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"The Xfce desktop environment has been updated version 4.12 git, providing a good overview of the upcoming 4.12 final. This intermediate version has been fully tested during four months and the result can already be considered very stable (a few components of the Xfce 4.10 have been kept for stability). Several applications of previous Zenwalk releases have been replaced - MPlayer is now the multimedia player (instead of Totem), LXDM is the display manager (instead of GDM), Xfburn is the CD/DVD burner (instead of Brasero), Geeqie is now the image viewer. As usual most packages have been updated: LibreOffice 4.1.3, GIMP 2.8.10, Firefox 27.0, Thunderbird 24.3.0, Linux kernel 3.10.25 with performance tweaks."
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 5
As fast as one bug goes, another appears
The Zenwalk website is still offering version 7.0, so I had to use a link from Distrowatch to get 7.4. Documentation is unimpressive: the manual is 6 years old and the wiki is empty.
The installation disk (not live) allowed a choice of keyboard, manual or automatic partitioning, and the configuration of lilo. Creating a user, setting passwords, and selecting a locale are done at first boot, but no time zone is selected.
When I rebooted I could only log into tty1. Using startx gave twm with a terminal that deleted characters as fast as they were typed and which eventually crashed. The log file had no error messages, except for the final “connection to X server lost”. The Zenwalk forum showed no-one else with a graphics problem, but there aren’t many people there anyway. The manual says run xorgconfig, which was missing. Suspecting, correctly, that video driver was faulty, I replaced it with vesa, which I only managed to do by writing an xorg.conf file.
The software supplied included Firefox (with flash), Mplayer (with codecs), LibreOffice (without spell-checking), and Thunderbird; they worked, with a few CLI complaints. The package manager had to have the mirrors enabled and that took several attempts. I used it to install the spell-checker for LibreOffice, but that didn’t work. To enable my USB speakers I had to write an asoundrc file. The tool to set keyboard shortcuts is broken and most of the standard ones (like Alt-F4) are missing. One can edit the configuration file, but try finding the names of the shortcuts, such as “close_window_key”. Finally I copied the file from my Salix installation. I think the obvious answer to Zenwalk’s problems is to use Salix in the first place.