Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
All the usual review issues - the installer, the artwork, the applications, the hardware detection, yada, yada, yada – are all fine and dandy in Zenwalk 5.2. Really, they are – there's not a bad thing to be said about any of it. So, what am I going to write about? Netpkg, Zenwalk's purpose-built package manager, that's what.
I first began using Zenwalk way back around v2.0 when Netpkg was really starting to make a name for itself and Zenwalk guru Jean-Philippe Guillemin. But my relationship with Zenwalk has been a strange one because, while I've always loved its speed, stability and simplicity, I've never really liked Netpkg. In those early days it was simply too basic and lacked the kind of functionality that made Synaptic such a pleasure to work with. And that's going to be my main criteria for this article: How Netpkg, now at v4.0, measures up to Synaptic.
Synaptic hasn't really changed much in recent years simply because it hasn't needed to – it's still brilliant at what it does. Netpkg, on the other hand, has evolved with every subsequent Zenwalk release until we reach the point today where it has finally come of age – but that doesn't mean it is perfect.