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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lucid Puppy 5.0


Release notes

Lucid Puppy 5.0 is built from a "Puppy builder" system named Woof (, which can build a Puppy Linux distribution from the binary packages of any other distro. There are many "puppies" built with Woof, and this image gives an appreciation of some of them and how they fit into the Woof time-line:
Each "Puppy distro" built by Woof is a distinctive distribution in its own right, with unique features. You choose a puppy based on your particular needs, be it specific hardware, software, or access to and compatibility with the package repositories of a particular distro.
Woof release notesWoof is the substratum of all puppies built from Woof, so these notes are common to all. To see the complete history of Woof, go to my blog:
Since the commencement of the Woof project in November 2008 there has been rapid development, too much to list on this summary page. However, here are highlights since the release of Puppy 4.3.1, in no particular order:
  • Significant improvements in using the Aufs layered filesystem 1 2
  • Improved automatic detection & configuration of analog & 3G modems 1 2 3 4 5
  • Samba printing issues resolved 1
  • The Xorg Wizard has improved detection and configurability options 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Many improvements & bugfixes for bootup & shutdown scripts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • Simple Network Setup (SNS), very simple wired and wireless setup 1 2 3 4 5
  • Recovery after improper shutdown (such as power failure) 1 2
  • Single location for GPL licenses 1
  • Integrated handling of all the network setup tools 1 2 3
  • New small GUI utilities 1 2
  • PET package creation tools, package management, improved 1 2
  • Some system utility scripts are improved 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 
  • System services can now be enabled or disabled 1
  • Improved hardware detection and localisation in the initramfs 1 2 3 4
  • Woof hosted on Bones version management system 1 2
  • Major enhancements to the Woof build scripts, new GUI 1 2 3
  • New Woof logo 1
Please note that some puppies that are not built from the latest version of Woof, or remasters of an earlier release of Puppy, may not have all of the above features.

Lucid Puppy 5.0 consists of the popular Puppy Linux architecture that Puppy founder Barry Kauler has been refining through 4 editions of Puppy Linux.  But this time Puppy is built with binary packages from the latest Ubuntu release Lucid Lynx, hence Lucid Puppy 5.0.  The Puppy architecture is well known to be lean and fast, and friendly and fun, and Lucid Puppy is no exception.  
Because of the Ubuntu binary files, the development time to produce program packages  that are tested and configured for Lucid Puppy is extremely short.  In fact, one thing that is new in Lucid  Puppy is Quickpet, offering many Linux programs ready to use with a single click.  So, click, and you can be using Gimp to edit pictures, Kompozer to build a web site, Songbird to manage your music collection, and many others.   Because Puppy is built for personal computers, there is a choice in browsers: the four main ones, Firefox, Seamonkey, Chromium, and Opera are all also available for one-click installation.  Some people even like to alternate browsers so Lucid Puppy has a simple program to select whichever of the browsers you would like to set as default.
Another thing about Lucid Puppy is that it boots directly to the desktop.   Many people will not need to do anything more than that in order to begin using Lucid Puppy.  However, if there is anything you want to change, the tools to personalize the desktop are all immediately at hand.  Locale and Language can be changed with just one click and many of the programs, including the word processor Abiword, the spreadsheet Gnumeric, the text editor Geany, and the browser Chromium, open immediately in the language of choice.  For other programs such as Firefox, selecting one’s language involves just a few more clicks than that.  Yet another of the tools that needs very few clicks is a new tool for connecting to the Internet, named  Simple Network Setup, which it is.  Lucid Puppy also has a very simple, one-click Update feature to download and install any necessary bugfixes.
Here is one other thing about Lucid Puppy that is kind of interesting: it is the first major edition of Puppy Linux (1 through 4, and now 5) that was not directly prepared by Barry Kauler.  For this 5th Puppy, it was the entire Puppy community that did the work, with Mick Amadio, Chief Developer, and Larry Short, Coordinator.

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