vtpi
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Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:15 pm

I'm a long time Puppy Linux user, and recently received a Raspberry Pi B+ board for Christmas -- unexpectedly.

I've become very fond of this little board after trying out Raspbian via Noobs, and working with an Arduino board and Grbl to try out some CNC application testing.

But last night I decided to try out Puppy Linux via Berryboot, and was saddened to see my go-to OS had some teething problems on the RPi. I believe most of the small issues I saw can be easily addressed, and I'd like to help bridge the gap, if I can.

I've started a topic on the Puppy Linux forum, and hope through it, and this one, to get a good running version going.

I won't go into all of what I see as the advantages of Puppy Linux, but will just mention a few here. It's very small, very fast, has great onboard utilities, uses resources very economically, it is purposely designed to minimize wirite cycles using sd storage, both internal and external USB thumb drive, is easily re-formed into special purpose and preferred derivatives and forks, and has a great support community.

So, this is a first descriptive post, but I will get into details of what I saw as initial issues after the install shortly. And an explanation of how to get Puppy up and running smoothly.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:53 pm

Since BK "retired" it would appear that Puppy Linux, which never got past Alpha Stage, is like Android, a good idea which will never happen.

Whilst Tiny Core Linux fills the role of a lightweight configurable Distro...

Though good luck if you can create another release, will you base it of Debian or Slackware Puppy :?:
Adieu

vtpi
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:12 pm

Hello FOL,

I don't agree, of course. Barry Kauler retired quite a while ago, and the community has continued to advance Puppy Linux of all types. PL is in use in this household daily -- my wife and I both work from home and use it exclusively.

This particular version for Raspberry Pi hasn't been carried any further than the A4 version I downloaded (as far as I know), only because no one has taken it further. That's true of any open source project. But let's not pronounce it dead. Unfortunately, if enough people believe that, it surely will be. By bringing it up here and on the Puppy forum, we're now carrying it further.

Also in starting this thread, I'm not trying to create a new Puppy release based on Debian or Slackware, I'm trying to work with the version we have here, to solve issues and move it forward.

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DougieLawson
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:17 pm

I suspect you'll be sitting alone in a dark corner of this forum with no one else interested in what you're doing.

Best of luck with it, I hope you do better than the lone person who keeps chasing his Android tail.
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
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2012-18: 1B*5, 2B*2, B+, A+, Z, ZW, 3Bs*3, 3B+

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vtpi
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:38 pm

Okay so to get down to it, here's my initial experience to issues I saw on starting it up:

installed it via Berryboot, the multiboot wizard front end.

First impressions:

Problem:

The initial text startup polling screens before X starts scroll by slowly and pause for longer periods than the stock Raspbian messages do, which tend to fly by. It can appear to a new user that the computer is stuck in a loop or has stalled. It did seem that way to me at first because normal Puppys on other platforms start much quicker. Nevertheless there was nothing wrong with the start -- it just required patience, first time around. Boots should become quicker after the initial setup.

Problem:

The screen is black. One user complained about this in another thred here, and tried to adjust xvidtune to no effect.

Solution:

Not really a video problem -- there simply is no wallpaper selected by default. The program windows were all fine for me and the programs started and displayed. I just needed to go to the wallpaper setter (Menu>Desktop> Pwallpaper) to set one of the default package choices, or add your own. However, I can see how this is confusing to a newcomer to Puppy.

Problem:

None of the usual program icons are on the desktop -- again, not a real problem, but may cause newcomers to find it less friendly to try to guess from program names in the menu, what each program actually does. In stock Puppies, desktop icons were always named by function, not program names, and offered an easy introduction to using Puppy. Some people don't like icons on the desktop so that would be fine for them. This lack of icons is inconsistent across the other standard Puppies, however, out of the box.

Solution (I didn't test yet):
Menu>Desktop>Desktop Icon Switcher and choose.

Problem:

Wireless has to be set up for Puppy after Berryboot goes through the whole process earlier. Puppy inherits no settings from Berryboot, therefore, it's likely to be confusing to newbies that they have to set up networking right after setting it up earlier.

Even I was fooled, though I've set up Puppy networking hundreds of times. After installing Puppy from Berryboot, I thought I was still connected wirelessly and went to the Puppy package manager to update the repositories, -- none of the URLs would resolve in wget (naturally -- no network!).

