Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2017 was good to you but I hope 2018 will be even better.
Producing this newsletter creates some interesting moments. Some days the task is overwhelming while other days it's not much of an effort at all. I really would like to receive some more input from readers out there. You don't need to have any special skills to write a simple article and share it with others.
In the past I have insisted articles be submitted as Notecase files. To encourage more writers I am happy to receive articles written in text editors or word processors such as Geany, LibreOffice or AbiWord.
The exposure of this Newsletter has been quite incredible as it reaches readers from many countries around the world. It truly is an international Newsletter.
This month I have included a distro called Dpup Stretch CE by radky. I'm sure many of you have seen radky's work on his PupMates which is a collection of excellent utilities for Puppy Linux. I guess it was only a matter of time before he spread his wings and graduated to a full Puppy distro.
On first inspection I was quite impressed, everything worked OOTB. It even automatically configured my dual monitors, nice. If you are looking for a 32bit modern distro, take a look.
I was looking for some information to include in the Scripts & Code section and found some great contributions by PupGeek and Bruce B. I had never seen this before but I'm sure I will visit it quite often in the future. It's a collection of bash scripts that span 24 pages in the Puppy Linux Forum.
I had forgotten to remind greengeek about the monthly crossword and thought I might have to publish without one. I did a last minute check and sure enough there it was sitting in my intray. Thanks greengeek.
I apologise for the negativity in this months editorial but it really is a cry-out for some assistance.
The Puppy Linux Discussion Forum is the main source for a lot of the information repeated here. Where appropriate, links will be provided so you can read first hand about the distribution development. This section will likely just provide highlights as a starting point.
- Dpup Stretch CE
Dpup Stretch CE Developed by radky
- Easy Linux 0.6.4
Easy Linux 0.6.4 developed by Barry Kauler
Below is a screen shot of Billtoo's desktop using Easy Linux 0.6.4.
More information about Easy.
This months covers:
Awesome Linux Software - github
- Awesome Linux Software
This link, Awesome-Linux-Software, will provide you with a comprehensive list of Linux software.
Gtkdialog2 Part 3 - smokey01
Virtual Box - Terry Schuster
- gtkdialog2 - Part 3
Written by smokey01
This month we will make a combo box that looks like this:
[ -z $GTKDIALOG ] && GTKDIALOG=gtkdialog
case $1 in
-d | --dump) echo "$MAIN_DIALOG" ;;
*) $GTKDIALOG --program=MAIN_DIALOG ;;
- VBox (Virtual Box)
Written by Terry Schuster
Puppy Linux VirtualBox Installation – an Outline for Beginners
VirtualBox (VBox)has been available for some 10 years; a very effective virtual machine software which can run on most platforms, including Linux. This allows a host OS (eg Linux) to run another guest OS such as Windows in order to use uniquely Windows applications, or to run new Linux distros under test situations, etc. While this works quite well, there is likely to be an unavoidable reduction in speed of the guest OS due to the background running of the host OS, using its own system resources. Hosting VBox in Puppy Linux offers distinct size and speed advantages which encouraged me to persist with the installation of VBox in my current OS of choice, TahrPuppy 6.0.5.
The installation of Vbox in common Linux/Windows OS is covered quite substantially in general discussion forums, but in my opinion not as well in the Puppy Linux forums. A cursory glance in Puppy forums suggests a few contributors found difficulty installing and running VirtualBox in PuppyLinux, as it is can be more complicated to setup than for a common OS such as Ubuntu. I also initially struggled to get a clear picture of what I needed to do to set the system up properly, especially when error messages appeared - leading to advice in the forums about changing kernels, which is currently beyond my capacities. So I kept looking for a simpler process, which was discovered in Murga-Linux Forum 63332, with much thanks extended to contributor amn87.
