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Debian + Openbox = CrunchBang Linux (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the a-derivitive-distro-that-sounds-fun-and-useful dept.

Debian 106

"CrunchBang Linux is a Debian based distro with the Openbox window manager on top of it. So it is Debian under the hood with Openbox on the surface," says distro supporter Larry Cafiero. A glance through the #! (CrunchBang) forums showed an exceptionally fast response rate to problems posted there, so even if you haven't heard of #! (it's not in the DistroWatch Top 10), it has a strong and dedicated user community -- which is one of the major keys to success for any open source project. In order to learn more about #! Linux (and to share what he learned), Timothy Lord pointed his camcorder at Larry during LinuxFest Northwest and made this video record of their conversation.

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/g/ loves it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678197)

Almost as much as Gentoo, though I'm fairly sure most of the Gentoo zealots are trolling.

Re:/g/ loves it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678247)

No, they actually like it because it's not as hard as Gentoo, isn't as ricer as Arch, and is a cool and hip Debian alternative
Either way, always do the opposite of what /g/ says.

Re:/g/ loves it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678361)

always do the opposite of what /g/ says.

But that's what /g/ told me to do, so I did the opposite of it. Joke's on them though, I like Gentoo.

Re:/g/ loves it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679891)

Wait... you called Arch ricer in the same sentence as Gentoo.

Re:/g/ loves it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682225)

And it's not like there is anything ricey about Arch anyway. Why do people feel a compulsive need to harsh on that fine distro? Maybe they couldn't install it?

Well... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678201)

Call me an ass, but I found most of the users of crunchbang to be quite elitist.
Maybe it was just irc...

Re:Well... (5, Informative)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about a year ago | (#43678391)

I'd say it was definitely an isolated occurrence. I use Crunchbang on all of my machines, and have found the community surrounding the distro to be very friendly whenever I've popped into the forums. I was able to meet Phil and Becky Newborough at a barcamp a couple years ago as well, and they're one of the nicest couples you could have at the forefront of your distro. :)

Re:Well... (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43678859)

Doe the window manager have a taskbar-like control? It looks like one along the top on the website. If so, can you move it to any screen edge, or is it stuck there like Unity? I've been wanting to go back to Debian and play around, and this might be a very cool combo - but I gotta have my taskbar for one-click window switching.

Re:Well... (2)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about a year ago | (#43679527)

Yeah, the bar at the top is the tint2 (https://code.google.com/p/tint2/ [google.com] ) panel / taskbar. It's very configurable - the config options are well documented on their project page.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680653)

The Crunchbang community in earlier days was a pleasant and welcoming mix of the technically knowledgeable and enthusiastic semi-noobs. In fairness, a few years later, it could be viewed as moving in the direction of a Fanbois Club, some parts friendly and some decidedly not. Recent unwelcome changes by new "moderators" have prompted a slow exodus of many.

http://hypercube.us/forum/index.php?topic=1345.0

     

How does Crunchbang rate this? (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year ago | (#43681085)

This story strikes me as unusual. I don't see what the big deal is about Crunchbang. What have they done to deserve special mention in a Slashdot story, and really set themselves apart from the hundreds of other distros? I keep an eye open for light weight desktop environments. Currently use LXDE with Openbox, as that seems lighter than XFCE, but under Arch Linux, not Crunchbang.

As for forums, I have found the Arch forums to be a mixed bag. Mostly good stuff. But they have more than one rude elitist posting in there. Was having difficulty with an Arch distro for a Beagleboard computer, and posted about the problems I encountered.

One problem was a chicken and egg issue with putting a boot loader on the flash drive. They had not provided an x86 binary installer, so I tried various ways of installing it, including cross compiling the installer myself. It apparently compiled successfully, but it didn't work. The fact I was even messing with a Beagleboard ought to clue a person in that I'm no noob, but I was still told I was an idiot for wasting all that time with cross compiling. It was just supposed to magically work, and I was doing something wrong, he didn't know what, but he just knew it had to be something stupid. I suppose they deleted the thread because it embarrassed them, as when I went back for another look for what little helpful info it had, I found it was gone. Another time I asked why Arch had moved to systemd, questioning whether it was a good idea. I was told to STFU, the decision had already been made, and wasn't going to be unmade.

I'm moving away from Arch, mainly because of systemd, though the rude responses gave me an extra push. Haven't settled on another distro yet, and am using Lubuntu for now.

Re:How does Crunchbang rate this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682233)

What's wrong with systemd? And could you please provide a direct link to that post where people told you to STFU, just to see if that was really said to you?

