Release notes for Puppy Linux version 2.17.1

Another wonderful new Puppy! The 'standard' release is puppy-2.17.1-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso live-CD and is 82.6MB. There is one thing that stands out from reading the release notes, and that is the major advances with hardware support -- which astounds even me, considering that version 2.16 was released barely 2 months ago. Yes, everything listed below is in that 82.6MB!

Release notes:
Note: Many people contributed to the above, and you will find names in the "Read more" links. There are also many testers who remain unsung heroes. I would like to send out a special thank-you to you guys. Also special thanks to Raffy, Lobster, Puppian and others who look after the community wiki. Also a special thanks to Kapetanakis Giannis for providing a mirror host site for the Puppy files on ibiblio (more).

Dialup modem detection and setup. If you have a hardware modem, it should work fine. If you have a soft-modem, which is most modern internal modem cards or on-motherboard modems, then Puppy will auto-detect if it is potentially usable by Puppy. When you start PupDial, there is a message whether a modem was detected or not -- if your modem was detected then it is potentially usable, otherwise it probably isn't. I use the word "potentially" because getting it to actually work can be very difficult with some soft-modems.
Puppy does try to auto-configure, but may not get it right, and so far only a few testers have worked on this -- see my news blog and the forum for success/fail reports so far.
An example of one fail report is an 'mwave' modem in an IBM Thinkpad. Puppy has the driver and all firmware and executables to get this going, and there is a startup script in /etc/init.d, but I don't have the hardware to test it. This is an example where someone is needed to dig in and find out what needs to be fixed for it to work.
When we do get a fix, we can put it permanently into Puppy.
Note, you may get lucky -- I have an ESS modem that worked out-of-the-box. Another person reported the same immediate success with a Trust MD1100 internal modem (more) (these are currently available, so if you're looking for a Linux-compatible PCI modem, this one looks like a goer). Somone else reported that he just had to uncheck the "Check dialtone" checkbox in PupDial and his modem worked.
So, testers wanted, and we'll turn this pup into the best distro for dialup users!

Upgrading from earlier version of Puppy. No problem. If you run Puppy from live-CD, just boot the new CD and Puppy will automatically perform any required upgrading of your personal storage file/partition (usually pup_save.2fs file).
For USB or frugal-hd installations, just copy the latest files (vmlinuz, initrd.gz, pup_217.sfs and zdrv_217.sfs) to the USB or hd boot media.
If you have already tested an earlier experimental, alpha or beta of v2.17, it is extremely important that you get rid of any old pup_217.sfs and zdrv_217.sfs files that may be found alongside the "pup_save" file on the hard drive (in /mnt/home). I strongly recommend that you boot an old version of Puppy or a different operating system to do this -- or, you can boot the new CD with the boot parameter "puppy pfix=ram". After you have removed these old files, boot Puppy 2.17 live-CD and type the boot parameter "puppy pfix=clean" , so that a proper upgrade of the latest version will occur. If you want to be extra cautious, make a backup of the pup_save.2fs file before upgrading!

My Developer News Blog. If you want more details about all of the above, and learn day by day how it all unfolded, at a very personal level, then please go here:

Download. If you want to obtain the latest Puppy live-CD, or the "devx" module, that turns Puppy into a complete C/C++ compiler environment, or the patched kernel source, please go to the Puppy download page for links:

Note, file 'devx_217.sfs' is what we call a SFS module, which is a "combo-pack" of applications in a single file. It can be loaded at bootup and you instantly have all the apps "installed". Or, not load it at bootup and all the apps are immediately "uninstalled". Normally, you just download a SFS file to /mnt/home then reboot Puppy, and it automatically loads.

A note on the kernel source: If you want to compile a module, or a package that needs to reference the kernel source, we have the kernel source available as an SFS file. Download 'devx_217.sfs' and 'kernel-src_217.sfs' to /mnt/home then reboot Puppy and you're in business (that's how simple SFS files are to use, but note you can manage loading of SFS files by running the BootManager (System menu)). Get the official SFS files from here:

History. To get a better sense of how Puppy has evolved, it is helpful to read the release notes for earlier versions.
Puppy v2.16:
Puppy v2.14:
Puppy v2.13:
Puppy v2.12:
Puppy v2.11:

Best regards,
Barry Kauler and the Puppy Team