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Running Puppy Linux on a Windows machine

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Just a suggestion, not meant to start any kind of "My OS is better than your OS" discussions. Just only, only, only a suggestion since I'm reading in other threads here about Windows problems.

You can run Puppy Linux on a dedicated Windows machine without installing it. I and my family use it daily and have for over a decade for all of the same kinds of tasks that you might reasonably need.

Puppy Linux's entire operating system will fit on a modest size thumb drive comfortably, along with a big bunch of applications that ship with it -- word processing, spreadsheet, browser, email, plus MANY more. And even on a 16 Gig drive, there's plenty of additional room for data. if you want to keep it there. Or, you can save data to the Windows drive, if you prefer.

Puppy Linux is tiny compared to typical operating systems. Because bloat has been eliminated from it, when Puppy Linux runs, it can load itself and its applications completely into memory. Since thereafter, it does not have to access the hard drive (or its thumb drive) to run programs, it is very fast and efficient.

You can also run it from a CD or DVD (though drives for those are becoming rarer these days). Again, it will load itself into memory, so the CD does not slow down access after the OS is running. In fact you can remove the CD from the drive without bothering it. Another advantage for a removable disk based system, because a CD is a read-only filesystem, it cannot be corrupted by viruses. Every time you boot, the operating system is a fresh copy of the original.

It is possible to run Puppy Linux with a defective or missing hard drive in an old computer by just running it off of a thumb drive or CD.  It s possible to fix a corrupted or broken Windows system, by running puppy linux off of a thumb drive, etc. It is possible to copy data off of a broken windows system.

I'm merely scratching the surface of what is possible. Under puppy Linux, if you ever decide to adopt it as a main system, you can run many Windows programs under another program called WINE. I run Google Sketchup 3D CAD under WINE.

If you do decide to adopt it as a main OS, you can also put the Puppy Linux main OS on your hard drive as just a folder and contents WITHIN the Windows system. This is called a "Frugal Install" It is in fact a preferred installation method, as opposed to most flagship Linuxs full installation processes which wipe out Windows, or other operating systems. A puppy linux frugal install coexists with other operating systems. If you set up a boot manager, you can choose it, or Windows or any other operating system at boot time. I dual boot Puppy Linux with Windows 7, which I keep for the very rare times that I need it to run an occasional oddball Windows program -- like a CNC driver for an obscure laser cutter.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to switch out of Windows. I'm just suggesting that you might want to try a noninvasive alternative Linux OS which fits on, and can operate from a thumb drive and see how it feels. It will seem a little retro, since it's still styled a little like Win98, with a lower left Menu button. But you can change appearance, easily if you don't like with a myriad of available desktop settings and even different window managers. One obvious difference will be that a single click starts a program (also can be altered).

Another characteristic of Puppy Linux is that you are the administrator. That's because it is not a multi-user system. There is no need seen to protect you from yourself as a security measure. This is unlike most other Linux systems which are multi-user, with a super-user/administrator called "root". In puppy linux, you are root. This also is like Windows98, which was a single user system.

Well I guess that's enough on the subject. Try it if you're curious. It might be a means out of the Windows cycle of constant upgrades for computer and OS. In fact, try it on an older computer if you want, and watch the speed improvement.

There are many versions of Puppy linux. I suggest the following mainstream version for 64 bit machines. It uses the Ubuntu program repositories for downloading new programs (though there are also even better alternatives you can use with it, like appimages, sfs files etc. none of which will make sense here, but will if you start usin Puppy Linux.

Current recommended version:

BionicPup 64

I generally download from

The Puppy linux forum is a major resource for current information and assistance:

Interesting . I'm been running kubuntu for a few years now

Interesting. I must admit that a while back I loaded up a system with Linux Mint and was really impressed how easy it was to get my rather ancient scanners and printers accepted.

I may try again and see if some of my older software will run in a Mint Windows emulator - Lord give me time - I need more hours in my day !

I use Ubuntu as my main OS & run Windows in a Virtualbox drive "inside" Ubuntu. I have an old Bird Guides CD that will run only on XP & they wanted an extortionate amount to upgrade the CD, so I dug out some install discs from my daughter's laptop  & set up XP in a virtual drive on Ubuntu. Works fine - video, sound & internet all on XP within Ubuntu.
I must admit I didn't like Puppy when I tried it on my old EeePC, which I have now updated from Mint with Ubuntu Mate as a sort of workshop reference book - it gets used occasionally & for the odd photo while dismantling something my old brain wouldn't remember how to reconstruct.

There is also another option, if one would like to test Puppy with Windows - Lick loader :

It's pretty straightforward way to (kind of I guess) install Puppy. It's not the usual way, that one might expect, like on the other Linux distros, though.

But anyway, Lick is a Windows program, so the installation is done using it. In the Lick folder is two exe files, lick-cli.exe and lick-fltk.exe.

First opens in command window, and other has gui. Using the gui version allows one to drag Puppy iso image to it, and choose what drive to install to.

It makes a boot menu, where both Windows and Puppy are listed. Even if Puppy is installed to drive C where Windows is, it makes its own partition inside it.
I have no clue how it does it, but so far I haven't had any problems with it.

If there is need to uninstall Puppy, it also is done in Windows using Lick, by selecting "Uninstall ISO" -option. It leaves Puppy related files to that drive, but they can simply be deleted.

After all, I have tried to install Puppy using its own installer, but never figured out, how it actually works. It's just so different than in other distros.

I wonder what the possible differences between 'real' installation and Lick might be.


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