Re:How does Crunchbang rate this? (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year ago | (#43682485)

systemd is against the UNIX philosophy of making many tools that each do one simple thing well, rather than a few tools that each do many things. (The Linux kernel also violates this principle. Just read what Tannenbaum has to say on the matter if you want more.) And it shows.

Consider how systemd handles logging. Instead of cat /var/log/messages.log and all the tools we have for handling text, things like grep, awk, sed, vi and emacs, have to run this "journalctl" command, which I had to find out about by nagging people and poking around. I know documentation is for wimps, but please. A web page listing SystemV and BSD methods of system administration, important files, initialization processes and such, side by side with the new systemd equivalents, would have been most helpful. Judging from the slowness of journalctl at retrieving relatively new messages, I thought that they might be stored in some sort of compressed format. I do not know how systemd handles logging, and that's a knock against it right there. Surely it must store logs in some file, somewhere on the system. This location is not mentioned in the journalctl man page. With some digging, I turned up /var/log/journal/someobfuscateddirname/ for the location. The "file" command showed that system.journal is a FoxPro file! And, no, it's not compressed, it's binary, and it takes a while to query. Maybe using a database file format is a good idea, but (assuming the file utility correctly identified the file type) why FoxPro? FoxPro is still proprietary. We have Berkeley DB, MongoDB (and other NoSQL DBs), and even heavy duty stuff like MariaDB (MySQL), and Postgres, but the systemd designers chose FoxPro?! What did they do in journalctl, include a FoxPro engine?

What was said to me was not actually STFU, it was: "The last paragraph of your post was unnecessary as it's a rant and the issues you raised were covered multiple times already." Which sure sounds like STFU to me.

Re:Well... (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | about a year ago | (#43682531)

The dimensions of thumbnails are as pertinent as the file size itself. The clutter-free look is very attractive in a world where every other forum has animated gif avatars, large colored signatures and superfluous use of !!!!

It is akin to how people post to mailing lists with the entire thread quoted. It's just bad netiquette [ietf.org] .

Re:Well... (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43680679)

I used CrunchBang for a brief period of time not too long ago, and while I didn't spend that much time on the forums, I have no complaints about my experience there. A needed to ask one question, I received an answer--no problem. I browsed around a bit and the community there seems nice.

Re:Well... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43683031)

I used CrunchBang for a brief period of time not too long ago, and while I didn't spend that much time on the forums, I have no complaints about my experience there. A needed to ask one question, I received an answer--no problem. I browsed around a bit and the community there seems nice.

I think your statistical methodology could do with peer review into its robustness and fitness-for-purpose.

Re:Well... (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43686057)

What can I say? I had next to no problems with the distro, so I really didn't need to be very active in the community. I didn't see any major hints of elitist pricks posting while I was there. I can't say much, but what I can say is at least not negative.

Re:Well... (2)

jampola (1994582) | about a year ago | (#43681759)

You must have popped into #archlinux by accident :)

Seriously though, on the forums, the #! guys (and girls!) are some of the nicest in the Linux community.

Its okay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678223)

I got an eeePC running that shit, so it must be good.

Crunchbang is pretty decent (4, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#43678285)

For a lightweight distro, it's pretty well thought-out and has some nice extras over a default Openbox install, plus the devs understand the concept of "discoverability" in that they have a list of keyboard shortcuts in the top-right by default. Unlike lighter distros, it's not crippled by being limited to whatever the devs and community can package up or you compile on your own (like, say, DSL or Puppy) since it's backed by the Debian archive.

This distro will work a treat for your old Pentium III laptop.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43678455)

Unfortunately, he didn't really answer the major question. What makes Crunchbang different from Debian + Openbox? There's a script that provides some "special sauce". Ok, but as a user what does that script actually do for me? It "installs different programs", but what programs are those, and why can't I just pipe a list of packages into 'dpkg --set-selections' to accomplish the same thing?

Major missed opportunity by the Crunchbang devs to actually explain what distinguishes their distro. I am their target audience and I still have no idea what they have to offer over what I have currently.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (3, Insightful)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about a year ago | (#43678613)

I think the main reason Crunchbang stands out for me as a distro is how well it suits the way I use my computers, and how little tweaking it needs to fit my preferences.

The Crunchbang "dev" - I'm pretty sure it's just Philip - has customized the GTK and Openbox themes, as well as the Openbox menu and the tint2 theme, without inextricably linking them together. If you want another panel, it's easy to swap out tint2 for your favorite. Honestly, I usually leave the defaults because they look awesome.

