
You'll also use less power if you use Puppy Linux on an older computer since older computers don't use as much power when on because of slower computer parts. But, Puppy Linux usually performs very fast even on older computers compared to Windows which tend to slow down when it is installed on a slow computer.
Short story on why I use Puppy Linux, and what computer tasks it's great for
Puppy Linux is great because it is small, fast,complete, and stable for a Live CD Operating System.
The main reason I use Puppy Linux as my main LiveCD or Live USB flash drive operating system is because it starts up faster from a LiveCD then bigger Linux LiveCD operating systems like Ubuntu 11.10, Linux Mint 11, Fedora, and OpenSuse which run a lot slower from the LiveCD compared to installing them on a hard drive. Puppy Linux copies its entire operating system to RAM (the fastest storage device in a PC) if you have 256MB or more of system RAM. I love how Puppy Linux does not need to read its files from its CD after Puppy Linux has loaded on a PC since all the files and programs on Puppy Linux is already loaded to super fast RAM. This means your computer is more quiet compared to using bigger Linux LiveCD operating system like Ubuntu which needs to read files on the CD to launch and run programs from the CD. This causes your CD-ROM drive to spin up a lot which means more noise, and poorer performance then launching and running computer from your RAM. Puppy Linux also can be run on computers which have a CPU which is slower then 800 MHz which is rare for modern operating systems.
Puppy Linux is also great for people with slower internet connections since the ISO is around 120 MB instead of 700MB like some Linux LiveCD.
Puppy Linux also comes with all the programs I need like a Word Processor, Web Browser, Media Players, and many other programs I typically use. It is also easy to install new programs in Puppy Linux with the GetPet program installer. The User interface, and controls for Puppy are also very simple to use, or learn how to use. Puppy Linux also does not freeze or slow down much when I use it.
The greatest part of Puppy Linux is I can save settings, and installed programs to a hard drive or flash drive which is installed on my computer or the same flash drive I installed Puppy Linux on to which makes it possible for me to bring my files, settings, programs, and Puppy Linux operating system with me where ever I go, so I don't lose the settings, and programs which I installed on Puppy Linux when I restart or shutdown my PC because they are saved to a drive.
What you will need to start using Puppy Linux on a computer, Laptop or Netbook?
CD-R, CD-burner, computer, laptop, Puppy Linux ISO file
Many older computers can run Puppy Linux, so if you have an older computer or laptop which can start from a CD, USB flash drive, and USB hard drive you can run Puppy Linux.
You also need a CD-R or DVD-R black disc, and CD or DVD Burner on your computer to burn the Puppy Linux ISO to CD with a CD Burning software.
You can get a blank CD-R disc from most computer stores, and many computers these days have CD burners.
CDBurnerXP is a free CD burning software which you can use to easily burn ISO files to CD. You can download CDBurnerXP from http://cdburnerxp.se/
If you want to use a USB flash drive, you can use UnetBootin which is a program which let you make a USB live Flash drive with your Puppy Linux ISO by following a few simple steps. You can also use UnetBootin to download your Puppy Linux ISO to extract to DVD.
You can download UnetBootin at http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
If your USB drive does not start into Puppy linux, you may need to Mark your USB drive as Active in MS-Dos/Command prompt Window in Windows or check to see if your computer or laptop can start up from USB flash drive.
Computer storage media needed to install Puppy Linux on a CD, USB drive, or hard drive - You'll need a CD-R, or USB Flash drive to make the Puppy Linux install
All you need is either a CD-R or USB flash drive for making the CD or USB flash drive needed to start your computer from Puppy Linux.
A external USB CD burner is useful if you don't have a CD burner on your computer, or no CD drive to start your computer from.
What are the best uses for Puppy Linux?
Tasks you can use Puppy Linux for?
Puppy Linux is one of the most easy desktop linux operating systems for desktops and laptop computers. It is best for using on slower computers with not a lot of RAM, CPU speed, hard drive space, or a fast video card.
Puppy Linux is great for using as a multimedia computer to watch videos and listen to song. You can also use it as a basic computer for office work, computer programming JAVA, C, C++, web coding like HTML, and PHP, web browsing, light video editing, image editing, and many other tasks.