Solution:
Use the onboard puppy wizards to set up networking normally.

Last problem I had:

Refreshing repositories threw error messages after downloading the package lists.

This issue is the only real one I've had so far, and it's being worked on.

I'll continue to work with Puppy on the Raspberry Pi. It would be easy to correct the above out-of-box desktop appearance issues rather simply by re-mastering, but lets hold off until we've done more exploring of any other functional issues.

vtpi
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:46 pm

DougieLawson wrote:I suspect you'll be sitting alone in a dark corner of this forum with no one else interested in what you're doing.

Best of luck with it, I hope you do better than the lone person who keeps chasing his Android tail.
And I hope that your efforts are encouraged, as well. :lol:

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:51 pm

So you are still using Debian based Puppy ??

Which Kernel are you using ??

Can you install Puppy on a RPi B+ without BerryBoot :?:
Adieu

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r3d4
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:58 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote: Can you install Puppy on a RPi B+ without BerryBoot :?:
Why not :?: with the right magic in /boot/cmdline.txt a kernel & initramfs and rootfs ..

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:57 pm

r3d4 wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote: Can you install Puppy on a RPi B+ without BerryBoot :?:
Why not :?: with the right magic in /boot/cmdline.txt a kernel & initramfs and rootfs ..
The last Standalone Alpha Release available was released prior to the B+, so should of said kernel / firmware etal :shock:
Adieu

vtpi
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:43 pm

Before going further, let me just give you my reasons for pursuing this.

It's mainly performance. My experience is that through running Puppy Linux, old and limited resource hardware comes alive. The speed increase is dramatic enough that at home we've run "obsolete" computers a decade past what would normally be considered their end of life. And dramatic enough that low-end contemporary computers respond as as if they were high-end machines.

This is partly a result of the compactness of the code, and the fact that Puppy AND applications will often all fit in dynamic ram and run entirely from there without storage access. Now for some more modern computers, there's enough RAM to do that with other OS's as well, (if they allow it) or they swap more efficiently these days, and so it's not as unique a feature as it used to be. But it definitely is the standard mode for Puppy Linux, where sufficient memory is present. With the Puppy/Rasbpi distro, that OS is a little over 100 megs with applications, and a B+ board sports 512 mb of RAM, so it looks like there might be a good fit.

I greatly enjoyed the RPi I received for Xmas, and I enjoy using Raspbian. But the response is somewhat slow by comparison with what I would expect from a similar speed processor and memory size ( say an early 2000 era laptop) running Puppy Linux, so the real reason for this is I wondered if Puppy would give a speedup on the RPi as it would on say a Pent3 lappy with 512 megs.

Well you don't know until you try. And maybe it won't, in which case I'd have no qualms about dropping it. This doesn't spring from a desire to spread Puppy to everything, as much as it does from trying to see whether it simply brings to the Pi the same performance advantages it does to older hardware.

So basically it's curiosity.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:52 pm

Tiny Core Linux has already met many of your goals, as I have already stated ;)
Adieu

vtpi
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:57 pm

That's great, FOL. I'll probably try that too.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:00 pm

vtpi wrote:That's great, FOL. I'll probably try that too.
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php?board=57.0

http://tinycorelinux.net/ports.html
Adieu

vtpi
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:17 am

Interestingly, when booted up Puppy Linux tonight, the boot was fast, and a standard Puppy desktop with program icons opened.

So apparently the desktop issues, black screen, etc. reported earlier was only a problem in the fiirst boot, after a Berryboot install. Programs seemed to open fast for the most part, afterwards.

I did check out cmdline.txt with the existing Puppy install and it would be straightforward to change the root partition to a USB drive, and copy the partition to a device there. I had already done that for my Raspbian install and I boot to a USB HD normally.

However a major drawback for me with Puppy was discovering that the default browser was Chrome. Totally unexpected and unwanted. Because of the problem reported earlier with the package manager, I didn't explore what alternative browsers are available. I'd have liked to try IceApe just to get a comparison with the same browser on Raspbian, which I had tried earlier. Unfortunately I've heard that support for Iceape has been discontinued by Mozilla, so it doesn't look like a viable alternative, anyway.

