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05 March 2013, 10:19

A fresh litter of Puppy Linux releases: Wary, Racy and Quirky

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Barry Kauler, the developer of the Puppy family of Linux distributions, has released version 5.5 of the Wary and Racy branches of the project. Wary is the edition of Puppy designed to be run on older hardware, whereas Racy has more features and needs more system resources but is based on Wary. For version 5.5, both editions had most of their underlying system libraries and some of the applications updated during the development phase; this took almost a year from the release of Wary 5.3 in April 2012.

Most of the updates to Wary and Racy 5.5 are based on updates to the Woof infrastructure that is used to build the various Puppy derivatives. Wary's kernel, however, is still the same version, based on the upstream Linux kernel which is configured for single core i486 CPUs and includes a large number of third party dialup modem drivers. Racy uses a kernel based on the upstream version 3.0.66 which is the latest release in the 3.0.x series and is targeted at i686 CPUs; it includes multi-core supports.

Kauler has also released version 5.4.91 of Quirky, the experimental branch of Puppy that is used as a testbed for new ideas that might later be incorporated into the other editions. This is the first release of the distribution since November 2010. New features in Quirky 5.4.91 include support for the f2fs file system and an option that allows the complete distribution to be built into a single file. This uses a function in the Linux kernel that allows an initial file system to be included within the kernel itself. Essentially, the complete distribution is built into the kernel itself. The file is 126MB in size and to be run, requires 512MB of RAM.

Wary and Racy 5.5, as well as Quirky 5.4.91, can be downloaded from the ibiblio servers. Explanations of the different members of the Puppy Linux family are available from Kauler's web site.


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