There are also games you can install in PuppyLinux with the Slickpet program installer, or by downloading Linux compatible games for Puppy Linux from the internet. Puppy Linux also supports WineHQ, so you can use WineHQ to install and run Windows games and programs which are compatible with WineHQ.
You can also use Puppy Linux to run Virtual Machines in VirtualBox which let you run other operating systems within Puppy Linux, or install Puppy Linux on a virtual machine installed on Windows, Mac, or other Linux or Unix based operating system.
By using Puppy Linux, your computer or laptop will save a little electricity and run cooler since Puppy Linux does not use a lot of your computers free memory, CPU cycles. and run off your RAM instead of heavily relying on your computer hard drive like other operating systems like Windows. Using Puppy Linux also means you don't need to upgrade to a new computer every few years when a new operating system comes out since newer versions of Puppy Linux also runs great on older computers and laptops.
Puppy Linux can also be used to play flash games and compatible Linux and WineHQ compatible Windows games. This is great if your computer is slow when playing flash games and regular games in Windows, or more feature rich Linux operating systems like Ubuntu, Fedora, Open Suse, and Linux Mint.
Puppy Linux is best for which skill level of computer user?
Puppy Linux is best for computer users who just want to go online, or do office work without upgrading their computer hardware, or buying a new operating system.
Puppy Linux also comes with basic Office suite software like Word Proccessors, Spreadsheets, and paint programs, so it can be used to do basic office work.
Multimedia, and gaminng is not what Puppy Linux is best at, but if you install VLC media player from VideoLan, Puppy Linux can play many popular video and audio file types. There are not a lot of games which are compatible with Puppy Linux, but you can use WineHQ to try to emulate some windows games. You can also install Linux compatible games in Puppy Linux.
The user interface in Puppy Linux is easy for Windows users to pick up since its user interface has a lot of similarities to Windows 95, 98, Me, XP, and 7 with the start menu, and Windows controls.
New computer users who had some or very little experience also learn how to use Puppy Linux easily with some or little help. The good part of Puppy Linux is its active community online, and the fact you do not have to install Puppy Linux on your hard drive, and you can't break it since every time you restart or shutdown your computer and turn on your computer, you start with a fresh copy.
Puppy Linux Screen cast videos - Watch videos of Puppy Linux in action on YouTube.
Videos showing how great Puppy Linux runs on computer or laptops by actual users who use Puppy Linux, and see how easy to use, and fast Puppy Linux runs on a computer.
Also, learn how to use the Puppy Linux user interface, and controls by watching these Puppy Linux user tutorial videos.
Computer System Hardware Requirements for Puppy Linux
A Computer with a CD ROM Drive, 128-256MB of RAM, video card, sound card be good enough in many cases,
As far as I know, there are no official system requirements for Puppy Linux, but I read online that some people can use Puppy Linux on computers which are computers from the Windows 95, 98, ME, and newer computers. As long as your computer can start from a CD or USB device, there is a good possibility you can use Puppy Linux on your computer. You may need to use an older version of Puppy Linux if Puppy Linux 5.3.1 Slacko which is the latest version of Puppy Linux does not work on your PC.
A CD Burner, or USB drive is needed to make a LiveCD or Live USB Puppy Linux install CD or USB drive. I recommend using CD-R disc to burn your Puppy Linux LiveCD since it is the simplest way to try out Puppy Linux on most computers.
A CD burning program like Nero, Roxio, CDBurnerXP, or ImgBurn is needed to burn your copy of Pupy Linux to CD. If you plan to use a USB or memory card to boot your computer into PuppyLinux, UnetBootin is needed to install Puppy Linux to a USB device.
For computers or laptops without CD or DVD drives, you'll need to make a bootable USB Puppy Linux Drive, or use a USB CD-ROM drive to boot Puppy Linux to start your PC or laptop. You can also use SD cards, and other memory cards to start your computer if your computer can start from Memory cards.
Puppy Linux can be run on most desktop and laptop computers which has a CD-ROM drive, 64MB for older versions, 128MB-256MB of RAM or more for newer versions of Puppy Linux, video card, and sound card.