Philip has also pre-defined keyboard shortcuts so that you can launch your main applications without going through a menu system or leaving the keyboard. There's a cheat sheet built into the desktop via conky that lists the most useful shortcuts there. If you want to tweak the configurations, there's a in-depth right click menu that points you to all of the config options/files.

All of this attention to detail leaves a very minimal system that does exactly what I want, and then gets out of my way. It's like getting the best aspects of a desktop environment with the memory footprint of a barebones window manager.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43683541)

Why couldn't this just be a debian package?

e.g.:

$ sudo apt-get install superkoolguydesktop
$ superkoolguydesktop
installing .xsession... : DONE
installing .xinitrc ... : DONE
Superkoolguydesktop is now installed for your user! restart X to use it!
$

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Yebyen (59663) | about a year ago | (#43678651)

Why does it have to be different?

They are a community providing support (arguably separate from Debian), the Debian distro is well supported (so making a destructive fork that you can't provide support for is discouraged), and it may be that the difference is in the defaults.

90% of the complainers I hear about Ubuntu can't stand Unity, and an equal number complain about Gnome 3. (180%!)

So, it sounds like Crunchbang capitalizes on that, to me.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43679729)

Why does it have to be different?

Of course it doesn't have to be different, but some might say that it's a bit wasteful to build a separate distribution when you're doing so few changes, changes that could instead be integrated in Debian itself or provided as a separate repository.

They are a community providing support (arguably separate from Debian), the Debian distro is well supported (so making a destructive fork that you can't provide support for is discouraged), and it may be that the difference is in the defaults.

90% of the complainers I hear about Ubuntu can't stand Unity, and an equal number complain about Gnome 3. (180%!)

So, it sounds like Crunchbang capitalizes on that, to me.

Debian doesn't have defaults. If you don't like Gnome then just install Openbox instead.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (1)

Yebyen (59663) | about a year ago | (#43685127)

So tasksel --list-tasks doesn't have any mention of an option for a full desktop environment?

My things have changed!

Crunchbang is a good set of defaults (2)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about a year ago | (#43678725)

Install scripts, mostly dev stuff. Apache, mysql, postgres. There's a nice default gui. If there is another debian + openbox + web dev install scripts distro that I am unaware of, or if you've got your own custom debian image, then maybe this isn't that useful.

Probably if dpkg works for you, you aren't their target audience.

Re:Crunchbang is a good set of defaults (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678991)

Probably if dpkg works for you, you aren't their target audience.

They're using .deb packages, so if dpkg doesn't work for you, you're not their target audience either.

In other words: They don't have a target audience at all and should stop making a "distro" right now.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | about a year ago | (#43678969)

The cb-welcome script starts by updating your sources list, then prompts you, by category, if you would like to install that category, or [s]kip. It's an interactive method for running a bunch of predefined apt-get install commands, this includes printer support, Libre Office, development tools, the Liquorix kernel, and some more. Nothing fancy yet simplicity rules.

Essentially it is is Debian + Openbox, albeit with some preconfigured, sane, defaults that runs tint, conky and compositing. Under the hood you can reliably use all the Debian tools you love.

I believe #!'s target audience is the person who already knows what they want, who enjoys or wants to learn how to tinker with the system, and who wants to help others do the same. And the forum certainly reflects this, brightly I might add :)

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679463)

So the target audience is the user who doesn't need it, the advanced user that won't stay with the defaults but rather customize everything to his like.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679061)

The 'Welcome' script streamlines the installation of a number of programs (LibreOffice, Google Chrome, Chromium), components (printing support) and development tools at first boot, for users that wouldn't have the first clue what 'dpkg --set-selections' was (minus the development tools, I suppose). The script presents the user with a choice of whether or not to make those changes. The distribution itself provides a fully functional Openbox setup, including graphical login (Slim), screen locking and screensaver (xscreensaver), graphical wireless network management (NetworkManager), graphical power management (Xfce Power Manager), graphical file management (Thunar), a panel (tint2), as well as a clipboard, that would otherwise require a more technical understanding of Openbox and linux configuration to achieve. For those with the technical know-how to achieve the same result and the time to spend doing so, I would suppose that Crunchbang is not for them. Building what is essentially a low-resource, Openbox window-manager based desktop environment, such that Crunchbang provides, can also be tedious and annoying if you're less interested in building an operating system from the ground up and more interested in being productive. Even still, the Openbox menu in Crunchbang has clearly laid out links to edit the openbox and tint2 configurations to customize the interface to however you desire.

