Announcement and release notes for Puppy Linux 4.00Finally it has happened! The last 'official' release of Puppy was version 3.01, released October 15, 2007. Version 4.00 is happening 6 months later, which is an incredibly long time considering the previous frenetic schedule of releases. Anyway, here it is: the live-CD file is 'puppy-4.00-k188.8.131.52-seamonkey.iso' and is just 87.1MB. Download from http://puppylinux.com/download/.
That 6 months has not been idle! Here is a summary of milestones along the way, with links to my daily Developer News pages:
- Puppy 3.01 was built from Slackware-12 binary packages, however
to reduce the size 4.00 has been totally compiled from source, using
the T2-project. Thus, less dependencies (smaller size) and later
versions of packages than 3.01. read more
- GTK1 and Tcl/Tk abandoned. The decision was made to go for a totally GTK2-based system. This meant that there could be a consistent user-interface throughout and further reduced the size. It also meant that GTK2 replacements had to be found for some applications. read more
- Exciting new GTK2 applications: ePDFView (PDF viewer), Pschedule (cron GUI), Osmo (personal organiser), Pcdripper (audio CD ripper), RipOff (audio CD ripper), mhWaveEdit (audio editor), Pburn (CD/DVD burner), MTR (traceroute), Pnethood (Samba client), Pwireless (wireless scanner), pStopWatch (stopwatch), HomeBank (personal finances), ExpenseTracker (personal finances), ChmSee (CHM help viewer), Gmeasures (units converter), Fotox (image viewer), Gwhere (disk catalogger), Prename (batch file renamer), gFnRename (batch file renamer), Pfind (file search), Pprocess (process manager), Chtheme (GTK theme chooser), HardInfo (hardware information), PcurlFtp (simple network file sharing) read more, Pidgin (multiprotocol chat client), Gadm-Rsync (GUI for rsync), Wireless Autoconnect, Gtkam (digital camera interface), Xsane (scanner interface), Figaro's Password Manager 2, HotPup (drive icons on desktop). Note, this is not a complete list nor in any particular order.
- I could not find a GTK2 GUI frontend for 'xset' (configure X mouse, keyboard screen), so I wrote 'pupX' read more.
- Scanner support is now built-in to the 'standard' live-CD. This is the full SANE driver library and Xsane GUI.
- Digital camera support is now built-in to the 'standard' live-CD.
This is Gtkam GUI and libgphoto2 with the complete set of drivers.
- Theming of GTK, JWM window manager and desktop background has been totally revised. Under the 'Desktop' menu are 'Chtheme GTK theme chooser', 'Desktop icon switcher' read more, 'JWM configuration' read more, and 'Wallpaper setter', for easy manipulation of all aspects of appearance.
- A new theme. I created 'Gradient-grey' theme for GTK and 'Gradient-grey' for JWM. Along with a nice background picture, these are the default in 4.00.
- Numerous hardware-related and system-related improvements:
automatic selection of native resolution for LCD monitors, 'fast boot'
speeds bootup read more read more read more, improved timezone setting read more, Network Wizard bugfixes read more read more read more read more read more, Xorg Wizard bugfixes read more read more, read more, improvements to the Universal Installer read more, bugfixes to PETget (package installer).
- Pmount, the drive mounter, has been completely rewritten. The underlying scripts probepart and probedisk also rewritten, and Pmount can be switched to mut2, an alternative underlying "engine" read more read more. Also included is HotPup, convenient drive mounting icons on the desktop read more.
- PETget is the package manager for Puppy. Puppy has PET packages,
which have .pet filename extension. The main GUI window of PETget has
received a total overhaul, with package categories and multiple
repositories read more.
- We have been doing a lot of work to improve modem detection and
auto-configuration, for those still on Internet dialup. This Puppy has
lots of "software" modem drivers built-in read more read more. Many improvements to PupDial (GUI for wvdial) read more read more read more.
- Unified /dev/sd* and /dev/sr* drive naming support. Puppy now supports
the libata PATA/SATA mode of newer Linux kernels, in which SATA, SCSI,
IDE and USB drives all have the same /dev/sd* naming (and /dev/sr* for
optical drives). All scripts in Puppy can automatically handle both the
new and old systems, so Puppy can be built with either type of kernel
with no hassles whatsoever.
- Useful new utilities: dmidecode read more, asapm battery monitor read more, gtklogfileviewer read more, mut2 read more, waitmax read more, absvolume read more, full df utility, rsync, xclip read more, dpkg-deb read more, zdump read more.
- The kernel is 184.108.40.206, exactly the same as used in Puppy 3.01.
Only change is the Squashfs module is upgraded from v3.2 to v3.3. Any
modules compiled in Puppy 3.01 should work in 4.00. Note, an alternative build with 2.6.25 kernel is available, see below.
- Many bugfixes and minor improvements. Some are mentioned above,
many more not explicitly mentioned here but can be found by reading
through my Developer News. One little bugfix that has afflicted all previous puppies is a problem with Type1 fonts read more. Another that also has been in all prior puppies are "zombie processes" that prevent a partition from unmounting read more.
Acknowledgement to application authors
Some of our Puppy-enthusiasts are very much into developing software. I have listed new packages above, but there are also pre-existing packages that have been improved. Many of these new and improved packages are created 'in house' by our own guys and I would like to send out a general acknowledgement. You will know who they are if you lurk on the forum, but I would particularly like to mention 'zigbert' who has been very prolific and and a great boon to the Puppy community.
Alternative 4.00 live-CD with 2.6.25 kernel
The 'standard' build of Puppy 4.00 is file 'puppy-4.00-k220.127.116.11-seamonkey.iso, which is 87.1MB -- compare that with Puppy 3.01 'standard' (with much less functionality) which is 98.6MB!
I have also built 'puppy-4.00-k2.6.25-seamonkey.iso', using the latest Linux kernel. This may not be quite as mature for wireless network connectivity though. Choose this one if you want support for a dual-core CPU (but the 'standard' build with mono-core 18.104.22.168 kernel works on dual-core systems). Also, strangely enough, we have more success booting older PCs with the 2.6.23 and later kernels, so try this one if Puppy fails to boot.
The 2.6.25 kernel is configured with the unified /dev/sd* and /dev/sr* drive naming, which may cause some difficulty if you need to configure GRUB.
Other Puppy releases since 3.01
The Puppy community has not been idle either since the release of 3.01. There have been many Puppy-derivatives released. I can't list them all here, and you need to go to the the Community News page for announcements. A couple that I made note of in my Developer News are 2.14R, which is version 2.14 brought up-to-date with the latest features of Puppy -- this older Puppy is good for some older PCs that cannot handle later versions of the Linux kernel read more read more. I also mentioned Muppy Linux, which is a fork of Puppy, based on version 3.01 read more. There has also been a start at the next in the Puppy3 series (binary compatibility with Slackware 12), version 3.02alpha read more -- see also forum announcements read more read more.
T2 build system for Dingo
The complete package of T2 and source packages that I used to create the original Puppy Dingo 4.00alpha1 is available for download. After getting a working Puppy, I then used it to compile further packages, so you need to take this T2 build as the boot-strap first step. Please be warned, this is not a way to create Puppy from source! read more.
This is the recommended way of building your own Puppy. There have been numerous improvements. read more. Get it via the download page.