Sunday, December 9, 2012

ZevenOS 5.0 Review: Is it better than Xubuntu 12.10?

With Ubuntu 12.10 out, Ubuntu derivatives are releasing their final version as well. ZevenOS and OS4 are couple of such distros, both provide a cocktailed version of Xubuntu with some added benefits, of course. In this review I'll provide insights of ZevenOS and in my next review will take on OS4. They offer more or less similar proposition and could have reviewed them together as well.
From ZevenOS 5

ZevenOS is a Xubuntu based OS primarily meant to provide a fast and easy to use all purpose user experience. The version 5.0, based on Xubuntu 12.10, was released on 5th December, 2012. The 32-bit ISO is about 734 MB, more or less similar to Xubuntu 12.10.

I did a live-boot on Asus K54C, 2.4 Ghz core i3 with 2 GB RAM. Next I installed it on the system on an 8 GB partition. Sound card, graphics, display, touchpad, everything worked well, just like any other Ubuntu derivative. The OS was easily able to recognize my LAN and later Wifi. No issues with that.

From ZevenOS 5
The desktop is simplistic and with BeOS like desktop theme. However, I didn't like what they have done to the panel (XFCE panel deskbar mode) though it is functional with shortcuts of some essential programs. You can always convert the deskbar to a more conventional panel through properties. Some good desktop effects like showing the details of the folder once you take the cursor on the icon, is good. But, in overall, XFCE 12.10 looks more gorgeous and shinier. ZevenOS 5 is compatible with the Ubuntu repositories; it brings in many changes, such as Linux kernel 3.5, X.Org 7.7 and PulseAudio 2.1.

From ZevenOS 5
ZevenOS is much richer than Xubuntu 12.10 in the applications section. A list is provided below highlighting the major applications.
  • Internet: Firefox 17 with in-built Adobe flash support, Pidgin, Claws-Mail 3.8.1, Liferea RSS reader, Transmission bit torrent client, X-chat IRC
  • Office: Abiword 2.9.2 (the latest), Gnumeric, Dictionary, Epdf, Orage calendar
  • Multimedia: Audacity 2.0 for music, DeadBeef, Gnome MPlayer, OpenShot 1.4.3 with YouTube upload support, Record my desktop
  • Graphics: GIMP 2.8, Inkscape 0.48, Shotwell, scanner
  • Accessories: Archive manager, bulk rename, calculator, Leafpad, Screenshot, couple of terminals, etc.
In overall, a pretty handy list of applications. Adobe flash plugin is in-built and you can watch live streams/youtube videos right after live-boot. Java plugin is not by default and is required to be downloaded from the Ubuntu repositories.
From ZevenOS 5

There is a docky as well, which is not activated by default. Without compiz, docky doesn't look pretty and hence, post installation, I downloaded compiz and compiz settings manager to get the desired effects from docky.

From ZevenOS 5
From ZevenOS 5
Thunar 1.4 is the default file manager and it has some juvenile theme which reminds me of Windows 2000 days. Some refinement required here, I guess.

From ZevenOS 5
Installation is the same as Ubuntu and it takes about 30 minutes, depending on internet connection speed. Installation went smooth and correct at the first attempt itself. Surely, Linux has come a long way and from most of the distros I get trouble free installation process.

CPU and RAM Usage
Surely ZevenOS 5 scores over Xubuntu 12.10 in the out of the box application section. But ZevenOS is more resource consuming than Xubuntu. Desktop with Docky and compiz on with task manager running took about 200-220 MB to boot with 1-5% CPU usage. Generally XFCE distros have RAM usage of 160 MB under similar conditions.
From ZevenOS 5

Zeven is fast and works well on a core i3 system. However, resource usage is slightly higher than Xubuntu 12.10 and given my experience with Xubuntu on a P4, I doubt it will perform on a low resource machine. ZevenOS 5 doesn't offer much as a lightweight Linux in terms of resource usage or nor in terms of looks over Xubuntu 12.10. However, it definitely scores over Xubuntu for giving out a lot of useful applications out of the box. If you like XFCE and seeking out something other than Xubuntu or Linux Mint XFCE, definitely you can try out ZevenOS 5.0.

You can download the distro from here.

1 comment:

  1. I like ZevenOS v5 too. Reminds me of BeOS. You know, that fast Realtime OS of the 90's.