I have no affiliation with this distro, but do like the idea of it as an alternative to a standard KDE, GNOME, XFCE, etcetera, desktop environment, which could be installed directly from a casual Debian desktop installation.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43681217)

-update repository data
-update packages
-install printer support
-install java
-install libreoffice
-ssh server
-lamp stack
-a few dev tools

Some of these things have been moved from the system installer to the post-install script (openssh daemon, printer support).

In my opinion, what makes CrunchBang unique compared to Debian with Openbox manually installed is that CrunchBang contains it all, ready to go, in an offline CD-based installer. It has the base system and the desktop/window manager, all in one simplified, fast installer that fits on a CD-ROM. The desktop is already pretty nice by default, so less tweaking has to be done. The rest is a simple apt-get away, or available through the menu and post-installation script if you want a somewhat easier way.

To be honest, all of this stuff can be done faster and more conveniently with Debian's native package management tools. The reason is, for every selection, if you hit "y" the post-install script will go on ahead and perform the action immediately, so you'll have to wait until the action is completed before you can move on to the next step. The script itself even states that it is not only optional, but displays the command to run it at a later time if you want. Or, of course, you could just use Debian's native package management tools; no one is forcing you to use it.

CrunchBang also places items in the OpenBox menu to install certain common programs, including some of the above (LibreOffice, printer support), as well as others (including Chromium, Chrome, Opera). I think this is somewhat annoying, but I guess it works... or the items can just manually be removed if you have no intention of installing them.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681249)

IMO the special sauce is what sets it apart.

Try installing plain Debian with just Openbox its a pita when you've been running it for a bit then have to upgrade to wheezy and remember all the shit you did to get it how you like it.

Thanks for this article, i need to upgrade and had forgotten about #!.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682279)

Not to mention that vanilla debian + openbox is fugly as hell.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43686961)

Firstly, the special sauce is already made. You don't have to 'dpkg --set-selections' cause its done. Secondly, they pre-package some more asked for items that are not available in apt, such as Dropbox. Their forum is well frequented and many times someone has previously answered the question I am asking and I am able to just search and get the answers I need.

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about a year ago | (#43680071)

Puppy is no longer plagued by lack of packages. Barry Kauler now uses a set of build scripts (called woof) to generate "puppy" from the repositories of Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, Mageia, Slackware or T-2 (rpm based distro support is still pre-alpha) ... so if you want Arch without systemd, Puppy is one alternative (Puppy has alternate packages for udev, etc...).

The reason I've kept using Puppy after trying it was the responsiveness of their forum, even though there are so many different flavors. It shows that it is possible to embrace diversity as a critical step towards improvement (not just change) If you ask a programming related question that is out of the normal realm, you actually get insightful responses - often with code, whereas in my experience the Ubuntu forums this was not the usual case (granted that was over 5 yrs ago).

Re:Crunchbang is pretty decent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43685269)

Puppy is cute but they lost me by running everything as root. It may have improved but the scripting had a sloppy feel to it also.

PiBang (3, Interesting)

Erbo (384) | about a year ago | (#43678353)

There's also a distribution for the Raspberry Pi "inspired by" CrunchBang, called PiBang [pibanglinux.org] , which is based on the Raspbian distribution. I'll have to look at that one; the nature of the Pi makes it easy to switch distros by just changing out the SD card.

Re:PiBang (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678535)

It's Jason Biggs' favorite distro.

No... Debian + Openbox == Debian + Openbox (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678399)

"CrunchBang Linux is a Debian based distro with the Openbox window manager on top of it. So it is Debian under the hood with Openbox on the surface,"

So why should I install CrunchBang Linux instead of, say... I don't know ... Debian pure blend Wheezy with Openbox?

At least I (and DistroWatch) have heard of Debian.

Re:No... Debian + Openbox == Debian + Openbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678741)

That would be when
a. - one is not super-interested in endless tweaking, but just want a nice (and a nice/neutral-looking) and pretty complete desktop base (Makes it easier than straight Debian imho, but that depends on specific user, you sound like an openbox genius, so no, you don't need that...)
b. - see a.

Re:No... Debian + Openbox == Debian + Openbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681605)

That would be when
a. - one is not super-interested in endless tweaking, but just want a nice (and a nice/neutral-looking) and pretty complete desktop base (Makes it easier than straight Debian imho, but that depends on specific user, you sound like an openbox genius, so no, you don't need that...)
b. - see a.

