logo Quirky Werewolf 64-bit 7.3

Quirky 7.2.x  "April" series is compiled completely from source using T2. Quirky 7.3 is the start of the "Werewolf" series, built with binary DEB packages from the Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf repositories.

It must be emphasised that the mere fact of using Ubuntu DEBs does not make Quirky a clone of Ubuntu. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Quirky Werewolf behaves just like the April series, with the one difference that packages can be installed from the Ubuntu DEB repositories. The binary compatibility with Ubuntu offers a huge collection of packages, which is the main attraction of this series.

However, some functionality of Ubuntu is castrated, such as systemd. These differences may mean that some Ubuntu DEBs may not work properly (but the vast majority should be fine).

Installation and saving

Quirky is mostly intended for full installations, to hard drive partition or removable drive. The live-CD is intended for evaluation of Quirky and to perform a full install, however with version 7.3, ongoing daily usage of the live-CD, instead of installing, is quite viable.

The same can be said for frugal installations. This is installation to a folder, in any partition, and is a long-time favourite of Puppy Linux users. Quirky frugal installations work like the live-CD and have the same limitations, but again, with 7.3 have become viable for on-going usage.

In a nutshell, the live-CD and frugal installation run totally in RAM, which makes them very fast. They do have the limitation however, that downloads, installed packages, caches, etc, must all fit in available RAM space.
Quirky 7.3 has greatly improved this situation, using zram (compressed RAM device).

The live-CD and frugal install now offer these features:
  1. More space available in RAM due to zram compression.
  2. Session saving to file on hard-drive, with automatic file size increase.
  3. Fast bootup
Regarding point-1, on my laptop specified as "4G RAM", running from live-CD or frugal shows 5.2GB free space. This is the amount of space available for my downloads, apps, caches, etc. This is quite a respectable amount of storage.

Regarding point-2, Puppy Linux users will know about the "save file" of a frugal installation, and the need to resize it. With Quirky, resizing is automatic.

The Quirky live-CD has been slow to bootup, as everything has to be loaded into RAM. However, after saving a session to a hard-drive file, subsequent bootups are fast -- I get 24 seconds to desktop fully loaded, on my laptop.

It should be added also, the incredible advantage of running in RAM: speed. Apps start instantly. Even the bloated SeaMonkey starts in 1 second.


Some further clarifications about running from the live-CD. You will see two icons on the desktop labeled "install" and "save".
The latter offers two options for saving a session: remaster the CD, or save to a file on the hard-drive.

The remaster option is for those who only want to burn a CD preconfigured for internet (etc) and maybe with some extra apps installed, and not save sessions afterward.

The second option will save the session as a file on the hard-drive, any partition will do, and it will be automatically loaded at next bootup. Subsequently, clicking the "save" icon will save the session to the file.
Thus, you run in RAM and only save a session if you want to, which may be considered as a great security feature. This can also be configured to ask at shutdown.

Version 7.3

I have only released a 64-bit build, for Pentium i686 class CPUs and later. Some early Pentium-class CPUs are 32-bit only, so will not work.

The Linux kernel is 4.2.5, SeaMonkey is 2.38. For a full list of packages, look at file 'woof-installed-packages' in folder /root/.packages in the running Quirky.

The live-CD is for booting on BIOS-firmware PCs, so for UEFI-firmware PCs, "legacy mode" has to be enabled. It is on my to-do list to make the live-CD fully UEFI-friendly.

However, if you install to USB stick or SD-card, it will be bootable on both UEFI and BIOS PCs. Without needing legacy mode.

More information

Please go to my blog for development reports and announcements:


Barry Kauler
November 11, 2015