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Zenwalk 6.2 Review

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What Needs to Improve?: Zenwalk is a decent distro, but it still has some ways to go before we start comparing to the major distros. Only one of the improvements I suggested in my last review was addressed, and that was not even taken to completion: Firestarter, a graphical frontend to IPTables, comes pre-installed. That’s good, but one more step remains. It has to be enabled and configured out of the box.

Here are other recommendations that were made previously, but not yet addressed:

  • Zenwalk will take a giant step forward if the installer provides support for setting up LVM, RAID, and disk encryption.
  • A graphical installer wiould be an excellent addition.
  • Have a browser other than Iceweasel/Icecat installed. If you don’t want to install it by default, have Mozilla Firefox in one of the Restricted repositories.
  • Whichever browser is installed, load it with all the multimedia plugins it needs.
  • I think all desktop distros need an application like Kaptan, a welcome application on Pardus. That is a program that will run on first bootup to help a user customize different aspects of the operating system.
  • Adding a printer on Zenwalk is easy, but coding the system to auto-configure it will make for a better user experience.
  • Zenwalk Update Tool has to be installed by default, it has to just work, and it has to be a “startup” application.

Let’s hope that most of these suggestions are implemented in the next release. Until then, there are more reviews and tutorials to write. Check back often, or just subscribe to this site via RSS or email.

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  1. Jim says:

    hey! pls help me, just istalled the latest zenwalk available…

    there were about 3 or 4 things in the installation that failed to install..

    but, it was still able to run.

    now i changed from xp to zenwalk..

    the problem is that i cant use the gnome session option and i cant click the menu in the xfce.

    pls help me..

    • finid says:

      If some files failed to install, in order words, if the installer spewed some error messages, then it is likely that the iso image was corrupted, or the CD was not burned properly. Your option(s): Reinstall, but check the integrity of the CD before installation. That should fix the problem. If you are migrating from XP to Linux, welcome, but Zenwalk is not the distro I’ll recommend.

      Better alternatives are Mandriva Free, Mandriva One, Linux Mint 8, Ubuntu 9.10, and Pardus 2009. Mandriva Free is highly recommended. It is not perfect, but it’s more noob-friendly than others.

      While we are at this, read this, this (Pardus’ review). Those should gie you an idea of what to look for in a distro.

      • Jim says:

        thanks for the response, my apologies for my late reply…

        uhm, can you recommend other linux distros?
        not that what you recommended earlier was not of my preference but because..

        my laptop is already kinda slow, it olny have 256 [246] mb ram. the hd is 40gg.

        its just a notebook, and with windows, its already kind of slow..

        im kind of used in using windows and i usually install lots [and i mean lots] of softwares that i think would be helpful and kinda cool.

  2. dvilla says:

    “DVD playback are not installed, and are not in the repos – Current or Restricted.”

    Correction. It is available in restricted:

  3. finid says:

    I’ve got to be honest. This review was a rush-job, probably the worst I’ve ever written. I should have double-checked the grammar and some of the facts before hitting “Publish.” But stuff happens, and life goes on.

    If you write as many reviews as I do, eventually, you’ll write one that demonstrates “Primary-school English along with poor knowledge.” But I think Jon is mad because his fave distro got a bad review.

    For the record, the reviews on this site are designed to help my readers decide whether a distro is worth downloading or not. Distro-hopping can be fun, but at some point you just want a distro that works. If the reviews on this site helps you find that distro that just-work, I think that counts for something.

  4. Joe says:

    What tipped me off to stop reading the review was the claim that Linux Mint doesn’t have multiple workspaces… ugh…

  5. Matt says:

    “feels slightly much more polished” – this doesn’t make much sense, and really lowers the expectations for the rest of the review. Double & triple check everything before publishing.

  6. Jon says:

    An atrociously-written review. No way I’m clicking thru to the second page. Primary-school English along with poor knowledge.

    • finid says:

      “Primary-school English …” I think you’re being generous. It’s probably lower. Sarah Palin’s level, or George Bush’s.
      But “poor knowledge.” About what? You could help us all by pointing out where I missed the mark.

    • johnix says:

      Sorry to tell you Jon, but you have at least two typos and one grammar mistake in your reply. Furthermore, there are many readers who don’t have English as their first language, whom would appreciate understandable English. The review is more than adequate to know what Zenwalk is all about and what to experience after installing it, saving a lot of people a lot of homework. Thanks to the editor.

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