So what follows is a beginners’ guide for installing VBox in a frugal TahrPuppy 6.0.5, which I believe can be tweaked to other Puppy distros, and may help fill in a few gaps, especially for beginners. I have successfully installed Vbox on Puppy Slacko 6.3.0 (and Ubuntu Mate) as well. For very readable general information about installing Vbox, see
I decided to begin with a new manual frugal install of Puppy 6.0.5 within Ubuntu Mate. Should the installation fail, I could delete the new Pupsave file/folder and start again. For readers benefit, a manual frugal install of Puppy Linux process inside a host Linux OS includes the following:
> Extract from an ISO Live disc image the 3 or 4 Puppy Files required for a Frugal install
> Setup the Puppy Frugal folder - 4 files in a named folder of the host Linux OS root folder
> Navigate to and open the 40_Custom file found in the host OS: etc/grub.d
> Add in the frugal install script to include a new PuppyOS
> Update the GRUB in the host OS by using running sudo update-grub in the terminal
> Run the new Puppy OS, and shutdown to set up a permanent Savefile as required.
The basic outline for VBox installation to Puppy Linux distro includes:
> Download/Install the appropriate DevX .sfs package into Puppy OS
> Download/Install the appropriate Kernel sources for your Puppy OS
> Download/Install the Virtual Box version of choice
> Download the VBox Extension Pack and run from within VBox
> Load/Run Installation Guest Disc or ISO from within VBox
> Run the Guest OS and load the VboxGuestAdditions ISO file
There are a few key organizational steps to begin the process:
a) The Puppy kernel must be identified while running Puppy either as a live CD or Frugal install.
This can be done by running: Menu → Filesystem → Partview,
or by typing partview into the terminal
The kernel details will be displayed on the small startup window.
Eg, the kernel for my TahrPup 6.0.5 was 3.14.56, and for Puppy Slacko 6.3.0 was 3.14.55
b) The Puppy OS must be identified as to its whether it is PAE, or non-PAE, 32 or 64 bit, and what distribution it is based on – eg TahrPup 6.0.5 is based on Ubuntu-Trusty Tahr
c) The desired version of VirtualBox must be selected on the Oracle download site. I initially chose an older version (5.1.10) as this was part of the recipe in Murga-Linux Forum 63332. This gave me my first successful launch. Since then I have successfully run one of the most recent VBox releases – 5.2.0 without issue. At the time of writing, the latest version was 5.2.2.
Installation of key components should be done in sequence:
1) Download the appropriate devx file for the Puppy OS
Then in my case of Puppy Tahr 6.0.5, go to :
And select devx_tahr_6.0.5 to download ( eg to Desktop )
Install by double-clicking on the file and following the prompts.
2) Download the appropriate kernel-source which must match the existing kernel.
Then in my case of Puppy Tahr:
Install by double-clicking on the file and following the prompts.
3) Download and install the appropriate VB files for the Puppy of your choice, eg Tahr 6.0.5
i) Download the chosen VirtualBox build from the Oracle site downloads:
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki ( Latest version 5.2)
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Download_Old_Builds_5_1 (extending way back )
In my case I initially chose to use Virtualbox-5.1_5.1.10-112026~Ubuntu~trusty_i386.deb
Click on the file to install.
ii) Download the Oracle VM Extension Pack, which matches the VBox version.
This should be on the same webpage as the VirtualBox build.
Eg the Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.1.10-112026.vbox-extpack
Suggested copy to my-documents for ease of use.
Run VB from the Menu -→Utilities → Oracle VM VirtualBox
( or type virtualbox into terminal )
From the Options menu, select Extensions and navigate to the extension file which will then be installed
iii) Download the Virtual Box Guest additions, matching the VirtualBox version eg VboxGuestAdditions_5.1.10.iso (to be installed later)
4) Configure the VirtualBox in the terminal ( thanks to rockedge - Murga-Linux Forum 111200 )
You will then be asked to enter a new password - note, no display of password is provided
Run the VBox config script in the terminal
This will take some time, but terminal access will be returned.
A non-terminating process means an error, eg an incorrect kernel-source, in which case the computer must be restarted ( eg, by holding down the power button ).
