I'd be interested...

Story: Coming home to Puppy LinuxTotal Replies: 8
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Jun 17, 2009
10:09 AM EDT
...in seeing how Puppy stacks up against Vector Light. I've got a machine with similar specs, and only use it once in a blue moon, but recently it has become "too old". Older versions of Debian, through Etch, ran fine, as did Vector and others.

These days even Puppy (4.x) doesn't run very well. DSL doesn't boot (it used to, but as I don't care for the appearance of DSL, so it's not important). Only Vector Light is usable. It runs with very few pauses. Version 6.0 is compatible with Slackware 12.1, so I installed packages like OOo 3.1, which runs surprisingly well.

Have you tried Vector Light?

Jun 17, 2009
11:51 AM EDT
For heavier HW specs, there is another current thread which discusses published author Carla Schroder's preference for PCLinuxOS, see http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/29195/

For a wider gamut of HW-specs, there is also the so-called "Emergency" rescue disk SystemRescueCd, http://www.sysresccd.org . Recently presented to LXer readers via Newswires http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/103408 and http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/120331

Although certainly not as complete a liveCD as DSL, PuppyLinux or VectorLinux Light, SystemRescueCd can be used for a liveCD that does boot and run well. AAMOF, one can even add one's own desired Gentoo packages to SystemRescueCd to bring its functionality closer to that of Puppy, DSL and VL Light; see http://www.sysresccd.org/news/2008/07/27/customize-systemres...

So perhaps SystemRescueCd could be an alternate to Puppy and Vector Linux Light ?


Jun 17, 2009
12:38 PM EDT
vv: Have you tested it on a really old machine? I've never heard of using SystemRescueCD in that capacity, but maybe it can be done.

Jun 17, 2009
12:56 PM EDT
Vector lite is my "go-to guy" on my pentium III's. I just quit messing with anything else. I know a couple of the folks there and so as not to embarrass him, a slack-guy here in the forums even made a slackpackage for World of Goo for us and it works great. These old pentium III 450's fairly hum right along with 512 of pc133 SDRAM...unfortunately the bios won't accept any more than that. Some may call it a niche distro but projects like ours have a lot of niches...it's the only "old machine" distro we use now. Unfortunately, some of the newer puplets are legacy, running on the .18 kernel and as we have all experienced, the wireless support for those kernels in a word sucks. Vector picks them up most times ootb.


Jun 17, 2009
4:09 PM EDT
I'd forget about using Puppy Linux and the System Rescue CD. Maybe Vector Lite is okay, though I haven't used it as much as DSL.

@bigg FWIW, DSL _is_ really great, and maybe you would reconsider using this? Just in case you haven't realized it, DSL now comes in a 4.4.x version and a 3.4.x version. There are some minor differences in their appearances and functionality. Even more than these version differences are the fact that you can download and use both versions of DSL in isolinux and syslinux formats. The syslinux format can work on systems with older CD-ROMs, that do _not necessarily_ require using a Smart BootManager floppy disk. I've successfully used the syslinux forms of the DSL 3.4.12 CDs on low-end Pentium's having Winblow$ on them where the isolinux versions haven't worked at all for one reason or another. Pretty easy to use I think.

Also, another liveCD workhorse I _STILL_ keep around for active use is the old Knoppix. Yes indeedy. This too works on PCs with lower hrdware specs, especially with its various cheatcodes such as the CLI cheatcode "knoppix 2" Kyle Rankin wrote an excellent book on all this with Knoppix several years ago called Knoppix Hacks. He even wrote in this how to easily add various packages to Knoppix for added functionality.

These are all just my better experiences of using DSL and Knoppix, preferred over Puppy and the System Rescue CD. As with so many other suggestions YMMV.

Jun 17, 2009
4:34 PM EDT
What I really wanted to try was DSL-N, but it apparently has died.

My recollection is that installing DSL means you get Debian, though maybe that's not correct. What's nice about Vector Light 6.0 is the compatibility with packages from my existing Slackware installations.

Jun 17, 2009
5:17 PM EDT
This makes me want to try Vector Light. ... Wolvix is a favorite of mine and is also based on Slackware.I don't think it's as fast as Vector or ZenWalk.

Jun 17, 2009
5:40 PM EDT
Vector Light is essentially Vector Standard minus Xfce and with a choice of two very lightweight window managers: IceWM or JWM. (There are more in the repos but those are the default installation choices.) It also uses VL-Hot in lieu of HAL which definitely improves performance, sometimes dramatically on older hardware. My article on VL-Hot explains why. See: http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/02/vl-hot-a-non-polling-al... Standard uses HAL by default but makes VL-Hot available.

The rest of the differences between Light and Standard come down to apps. Standard offers Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, and Dillo for browsers. Light goes with Opera, HV3, and Dillo. Standard offers AbiWord and Gnumeric while Light goes with SIAG Office. The idea is to have the really lightweight apps available in the installation.

Roy Steffanussen (nightflier) does a great job with Light. It really is just a remaster of Standard for the most part.

Wolvix 1.1.0 Cub was probably every bit as fast as Vector. 2.0 is still in beta so the jury is out on that.

I like Zenwalk. I'm less than enthused by the community or support available in English. French is another matter ;)

Kongoni looks promising but it's still in alpha.

If anyone prefers Ubuntu but wants lightweight take a good look at Debris Linux 1.7.0 (beta, but just about ready for prime time). Nobody has done a better job at stripping the cruft out of Ubuntu than those folks.

DSL appears to be dead since Robert Shingledecker left. I know John Andrews started the project without Roberts but he hasn't been able to get any new releases out. I also find the kernel and software included just way too old for my taste. Thats also my complaint about DeLi Linux.

Jun 17, 2009
7:40 PM EDT
I could never get DeLi to run ...

What's great about Linux and BSDs are that you can build up the system you want with apps of any given weight.

OpenBSD starts out ultralight, and then you add what you want.

Using all these distros is a great way to get acquainted with applications you might not know about or want to install. Then you can tap them in other distros and have a system that fits your needs.

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