Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Zenwalk is a distribution based on Slackware that uses Xfce as its primary DE, though other WMs such as Openbox are also available. While it isn't meant for newbies per se, it is meant to be more user-friendly and certainly more so than Slackware, fast, and somewhat more minimalistic in terms of not including redundant applications. I wanted to see how well it stacked up to such claims, so I downloaded both the live and installation ISO files (both Xfce). I tested the live ISO through a live USB made with MultiSystem, and I tested the installation ISO in VirtualBox in a Lubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" live USB with 1024 MB of RAM allocated to the guest OS. Follow the jump to see what it's like.
After getting past the BIOS and boot menu, Zenwalk took a while to boot. Truthfully, I was afraid that it would never make it, but just over a minute later, I was greeted by the desktop; that boot time was somewhat longer than I'm used to, but it was still within reason. I was initially greeted by the login screen, and I didn't know the username and password, but that point became moot as I was eventually logged in automatically.