I read online that some people with computer's with a CPU which are 300MHz, 500MHz in speed can run Puppy Linux. If you want to watch video, and play games on Puppy Linux, using a computer with 800MHz to 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM and at least a 8MB video card would be better for playing back YouTube videos which uses Adobe Flash Player which uses some system resources. Installing Puppy Linux on a very fast computer will also make Puppy Linux perform even faster, but use less electricity since you won't waste as much electricity since Puppy Linux uses less RAM and CPU resources which means it uses less power while keeping your computer responsive, and fast, and saving money on your electric bill.
If you plan on going online with your computer, your computer needs a network Ethernet adapter card, dial-up modem, or wireless Wifi card to connect your computer to the internet.
An optional hard drive,memory card like SD card or USB drive formated to FAT, NTFS, or EXT is needed if you want to save your Puppy Linux Save file, and make Puppy Linux start up faster the next time you boot up for the first time.
You can also optionally install Puppy Linux to a hard drive, or Solid State Drive to experience quicker start up times, and have more space to install 3rd-party programs, and files on your hard drive.
Burning Puppy Linux to a CD-R vs installing it to a USB flash drive vs hard drive install
Is a CD-R of Puppy Linux or USB Flash drive install of Puppy Linux better for your needs?
Using Puppy Linux from CD
You can either burn Puppy Linux to a CD-R which is cheaper, and easier to do since you can get a CD-R for 1 dollar or less at a dollar store or computer store, or 20 dollars for a pack of 50 CD-R disc. Plus, using CD burning software is easier to use then making a USB flash drive which is bootable for some people since most computer users these days are familiar with using CD burning software like Roxio, Nero, CdBurnerXP, or ImgBurn. Nearly all computers made in the last 10 or more years can start up from a CD if you set your computer to start up from a CD first or your computer is set up to start from CD before your hard drive which is the default setting for most computers and laptops. CD-R are also more durable then USB flash drives if you don't scratch the top and bottom of the disc, or use archival grade CD-R disc. Starting Puppy Linux from CD-R is slightly slower then loading your computer from a USB flash drive since the USB Flash drive has faster read times.
Using Puppy Linux from a USB flash drive
Using a USB Flash drive to start Puppy Linux from is more expensive if you need to go out and buy a flash drive since they usually cost 10 dollars for the smallest flash drive you can buy at most stores which is usually 1GB. The main advantage of using a USB flash drive to load Puppy Linux is it is faster, and you can store your Puppy Save file on your USB flash drive, and take your files where ever you go which is not possible with a CD-R since CDs are read only. USB flash drives are also more smaller then CDs. The main disadvantage of using a USB flash drive is not all computer can start from a USB Flash drive since some computers don't even have USB ports. However, if you use a Netbook, Nettop, or portable computer, your only way of using Puppy Linux is either from a USB Flash drive, SD card, or other device since netbooks and Nettop computers don't have CD drives usually unless you buy a USB CD drive for it.
You can also install Puppy Linux on an external USB hard drive, but it is slower then a USB flash drive, and heavier then a CD, so it can be difficult to carry around. Some USB hard drives also need external power adapters.
Installing Puppy Linux to a hard drive
Puppy Linux will start up faster if you install it to a hard drive, and you have more space to install programs, and store files. Installing Puppy Linux is not very hard, but it is more complicated since you would need to partition, and format your hard drive with Puppy Linux's bundled Gparted program. If you install puppy Linux to a SSD drive found on Netbooks, higher end desktops and laptops, Puppy Linux will start up even faster then mechanical drives.
A hard drive install for Puppy Linux is best for someone who wants to use Puppy Linux as their main operating system for their computer or laptop since there are no startup disc or USB drives needed after you installed Puppy Linux to an internal hard drive on your PC or laptop.
Preferred method of installing or carrying around Puppy Linux
Vote for your favorite method of installing Puppy Linux
How to burn the Puppy Linux ISO file to CD-R Videos - Learn how to burn the Puppy Linux ISO file to CD-R to make the Puppy Linux LiveCD
Most popular CD-R burning software like Roxio, Nero, CdBurnerXP, ImgBurn, etc have a CD burning wizard for burning ISO files to CD-R.
Windows 7, 8, and other operating systems like Mac, and Ubuntu have built-in ISO burners which just burn ISO to CD-R or DVD-R when you right click on the ISO file, and pick burn ISO.
