Release notes for Puppy Linux version 2.12

This is a radical new version of Puppy ...but then, every release is! The greatest news for 2.12 is the support for a huge range of kernel modules, using a new "fetch on demand" system. There are also exciting new mini-applications developed by Puppy-enthusiasts. Release notes:

New kernel. I'm very pleased with this kernel. My daughter's PC no longer powered-off after Puppy moved from a 2.4 to a 2.6 kernel, but this is now fixed (some others also reported this on the forum -- hopefully they also will be pleasantly surprised). A few months ago, I bought a new PC with a 160GB SATA hard drive, so that I can test SATA support, however the kernel and SATA drivers did not recognise it -- once again, fixed.
I have been booting the new Puppy on all the old PCs I can find, so far with 100% success.

Fetch-on-demand module loading. To understand how this works, examine the 'modprobe' executable. I have renamed the original executable to 'modprobe.bin' and /sbin/modprobe is now a script. The files 'modules.dep.', 'modules.isapnpmap.' and 'modules.pcimap.' in /lib/modules/ are copies of those generated by 'depmod -a' when I compiled the kernel and all of the modules -- so, these files have information about the complete set of modules contained in 'zdrv_212.sfs'. The 'modprobe' script will look to see if a module is local and if not will read these dependency files to see if the module and its dependencies are in the "zdrv" file and if so will fetch them.
The "zdrv" file also has firmware, executables, documentation and post-install script optionally associated with each module. This information is in 'firmware.deps.' in /lib/modules. You can see how this information is used by reading the 'modprobe' script, however to find out how the "zdrv" file is constructed you need to have Puppy Unleashed.

Bitstream Vera fonts. I've recently been educating myself about international language support in fonts. I'm still very ignorant, but the situation is improving. This release of Puppy has Bitstream Vera fonts, however I have come to know of derivatives such as 'Hunky' and 'DejaVu' that have improved international support -- so one of these may be in 2.13.

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:

The next Puppy
As always, there are heaps of things still to do. Lots of projects underway and some quite mature. I am deferring improved PCMCIA support yet again, hopefully arriving for v2.13. We very much need to upgrade Gimp-Print to the latest Gutenprint, however I want to investigate printing fairly thoroughly and to do it justice I didn't want to rush it into v2.12 -- again, targetting this for v2.13. MU has improved package installers. Some excellent collaborative work has been done on the Forum to support an encrypted pup_save.3fs file, but I got the impression the guys would like to work on it a bit more, so have held that over to further consideration for v2.13. I will probably extract the Xorg drivers to the "zdrv" file, leaving just the vesa and i810 drivers in the pup_213.sfs file -- and have automatic fetch-on-demand. Jason and Dougal have got the GTK2 version of Xdialog to work properly, and that's a definite goer for 2.13. Probably many more things to do that I can't think of right now.
Note that v2.12 has established a new base system that we will stick with for sometime. That is, we will stay with the same kernel version and we will keep refining the "zdrv" meachanism. So look toward the next few releases of Puppy as being consolidation of the status-quo and focussed on refinement and improvement of the user experience.

If you examine the release history, you will see we are on a pretty tight schedule, a new Puppy every 4 - 6 weeks. These releases are all major improvements too, not little piddly changes. Hopefully I can keep steamrolling ahead with this intense activity, though I do want another holiday in January-February, this time heading North into the arid inland of Western Australia -- but look what happened last time I took a holiday, kept working on Puppy!

Best regards,
Barry Kauler, November 2006

Package list for v2.12:

