Again.... Puppy Linux !

Puppy Linux Release 2.17.1 has released!

Another wonderful new Puppy! The 'standard' release is puppy-2.17.1-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso live-CD and is 82.6MB. There is one thing that stands out from reading the release notes, and that is the major advances with hardware support -- which astounds even me, considering that version 2.16 was released barely 2 months ago. Yes, everything listed below is in that 82.6MB!

Release notes:

  • Enhanced dialup: Puppy now has enhanced support for those who have to access the Internet by dialup. Automatic detection and setup of serial and many soft-modems -- quite amazing if you happen to have a compatible soft-modem!
  • For dialup, there is a new GUI application called PupDial. PupDial is integrated with the new auto-detection to provide extremely simple Internet connection.
  • Enhanced printing: Finally, Puppy has CUPS! This includes the complete Gutenprint 5.0.0 package so Puppy supports over 500 printers out-of-the-box. Extra Hewlett Packard drivers are available as a PET package.
  • Print-to-PDF: This is out-of-the-box setup for CUPS, with the 'CUPS-PDF printer' ready to go.
  • MMC and SD cards: These are now fully automatically supported. You should not have to setup anything.
  • Boot configuration: The BootManager was introduced in Puppy 2.16 to manage loading of SFS files (application combo-packs). My intention was that the BootManager would be a one-stop-shop for configuring all aspects of bootup, and I have now taken the next step and added management of modules.
  • Mount image files: One-click mounting of .2fs (a file with ext2 f.s. inside), .3fs (ext3), .sfs (squashfs) and .iso (CD image) files.
  • Hardware information: PupScan is my GUI application to view PCI and modules information. USB information is now added.
  • Pmount is a drive mounter. It has been totally revamped for 2.17. As well as an improved display and bugfixes it is also now much faster. Underlying scripts test-eide, test-scsi, probepart and probedisk totally rewritten.
  • Boot from USB CD/DVD drive: the live-CD will now boot from this, as well as the usual internal CD/DVD drive.
  • Boot from floppy disk: Puppy has this for a long time, now WakePup2 (floppy image file) has been greatly enhanced.
  • ePDFView PDF viewer. This is great, replaces Gsview.
  • Notecase outliner. I am waxing poetic about this one. Version 0.5.8 has everything I dreamed of in a note-manager/outliner.
  • The default finance manager application is now HomeBank (v3.2.1).
  • We have removed Dillo in favour of Gtkmoz for our internal HTML viewer.
  • The following packages have been upgraded: RutilT v0.15, Pfind v2.2 , Pbackup v2.4.4, Geany 20070626 (now has FreeBasic highlighting), WakePup2, ROX-Filer v2.6.1, puppyserialdetect v1.1g, xkbconfigmanager v1.1 (Dougal), puppybasic v 2.5b (MU).
  • The Linux kernel has been upgraded to version
  • Lots of bugfixes (of course).
Dialup modem detection and setup
If you have a hardware modem, it should work fine. If you have a soft-modem, which is most modern internal modem cards or on-motherboard modems, then Puppy will auto-detect if it is potentially usable by Puppy. When you start PupDial, there is a message whether a modem was detected or not -- if your modem was detected then it is potentially usable, otherwise it probably isn't. I use the word "potentially" because getting it to actually work can be very difficult with some soft-modems.
Puppy does try to auto-configure, but may not get it right, and so far only a few testers have worked on this -- see my news blog and the forum for success/fail reports so far.
An example of one fail report is an 'mwave' modem in an IBM Thinkpad. Puppy has the driver and all firmware and executables to get this going, and there is a startup script in /etc/init.d, but I don't have the hardware to test it. This is an example where someone is needed to dig in and find out what needs to be fixed for it to work.
When we do get a fix, we can put it permanently into Puppy.
Note, you may get lucky -- I have an ESS modem that worked out-of-the-box. Another person reported the same immediate success with a Trust MD1100 internal modem (these are currently available, so if you're looking for a Linux-compatible PCI modem, this one looks like a goer). Somone else reported that he just had to uncheck the "Check dialtone" checkbox in PupDial and his modem worked.
So, testers wanted, and we'll turn this pup into the best distro for dialup users!

Upgrading from earlier version of Puppy
No problem. If you run Puppy from live-CD, just boot the new CD and Puppy will automatically perform any required upgrading of your personal storage file/partition (usually pup_save.2fs file).
For USB or frugal-hd installations, just copy the latest files (vmlinuz, initrd.gz, pup_217.sfs and zdrv_217.sfs) to the USB or hd boot media.
If you have already tested an earlier experimental, alpha or beta of v2.17, it is extremely important that you get rid of any old pup_217.sfs and zdrv_217.sfs files that may be found alongside the "pup_save" file on the hard drive (in /mnt/home).
I strongly recommend that you boot an old version of Puppy or a different operating system to do this -- or, you can boot the new CD with the boot parameter "puppy pfix=ram". After you have removed these old files, boot Puppy 2.17 live-CD and type the boot parameter "puppy pfix=clean" , so that a proper upgrade of the latest version will occur. If you want to be extra cautious, make a backup of the pup_save.2fs file before upgrading!


If you want to obtain the latest Puppy live-CD, or the "devx" module, that turns Puppy into a complete C/C++ compiler environment, or the patched kernel source, please go to the Puppy download page.
Note, file 'devx_217.sfs' is what we call a SFS module, which is a "combo-pack" of applications in a single file. It can be loaded at bootup and you instantly have all the apps "installed". Or, not load it at bootup and all the apps are immediately "uninstalled". Normally, you just download a SFS file to /mnt/home then reboot Puppy, and it automatically loads.

A note on the kernel source: If you want to compile a module, or a package that needs to reference the kernel source, we have the kernel source available as an SFS file. Download 'devx_217.sfs' and 'kernel-src_217.sfs' to /mnt/home then reboot Puppy and you're in business (that's how simple SFS files are to use, but note you can manage loading of SFS files by running the BootManager (System menu)). Get the official SFS files from here.

Source: Puppy Linux News


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