Revision [19986]

This is an old revision of UsingPuppy made by CrustyLobster on 2011-12-28 00:25:35.


HomePage > Components and HowTos > Install

Quick Start

Either Install directly from Windows exe
or use a CD-burning program to burn the ISO image slowly to a CD or DVD disc (4X is recommended for CD and 1X for DVD). A small and excellent CD burning program for Windows is BurnCDCC Download, unzip to a folder in Windows and click on burncdcc.exe (do not forget to choose low burning speed).

Complete Installation Guide

  1. Learn more about Puppy
  2. Acquire the container file (either ISO or ZIP) of a recent Puppy release from either or
  3. Choose how to use Puppy with your machine with MinimumSystemRequirements:

Using Puppy from a flash memory drive
Using Puppy from a hard disk drive
Using Puppy from an optical disc drive
Using Puppy from a network server drive

Appendix 1 - The container file

Puppy essentially consists of three files:
N.B. Some Puppy versions make use of an additional file: z*.sfs

These files are usually distributed as a single container file in either ISO or ZIP file format. It is this one file that one has to acquire so as to be able to make use of the Puppy operating system.

Appendix 2 - Co-existing with another operating system

When making an installation to an internal H.D.D. with an existing operating system, one has the option to either allow that operating system to remain or be removed. Only remove the existing operating system if the computer is more than 3 years old since most computer manufacturers cease to provide new B.I.O.S. versions after that time. If the intention is to remove the existing operating system, regardless of computer age, then ensure to check for and install any B.I.O.S. updates first.

If the Puppy files are to be appended, by making a frugal installation only of Puppy, then this would involve one of the following:
One can place a frugal installation within a pre-existing Windows installation. The save file, although itself is comprised of a Linux file-system, may reside on a F.A.T. or N.T.F.S. partition; which is why a frugal installation is also called a "co-exist" installation. A full hard disk drive installation on a F.A.T. partition is not possible because F.A.T. partitions do not support Linux symbolic links.

Appendix 3 - The start-up process

Upon starting (booting), the computer will access specific boot code located at a special location, the first sector of the drive, called the (Master Boot Record). Subsequently,control is transferred to a Linux boot-loader system file, e.g. ldlinux.sys or grldr.

So, if the existing operating system is to be kept, one has to choose which operating system is to be the primary one to initiate the boot process:
If Microsoft Windows is chosen it will need to be modified so that it presents a start-up menu that includes Puppy as one of the available options. These changes have to be made from inside Windows and not from within Puppy. There is an on-line tutorial called the Lin'N'Win Project, that will achieve this.

Is Puppy to be used to boot-up the computer? This will involve installing GRUBforDOS from within Puppy, which will make Microsoft Windows available as an option from the GRUB boot menu. However, this will only work if Puppy has been installed into its own partition. And the partition must be formatted using a Linux-compatible file system such as EXT4.

The Puppy Universal Installer (P.U.I.) does not install GRUB to a F.A.T. or N.T.F.S. partition because then it assumes that the partition contains Windows (error message "This partition is not Linux"). Instead, the boot-loader may be installed to the M.B.R.. To return to a Microsoft Windows-only setup, run the fixmbr command within Microsoft Windows.

Appendix 4 - Frugal and Full Installations

When one performs a full installation, all of the data from the core Puppy files are extracted (decompressed) and deposited as a Linux file-system onto one's chosen partition. Therefore, a full installation involves one file-system. Any subsequent software application installations, or file edits, are appended to this file-system so that the total number of files and folders gradually increases with time.

A frugal installation involves two distinct file-systems:
Upon start-up these two file-systems are super-imposed upon each other so that they appear merged. One has, in effect, a full installation whilst Puppy is running, but all that one actually sees on the physical partition are those two files. Any additional user files that are written to the operating system are written to within the save file.

The main advantages of a frugal installation is that one always boot with pristine copies of the core Puppy files. If the install gets corrupted it is just a matter of restoring the single save file from a backup copy.

The save file is of a fixed size but it may be increased if more space is required. However it is simpler to just store or move data outside of the save file, which is recommended. For example these software packages can be installed completely outside the save file: opera, libreoffice

Frugal installations can be made almost anywhere. It may even be placed inside a full installation of Puppy or another Linux distribution. Or one may have multiple frugal installations in the same partition. When using older machines it is recommended to compare both frugal and full installations to determine which functions better.

Windows Vista may become corrupted if a user tries to shrink the Windows partition using Linux tools. A safer procedure is to use Vista's own Disk Management tool, then create the new partitions using Linux. If one wants to keep Vista as the primary boot-loader, look at Easy BCD here.

For computers with low R.A.M. a full installation is preferred since it will run faster.

Puppy can boot from a non-primary partition. Or you can have the PUI write GRUB's stage1 to a floppy boot disk. Or you can do the frugal installation manually and use a boot CD to launch it. In that case, one could even put Puppy in a logical FAT partition which would be shared with Windows.

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