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Puppy Linux 'Dancer' debuts
Jul. 23, 2007

Following the progress of founder and chief maintainer Barry Kauler's Puppy Linux is like watching a litter of scampering frisky pups. A fast gestating two months after the prior release, newborn Puppy Linux Version 2.17 -- aka "Dancer" -- was pushed out late last week.

Version 2.17 of Puppy Linux -- so named to reflect its small, cuddly, yet very complete persona -- popped out at a mere 82.6MB, says the distro's website. It's based on Linux kernel In canine terms, where breeds are designated by size as standard, miniature, and toy, this puppy is definitely the latter. Hard to believe, given the extensive support features and packages claimed by Kauler.

Key enhancements in v2.17, according to the release notes, include:
  • The live CD will boot from a USB CD/DVD drive as well as an internal CD/DVD drive
  • Boot from floppy -- a long-time feature, now WakePup2 (floppy image file) has been greatly enhanced
  • Enhanced dialup with automatic detection/setup of serial and many soft-modems
  • For dialup, a new GUI application, PupDial, integrated with the new auto-detection, provides extremely simple Internet connection.
  • Enhanced printing via CUPS; includes Gutenprint 5.0.0, which supports over 500 printers out-of-the-box
  • MMC and SD cards are now automatically supported
  • Enhanced boot configuration using BootManager
  • One-click mounting of image files, including 2fs (a file with ext2 f.s. inside), .3fs (ext3), .sfs (squashfs), and .iso (CD image) files
  • Enhanced hardware info via PupScan
Eager to cavort with this frisky new Puppy, we downloaded Puppy 2.17 and grabbed the following screenshots (click each image to enlarge):

Puppy Linux 2.17 screenshots
(Click each image to enlarge)

Puppy has developed large, loyal following of open-source advocates and performance enthusiasts who favor an extremely small footprint and the ability to boot from just about any source -- USB key, CD, floppy, or network. This, along with the fact that the mini Linux distro can run entirely from system RAM without having to reside on your hard drive, makes it easy to discover whether or not Puppy Linux barks for you. And, there are "puplets" (derivatives) available for special interest enthusiasts, such as gamers.

You can download the Puppy Linux v2.17 live CD ISO (82.7MB) image file from the project's website, here, or from an ftp mirror, here. Further details on the new and enhanced features of this release appear in the v2.17 release notes.

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