Joined: Feb. 2007
||Posted: June 20 2007,16:10
|It's not a 'Oh, this one is better than the other' thing.|
No, I think they differ with regard to a couple very important distinctions. I've had a little more experience with Puppy the last few weeks, and I've found some things I find entirely unacceptable which prevent me from recommending it beyond its use as a live CD (and then only without touching any other media).
First, while both are "safe" when run as live (read-only) CDs, they're markedly different in terms of inherent security when installed. Puppy (and dynebolic since someone mentioned it as well) runs as root only (user "spot" is also available by default, but pay attention to the login and the permissions: it's a root-only system). IIRC, neither Puppy nor dyne even uses a password. This isn't trivial. It defeats one of the major security advantages Unix has traditionally had in the form of permissions against single-user OSes like Windows pre-NT (and modern ones like Haiku or even OSX when set up for single user only). Puppy makes sense as an installed OS only if you think Win95 was the pinnacle of computing security. By contrast, DSL boots by default to user dsl with sudo privileges but not direct root privileges. This is the proper, more secure way of running a Unix/Linux environment.
Second, the underlying paradigms are 180-degrees different and it goes far beyond GTK1 v GTK2 and the acceptability of bloat. Puppy is aimed at ease of use (which is why it's single-user) particularly for those transitioning from Windows, not at maintaining support for legacy hardware. DSL's paradigm is usability without bloat: the extensions are supposed to be as bloat-free as the base ISO.
Along the lines of the former (root only, no password), I was working on a guide about hardening DSL (particularly traditional hard drive installation) beyond its already secure settings before a couple things at work got in my way and consumed all my time (I think I have some breathing room now). I'll post the guide either on my blog or the DSL Wiki as soon as I have a little more time to finish it.
"It felt kind of like having a pitbull terrier on my rear end."
-- meo (copyright(c)2008, all rights reserved)