PAST MONTH, we described how to resurrect an old laptop using Puppy Linux as the operating system. Puppy runs fast, even on old hardware, and is just the shot as an OS for machines that would otherwise finish up in landfill.
In the course of preparing that article, we decided to resurrect an old laptop that had once belonged to the daughter of one of the SILICON CHIP staff members. This 6-year old machine is a Compaq Presario M2000 running an AMD Sempron 3000 processor, 512MB of RAM and Windows XP.
Fig.1 (above): set the menu timeout value and comment out the hiddenmenu line in Ubuntu's /boot/grub/menu.lst file if setting up a dual-boot Ubuntu/Puppy system. Fig.2 (right): how the Puppy boot lines are added to menu.lst.
Well, it used to run Windows XP but somehow this had become kaput. It was taking an age to load and had become so corrupted that it would take several minutes just for the fly-up menu to appear after the Start button was clicked.
Cleaning up the disk debris and running a registry checker did improve things somewhat but it was clearly beyond redemption. So why not ditch Windows altogether and install Linux? In fact, why stop at just one flavour of Linux?
To cut a long story short, we ended up installing both Ubuntu Linux and Puppy Linux as a dual-boot set-up. Ubuntu was installed first into one partition and then Puppy was installed into a second partition. Ubuntu’s boot menu file (/boot/menu.lst) was then modified to add Puppy as one of the boot options.
How to you do that? Easy – Puppy recognises the Ubuntu install and tells you what lines to add to Ubuntu’s /boot/menu.lst file. While you’re at it, you also have to comment out the hiddenmenu line and change the timeout entry to suit – eg, seven seconds (Fig.1).