Thursday, September 22, 2022

Puppy Linux First Impressions

I’ve used a lot of mainstream systems.  For the past 10 years, my primary desktops have been Mac (work) and Windows (home); before then, I spent over a decade moving through Red Hat 7, FreeBSD 4, Gentoo, Kubuntu 7.04, and regular Ubuntu through 10.04.  I spent memorable chunks of time using fwvm2, WindowMaker, Gnome 1, and KDE 3.  After an experiment with Amazon Linux 1, work standardized on Ubuntu for servers, starting with 14.04.

I say all this to say, I had some warning that Puppy Linux™ was different; there was something about filesystem “layers” and, in theory, being able to build your own like a mixtape. Well, it delivered on being different.

Because first, I had to set up my network.  I found out that a decent chunk of the help is actually online, so I was greeted with Pale Moon telling me “server not found” a few times.  I had the driver files available, but I didn’t have the devx or kernel-sources SFS layers.  I managed to find them on SourceForge, and once the driver installed (quite seamlessly, no-dkms mode), I finally got a network configured with the most-advanced wizard.  It seems that is the only place to be offered to allow WPA2 to be used with the device, since it (or its driver?) isn’t allow-listed already.

I updated Pale Moon, and then, since I was online, why not visit tumblr?  The dash rendered fine, albeit chewing on 100% of a CPU core, but then asking to make a new post crashes (white screen) once the editor loads.  I did not get to announce to the world that I was using Puppy, from Puppy.

(Because my toolchain for Decoded Node posts is on Windows, I am not making this post from Puppy, either.)

The next thing I need to do is figure out what I want to do with this thing. I don’t really have a goal for it yet.