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Running Puppy Linux on a Windows machine

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I haven't tried Lick, but I strongly doubt it makes any physical change to the Windows partition. Puppy Linux(s) don't need their own partition, just a folder or even a large file (called a "savefile" within a Windows partition). So the parent partition isn't affected.  I mean other than having a folder or a file added to it.

At boot time, if the Puppy linux OS is selected, the boot manager (in this case Lick) jumps to the puppy folder or file in the Windows partition, rather then to the Windows system files.

You CAN give a Puppy Linux its own partition, if you want. That can be located outside, and after, the Windows partition, if you have room for that on your hard drive. You'd have to create that new partition manually, and then install Puppy on it.

I do that. I have Windows 7 system partitions on my laptop, and located after those, I have a couple of Linux partitions. The linux partition can be formatted in a Linux friendly format (some of them are journaling formats for easy recovery if corrupted) such as ext2, ext3, or ext4. Also the Windows OS cannot read those partitions, so it cannot corrupt them, nor are Windows viruses likely to read them.

Even if it has a dedicated Linux formatted partition, a Puppy linux OS still only needs one folder/directory in that partition. It does not need to dominate  the whole partition with dedicated system folders as most standard Linux types do.

In fact I have several different versions of Puppy Linux in several different folders in one Linux partition. I can choose to boot any one of them, or the Windows 7 OS at boot time. I'm given a menu of boot choices. It's great for trying out new flavors or versions of Puppy Linux. In fact I keep many older versions. You don't have to wipe out an older version to install a new one -- also different from Windows or standard "big" linuxes.

Most older Puppy linuxes I have used over the past decade were about 100 megabytes in size INCLUDING applications. You could fit ten of them in 1 Gig of storage. Lately Puppy linuxes  have  become larger, but are still tiny compared to the usual OS types, Windows or linux.

Thus keeping older versions intact is perfectly reasonable, and not wasteful of storage.

Also, possible because you can run multiple versions:

I have one instance  of Puppy Linux that I use ONLY for doing taxes at the end of the year. It never gets booted for anything else. It is always a clean copy of the OS. And data stays safe in that one version's savefile.

Another thing Puppy Linux can use is a Linux Swap partition. This is a partition that is used by Linux OS's as a spare memory area, in case a program uses more RAM than is available on your computer. It's not as fast as RAM but it allows use of memory unlimited by the computer's RAM bank.

Okay, enough, again. As I said I can only scratch the surface of all that is possible with this particular operating system. It does require some learning and getting used to the differences, but I've found it very worthwhile.

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

I don't believe there is one. All good installations of Puppy Linux are "frugal installs". Meaning everything needed is located in one folder. And then that version is initiated by a boot loader like Lick or Grub.

Installers and boot loaders are not actually part of Puppy linux. They preceed it during the boot process. They merely initiate operating systems, and switch control to the selected OS (including Windows, if selected).

It IS possible to create a puppy linux installation that is NOT a frugal install, but no one who uses Puppy Linux recommends this. That is the poorly named 'full install", and is the equivalent of a big name linux, like Ubuntu, or Mint, etc. where a large number of folders are needed and the installation dominates a whole partition, with no ability to multi-boot other OS'es.

Don't use a full install, use a frugal install. There is nothing "partial" about a frugal install compared to a "full install". It's a bad name. Frugal installs have all features, and many more advantages.

Anyway, I'm sure Lick just makes a frugal install in a Windows partition, and then sets up a boot manager so you can pick what you want at boot time.

If you are using Lick, just look on your windows drive C in Windows, and I bet you'll find the Puppy directory somewhere, probably named BionicPup64 -- if that's your Puppy flavor, or something similar. You can look inside of it and see the Puppy files needed for the Puppy operating system.


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