Sample successful terminal operation is as follows: ( with some line spaces added)
root# adduser vboxusers
adduser: /home/vboxusers: No such file or directory
Changing password for vboxusers
New password: <enter your password>
Retype password: <enter your password again>
Password for vboxusers changed by root
ln: failed to create symbolic link ‘/etc/rc.d/rc0.d/K80vboxdrv’: No such file or directory
...MANY SIMILAR LINES here...
ln: failed to create symbolic link ‘/etc/rc.d/rc6.d/K65vboxweb-service’: No such file or directory
vboxdrv.sh: Building VirtualBox kernel modules.
vboxdrv.sh: Starting VirtualBox services.
vboxdrv.sh: Starting VirtualBox services.
5) Load the guest OS, eg in my case Windows XP by using an installer CD or ISO image of one.
Note: (WIN XP installation may also request you load another installation disc, eg Win 98 )
Further details about installation and configuration can be found at :
6) Run the guest OS.
Install the GuestAdditions by navigating to the disc ISO and opening. It will self-install.
Further details can be found at steps 11 & 12 at:
While this process seems long-winded, it can be reasonably quick once you become organised and I believe it is very much worth the effort. I trust these notes will encourage other Linux users to setup VirtualBox on a Puppy OS, as it provides a fast, easy to utilise virtual machine.
This is a good section to discuss how to compile software. Compiling is not everyone's cup of tea but the more people that can manage it, the longer life Puppy will have.
The hardest part of compiling is the build recipe as there are so many options. Let's include some proven recipes here.
You must have the devx loaded as this is where most of your compiling tools reside. In some cases you may also need to have the kernel sources loaded.
- Compiling Guide
The thread was created by Eathray but slavvo67 certainly deserves a mention.
A Thorough Guide to Compiling Software
- Scripts & Code
Basic Shell (Console) operation for beginners - PupGeek & Bruce B
- Basic Shell
Below is a topic/thread I stumbled across by sheer accident in the Puppy Linux Forums.
Basic Shell (Console) operation for beginners
The thread was opened by PupGeek back in March 2011 so it's quite old. It looks like no one has posted in it since August 2013 but after having a quick look I discovered there are many useful scripts. Another user that features heavily in this thread is Bruce B.
It appears PupGeek has not posted on the forums since June 2012 and Bruce B since October 2016. Sadly two great resources seem to have departed the Puppy family.
I don't know if you've noticed Bruce B signature link, if you haven't take a look, Puppy Linux Links Page, it's quite impressive.
- Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks are simple little actions you can take to make your life easier when using Puppy. You will probably know most of the tips but there are always new users that don't.
HTML - smokey01
CLI Help - smokey01
Skype - smokey01
Written by smokey01
In my opinion, a good web page should be fast, easy to navigate and be functional. Today there are far too many web pages that are cluttered, slow and it's often difficult to find the information that you're looking for. Amongst that there are too many graphics and flash content, you know those little videos that always get in your way. Some of these sites are also very processor intensive and make your computer become quite hot.
With the abundance of good html editors available anybody can quickly develop a web page. It may look good but how well does it perform? The reason for this short article was to introduce a simple html command called <pre></pre>. Over the years I have spoken to many people who play about with web pages but have not heard of <pre>. The <pre> tag simple means preformat. Any text you place between the <pre> and </pre> tags will retain it's format. If you use an html editor then have a look at the generated code - you will see a lot of embedded codes to achieve the same result.
Most of my coding is done with a text editor so I like to keep things simple and easy to read, I find the <pre> command is very good at this.
This is what some example html code looks like created in an html editor, Seamonkey composer.
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
This is a simple web page to demonstrate the pre-format command.<br>
Lets add a ten
spaces and ten
Now lets look at ten tab spaces
This is the same result using the <pre> command in a text editor.
This is a simple web page to demonstrate the pre-format command.
Lets add ten spaces and ten more done.
Now lets look at ten tab spaces done.
They may look a bit different in your browser unless the tab spaces are set the same which is probably unlikely.