If you know how to burn ISO files from the internet or your computer to CD or DVD, you'll know how to burn the Puppy Linux ISO file to a CD-R blank disc.
All you need is a blank CD-R, DVD-R disc, a computer with a CD or DVD burner, and a CD Burning software installed. If you are using a Linux computer, Brasero and k3B are two popular CD burning software which can burn ISO files to CD. For Windows, you can use CDBurnerXP, Nero, and Roxio to burn CDs from ISO files. Windows 7 can burn ISO files to CD by right clicking the ISO file, and finding the burn to disc option in the right context menu when you right click on the Puppy Linux ISO with your mouse.
It typically takes a few seconds to minutes to burn the Puppy Linux ISO to CD-R depending on how fast your CD burner is.
You can also use DVD-R or DVD+R if you do not own any CD-R discs which are blank, and the computer you plan on using Puppy Linux on has a DVD drive which can read DVD-/+R.
I don't recommend using CD-RW or DVD-RW disc since the read times are slower then -R disc.
Starting computer from Puppy Linux CD Video - Watch videos of people starting their computer from the Puppy Linux Live CD
Leave your Puppy Linux CD in your CD drive during start up.
If your Puppy Linux CD drive does not start loading Puppy Linux, you need to change your BIOS or CMOS’s boot order to start from a CD first instead of a hard drive. Save your changes in the Bios, and your computer will restart.
Some computers have a startup manager which you can access by clicking the ESC or other keyboard key during computer startup which will launch a computer boot loader. You use the arrow key to highlight the CD or USB flash drive which you have Puppy Linux installed on, and press enter to start the start up process for Puppy Linux. Wait a minute or two for the startup to finish.
You may be ask to adjust your video settings during startup if you are using an older version of Puppy.
In the Puppy Linux desktop, you can connect to the internet by clicking the connect button on the desktop if you are not already connected.
When you exit Puppy Linux, you have the option of saving Puppy Linux changes, and settings to your hard drive on your computer.
This step is safe, and won’t delete files already on the hard drive.
The files which Puppy Linux save will speed up your Puppy Linux start time, and reload your saved settings.
Install Puppy Linux in a dual boot computer alongside Windows
Puppy Linux can be installed a long side Windows by opening the Puppy Linux Windows installer in Windows
You can easily install Puppy Linux a long side Windows to create a dual boot Windows and Puppy Linux computer by just opening, and installing the Puppy Linux Installer file in Windows 7 and older versions of Windows like XP, Vista, and 2000.
Puppy Linux Windows Installer is great for older computers and laptops which startup slow in Windows since Puppy Linux starts up and runs faster than Windows espiecally if you only have 512MB of RAM, and a slower 1GHz CPU.
First, you need to download the Puppy Linux Windows Installer .exe program than you need to open the installer file, and install it.
Lastly, you restart your computer, and pick Puppy Linux when you see the Windows Startup manager. You use the arrow key, and enter to select Puppy Linux.
Don't worry, if you see a lot of scrolling text during startup since it is part of the Puppy Linux boot up task.
During the Puppy Linux startup, and first use, Puppy Linux will set up your puppy linux files after you decide to shutdown Puppy Linux.
It is pretty easy to setup Puppy Linux by following the onscreen step by step instructions which you follow to setup Puppy Linux for the first time.
After you set everything up, Puppy Linux will save your settings, and you could continue to use it without the need to re-setup Puppy Linux every time.
Make a Puppy Linux Live USB Flash drive with UNetBootin Video - Puppy Linux can be installed on a USB Flash Drive with a Program called UNetBootIn
UnetBootIn is a free software which you can use to extract your Puppy Linux Live CD to a USB flash drive which is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X Operating Systems.
Instructions for using UNetBootin for Windows and other operating system
You first need to download a copy of the Puppy Linux Live CD ISO image.
Next, you need to download UNetBootin from http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ .
Plug in your USB Flash drive which is 128MB or greater in size.