I don't know whether Epiphany, as used by Raspbian would run on Puppy. But it's not something I'd probably use much.

I was hoping in Puppy for a browser/email combo with better security and privacy controls -- like Seamonkey on standard Puppies. The Seamonkey WYSIWYG page editor was pretty handy, too. But I guess that isn't available for ARM based computers in general, and not just a specific Puppy (or Raspbian) fault. In fact I don't consider it a fault at all, just the nature of what's available for the platform.

I will say Chrome was irritating in the extreme. It would constantly warn that Ixquick's search engine didn't have a proper certificate, wouldn't display the text of Ixquick search results, wouldn't allow https with the site, and wouldn't allow me to make Ixquick the default search engine. It also had extremely limited adjustment for user preferences. Definitely not my cup of tea.

This has made me re-think what I want to do with the Pi in general. I still enjoy it. It's a cool little board. It's probably going to be used for fun and, for utility sake, ultimately end up in a CNC mill running Grbl controller in conjunction with an Arduino, or if possible LinuxCNC.

It's funny, application issues aren't what would have discouraged me from continuing to work to improve Puppy on the Pi. But the availability of a secure private and highly configurable browser is. That goes for any OS.

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r3d4
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:28 am

IMHO Berryboot might be an extra , confusing and unneeded step in this setup .

AKAIK You dont need berryboot to run puppy (or any other distro ) all that is needed is upto date firmware and config files pointing at the relevent bits of puppy ( kernel / initramfs ) ..
hmmm - voltaire
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Real life is, to most , a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.
what about spike milligan??
.

vtpi
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:36 am

r3d4 wrote:IMHO Berryboot might be an extra , confusing and unneeded step in this setup .

AKAIK You dont need berryboot to run puppy (or any other distro ) all that is needed is upto date firmware and config files pointing at the relevent bits of puppy ( kernel / initramfs ) ..
Thanks r3d4, I'm sure you're right. Just didn't try it

Also since this is a full install, it made me curious whether Puppy could run as a frugal install. I run frugal installs, normally.

TheOriginal_Den24
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:04 am

Hi vtpi,
I also like PuppyLinux & would like a full working version for the Pi, I use puppy on my old pc & also on usb as a back-up os

couldn't you use a browser like Lynx, dillo or Midori?

I'm not-sure if you would find this interesting or useful but i found this link that has names of a few programs:
https://harbhag.wordpress.com/2010/07/0 ... for-linux/
then just Google the .pet name :)
(o_0)<[Whaa?.... and they say IM CraZy]

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:50 am

TheOriginal_Den24 wrote:Hi vtpi,
I also like PuppyLinux & would like a full working version for the Pi, I use puppy on my old pc & also on usb as a back-up os

couldn't you use a browser like Lynx, dillo or Midori?

I'm not-sure if you would find this interesting or useful but i found this link that has names of a few programs:
https://harbhag.wordpress.com/2010/07/0 ... for-linux/
then just Google the .pet name :)
PuppLinux for the RPi seems like dead project, needs new impetus by a developer ;)
Adieu

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ally
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:04 pm

Barry Kauler has already purchased a RPi2 so watch this space.....

:)
get busy livin' or get busy dyin'

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DavidS
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Re: Fixing Puppy Linux on Pi

Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:46 am

I do like pupy linux, and it is the only linux I use on x86 platform computers. Though it is the slowest OS I use on any computers, on the x86 systems I mostely use FreeDOS (used to use DR-DOS, though that has fallen to far behind), on 68k Systems I use either Atari TOS or Amiga OS 3.1, on PowerPC systems I use Macintosh System Software 7.5.5. , and on ARM systems (my favorite, includes the Raspberry Pi) I use RISC OS the only OS made for the ARM from the start.

Though I would like to see Puppy Linux on the RPi running as fast as it does on a 500MHz P3 with 256MB RAM, I do not think that is to much to ask. I likely will not get a RPi 2 for a long time yet, as my RPi model B's are more than enough for now. If it could be brought up to that level it would be the fastest Linux OS on the RPi, and the slowest OS I would use on the RPi.
26-Bit R15 to 32-bit. 16-bit addressing to 24-bit. ARM and 65xx two CPU's that continue on, and are better than ever. Assembly Language forever :) .

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