Notice all of the formatting commands. Each one of these mean a non breaking space which I think looks untidy.
- CLI Help
Written by smokey01
Command Line Interface Help.
When working in a terminal or CLI you can get some help by simply typing help. A list of commands will be displayed. To expand in the help type help and the command you would like additional help. EG: help echo
For many commands in Linux there are also man pages. In a terminal type man echo to get help on the echo command.
I don't know if pman is still included in official Pups but it was a modified version of man that displayed the information in a web browser.
Another interesting command from a terminal is TAB TAB. Yes that means press the tab key twice in a terminal. This will give you the option to display a list of all your executable commands. This includes all binaries and scripts.
Written by smokey01
I remember using Skype way back, probably before the first public Beta was released in 2003. I remember it was initially voice only, no video and I remember waiting for ages for video to be implemented. Anyway there have been a lot of improvements and changes since then.
I haven't really used Skype for a few years now so until recently hadn't caught up on the latest changes. Most people would probably know Skype was acquired by Microsoft back in 2011. Development continued for Windows and Linux for some time but then support for Linux was dropped. I think the last version of Skype for Linux I tried was 22.214.171.124 and this ceased to work when Microsoft dropped the development of the client version in favour of a web based Skype.
Just recently I discovered that it's possible to use the Linux client version 126.96.36.199 with a small hack. Apparently when Skype is run a version check is done and if it's less than a certain version then Skype fails to start. If you try this patch supplied by Geoffrey it may work as it did for me.
The January crossword by greengeek.
Puppy Crossword (January 2018)
(Formatted by greengeek using the "Puzzlefast" website)
This month I have focused on some of the graphics utilities that I know best and use most.
(One of these is an imposter and as far as I know is not available on Puppy. Trick clue!)
(See clues below image)
Scroll further down for answers:
- Useful Links
Puppy Linux Forums USA
Ibiblio repository USA
nluug repository Netherlands
Internode repository Australia
University of Crete repository Greece
aarnet repository Australia
Internet archive repository USA
Puppy Linux Tips by smokey01
Puppy Linux wikka Puppy sites
Bookmarkos provided by kerl
Search the Puppy Linux Forums
Barry Kauler's News Blog
- Contributors this month
Not all of the people below have physically given me the information to publish. If I find information I will give the credit where it is due. So if you see your name on the list below please don't be alarmed or upset. You are not losing your mind.
Proof reading - russoodle
- Newsletter Information
To improve the Notecase display format please press F7 then:
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Newsletter index written by 6502coder can be found here:
If you have information you would like to see in the newsletter please email it to smokey01 at email@example.com. I prefer it to be created in Notecase otherwise it makes my job a bit more difficult. I don't intend doing any significant editing but I will attempt to read all of the articles and ask a couple of others to do some proof reading. If you would like to assist in proof reading please let me know on the email address above.
Notecase is very easy to learn and use. Try and keep your articles to less than 1000 words. Photos and images should be no bigger than 1024 x 768. I can always make them smaller.
The deadline for articles is the 20th of each month. Let's not worry about time zones. I know it may be the 20th in Australia and only the 19th in the USA but I can live with this. If it's more than 24 hours late with respect to Australian CST then your article may be pushed right, into the next edition. I expect proof reading to take less than a week which will provide about four days to publish at the beginning of each month.
I will upload the Newsletter to my site at http://smokey01.com/newsletters. There will be two versions. One will be an xz compressed Notecase file and the other will be a html file so it can be read in a browser.
I have changed the original naming convention to 0001-PuppyLinuxNewsletter-Jan2017.ncd.xz and 0001-PuppyLinuxNewsletter-Jan2017.html respectively. The formatting of the html is not brilliant but readable. The newsletter is intended to be downloaded and read in Notecase.
The editor has the right to veto any articles that he/she considers inappropriate. A reasonable effort will be made to avoid spelling and grammatical errors however, I'm sure some may slip through. This newsletter is published by volunteers, and is free, so please be kind. Constructive criticism and positive suggestions are welcomed.