The Zenwalk Team is happy to announce that Zenwalk 4.6 (code name "Red Pill") has been released.
The up-to-date kernel is now at 22.214.171.124, providing kvm support. New init scripts and several performance enhancement have also been commited. The XFCE desktop is provided in version 4.4.1, with notification support to let systems like udev notify the user about automounted devices (usb keys, DVD, ...). The Thunar filemanager now handles video thumbnails and many new panel plugins have been added or updated. X11 compositing (aka translucency, window shadows, ...) is available out of the box.
The most important change in 4.6 at system level is the new tool chain, with GCC 4.1, which has been fully implemented. All libraries and applications have been compiled with this tool chain - including all of the packages available in the "extra" repository (i.e. applications not on the CD-ROM ISO).
The fine-tuning of the user interface continues with video thumbnailers in the Thunar file manager, new desktop layout, new desktop artwork, new bootsplash and GDM themes. This desktop features more panel plugins, including a wifi monitor.
Note that XFCE 4.4.1 is a maintenance release aimed at fixing important problems and update translations.
Zenpanel, the Zenwalk System control center has been updated with:
- Xkernelconf a GTK utility for managing kernel modules and kernel flags. Here the expert and semi-expert can look into kernel modules and configure (mouse clicks only) the boot process to load/unload some modules to finetune the system. Managed modules are also loaded/unloaded in real time.
- Xnetconf, a brand new GTK network setup tool with a very simple firewall option, suitable for desktop usage. Practically speaking: a Zenwalk box can now be firewalled with only one click on a checkbox. This system also allows advanced netfilter specialists to setup a complex firewall policy and still be able to activate/deactivate it from Xnetconf.
The Zenwalk installer has been simplified, making it one of the simplest setup available in the GNU Linux world. Most things are automated in this setup which mainly takes care of the partitioning and package copying. Final post-installation tunings (networking, user management, locale, video, ...) are already handled through GTK frontends.
New applications are :
- The Gnomebaker CD-burner (replaces Graveman).
- A new, fast, lightweight and very reliable Video player called Gnome-Mplayer.
Performance enhancement is not an easy challenge for a distribution which is already known to be one of the fastest available. Here's what we did about this :
- The kernel is now configured with a suitable "swappiness" parameter for best fit to your desktop system, which is a performance enhancement.
- Zenwalk 4.6 provides new init scripts resulting in faster boot times from a highly parallelized system.
- Kernel 126.96.36.199 has been, again, optimized for performance.
- The use of gcc 4.1 results in better binary optimization.
We hope that you will love this release at least as much as we loved working on it ;)