|Source model||Open source|
|Latest release||7.9.3  / February 2, 2015|
|Update method||netpkg (xnetpkg)|
|Default user interface||Xfce|
Zenwalk is a Linux distribution founded by Jean-Philippe Guillemin. It was originally based on Slackware. Since its creation, the distribution has become very different from Slackware in most regards while still maintaining compatibility with its binary packages. Zenwalk aims to be a modern and multi-purpose Linux distribution by focusing on Internet applications, multimedia and programming tools. Additionally, Zenwalk comes with many specialized tools, designed for beginner through advanced users as it offers system configuration via both graphical and command-line operations.
Zenwalk was originally called Minislack up to version 1.1, taking its current name with version 1.2 released 2005-08-12. Originally using KDE as its desktop environment, Zenwalk now uses Xfce as of version 0.3, although GNOME and KDE packages have always been available separately.
The Zenwalk Project aims to create a lightweight Linux distribution (through using only one application per task on the release ISO image), optimization for a specific processor architecture to increase execution speed, and introduces a comprehensive package management system with dependency resolution.
The Zenwalk Project has a forum that allows users and developers alike to post their issues, concerns and praise.
The newest official software packages are published in the -snapshot tree. When sufficient testing and debugging have been completed, a package is moved to the -current tree, where most users can download software to update their systems.
The community is also encouraged to take part in software package development, since the official software pool is considered limiting by some users. This allows third-party software to be made compatible with the Zenwalk directory structure, as well as improved interoperability with the rest of the distribution.
Zenwalk uses the netpkg package management system. It is developed in-house, and it provides the main functionality of the apt-get variety of package managers. It uses Slackware's .tgz package format, but adds dependency resolution capabilities. The system uses meta files to provide dependency information, as well as package description during the install process. This convenience is only available to the official Zenwalk mirrors listed in the netpkg configuration file, netpkg.conf. In addition to the original netpkg command line interface, xnetpkg provides a GUI frontend with similar capabilities.
Additionally, Zenwalk is compatible with Slackware package management tools such as slapt-get and its frontends, and have similar functionality as that of netpkg.
As of Zenwalk 4.6, package compatibility with Slackware is still maintained. Slackware packages may be used to substitute Zenwalk packages where necessary. Additional package availability can be found at LinuxPackages.net.
|Minislack 0.1||May 21, 2004|
|Minislack 0.2||August 8, 2004|
|Minislack 0.3||February 17, 2005|
|Minislack 0.4||March 26, 2005|
|Minislack 1.0||April 24, 2005|
|Minislack 1.0.1||May 3, 2005|
|Minislack 1.1||June 10, 2005|
|Zenwalk 1.2||August 12, 2005|
|Zenwalk 1.3||October 15, 2005|
|Zenwalk 2.0 Core||November 27, 2005|
|Zenwalk 2.0.1||December 4, 2005|
|Zenwalk 2.1 (Core)||January 18, 2006|
|Zenwalk 2.2||February 16, 2006|
|Zenwalk 2.4||April 4, 2006|
|Zenwalk 2.6||May 23, 2006|
|Zenwalk 2.8||July 21, 2006|
|Zenwalk 3.0||September 8, 2006|
|Zenwalk 4.0||November 20, 2006|
|Zenwalk 4.2||January 6, 2007|
|Zenwalk 4.4||February 22, 2007|
|Zenwalk 4.4.1||February 24, 2007|
|Zenwalk 4.6||June 1, 2007|
|Zenwalk 4.6.1||June 6, 2007|
|Zenwalk 4.8||October 6, 2007|
|Zenwalk 5.0||January 18, 2008|
|Zenwalk 5.2||June 7, 2008|
|Zenwalk 6.0||March 7, 2009|
|Zenwalk 6.2||September 6, 2009|
|Zenwalk 6.4||May 27, 2010|
|Zenwalk 7.0||Mar 25, 2011|
|Zenwalk 7.2||Oct 11, 2012|
|Zenwalk 7.4||April 2014|
There are five main versions of Zenwalk as of Zenwalk 7.2 
- Zenwalk Standard is a distribution aimed at mainstream desktop and development use. Designed to be a stand-alone operating system, it installs to the hard drive by way of a ncurses-based installer. It includes all of the officially released software packages that are deemed most useful by the Zenwalk community. The default install also includes development packages like gcc, and some proprietary media packages (such as Adobe Flash Player) and drivers in order to provide a full featured default install. The default desktop environment is Xfce.
- Zenwalk Core is a Zenwalk system built with customization in mind. Released with no X Window System binaries, its aim is to allow a skilled user to build a system fit for his or her needs. The project's lead developer is Emmanuel Bailleul.
- ZenLive is a Zenwalk system built on a Live CD design. ZenLive follows the progress made by the full Zenwalk system closely, thus mirroring the version number, and attempts to stay true to the original distribution's goals. In addition, it includes all of the necessary libraries and applications to develop and compile software, a particularly rare feature in Live CD distributions. The original ZenLive team left the project after version 6.0 was released but ZenwalkLive project has been revived by an enthusiastic user and is now developed as a one-man-project. Since version 6.4 the live-framework has been changed from deprecated linux-live-scripts to slackware-live-scripts.
- Zenwalk Gnome has GNOME as the default desktop environment.
- Zenwalk Openbox is supplied with Openbox as stand-alone window manager. It is a very lightweight version of the operating system. It does not follow LXDE in its choice of software. It still uses Thunar File Manager over PCManFM which is standard on LXDE-based systems such as Lubuntu.
There are currently three known Zenwalk-based distributions:
- Arudius, a live CD distribution for information assurance with tools for penetration testing and vulnerability analysis. Discontinued.
- SLAMPP, intended to be used as a home server.
- Zencafe, an Indonesian distribution designed for internet cafes.
- Claus Futtrup (2005-09-19). "An introduction to Zenwalk 1.2".
- Mayank Sharma (2008-02-14). "Tiny Zenwalk 5.0 packs a big punch".
- Zenwalk Releases Announcements on Distrowatch
- Zenwalk 2.2 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 2.4 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 2.6 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 2.8 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 3.0 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 4.0 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 4.2 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 4.4 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 4.4.1 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 4.6 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 4.6.1 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 4.8 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 5.0 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 5.2 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 6.0 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 6.2 Release Announcement
- Zenwalk 6.4 is ready !
- Zenwalk 7.0 is available !
- Zenwalk 7.2 has been launched
- Official website
- Official website
- Zenwalk Linux at DistroWatch
- Zenwalk 4.8 Review at Tech Source from Bohol
- Zenwalk in Tomsk (Siberian, Russia)