You might remember a disagreement that occurred between the One Laptop Per Child project and the Puppy Linux community. Offers of their ultra-light operating system from the latter were quietly but firmly rebuffed by the former on the grounds of their closeness with Red Hat, after which the leader of the OLPC project, Nicholas Negroponte, publicly complained about the “bloat” of Linux and the lack of just such a thin distro.
The current design from OLPC “sputters along”, according to MacWorld, running Red Hat’s Fedora Core community distro, but the Puppy just won’t take no for an answer. Distro originator Barry Kauler decided to test out his baby on a donated machine “remarkably similar” to the proposed OLPC hardware design - the actual hardware is, as yet, unavailable - and published the results on the distro’s homepage:
Puppy is designed for this kind of situation from the ground-up. Extremely fast, very small footprint, a full set of applications, limited writes to Flash to extend its life indefinitely. There are no compromises — if you have read commentary about the OLPC project from various sources, you would think that an operating system and applications squeezed into such a minimal system would be severely compromised. Not so.
With a 433 Mhz CPU you have to expect some delays, however with Puppy the responsiveness is mostly immediate. Everything happens in a fraction of a second, and it feels like a 2GHz CPU running XP. The big applications do, however, need a bit of time to load.
He also includes startup times for some common applications, including a speedy 12 seconds for Mozilla Seamonkey and 10 seconds for Inkscape SVG.
Desktop Linux has more.