Zonbu OS Release 6.889 – Major Improvements

Zonbu beta logoGreat news – a MAJOR new Zonbu OS release should be arriving any day now and I’ve been playing with an early preview. It’s full of lots of changes and improvements which I’ll be talking about in more detail in the coming days.

Until then, here is the summary from the Zonbu “releases” page:

Version 6.889 – released 2007-09-25

New features

  • FireFTP plugin in Firefox
  • Transmission, a lightweight bittorrent client
  • Lyrics plugin for Banshee
  • NTFS external hard-drives read/write support
  • Putty, a graphical ssh connection manager
  • Tomatoes, an arcade game
  • ODF documents converter (Microsoft Office 2007 format)
  • LDAP support in Evolution
  • New network connection assistant
  • Crash reporter


  • Kernel upgrade to – built-in wireless support
  • Upgrade Firefox to
  • Security upgrades of all applications for which security issues were reported
  • Improve Firefox default theme
  • Improve UI for video plugin inside Firefox
  • Improve Firefox pre-loading
  • Add an option to restart Firefox in Control Panels > Advanced
  • Update and patch gnome-mplayer for improved video playback in Firefox
  • Upgrade evolution to 2.10.3
  • Upgrade Skype to latest version
  • Desktop and file manager user interfaces were simplified
  • Customized action for media – audio CDs, DVDs and blank media
  • Enable the “Install new dictionaries” wizard for Openoffice
  • Improved automatic network configuration
  • Better hot-plugging support for network devices like the wifi dongle
  • Add notifications of network and file storage status, updates, removable devices, etc.
  • Fix updater notification after a system update
  • Better sound devices detection
  • Support sound devices with non alphanumerical characters in their names
  • Better screen detection
  • Control Panels menu was re-organized
  • Improved Banshee stability
  • Updated Banshee and gstreamer to fix m4a decoding problems
  • Improve error handling when renaming files in Banshee, especially when the destination exists
  • Remote desktop configuration checks for automatic remote desktop startup
  • Improve reset of Neighborhood
  • Miscelleanous patches of Evolution
  • Miscelleanous UI improvements
  • Reduce load when the Storage Panel is left open
  • Improve fonts
  • Open .mkv files with mplayer
  • Add mkfs.vfat to format FAT32 partitions
  • Add Shutdown, Restart and Cancel options to the shutdown control on the login screen
  • More checks before mounting removable devices
  • User can run sudo lsusb
  • Replace rar with unrar
  • Replace NVU with Kompozer
  • Kiosk edition keeps proxy and printer settings
  • Harden reset at boot in Kiosk edition

Bugs fixed

  • Fix password change problems, especially for passwords containing special characters
  • Connexion to wifi networks containing spaces in their names
  • Fix major Banshee radio bugs
  • Fix many Banshee burning bugs
  • Fix CD/DVD ejection bugs
  • HTTP proxy support is fixed
  • Fix loss of Neighborhood authentication (windows network sharing)
  • Gnome-cups-manager no longer gets stuck at “Scanning Hosts…” when no windows shares are available
  • IPP printers settings in gnome-cups-manager are no longer greyed out
  • xfburn displays the recorder list
  • Fix taskbar appearance problems with some applets
  • Remote desktop keeps the password across a reboot
  • Fix an error message at first startup of the Recording Level Monitor
  • Fix in the regeneration of the local files and improve regeneration speed
  • Avoid creating thumbnails of non-local files
  • Fix locking issues in cachefs
  • Fix mplayer behviour when the system is suspended while it is running
  • Avoid duplicate launch of repair, rescue and clean evolution pts
  • Fixing help file reference in Storage Control Panel
  • Fixes in exo-mount

Known bugs

  • Wifi dongle with version 4000 chipset will not work with WEP 128
  • The four vertical USB ports at the back are USB 1.1 only and must not be used to plug mass-storage devices.
  • Burning in Banshee is not reliable, especially with .m4a files
  • Cube was removed from start menu; it’s still available through Start > System > Run Progam “cube_client”

After seeing this new release, I feel a lot more confident that Zonbu can deliver a solid product for the Christmas season. There are still lots of things that can be improved but in terms of an affordable, lightweight, full featured web deskop – the Zonbu is unbeatable.

-Mr. Zonbu


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