The PULP Desktop in Detail

4 06 2009

After booting up PULP and answering a few basic questions about your hardware you should see the PULP desktop.
desktop0Notice the lack of desktop icons. They are not supported. Implementing them the way stock Puppy linux does would cost you about 6 MB RAM. On a Distro that is geared towards older hardware, perhaps with only 32 MB Ram total- this would be unacceptable, so desktop icons had to go.  To make up for the lack of the icons you have a quick launch bar besides the Main Menu.

desktop2The menu is accessed by clicking the yellow ball button in the lower left, or just right click anywere on the desktop.

desktop31: Opens the main menu
2: minimizes all windows and shows a blank desktop
3: Opens a Terminal
4: Opens the firefox webbrowser
5: Opens the emeFM File Manager
6: Opens the Puppy mont tool for acessing USB- thumbdrives, CD, DVD, harddrives etc.
7: Opens a Text editor
If you can’t remember which is which, just hover over the button a second or two with the mouse pointer and a tooltip will show up.
On the right side of the task bar you get a volume adjuster, a battery monitor and a clock.

The volume adjuster is controlled by keyboard. Use the up and down key to raise and lower the Volume, use left and right to change the sliders. Press ‚m‘ to mute or unmute.
The battery monitor is a simple output of /proc/apm. The last two numbers are of interest here. The second to last one tells you how much juice is left in your battery in percent. The last number is an estimation of how long your computer will run under battery (At least on my old laptops with a shot battery, these might be horribly wrong sometimes, so buyer beware…).
The clock only shows you only the hours and the minutes to save on screen real estate, the tooltip, which pops up when you hover over the clock for a second or two contains all the info you want, date, time, day of the week etc.

Have fun with PULP,


Howto: Use emelFM like a pro

2 06 2009

In the spirit of Kmandla the guru of commandline computing, I figured that a few hints on the usage of PULP is in order, so here is the first tutorial in he series:

Figuring that there are a lot of older computers still around that could be made useable again by a gnu/linux operating system. Even more so by variants like Pulp which are specially built for older hardware. While the mainstream gnu/linux systems are incredibly easy to install and use, the speed of PULP comes at first glance at the cost of ease of use (not functionality though). This is due to the speedy, but older apps. Some of the apps used in PULP were developed when Pentium I computers where considered high- end or haven’t even existed yet.

One of those apps is the default file manager: EMELFM.
Emelfm is very powerful, and when you got used to it you will be faster than with ROX (the default filemanager of stock puppy linux).

If you are familiar with ROX and desperately need it (e.g. to mount an isofile or a .sfs file) then you can start it by opening a terminal and typing ‚rox‘.

emelfm1OK, here’s a screenshot of a typical emelfm session. You see the so called two pane layout. For seasoned users who used Norton commander it should look familiar, also, If you know Norton commander this tutoral probably is a waste of time for you. Younger users probably see this the first time and If you don’t know what to do next, you are exactly in the same position I was a couple of weeks before.
Let me show you around:
You see two folders side by side. One is independent from the other. To navigate around simply double click the folder (there are no symbols, but a folder is in blue text, while ordinary files are black, executables seem to be green) you want to have a look into and bingo there you are. To go up a directory double click on the ../ file in the current folder or the yellow folder button besides the adress bar.

Basic file Operations:

Copy/ Move/SymLink etc:
To copy stuff in emelfm from one folder to another you navigate to the original file in let’s say the left panel. Then you navigate to the target folder in the right panel. Highlight the file(s) you want to copy in the left folder and press the big Copy (or Move, or SymLink) button in the middle. That’s it, you are done. Of course you can copy from the right to the left panel too.

generates a new directory in the active folder

after asking you for the new name, it renames the highlighted file/folder

Here you can do just about everything you want:
Specify filetypes and what to do with them, add special user commands that will show up when you right click files, change colours

I highlighted a few buttons in the screenshot above. We start in the upper left corner and go clockwise.
H- Button: this toggles the ’show hidden files‘. T he same can be achieved by pressing ctrl+ h, press the button again and the ‚hidden‘ files are hidden again.
yellow folder button: This button brings you to the directory above the current one.
Bookmarks: Almost self explaining nowadays. Instead of clicking through the whole directory tree you can have a couple of paths in a bookmark menu- conveniently at your fingertips the whole time. The Add Bookmark button adds the current path to your bookarks, the Edit Bookmark button lets you edit, remove etc. your bookmarks. Of course you can always type in the desired path to your file in the addressbar.

