How to do a Frugal Puppy Linux 4.3.1 Install to a new Hard disk


Whilst I love Puppy Linux for its speed and ease of use, installing it as a Frugal install to a new hard disk requires a disproportionate number of ‘hoops’ to jump through to get the distribution to work correctly.

The following tutorial attempts to take you through the install, hopefully without the pain!

A. Boot of the Puppy Linux 4.3.1 ‘Live’ CD

B. Run GParted to partition the hard disk

  1. Right click on the desktop, from the displayed menu choose System > GParted Partition Manager
  2. GParted will run.
  3. Select the empty hard disk and create a New EXT2 partition, label it Puppy
  4. Exit GParted once the partition is created

C. Install GRUB Boot Loader

  1. Right click on the desktop and from the menu choose System > GRUB Boot Loader
  2. Select Simple, click OKay and follow the on screen instructions, specifying the disk you wish the boot loaded to be installed to, normally /dev/sda1, but this may vary depending on your PC.
  3. Choose option 3 (MBR Install) when asked where to install GRUB. Unfortunately for a new hard disk without an existing boot loader, choosing option 1 will leave you with a non boot-able hard disk.
  4. GRUB will install and you will get a success screen. Click OKay.
  5. Now because GRUB can be an absolute pain, especially if you are new to using it, reboot Puppy Linux (choose DO NOT SAVE) and remove the Live CD. You should get the default GRUB boot menu on restart.
  6. If successful, reboot the PC off the Puppy Linux ‘Live’ CD.

D. Install Puppy Linux

  1. Right click on the desktop and from the menu choose Setup > Puppy universal installer
  2. Select Internal (IDE or SATA) hard drive and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Select the hard disk you wish to install to, in this example it is SDA, click OKay.
  4. The install should see your partition created in B above, If so click the icon to the right of Install Puppy to sda1.
  5. You will be given with a warning message confirming your selection. If happy, click OKay and follow the instructions.
  6. When asked on the type of install, choose FRUGAL, then follow the on screen instructions, accepting the defaults.
  7. Once complete you will be displayed a window showing the settings required for GRUB. Click OKay to the message, you will get another window confirming installation is complete. Click OKay

E. Configuring GRUB

  1. Run Edit (Geany) and open the configuration text file /tmp/NEWGRUBTEXT.
  2. On the desktop right click on disk SDA1 and select Puppy Drive Mounter. Mount the drive.
  3. Navigate to the boot/grub folder and find the menu.lst file. This file contains the GRUB configuration. Click on it to open it in Edit.
  4. Find the comment titled #Linux bootable partition config begins, and the corresponding comment #Linux bootable partition config ends. Delete all text between these two comments.
  5. Paste the text in /tmp/NEWGRUBTEXT into the space created in 4 above.
  6. Save menu.lst, close Edit and quit Puppy Drive Mounter.

F. Re-Boot and test

  1. Reboot Puppy Linux
  2. As you have booted off the ‘Live’ CD, you will be asked whether you want to <SAVE TO FILE>, select this option. Then select all the defaults, in subsequent menus.
  3. At the end Puppy will reboot, remove the CD.
  4. The PC should successfully boot into Puppy Linux. It will then allow you to “localise” the installation. Once localised, reboot.
  5. You will again run through the <SAVE TO FILE> options as in F.2. repeat. This will be the last time you will be asked for these settings.
  6. Puppy Linux is now installed.

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11 thoughts on “How to do a Frugal Puppy Linux 4.3.1 Install to a new Hard disk

  1. the above process is all “Greek” to a newbie. When will geeks learn to “walk” those who would like to install Puppy on hard drive through the process! Two options to install..entire hard drive or partition. don’t give a rat’s ass what to call the file or where it goes. Just want to install the damn thing!

