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KEY FEATURES Zenwalk is a small and fast GNU/Linux distribution aiming at providing a complete development/desktop/multimedia environment. It features XFCE as the main desktop and comes with quite current versions of popular Linux applications.
Supported architectures x86 only
Minimal hardware requirements Pentium II class processor, 128 Mb RAM, 2Gb HDD. The system is not particularly for old hardware. It runs better with Pentium III, 256 Mb RAM, 4 Gb HDD (it leaves more room for your data). Double that once again, and you're flying!
Installer - overall (5) Comes with a fast and simple ncurses-based textmode installer. If not used to Linux and cfdisk for partitioning — try to download the ZenLive CD and run its graphical "GParted" partition manager. Zenwalk does have a smart autopartition facility during setup, which will claim a given physical hard drive of your choice to Zenwalk.
Package selection (0) There is no package selection. The simple installer installs everything, which is only one application of each type because that's all this OS comes with on the ISO.
Predefined package groups (3) Depending on the ISO you download (or CD you buy) you can have a desktop CD, a server CD, or a LiveCD demonstrating the desktop version. Each version is in itself a complete system, not split into groups. When installed, the packages are in groups, compatible with Slackware.
Expert mode install (0) Not available. The installer does provide you with a few options of which some are for knowledgeable people.
Graphical installer (1) No, the installer is pseudo-graphical (ncurses-based). Only package management is GUI-based when running the ZenLive CD.
Installer speed (7) Extremely fast. Installs Zenwalk in 20 minutes. Add another 20 minutes for configuration if you don't have your configuration files backed up somewhere.
Graphical system management (5) Yes, some things comes with XFCE. Other things are specific Zenwalk tools, which are executable either in graphical mode or text mode. The graphical system management is not complete in the sense that sometimes you must drop back to manually editing your text configuration files. The Zenpanel is a GUI frame of the available graphical Zenwalk tools.
Console-based system management (4) Yes, Zenwalk comes with specific tools that are compatible with ncurses library (text mode GUI).
Package number (4) TGZ format, inherited from Slackware. This gives a very large base of packages available — also from Slackware derivatives. The Zenwalk repository is not so big, but ever growing as the user community grows (and contributes).
Package management, automatic dependency solving (5) Yes. Central management of dependencies. This reduces typical complications with dependencies. Dependency check can be disabled.
Graphical package management tool (5) Special "netpkg" package manager for downloading upgrades off the internet and installing, quick and efficient. Handles multiple package repositories. Other than that, Slackware pkgtools are included. GSlapt available (currently experimental).
System boot speed (7) Hardware dependent, but probably around the 30 seconds (ie. very fast — basically as fast as it gets).
System responsiveness (8) Very responsive due to a "light" system including a standard kernel.
Popularity (7) Among the popular distributions, eg. check Distrowatch.
Security focus (5) Security advisories are released frequently which inform users about necessary updates.
Stability and maturity (5) Zenwalk has a conservative policy towards upgrading core elements of the system while applications and peripheric components are mostly bleeding edge.
Does the installer support multiple languages? (1) Yes, regarding keyboard setup. Other than that, only English language setup.
Is the system localized after installation? (7) The localization is managed during installation. Software like Firefox and Thunderbird (and KDE and OpenOffice, if chosen from the extra repository) can be localized after installation.
Is manual system localization easy? (7) Yes. Zenwalk specific tool "Localeconfig" is used for this. After installation it is available in the Zenpanel.
Support for restricted formats (6) MP3 and video playback are supported out of the box. Flashplayer is included if the EULA is excepted on first boot. Support for encrypted DVD playback is available in repositories.
Sagem DSL modem support (?) ?
Alcatel DSL modem support (?) ?
ISDN support (0) Not available. ISDN cards and CAPI support are not included in default kernel.
Wireless support (?) Yes.
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