2.1 GPL (GNU General Public License)    
4.0/5 4
A Linux Live CD operating system based on the award winning Debian GNU/Linux distribution

editor's review




1 comment  

Zest is a free, open-source, Debian-based operating system that has been engineered to be deployed on low-end machines or computers with old and semi-old hardware components. It is built around the dynamic window manager (dwm) desktop environment.

It supports only 32-bit (i686 and i486) hardware platforms

The distribution can be downloaded as a Live CD ISO image that supports only 32-bit (i486 and i686) hardware platforms, despite the fact that it has been tagged with the i386 architecture. Of course, this also means that it supports only 32-bit applications.

The minimal boot prompt allows you to start the live system

There are four options on the boot prompt when booting the operating system from the BIOS of a PC using either a CD disc or a USB thumb drive, two for i686 machines and two for i486 computers. It will basically allow you to start the live system with default options or in failsafe mode.

Features a minimal graphical desktop environment powered by dwm

It appears that the distribution not only tries to be usable on low-end machines, but it is tailored for developers and hackers who love those minimal window managers, like dwm (dynamic window manager).

Includes a minimal set of graphical apps

Only a minimal set of graphical apps is included in this Debian derivative, including the Chromium web browser, Oracle VirtualBox virtualization software and XTerm terminal emulator.

On the other hand, several command-line tools are included in the operating system, among which we can mention Midnight Commander, Vim, Wget, p7zip, Feh, nano, GCC, Aptitude, APT and Busybox.

It comes with no usage instructions

The worst part of this operating system is that it comes with no usage instructions, which means that you’ll have to learn how to use the dwm window manager if you’re not a fan of minimalist graphical desktop environments.

Zest was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on July 14th, 2014

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