Nobody is wondering, but yeah, PuppyLinux can make an old laptop a dev machine

Nobody is wondering, but yeah, PuppyLinux can make an old laptop a dev machine
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#1

So, I haven’t been able to sleep in a couple days (happens too often), and I got a bright idea. I wanted to see how hard it would be to drag out my oldest laptop and set it up with Atom, Firefox, ruby, and a local of install of Jekyll for Github Pages (and a few other choice pieces).

Turns out Puppy Linux is still as amazing as I remember. The terminal is a bit ugly, but I got everything set up quick and easy. It works well. And, thanks to that 150mb live usb I used to install it, it flies. Now, I can’t do any major compiling on it. And, it was a bit more manual and a PITA than it is on Ubuntu (no copying and pasting commands in the terminal). But, that leads back to what caused me to even think about using such a simple distro. Money is tight for a lot of people around the world. We can’t always afford new hardware for work or play. We can’t always have hardware that keeps up with the latest updates. Some of us can’t even afford to get a used Windows XP laptop.

So, if you run across an old out dated computer, just remember Puppy Linux. You can give it a new life, and donate that computer to someone who can’t afford to get one, but wants to learn, or needs one, so desperately. So before you toss one, or let someone else do it, think about slapping a copy of Puppy Linux on it and helping someone else find their passion. Whether it’s writing, coding, photo editing, or just being able to connect with others.


#2

i tried it once but now i installed windows 10 to play games
i think i will try ubuntu Soon


#3

Thanks for the reminder about Puppy. I never really used it, but occasionally I do look for a lightweight distro for playing with in a VM or on a spare machine.

My dev setup will be much simpler, since I write Go. Quick compile and not much in the dependency department. Also, I use vim as my editor so I have pretty low requirements. Maybe Puppy would be great to throw on a spare laptop and use as my “distraction-free work computer.” :slight_smile:


#4

Wow, I used to have a thumb drive with puppy linux ages ago. Good to know it’s still awesome.


#5

@gwenf It’s not exactly “up to date”, but that have one version based on Ubuntu 14.04, and a slackware version. I used to always have it on a thumb drive too. I love that little distro. But, I hadn’t needed it in a long time.


@ShawnMilo Puppy would rock with that setup, and be totally “distraction-free”. Puppy Linux should be. But, every time I put it on something I feel the need to push it and see how far I can get it before it breaks…


#6

Yeah, definitely not that up-to-date, but I do like that it loads entirely into RAM.

However, after playing with it I revisited Lubuntu and remembered that I used to like that a lot for a lightweight desktop that is compatible with Ubuntu and has the same package manager.

So, thanks for getting me to download Lubuntu again. Incidentally, you can run the live CD (or USB) and get a completely usable desktop where you can use the terminal, connect to WiFi, and use a browser. So it’s good for a temporary session, or you could save your work to another USB drive or some kind of cloud storage.

Also, Lubuntu lets you select the keyboard map before it boots (I type Dvorak, so that’s very important to me), and it boots up to user lubuntu, with sudo privileges, which is nicer. Puppy boots up a desktop running as root.


#7

Yeah, definitely not that up-to-date, but I do like that it loads entirely into RAM.

Being able to run the OS entirely out of RAM is amazing. I’ve saved several computers thanks to that. And 14.04 isn’t that bad out dated.

However, after playing with it I revisited Lubuntu and remembered that I used to like that a lot for a lightweight desktop that is compatible with Ubuntu and has the same package manager. So, thanks for getting me to download Lubuntu again.

Glad I could help. I never did try Lubuntu, but I did play with Xubuntu a bit. I love xfce4 and the xfce4-goodies. They aren’t anything special, but I guess it makes me feel the nostalgia of old puppy, but in a somewhat modern sense.

and it boots up to user lubuntu, with sudo privileges, which is nicer. Puppy boots up a desktop running as root.

Yeah, booting straight to root isn’t my favorite situation. But, for that set up I can deal with it. I’m not going to be working with anything to major with a Puppy set up. So, if I do break the system, while frustrating, it won’t be world crushing.


#8

You’re right, 14.04 isn’t that old. And it is an LTS version, so it has that going for it.

As for xfce, it was my favorite for years, but I’ve switched to i3 and I’m never going back. It’s so convenient being able to move around using the keyboard. When I have to use another computer and have to use the mouse to get around it feels like a real hassle now. :confounded:


#9

I may have to check that out soon. I’m running Ubuntu 16.04 now on my desktop, and I still hate Unity as much as I did when it came out. Keyboard shortcuts and I have a love/hate relationship though. I hate having to memorize new ones, but as soon as I do I can’t imagine clicking again.


#10

Cool. Let me know if you want to do a Google Hangout and I’ll demo it. It’s really nice.


#11

I’ve had a similar experience putting Crunchbang Linux (and later Crunchbang++) on an old Asus EEE netbook. Since Crunchbang is basically a minimal Debian using Openbox and some default config scripts, it seems to do really well at turning an old machine into something usable.


#12

I never have messed with Crunchbang. I usually went with Arch, Ubuntu if I couldn’t afford to break the OS, and Puppy on old machines. But, I love the stripped down minimal distros. There is just something special about them.


#13

+1 puppy! I used that with 3 old beater laptops to get my way through the first year of college. With Win98 installed, they could barely stream videos through WinAmp, but they were top of the line when I was a kid.


#14

Ah good old Windows 98. Speaking of old Windows, I kind of miss 95. I had a lot of fun customizing and “hacking” it. Haha! If you could even call it that.


#15

I’m not trying to side track this thread but I just had to add ( when I saw the Win 95 / 98 ) that 2 years ago I got called to the office in the school I worked at to be told the clock system wasn’t working after a power fail, and when I tracked the computer down that was running the software it turned out to be Warp OS2 , live and still in service!! Some things never die…


#16

I used Ubuntu a lot, but Unity, gosh :rage: To try something new I have switched to XFCE (at work) and Mate (at home). Was really impressed with performance improvement and this DEs still good looking and highly reliable. I am also using Debian instead of Ubuntu right now. Will end with Arch and something like awesome or i3 in a long run I believe :grin:


#17

@rickstewart ah gotta love the computers they use in schools. Our local high school used Windows 95/98 in the office until just recently. I think they just upgraded the computer lab within the last year or so.

@lancelote Unity is the Devil himself. I really love Arch with xfce, but I can’t use it on the computer I actually work on. I like to play with Arch too much and end up breaking the system. Hahah! But I still need to try out i3 like @ShawnMilo suggested. I’m just lazy…


#18

See my comment above where I mention i3 – there’s a link to a great video on YouTube. It got me started and now I can’t stand to use anything else. :relaxed:


#19

Some other options btw might be Ubuntu Mate, Uses the Mate desktop on ubuntu which is very light weight. Mint might be another decent option.


#20

I like Mint, but it really isn’t that light. At least, it wasn’t last time I tried it out. Way better than Ubuntu on an older laptop, or one that has been severely beaten, but it was still kind of rough. There was a time when Mint was my go to.