After all those rich desktop Environment saw in Ubuntu, Chackra or Gnome 3 in general i needed a desktop minimalistic and comfortable, so today I’ve done some test on #! Crunchbang 10, it’s a Debian GNU/Linux based distribution with a lightweight desktop Environments: Openbox and optionally XFCE.
I’ve tested it with a virtualmachine on Virtualbox, installation made at 32 bit with Openbox.
Short story : i loved this Debian 6 in black and white, with custom Kernel and a minimalistic approach.
Long story…continue reading
On the download page you can choose among 4 iso: 32/64 bit and Openbox/XFCE, I’ve installed 32 bit Openbox.
Once you boot the iso you can choose between try a live image, or go for an installation (graphical or textual), I’ve installed directly with the graphical option, not much to said about this, it’s the same installer you can see on Debian, i did an easy setup (all filesystems in 1 partition) and let the CD do his work, in around 15 minutes it was completely installed and rebooted, ready for the first login.
Like Ubuntu root password is not set, but you can use sudo to do the maintenance/management of the system.
The first login it’s interesting the desktop open with a terminal with some questions, used to finish the setup of your machine, it’s possible to skip any step with the key “s”
- - The first step do an update/upgrade of the system, basically it do a “sudo apt-get update” and “sudo apt-get upgrade” (or perhaps it’s aptitude, but you have understood the goal).
- - Setup printer, I don’t wanted to configure them, so I skipped this step.
- - Installation of the Java JDK and JRE, or skip
- - This step ask if you want to use a custom Kernel, “more unstable than standard Debian but better for desktop”, if you say yes (i did it) you get liquorix kernel (2.6.36-2.dmz.5-liquorix-686).
- - CrunchBang by default installs abiword and Gnumeric, if you want also openoffice you can install it in this phase (i hope in Libreoffice for next release )
- - CrunchBang by default installs sshfs and fuse to export/import network filesystems, in this phase you can add your username to the group able to mount them (if in doubt do it)
- - On my Openbox installation I’ve been asked if i wanted also XFCE, I skipped this.
And here ends the installations of the main tools/programs, the next question asks if you want also some development tools, if you say yes (aka you don’t skip this) you have 4 more steps:
- - Installation of ALL Version control system tools (git, mercurial, CVS, SVN and others..)
- - Installation of openssh server
- - Installation of a full stack LAMP (and rsync ?)
- - Installation of the development tools to build Debian packages.
After that reboot to get all the update ready and the new kernel (if you have chosen to install it).
Ok, so now you have fully installed your CrunchBang, but what do you have ?
- Kernel 2.6.36-2.dmz.5-liquorix-686 or 2.6.32 (if you don’t installed the custom)
- Browser: chromium-browser 9.0.597.45~r70550-1
- Mail client : Nothing by default
- Graphic : Gimp 2.6.10
- Office: Abiword 2.8.2-2.1 and Gnumeric 1.10.8-1squeeze5
- Multimedia : VLC media player 1.1.3-1squeeze5
- Microblogging: Heybuddy 0.2.0~revno-235-2 (identica client)
- File manager: thunar 1.0.2-1+b2
- Terminal : terminator (nice one, i did not know it)
Look and feel
Crunchbang it’s a minimalistic distribution, so if you are searching for some weird 3D effects..go away !
Personally i use Fluxbox+Conky as standard on my Laptop at work, and XFCE at home, what i like in a desktop environment it’s his small memory/cpu footprint and in this CrunchBang it’s amazing 50 MB used at login, this is the best I’ve saw so far (take the poll), better than my Gentoo+Fluxbox or Bodhi Linux.
But a video it’s better than 1000 words:
When I see distributions like this one or Bodhi i always start with a positive feeling, others distro have used me to install everything and more and then i spend time to remove stuff that I did not had requested.
In this case, CrunchBang install the minimum indispensable and discreetly asks if you want extra things, and then I have at my disposal the repository of Debian so I can really have fun and install anything.
Positive note, the kernel is not aligned to the stable release of Debian, which tends to quickly become “antiquated”.
I like the graphics, so overall for me CrunchBang is a good choice for a computer that is not particularly powerful, or those who do not want to waste time with complicated graphics or desktop, but to maintain stability and wealth of choice of Debian .
And at last if you liked this distribution, don’t forget to flatter it: https://flattr.com/thing/114103/CrunchBang-Linux
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