Toolbar buttons:
Edit button: In the lower left corner there is a button called Editor. If you click on it, it will open the currently highlighted file in an Editor.
Console button. It opens a console in the currently active Directory. Right beside it are some other programs that might come in handy sometime. Play with it. You can easily add or remove custom commands. Just click on the configure button in the middle. The section of interest then is called ‚Toolbar buttons‘.

commandline prompt:
for the advanced user it might be good to know that there is a built in commandline prompt. You don’t have to open a terminal in the current directory, just type whatever you want in the input field right beside the ‚root@puppypc‘. The output is just above of that.

Of course most of this stuff can also be done by keypresses, for a list of the keybindings look under Configure- Key Bindings.

Hope that helps with your first steps with PULP. Have fun, and if you need further Information or clarification – feel free to leave a comment.

PULP 0.03 is out

4 05 2009

Just finished PULP 0.03.

I started from scratch and did a complete rewrite.

The first version had a lot of dead weight because I tried out a lot of applications during the building process. After the uninstalling them, a lot of garbage seemed to be left behind and I ended with lots of libs and stuff nobody really could use anymore.

Some applications didn’t make it into this version eg. wordgrinder, xhippo, cmus etc. Mostly because on second thought I realized that I wouldn’t use them anyways. Also, a lot of proggies were redundant (pfind- gtkfind etc.). Nano is out, the stock MP console editor is just fine.

Ted and wordgrinder are gone, but Siag office is now onboard.  It’s somewhat more complete than Ted.

I left firepup out. Firepup is a firefox 1.5 with security updates up to version 3.0. Curtesy of tuuxxxx (puppy linux forum member).

To compensate this I now give you firefox 2.0 compiled with gtk 1.2. It’s just as fast as firepup. I got this firefox from here. I had to use flash version 7 with it, because anything newer would crash this firefox. It’s not the newest flash player, but don’t worry though, youtube plays just fine. Considering the computers this puplet is aimed at, flash player is a non- essential anyways. I included a plugin for downloading flash videos. They can be viewed with mplayer offline, a lot less resource hungry way.

The new image viewer is xzvg. Fewer bells and whistles than xnview, but hopefully not closed source, couldn’t find a project homepage. Faster than xnview, too.

For pdf- viewing I included xpdf 3.1. renders not as nice as newer versions but is faster.

The games section has shrinked a bit.

Last but not least, PULP is much nicher to look at now. I made a new jwm theme. It looks a bit vistaish. To be frank, I’m not sure it’s the new theme, probably I just got used to the ugliness of X and gtk 1.2 apps.

Since I heavily edited the jwm config file, the gui configurators don’t work no more. You have to configure your themes by hand. Follow this guide- it ain’t that hard. The theme config file is jwmrc-theme and can be found in /root/.jwm/ . You can also replace jwmrc-theme with some of the preconfigured themefiles in /root/.jwm/themes.


PULP 0.03 rename the .doc to .iso as usual.

md5sum: 6a630a82e966ea5f030e08528636adc4  pulp_0.03.iso

PULP and what it’s all about

29 04 2009

PULP is yet another linux distro based on Puppy linux ( ) and aimed for older computers. It runs well on my Pentium II 300 MHz 128 MB RAM.

Here’s a link to the PULP building thread in the incredibly helpful Puppy help forums:

There I explain a bit what I did with Puppy and what makes PULP faster than stock Puppy Linux.

PULP- the ultralight puplet

28 04 2009

World this is PULP, PULP this is the world.

OK, my little Linux version is finished. It is based on Puppy Linux barebones 4.12. Many thanks to all the contributors for doing the heavy lifting. All I did was adding a couple of  old, fast applications.

If you download the file below, rename the .doc to .iso burn it to a cd and off you go.


md5sum: 84eb7006a3aa3e26fe54f6ec89312e3e

Have fun with it.

Hallo Welt!

26 07 2008

Flusslinie bekommt Nachwuchs. Da der Mensch von Grund auf faul ist, hat nun einen Blog bekommen. Es wird ein wenig um Ausrüstung, Reisen und Computer gehen. Viel Spaß.