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Zenwalk 5: A Distribution Worth Trying

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  • Zenwalk 5: A Distribution Worth Trying

    Phoronix: Zenwalk 5: A Distribution Worth Trying

    While Ubuntu Linux continues to grow -- in both popularity and new advancements for the Linux ecosystem -- and dance in the limelight, it isn't the choice for everybody. For those that may still be searching for their right Linux mate, Zenwalk 5.0 is a distribution worth trying out. Previously we have referred to Zenwalk as an unsung hero among Linux distributions and with the forthcoming 5.0 release it asserts a very well rounded Xfce desktop.

  • #2
    Yeah I've tried this distro and I'll say it flat out. It rocks. I like Slackware but there was always something lacking in it for me, and I've always used Debian as my main choice. But that may change as I play with Zenwalk in VMware it just grows to me. I'll wait till 5.0 final comes out and maybe I'll throw it in and have it take the spotlight on my machine. I love netpkg as I hate having to compile every single thing that I add to my machine and they have a nice complete repository.

    Try it out, grab Virtualbox or something and give it a shot, its a really nice distro.


    • #3
      What package system does this distro use? Does it have an auto-update feature? A package repository? I think these are fundamental questions any linux user would like to know when they are wanting to make the leap into a new distro... Please explain.


      • #4
        Seeing this used Xfce i thought I would dig out an old laptop not really capable of heavy(er) desktop environments. Its a 700mhz cpu, 64mb ram and 8mb onboard graphics. Have to say it runs nicely (for the specs of the laptop) so might be worth a try for other out there with some older computers/laptops.

        In answer to Morlyns question, you can update using "netpkg" also mentioned in Malikith post.


        • #5
          Zenwalk is the stuff

          I've fully migrated from Slackware to Zenwalk on my two machines, a centrino-based laptop and a home-brew dual-core machine. I started using it before Slackware made the 2.6 kernel the default because Zenwalk made it was easier to get all the bits and pieces working on my laptop. But when I decided to go wireless on my desktop too, I had Slackware on one partition and Zenwalk 4.6 on another. Slack refused to get an IP address from my router, while Zenwalk had no problem. I know I could figure it out, but seeing as Zenwalk is based on Slackware anyway, why bother?

          I also like that Zenwalk has more packages in its repository, including Gnome. And they're all available via its own package manager, NetPkg. It's along the lines of Synaptic, though more basic. Still, it does dependency checking and I've yet to have a problem.

          What hurts Zenwalk is that it retains some of the low-key Slackware spirit. It's not flashy (though it is pretty), just an extremely competent, rock-solid distro.

          As an aside, I'm also something of a distro junke (hence the separate partitions on my main machine), and I keep up on many of the latest releases. I've tried the 'buntus on my machines, PCLinuxOS (which I've set up for several newbies), Mepis, Gentoo, Suse, Fedora, and a bunch of the less-popular distros. Heck, I even tried all three BSDs (Free, Open and Net). I settled on Slackware because it's speedy and solid and clean. I moved to Zenwalk because it's all those things and easier to set up.


          • #6
            I've tried to install zenwalk 4.8 on a 4 years old laptop without success.
            Booting from the CD standard: from the boot prompt it loads linuz kernel and then immediately reboots (no questions asked)
            Laptop is an Asus 1.3Mhz, M2000N with bios rev 208.
            The exact same happened with ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10. (I have an old thread on Ubuntu forums on that).
            I just installed PcLinuxOS (kernel 2.6.18 tex5) which went smooth.


            • #7
              fsando, just an idea when the first screen come up (where you would normally just press enter to start the install, try typing "ata noacpi acpi=off"
              Just a rough guess though.


              • #8
                HighHo, I will try that sometime in the coming days. But I tried that with ubuntu without very much success. As I remember it would install I don't recall if it booted and worked badly or didn't boot. I ended up reinstalling 6.10 so there must have been a reason. But actually, my newly installed pclinuxos seems really great for the 'little one'.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 1369ic View Post
                  I've fully migrated from Slackware to Zenwalk on my two machines
                  Same here. Though I'll skip 5.0 as I'm happy with 4.8. There are no significant changes to 5.0 that make it worth upgrading/install it again- aside from the fact that it is now even more greyish as 4.8 already was/is! And I don't like that.

                  Zenwalk is a pretty good OS and I really like it. And the only distro I may change to from Zenwalk in the future is Arch Linux as this comes along with rolling releases.


                  • #10
                    I may give Zen a try as I had used Slack for many years (since 1995) and now use Debian as my primary distro. Zen should be quite at home on my old IBM ThinkPad.