  2. Thanks for the comment. Just to clear up a few matters:

    1. I’m not a geek! “geeks” don’t write documentation targeted at the average computer user.
    2. When writing documentation, before you start you have to make a few decisions A) Do I want to assume the person reading the article knows absolutely nothing and therefore hold their hand for every step of the journey, explaining everything in great detail or B) assume the person reading the article has a reasonable understanding of IT and is prepared to learn and experiment on their journey, asking sensible questions along the way. Over the many years of writing computer documentation, I’ve learnt that the former does not work, because the “newbie” is put off before they start as long winded documentation is off putting as at first sight it looks complicated, even though it isn’t. So my documentation, reasonably concise, is aimed at the average user and from all the positive comments I’ve had back I think I’ve struck the right balance. I’m sorry it doesn’t suite your style of learning.

    3. Your comment is also contradictory, one moment you want to be walked through the process in great detail, the next your just want to get on and install the software not caring a “rat’s ass” about detail. Unfortunately, when the install fails, its the details like file names and locations which determine whether you have to start again or find the cause of the problem and learn from your mistakes.

    4. I don’t write the software, and I’m not responsible for how stupid or difficult it is to install. Hopefully my guides help make that process easier.

    5. Finally, like Puppy Linux, I don’t charge you for reading my blog, it’s free! It is your choice whether you wish to read it or not. I’m happy to try to help if people get stuck. I have a day job working in IT and I write my blogs in my spare time because I have gained a lot from Linux and IT over the years and would like to pay back the community by helping others.

    However, I do ask that those seeking help show some respect and are polite. If you have learnt nothing else from reading my blog, then I hope you learnt how to ask people for help more politely in the future.

    1. Sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been on holiday in Italy for a few weeks.

      The reason why I didn’t post the newgrubtext contents is that it is PC specific, being dependent on the partition layout of your hard disk.

      Never heard of gag so I can’t comment. I used to use LILO many years ago before GRUB became popular. I have to admit that I don’t like editing GRUB files as they are so easy to break.

  3. festa agosto.
    it did not take long to re-install.
    I am also trying AntiX as I want something that boots of a 8 gig hd in an old computer .

  4. Thank you very much for the guide.
    My installation has worked perfectly, I just followed your instructions word-for-word.
    I had done quite a few searches for such a guide and in my opinion yours is the best out there. Well done!

  5. A follow-up comment, now that I have done a little bit of investigating of my installed Puppy.

    By the way, during the GParted process, after ‘apply’-ing the changes that then creates the partition, I chose to ‘manage flags’ and tick the ‘boot’ option.
    You didn’t mention this in your guide, but I had read it in so many other places that I just did it.
    So my question to you is whether it is really necessary or not?

    In part F.2. when we accept all the default suggestions as the system closes down, at one point we therefore give an instruction for the pup-431.sfs file to be saved to the HDD (the shutdown process suggests that it will speed up the boot process in the future.
    After completing the installation I had a look at the contents of my HDD and see 2 copies of pup-431.sfs:
    (1) one sitting in the base of the HDD, ie /mnt/home,
    (2) one sitting within the puppy431 folder which I imagine was created by the installation (since it also contains the initrd.gz and vmlinuz files).

    On seeing these two copies, my guess was that we could actually have said a ‘no’ to the question in part F.2. where it asks to save pup-431.sfs to the HDD.
    My understanding is that question was really for the cases where you are not installing, but just a time-saver when you run from the CD.
    However, when I left-click on either of the files I get a message saying “Sorry, /mnt/home/pup-431.sfs is already mounted and in-use by Puppy” (or “Sorry, /mnt/home/puppy431/pup-431.sfs is already mounted and in-use by Puppy” for the other).
    So it seems that _both_ are in use?

    Well, in the name of producing a ‘minimal’ installation I ran through the whole process again but at point F.2. I said ‘no’ to saving the file, then followed all your instructions exactly.
    As I imagined, the installation worked and my HDD looks cleaner — there is only one copy of pup-431.sfs within the puppy431 folder.
    Seems better. What do you think?

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