Are You a Microsoft Renegade?
Are you a frustrated user of Windows XP (or even Windows 98)? Do you want to work with a phenomenally fast Operating System? You may have heard about the alternative, often free, operating system, Linux, but are totally inexperienced in computer technology. Can you use Linux and especially Puppy Linux (Puppy Linux is phenomenally fast because it runs entirely in RAM on most PC's)? The answer is most probably:
You can find basic information in this wiki, on other Puppy Linux sites, and also at the Puppy Forum (great for all your specific questions not covered elsewhere) and, of course, in this section designed especially for users new to Linux and specifically Puppy Linux.
Please follow our procedures in 1, 2, 3, Etc. Points (written for the Puppy Linux stable version 1.0.8r1, but should still be usable for current Puppy versions):
Point 1: Preparation
- It is good to know the following information about your system before beginning:
- Type of file system used. (FAT, the old long name file system used by Microsoft Windows 95 & 98 or NTFS commonly used by Microsoft WindowsXP)
- Amount of temporary storage space available in the RAM (Random Access Memory) of your PC. (e.g. 128 MB)
- Type of mouse (The use of a mouse is necessary in Linux's graphical environment, i.e. GUI: Graphical User Interface.)
- Type of connection with the Internet. (Modem, DSL, or LAN are the most often used.)
- Less important, (Linux can check most of them), but also useful to know if you encounter problems:
- Type of:
- graphics card and chipset (nVidia, ATI or Intel), especially if the PC is custom built (e.g. economical computer designs)
- monitor and its resolution (often 1024 x 768 pixels x 24 visual depth)
- details concerning your Internet connection (e.g. network card, modem, ISP settings, etc.)
- Puppy Linux or you (in case of an NTFS file system, e.g. Microsoft WindowsXP) will add only one (or two) big file(s) to your current file system. This will be the only change compared with the current situation of your PC. But of course, you need to have sufficient storage space on your hard disk.
- You need a CD/DVD CD-writer or DVD-burner with the ISO-file which is an image file that contains the Puppy-Linux live-CD operating system. (You can download the ISO file from one of the Puppy Linux download sites. It's only about 60-70 MB.) Then write/burn the downloaded ISO file on a blank CD/DVD as a self starting CD/DVD. It is a special burning mode for creating bootable CD/DVDs.
Point 2: Prepare for the First Boot
- Be sure the Puppy CD/DVD with the Puppy Linux operating system, you burned, is in your main CD/DVD reader (i.e. CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives).
- [For Microsoft Windows users that are using the NTFS file system only: You must first copy or download the file PUP001 into your main directory of your main partition (commonly known as drive C:\).]
- You know that your computer can read and start (i.e. boot) from system CD/DVDs or checked the BIOS setup of your PC. See your PC's Instruction Booklet for how to change BIOS settings. (In newer PC's, the boot sequence is usually preset to start from the CD-ROM first). You can test your CD/DVD-ROM's booting capabilities by using the Microsoft Windows Installation CD, it's analogous!
- Check that the Mouse is plugged-in. (It must be plugged-in!)
- Then, please, be brave.
- Restart the computer!
- I will now explain what happens as I go through the following steps on my PC. (I have an Internet connection from a LAN-connected Ethernet hub with a hardware router that allows my family to connect with the Internet via DSL. In your case, it may be different depending on your needs and usage, especially, regarding the Internet connection):
Point 3: The First Boot (needs between 3 and 5 minutes)
- As the computer restarts, it checks for a system CD/DVD. When found, it starts from the CD/DVD-ROM.
- Puppy Linux version X.XX appears with a prompt (common in Linux) after 10 seconds allowing for additional boot paramaters to be entered (e.g. puppy pfix=ram). Linux then continues to start. (If you press the <Enter> key, it won't wait the full 10 seconds, but immediately begins to load your new Puppy!)
