Puppy Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution, one of several similar operating systems in a group called skinny Linux. Puppy Linux is most often run from a LiveCD or other removable media, which makes it easy to use on a computer that normally runs another operating system, such as Windows, without making any permanent changes to the system. This capacity, along with its compact size and ease of use, has made Puppy Linux a popular means of reviving old computers.
Puppy Linux has several advantages that allow it to function as a desktop replacement for users who want a fast, compact, relatively trouble-free OS. These include:
- Relative immunity to problems with malware such as viruses and Trojans.
- Compatibility with older computers that don't typically work with newer operating systems.
- Presence in a RAM disk after boot-up.
- An integrated browser with all the features of other popular Web browsers.
- Ability to play CDs and DVDs on computers with only one CD/DVD drive.
- Preinstallation of several popular applications.
- Ability to generate a bootable USB jump drive version of itself.
- A thin client that can be used with Microsoft Windows.
- Ability to create a stateless client for use with other OSs.
Barry Kauler began the Puppy Linux initiative in January 2003. The open source community continues to develop the product.