I tried Puppy once. I didn't like it much, as it had some huge and obvious design flaws. Designs flaws like:
- Everything runs as root, and it's very hard to set up a limited user account. This makes Puppy about as secure as Windows XP.
- No binary software updates are provided. Given that the desktop already runs as root, this makes Puppy about as secure as Windows XP SP2 without any updates... Or HIPS, or sandboxing software, or antivirus.
- Package management in general is not sane at all. Current Puppy is based on Ubuntu... But uses its own package manager, and additionally its own special format for some packages. And more obnoxiously, the package management GUI has a "trim the fat" option that removes files from installed packages, as if that is an efficient way to save HDD space.
- The "user friendly" interface... isn't. Now I will give Mr. Kauler that he did a good job making JWM more usable... Grats on that. But while Rox is a nice file manager, it is not friendly to beginners at all. (Especially with all outstanding missing features - no batch overwrites, no batch copy/paste, etc.) The volume management scripts often required reboots to recognize USB drives. And I had serious trouble making the installer work properly. I'm assuming that was due to my inability to figure it out, as opposed to bugs in the program.
- Which brings me to... The installation process. You get two options, "frugal" and "full." Frugal is basically sticking the compressed live image and kernel on a partition, with the bootloader pointing to them. Full is what it sounds like, decompressing the image to the partition. Surprisingly, the frugal install is recommended... Because the full install requires you to immediately reinstall a long list of packages after booting into it. OTOH, you won't gain any benefit from a full install (no binary updates, yay), so if you really wish to give this unfortunate pooch a home on your hard drive, you might as well do it frugally.
- But all that doesn't begin to cover the most obnoxious thing about it... The cutesy. This OS looks like it was designed by kids for kids. Various dog-shaped icons festoon the desktop and the filesystem. It even barks at you the first time it boots to the desktop. The Windows XP Luna (aka "Blue, Green, and Orange Clown Suit") theme? That has nothing on Puppy.
As for the community... Well, I know there are a few fruitcakes in it, but I think most such communities contain at least one fruitcake. Based on what little I know, I'm not placing any blame on them.
The distro itself, though, barely qualifies as Linux.