Seven years ago this operating system was among the top ten listed on DistroWatch; these days Zenwalk is relatively obscure at 113th place. So not many people noticed when, earlier this year, a new version came out – a prelude to the upcoming 8.0 release. The result is a lightweight Linux setup, compatible with SlackWare packages, that’s fast to set up and comes with a complete suite of software for everyday use.
And yes – let me get this clear right from the start: this Plasma 5.2.0 desktop environment will replace the KDE 4 packages you have installed.
The Live version of Salix has been in the works for quite some time and the developers have made a lot of changes and improvements since the previous release in the series. In fact, the Live editions for the Salix flavors have been largely ignored in the past couple of years, but that is changing with this release.
Salix is one of the few Linux distributions still maintained that is using Slackware as the base. Many of the older, similar distros have gone away completely and others have changed their base. The Linux ecosystem is all about diversity, so it's a good thing that some developers are still trying to keep the Slackware dream alive.
Porteus is a special operating system that is designed to be very fast and feature all kind of bleeding edge features. It's also optimized to run from all sorts of mediums, not just hard disks. It's built on Slackware and it's extremely small, a characteristic that is determined by the fact that it's always loaded completely in the memory.
Another interesting aspect of the distro is the fact that it uses modules instead of a package manager. These modules can precompiled for the operating system and users can just activate and deactivate them. Also, installing modules in Porteus works very intuitively and it can be done by double clicking on the modules.
When you’re interviewing a Slackware developer, you have certain expectations about what they’ll say in terms of controlling your own system and Eric delivers. In fact, he makes the case that Slackware, known as a more challenging system to setup and maintain, is valuable because it requires so much thought. Which is true—I’ve always seen Slackware as one part distro and one part teaching tool. The rest of Eric’s interview is great as he’s a very smart guy who’s spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a distro work, not just in terms of specific software, but also in terms of what’s ultimately best for the user in the long-term.
Along with the Openbox version of Salix, the Fluxbox edition is one of the lightest iterations available in the series. Unfortunately, it's not exactly on the list of priorities for the developer and it's been trailing a little behind, but now it's ready.
Salix is one the few very active distributions based on Slackware, which is a famous and very stable operating system that has been around for quite a while. It's rather different from what everyone else is doing because it is a modular system and it has a rolling release model.
The developers of Simplicity Linux have based their system on Slacko 5.9.3 and they are using the 3.15.4 Linux kernel. This kernel is one of the newest available and should provide adequate hardware support for the latest devices. Also, unlike previous releases in the series, the new version covers only two flavors, Netbook and Desktop.
The Netbook flavor is a simpler operating system, with fewer default applications and an accessible desktop experience. It's also a smaller ISO, so users won't need too much space for the actual size of the Linux distribution.