Note: You can still use your USB Drive as a regular USB drive in Windows, and Linux, but don't delete the Puppy Linux install files on your USB drive. I also recommend saving your Puppy Save file to your USB drive if you have the space, so you can take your settings, third party software, and files on Puppy Linux desktop with you where ever you go rather then keeping them on your PC hard drive. You can also make a backup of your Puppy Linux Save file to a external usb hard drive, so if you lose your Puppy Linux flash drive, you'll still have a copy of your save files in Puppy Linux on another drive.
Lastly, you just open UNetBootIn, and pick the option which is Disk Image, browse to your Puppy Linux disk image, and pick the drive which is your USB flash drive, and click OK. Wait a few minutes, and Puppy Linux should be installed on your USB drive.
If you are having problems installing Puppy Linux on your USB flash drive, you should backup your important files, and reformat your drive, and try again.
Starting your PC from USB instructions
Restart your computer, and make sure your computer is set to start from a USB flash drive in the BIOS's CMOS, or the boot loader program for your computer.
If your computer does not start from your USB flash drive even when you set your computer to start from a USB drive, most likely you need to mark your flash drive as active in the MS-DOS command prompt if your computer cannot boot into Puppy Linux USB flash drive because your drive is marked as inactive.
Start computer from Puppy Linux from a Live USB Flash Drive, External drive, or Memory Card video - A live USB Flash drive is a USB drive which can start your c
In some case, if your computer has a USB drive, and no start up CD drive in your computer's CD drive you can start your computer from a USB flash drive by just making sure the USB drive is plugged in during boot.
Newer computers sometimes have a boot/start up loaded program which you can access by pressing the ESC or other key which ask you which drive you want to start up from by selecting it with your arrow keys on your keyboard and picking USB Flash drive and clicking the enter key on your keyboard.
You may need to go into the Advance BIOS/CMOS settings in your motherboard to set your computer to start from a USB drive first.
Starting Puppy Linux from a External USB hard drive, SD, or Memory Card is also pretty similar to starting it from a USB Drive.
Note: Many older computers can't start from USB.
Install Puppy Linux on Hard Drive video - Watch a video to install Puppy Linux on a hard drive
Installing Puppy Linux on a hard drive will make Puppy Linux start up faster, and not require a CD or USB flash drive to boot from. You'll also have more space on a hard drive to install more programs, and files. Puppy Linux also use less hard drive space then Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Debian, CentOS and other Linux OS, but Puppy Linux can be slightly harder to install then other Linux operating systems like Ubuntu and Linux mint.
Back up your files on your hard drive before you begin the Puppy Linux install if you have files on the drive.
Click on the Menu button on the bottom left of Puppy Linux.
In the Setup menu item, look for "Puppy Universal Installer", and click on it.
Pick "Internal (IDE or SATA Drive)
Pick the drive you want to install Puppy Linux to.
You may need to format or partition the drive with Gparted in Puppy Linux
You need to make an ext4 Linux file system partition, and a Linux Swap partition in Gparted. You may need to make a partition table first before you can format and partition the drive.
It is best to use a blank hard drive to prevent data loss if Gparted fails, and messes up your operating systems, and data drives which are installed on it.
After partitioning and formatting your drive with Gparted, you need to re-open the Puppy Linux Universal Installer.
Afterwards, Puppy will ask you if you want to install or update Grub.
Puppy Linux Alternatives Linux OS for PCs and Laptops
What other operating systems you can install on older computers.
Tiny Core Linux
All these operating systems I mentioned above can also be used with most low end and slower computers, but they may require higher performance computers for some of them, or are not as user friendly as Puppy Linux for you, but they aren't too hard to learn on your own since if you are stuck, you can usually ask for help on their website.
What is your favourite Linux operating System?
Vote for your favorite Linux operating system!
Comments on Puppy Linux for Beginners
Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on November 10, 2012:
Thanks for sharing this info.
anonymous on October 30, 2012:
A little howto on booting from and saving to a CD-RW would be a good idea, I think. But on the whole, very comprehensive, great job!
anonymous on October 28, 2012:
par excellent tutorial, just what i needed!
Johnson Yip (author) from Canada on December 14, 2011:
@th3hakker: Best of luck trying Puppy Linux. I agree it is a very cute Linux operating system. Thanks for the comment.
th3hakker on December 13, 2011:
wow,,cute linux,,,i must try this linux,,thank you for the lens