- While starting, Linux will show a lot of messages on the screen giving information about the loading of startup processess, hardware, etc. Usually these are in white letters on a black background with the results (e.g. OK, Failed) appearing in green text (good!) or red text (perhaps bad!)
- Next a menu appears asking for a "keyboard map" selection. The "keyboard map" is based on your locale and layout of the keyboard (e.g. US=QWERTY).
- Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight your "keyboard map" and the <Space Bar> to select it. Then press the <Enter> key to confirm "ok."
- The next menu asks how your mouse is connected. The default is PS/2, but there are also options for USB and Serial connections. Select your mouse connection as you did your "keyboard map."
- And now you are asked about the mouse capabilities. Does it have a mouse wheel (i.e. scroll) and if it has 2 or 3 buttons. Make your selections then press <Enter>.
- On my PC, Linux searches now for my Sound_card. Two cards are found. I'm asked to choose which card to use (this can be different on your PC!) and I confirm my choice.
- Linux informs me it has created the configuration file with the sound card parameters of my choice and asks if I want to save the configuration file for subsequent boots. Then there is an audio test for the sound card.
- Now comes a very important step: I can choose between two Video_servers. Depending on what works with my monitor/display and video card, I choose the screen resolution and size of monitor/display (e.g. 1024 x 768, 19 inch monitor or 17" LCD display). The standard server for Puppy Linux is Video_server Xvesa. It's a basic, no thrills server, but may work best on PC's with older monitors and video cards. The best choice is the second Video_server: Video_server Xorg. It is more powerful and has more capabilites than Xvesa.
- My suggestion is to try Xorg first. If the test screen doesn't look quite right, there is the option of "tweaking" the settings or possibly switching to Xvesa. If Xorg completely fails and you don't have the option to choose Xvesa, restart the computer and begin again following all previous steps. This time select the Video_server Xvesa. [NOTE: Users with a NTFS file system as is used in Microsoft WindowsXP, please restart the computer in Microsoft Windows. The PUP001 must be erased before attempting to restart in Puppy Linux. You will need a fresh copy of the file to save into the main directory and partition (i.e. C:\)... sorry!] The following information is regarding the Video_server Xorg:
- After a few seconds/minutes, you can choose the resolution of your screen and visual depth. [I use 1024 x 768 x 24 (24=visual class: true colors).] If possible, please use the same settings that you have in Microsoft Windows.
- Xorg informs that it will now go for the plunge. After a (long) time, you will be taken to a graphical screen. If everything looks right, you have to confirm within 40 seconds using the mouse click on the word "okay." If the settings are wrong, within the same 40 seconds, you can press and hold <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Backspace>. This will allow you to "tweak" Xorg settings (for more advanced users).
- If successful, select "finished" using the keyboard or mouse.
- Now select "done."
Point 4: The basic Puppy Linux operating system is now running!
- The real Puppy Linux desktop appears after a short time!
- Depending on your language and country, Puppy Linux is now operational for almost all applications used by the common user. There are two important exceptions: Internet connection and Printer setup. (These are setup using Puppy's easy to use wizards.)
- You are well on your way in discovering the wonderful world of Puppy Linux. It can do most tasks that Microsoft Windows can, except faster and better!
- As in Microsoft Windows, you can shut down or restart the computer by clicking on the "Start" button on the left side of the bottom panel. Then select "Shut Down" from the popup menu. After that, select either "Power off computer" or "Reboot computer."
Point 5: What is where?
Points 6 & 7: Printer Installation & Internet?
Point 8: Other Keyboards
Point 9: Install OpenOffice 2.0
Point 10: Change the gear wheel icon and link a new program in the Start Menu
Point 11: Installing and using Wine
Point 12: List of useful Microsoft Windows' programs that work well using Wine
Point 13: For the school, education, and music fans, there's some great music programs
Point 14: Use DHCP in an existing Microsoft Windows Network for network and Internet sharing