SLAMPP 2.0 Linux Server on your PC in Minutes – Review and Screenshots

An Instant Home Server

SLAMPP 2.0 is a “simple solution for home server” based on Zenwalk 6.0 and using the Slackware package repository.  Slampp is released as a Live DVD that can also be installed on your hard drive.  Slampp claims to enable users to install an ‘instant home server’.  Slampp v.2.0 – (Kalinda) was released on July 28, 2009.

Slampp download mirrors –  The 1.9 GB download went rather smoothly.  Slampp currently has a handful of mirror sites, and I expect that will grow as the popularity of the distro increases.

Installation

The live DVD booted up but didn’t recognize my keyboard at first, and went to a default boot after 30 seconds. The installation is the same as Zenwalk, and if you are familiar with that distro, you will feel at home here.  The installation asks you if you need to install any proprietary software drivers.  I said No, and the computer hang.  I then rebooted, got to that screen again, and said Yes, and the installation continued with the X11 session manager.  After about 3 minutes, the Xfce desktop appeared.

First Impressions

desktop

Slampp looks alot like Zenwalk, which makes sense, since it’s based upon it.  The Xfce 4 desktop is clean and quite easy to navigate.  Slampp is loaded with many installed packages (see gallery screenshots) which adds to the bulk of the download.

The quick launch menu bar at the bottom center is user-friendly and there are quick luanch icons on the left bottom for network settings and file manager.  Slampp borrows much of its good looks from Zenwalk, and its power from Slackware – both of which are worthy bases from which to draw.

Who Needs This?  New users or webmasters?

Slampp’s website says this distro is intended for first-time Linux users to experience a non-Windows OS from the Live DVD.  However, the headline of the website is that Slampp is for an easy home server implementation.

Those two goals seem to collide.  Most Windows users looking for a Linux joy-ride would not also want to implement a server from a live-DVD.  It seems like they are trying to cater to two distinct user types.

I was initially turned on to the easy home server setup concept.  I was somewhat dismayed to realize  what that meant is there are server tools in the networking section.  I did not see the expected quick-link icon on the desktop telling first-time users to click on this button to  “Create a Home Server”.

Packages Installed

Slampp is like Zenwalk on steroids.  This is a 1.8GB download, and they’ve stuffed a whole bunch of packages into this distro that aren’t usually added due to size restrictions.  The networking section is loaded with server tools, such as SSH server, NX Session Admin, DHCP server, etc…  The application toolset it filled with goodies, including a full open office installation.

Gallery of Screenshots

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Zenwalk 6.01 Live CD Review & Screenshots

Zenwalk 6.01 is a Linux Distro that aims to modern, user-friendly, and fast.

They offer four versions for download on their website:

  • Standard desktop OS
  • Core version – for minimal installation.  This can be used as a server, or as a starting point for desktop users to then install whatever packages they need rather than going with a standard installation.
  • Live Edition (reviewed here) – Try out Zenwalk Linux from your CD drive without installing to your hard drive.  Includes a full complement of programming tools, disk and partitioning management, and more.
  • Gnome Edition – Gnome Desktop installation.

Download and Install

Developers love Zenwalk.  It’s fast but has frills too.   We downloaded the Live CD iso file, which was approx 687MB, one of the larger Live CD distro downloads we’ve seen thusfar.   The download was quick and painless.

First Impressions

The live CD boots quickly and without problems.  The default Xfce desktop is clean and easy on the eyes.  There’s a handy menu bar at the bottom for quick links to most used items. The menu tree expands from a start button on the top left of the screen.  We instinctively knew where all elements and items were to be found since everything was placed exactly where you’d expect.

Desktop
Desktop

It Ain’t Fancy, But It Works Well

Zenwalk follows the Mies Vander Roe school of thought that “Less is More.”  There are few gadgets and widgets to get in your way here.  Lack of fancy does not equal a reduction in usefullness.    Zenwalk Live CD comes installed with a full aray of your favorite Linux apps, with a nice and well fortified repository for you to add more programs after installation.

Modular Approach

Zenwalk focuses on a modular approach to application processing, while allowing only one application per task.  This modular processing approach makes things work fast!  Many users have configured Zenwalk in its minimal state (core download) and use it as a thin client or fast server for gaming or application handling.

Installed Apps

The Live CD comes with a fine assortment of installed applications.  Development tools included are Heany and Hex editor.  For graphics, Gimp is installed along with Evince.  Multimedia tools include Brasero for CD/DVD burning, Exaile, Media Player, and others.  The full Open Office 3.0 package is installed (which you’d expect with a nearly 700 MB download).   Zenwalk shines with a nice list of network tools, including SSH and VNC browsers, Icedove, Iceweasel, Pidgin, Bittorent, and more.  See screenshots for the Live CD menus.

Gallery of Screenshots

Conclusion

Zenwalk 6.01 Live CD is a worthy distro for users looking for a straightforward and fast OS with access to a full range of apps, particularly for the developer community.  Zenwalk is on version 6, which attests to its longevity, and for good reason.  Zenwalk (formerly minislack) has a dedicated community who actively participates in the forums on their website.  The fast Xfce desktop coupled with a good smattering of installed apps and an full repository makes Zenwalk a good choice for many Linux users.  There’s always room for a distro that just works.