Windows 10 is an Operating System (OS). Linux is over 2000++ versions of one Operating System (OS), and Linus Torvalds calls that ‘Fragmentation’:

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Too many choices overwhelm the consumer/customer/user.

Too many desktop choices held Linux back from succeeding as a desktop operating system? Linux creator Linus Torvalds certainly thinks so.

Wikipedia calls too many choices – ‘Overchoice or choice overload’. Harvard Business Review calls it ‘choice paralysis’. Barry Kauler thought Linux was becoming too strict – becoming loaded down with rules ‘n restrictions ‘n requirements. He wanted to emphasize speed, efficiency and being lightweight as the strong points of Linux, and created Puppy Linux. Speed, efficiency and lightweight remain some of the strong points of Puppy Linux 9.5…I would add ‘Portability, HW Support, Rescue ‘n Reliability!’ ‘n note that Barry Kauler retired in 2013.

Some bullet points from a DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 126, 14 November 2005 – Interview: Barry Kauler, Puppy Linux

  • BK: I’m 55 and live in a rural region of Western Australia, about 350 km North North East of Perth (the capital city of Western Australia). (Note: that article is from 2005)
  • I was a “Windows person”, and developed Windows applications, the most well-known being EVE, my Embedded Vector Editor — which is a complete vector graphics editor yet only about 80 kb. …I guess I’m obsessed with simplicity and smallness.

Whilst retired, Mr. Barry has also developed Easy Pup, Quirky Linux and Easy OS.

I’ve used various Puppy Linux versions for years, as a ‘Companion OS’ for MS Windows OSes mainly, but have recently added it as my main ‘Companion OS’ for Linux Distro testing. FossaPup64 9.5 (AKA Puppy Linux 9.5) never asks for ‘Pesky Passwords’ when I’m needing to reformat a test SSD or USB with GParted, and it is an incredibly fast Distro to work with. Boots into the Desktop of every computer I ever tried it on, and this Puppy 9.5 version is the best Pup yet, IMHO. Very customizable:

I like a clean looking desktop so got rid of all the Desktop icons except for the drives. Puppy 9.5 is built from Ubuntu “Focal Fossa” 20.04 and has access to the Ubuntu repositories. FossaPup64 comes with JWM as the default window manager. I have recently tried installing GNOME ‘n Cinnamon DE’s from the Ubuntu repositories, but couldn’t ‘Activate’ them even after downloading and installing. One of these days it will probably be easy to switch DE’s in Puppy Linux, but not today. Maybe those other DE’s are too heavy ‘n slow…I dunno.   😉

Adding an Nvidia graphic card driver is easy:

Just open Quickpet FossaPup64 app, go to drivers tab, and Pup recognizes the GPU…I clicked on the “nvidia 450” and driver version 450.57 was installed. Same ease with internet connection – wireless or Ethernet. Like with most Linux Distros, printers and/or scanners may not work; however, Puppy has better Hardware Recognition than most Linux Distros.

I have Puppy 9.5 installed on a 32GB SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive in the ‘Apevia’ Linux test computer (plugged into a USB hub), and also installed on a 32GB SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive for easier portability to other computers. I recommend SanDisk or Samsung since they both easily recognize ext4 format…many USB brands don’t, and Puppy 9.5 will need either an ext2 or ext3 or ext4 partition to save all your DATA, settings, etc to.

Also, I use 32GB USB’s since they offer plenty of space for Puppy, but they are not too big for Fat32, i.e. over 32 GB’s Windows 10 moves to the exFat as the default format for USB’s and other drives. A lot of Linux Distros don’t recognize exFat.

Here is how I create the Puppy 9.5 – FossaPup64 9.5 (AKA Puppy Linux 9.5) – ‘Portability, HW Support, Rescue ‘n Reliability!’:

Downloaded the 354MB fossapup64-9.5 iso yesterday morning ‘n used Rufus to create the USB Puppy OS. Puppy is different than most Linux Distros, i.e. it doesn’t need to be installed (you can tho), but I leave it like it is @ a bootable fat32 OS. Puppy also allows you to create a Personal Storage File at first shutdown…that file saves all settings, customizing, updates, added apps, etc. It asks if you want ext2 or ext3 or ext4 and some more options that I don’t recall…I select ext4. It also offers various sizes all the way up to 4GB’s, which I selected this time because I had installed it on a 32GB SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive so I had plenty of room for the max size (4GB).

That’s it for installation as a ‘Companion OS’ for Windows 10! No other installing is needed ‘n Puppy will ask if you want to create a “Personal Storage File” at first shutdown…just say yes, and let Puppy create it. You will need to name the file ‘n select file size ‘n format type. Next time you reboot Puppy, it will have all your saved DATA, settings, etc just as you had created or added it…also, when you are finished with the sessions after that first one, Puppy will automatically save everything. If you screw up, no biggie…just let Windows 10 reformat the USB, and then have Rufus install it again. Fat32 is recognized by all OSes that I use, which is why I leave Puppy on the Fat32 formatted USB.

  • Basically, Puppy Linux allows you to create a ‘Live’ USB, and then use that as a portable fulltime ‘Companion OS’ that saves everything. You can also increase the size of that Personal Storage File later, like the example in this PIC.

Windows 10 lacks portability, and without a special app like AOMEI Partition Assistant it doesn’t handle Linux formats like ext2-ext4. I also don’t do a lot of additional apps on my main computer. Still, when testing Linux Distros I don’t like to use my main computer (‘Antec Jr.’) for formatting tasks other than WIN10 default formats. Since all my DATA ‘n backups are kept on ‘Antec Jr.’ I will handle Linux iso downloads and the creating of ‘Live’ bootable media on it, but try to keep Linux formatting tasks on the test computers. If I like the Linux Distro, I will save its iso on my DATA drive, and update it when a new version is released.

Never hurts to have a backup OS, and Puppy 9.5 makes it easy for you to learn Linux, in case something ever happens to Windows 10. No dual-booting is needed…simple plug the Puppy USB in, turn the computer on, and just hit your Boot Menu key ‘n select what you want to boot. Besides, FossaPup would get p*ssed if he/she never got taken for a ‘Walk’ or had to ‘Fetch-the-Ball’.  😉

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!