0rootfs_skeleton-2.1.2 915resolution-0.5.2 abiword-2.4.5 afpl_ghostscript-8.54 agenda-2.0 alsa_lib-1.0.11 alsa_utils-1.0.11 atk-1.11.4 audiofile-0.2.6 autocutsel-0.7.1 autologin-1 axel-1.0a bash-3.0.16 bbc_provided-2003 bc-1.06 bcrypt-1.1 blinky-0.8 boehm_gc-6.6 bubbles-1.0.2a busybox-1.01 bwidget-1.3.1 bzip2-1.0.3 cairo-1.0.4 cdp-0.33.13 cdparanoia-3.a9.8 cdrtools-2.01.01a10 cgtkcalc-2.1.6 combobox-2.3 coreutils-5.2.1 countdown-2003.10.27 cpio-2.6 curl-7.15.3 db1-1.85 dhcpcd-1.3.22 dialog-0.9b dict-1.4.9 didiwiki-0.5 diffutils-2.8.1 dillo-0.8.6teki-mu disktype-8 dnotify-0.18.0 dosfstools-2.11 dotpup_downloader-mu05 dotpuphandler-3.1 dvdauthor-0.6.12patched dvd+rwtools-5.21 e2fsprogs-1.38 e3-2.7.0 ed-0.2 edid-1.4.1 eject-2.1.0 elspci-0.1 expat-2.0.0 eznet-1 ffmpeg-2005-11-20 file-4.17 findutils-4.2.22 fragger-0.0.5 freememapplet-1.2.1 freetype-2.1.10 fribidi-0.10.7 ftp-1.2 fuse-2.5.3 gaim-1.5.0 gawk-3.1.5 gbase-0.5 gcc-3.4.4 gcombust-0.1.55.pup1 gcrontab-0.8.0 gdbm-1.8.3 gdk_pixbuf10-0.22.0 gdkxft-1.5 gdmap-0.7.5 geany-0.8 gemgame-2003 getdir-2006 gettext-0.14.5 gftp-2.0.18 gifsicle-1.40 gimp_print-4.2.7 gkdial-1.5.14patched glib12-1.2.10 glib-2.10.2 glibc-2.3.5 gnumeric-1.6.3 gnumeric_PLUGINS-1.6.3 goffice-0.2.1 gparted-0.2.4_STATIC_GTKMM gpasman-1.3.1 grabc-1.1 grep-2.5.1 grub-0.97 gsview-4.7 gtail-0.5a gtimer-1.1.6 gtk+12-1.2.10 gtk+-2.8.17 gtkcat-0.1patched gtkdialog-0.58.8 gtkdialog-0.59.8 gtkdiff-0.7.0 gtkfind-1.0.1 gtkfish-1.0.1 gtksee-0.6.0b-1 gtk_shell-1.03 gxine-0.5.7 gxmessage-2.6.2 gxset-0.3 gzip-1.3.5 hdparm-6.6 hotplug-1.4 ical-2.3.1patched ifplugd-0.18 ifplugd-0.28 img-1.2.4 imlib-1.9.15 inkscapelite-0.36.2 iptables-1.3.5 isomaster-0.5 jwm-1.8rc4 jwmconfig- kbd-1.12 kp-1.0 lame-3.96.1 lcms-1.14 leafpad-0.8.1 less-382 libao-0.8.6 libart_lgpl23-2.3.17 libdaemon-0.8 libdvdcss-1.2.9 libdvdplay-1.0.1 libdvdread-0.9.6 libexif-0.6.13 libexif_gtk-0.3.5 libghttp10-1.0.9 libgif-4.1.4 libglade-2.5.1 libgnomecanvas-2.14.0 libgnomeprint-2.12.1 libgnomeprintui-2.12.1 libgsf-1.14.1 libhardware-20060723 libid3tag-0.15.1b libidl-0.8.6 libidn-0.6.2 libieee1284-0.2.8 libjpeg-6b libmad-0.15.1b libmng-1.0.9 libogg-1.1.3 libpng-1.2.8 libsamplerate-0.1.2 libsigc++-2.0.17 libsndfile-1.0.16 libstdc++-5.0.6 libtiff-3.7.4 libusb-0.1.11 libvorbis-1.1.2 libxaw95-1.1.4 libxml-2.6.26 libxslt-1.1.15 libzvt-2.0.1 linneighborhood-0.6.5patched linux_firewall-2.0rc9 madplay-0.15.2b memtester-2.93.1 metamail-2.7 mimencode-2.7 mini_volume-0.3 minixcal-1.1 mktemp-1.5 ml-2000 modem_stats-1.0.1 module_init_tools-3.2.2 mp-3.3.7 mtools-3.9.10 mtoolsfm-1.9 mtpaint-3.01 mut-0.1.1 ncurses-5.4 ndiswrapper-1.26 nenscript-1.13.3 netpbm-1.0.33 net_setup-2.12.2 net_tools-1.60 ntfs_3g-20060920beta ntfsprogs-1.13.0 nullhttpd-0.5.1 openssh-4.3p2 openssl-0.9.8b orbit2-2.14.0 pango-1.12.2 parted- pbcdripper-1.5 pbrename-0.3 pciutils-2.1.11 pcmcia_cs-3.2.8 pcmciautils-012 pcre-6.6 pdq-2.2.1 perl-5.8.8tiny perl_digest_sha1-2.10 perl_html_parser-3.51 picocom-1.2 popt-1.7 ppp-2.4.3 pptp_linux-1.5.0 psmisc-22.2 pstoedit-3.44 pupdvdtool-0.3 puppybackground-2.1.1 puppybasic-2.5 puppyserialdetect-1.0 pureftpd-1.0.22 qiv-2.0 rdesktop-1.4.1 readline-5.1 regexpviewer-0.1 reiserfsprogs-3.6.19 remotedesktopclient-0.1 rexgrep-1.2 ripperx-2.6.0 rox_puppy- rp_pppoe-3.7patched rubix-1.03 rutilt-0.12 rxvt-2.6.4 samba-3.0.22 scale2x-2.0 seamonkey-1.0.4_SVG sed-4.1.4 setserial-2.17 setvol-1.1 sockspy-2.5 sox-12.18.1 sqlite-3.3.5 squashfs_tools-3.1r2 ssh_gui-0.7.1 stat-5.0 sudo-1.6.8p12 superscan-0.8 sweep-0.9.1 sysfsutils-2.0.0 syslinux-3.11 tar-1.15.1 tcl-8.5a4nothreads test-1 tightvnc-1.2.9 time-1.7 tinylogin-1.4 tk-8.5a4nothreads tkconvert-1.3 tkdvd-4.0.3.pup1 tkfont-1.1patched tkgamma-1.0 tkmines-1999 transmission-0.5 turma-0.1 unclutter-0.8-11 unionfs-20060916 unrar-3.4.3 unzip-552 uri-1.1.3 usbview-1.0 util_linux-2.12q uxplor-0.26patched vamps-0.99.2 vobcopy-1.0.0 wag-0.3.2 wavemon-2002 wavplay-1.4 wget-1.10.2 wireless_tools-28 wmpower-0.3.1 wmsm-0.2.0 wvdial-1.42 xarchive-0.2.8-6 xcut-0.2 xdialog-2.1.1 xfinans-5.9y2k xfreecd- xine_lib-1.1.1 xlockmore-5.20.1patched xnetload-1.11.3 xnetstrength-0.4.2 xorg_BASIC-7.0 xorg_VIDEO_DRVRS-7.0 xproc-1.2 xrun-0.2.3 xtmix-0.4 xvesa-4.3.0v2-xkbd xwconfig-0 xwget-0.4.1 xwhois-0.4.2 xwifibar-0 ycalc-1.09.1 zip-231 zlib-1.2.3