  1. boot from CD
  2. type "install desktop=lxde"
  3. Press Enter

That'll give a complete Openbox environment, or just build a standard minimal Debian (hint: read the first screen instead of just hitting "Enter") and then
# apt-get install openbox menu;obconf

Re:No... Debian + Openbox == Debian + Openbox (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43679299)

Also LXDE (which Lubuntu uses) is built using Openbox. Gives you a bit more complete desktop environment.

Re:No... Debian + Openbox == Debian + Openbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679701)

So why should I install CrunchBang Linux instead of, say... I don't know ... Debian pure blend Wheezy with Openbox?

Because of the defaults. CrunchBang comes with defaults that would please or nearly please most Linux geeks out of the box and thus require little customization afterwards.

Debian comes with very weak defaults that need a lot of tweaking before you can really call it a home.

Re:No... Debian + Openbox == Debian + Openbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43680031)

Does the CrunchBang dude respond well to security updates? Because if I'm going to leave the integrity of my system to some guy on the net over slightly different default then that matters.

Re:No... Debian + Openbox == Debian + Openbox (1)

shawn (2920235) | about a year ago | (#43684453)

I use crunchbang on my work computer. I don't really think of it much as a separate distro, more like a pre-configured install of debian. Once it's installed, you run the machine exactly as you would a debian install. The reason i install crunchbang instead of debian, is because so much of how i would like to set things up the way i like them is already done. Also, the look and feel of the desktop is pretty keen.

I've used it for a couple of years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678405)

It's a pretty good OS, I've ran in to a couple of problems here and there but overall it's really fast, customizable and openbox is pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it. I haven't been using it on my main laptop recently because battery life seems to be a little worse than Ubuntu.

I don't get it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678407)

So this "distro" is basically Debian's tens of thousands of packages with a couple of window manager and "fancy graphics" packages? Ok, so I'd like to try this distro on a headless PowerPC machine. What do I get that I don't get if I run Debian?

Re:I don't get it (1)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about a year ago | (#43678627)

Nothing, essentially; Crunchbang just augments the desktop side of Debian, and leaves the rest of it as-is. If you're using it headless, you're just using Debian.

Re:I don't get it (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43679583)

So basically you could just install Debian, install openbox and pull down their configuration and you would end up with Crunchbang? I agree if it's that simple. Why not instead spend the effort on improving the experience with Debian? Is it really necessary to have a separate distribution just because of that?

Re:I don't get it (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43681325)

I personally like that if I want pure Openbox and a standard set of options there's Debian, but if I want a more tweaked Openbox with tint2 and lots of other customizations I can choose CrunchBang. They both fulfill their unique, if semi-overlapping, purposes. I see no reason to CrunchBangify Debian and eliminate CrunchBang itself. If people would actually try it themselves instead of jumping to conclusions, they'd see that it's not exactly "just" Debian with Openbox. There is more to it than that.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678765)

There is no powerpc edition, so you would get less than nothing.

It's really great.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678443)

I like this distro a lot. I use Xubuntu on my primary machine which is newish...and use Crunchbang 11[wheezy-based] on my older hardware. Crunchbang is stable and FAST! Love it for its simplicity and lean memory footprint[usually 150MB or so] and flexibility.

Thanks to the Crunchbang devs for a great distro.

New distro? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#43678463)

How is does using a new WM make a different distro? If I take Fedora and replace the default shell with zsh, can I call it Gothmollix?

Re:New distro? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678499)

All a distro is just a specific collection of software/packages that is given a name.

That's it and by that definition...this is a distro. Pretty simple.

Crunchbang like many other distros is in fact more than that. It is a collection of packages and customizations to those packages...AND the accompaning community of developers and users....that come together to make a distro unique.

Re:New distro? (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43678607)

How is does using a new WM make a different distro? If I take Fedora and replace the default shell with zsh, can I call it Gothmollix?

All a distro is just a specific collection of software/packages that is given a name.

That's it and by that definition...this is a distro. Pretty simple.

Crunchbang like many other distros is in fact more than that. It is a collection of packages and customizations to those packages...AND the accompaning community of developers and users....that come together to make a distro unique.

Crunchbang Shill!
Fess up. How much free software are they giving you to get you to post this stuff?

And, yes, you can call your distro "Gothmollix", you don't even have to replace any of the inards if you want, just the name. If you're distributing it, it's a distribution AKA "Distro".

Re:New distro? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43679145)

Crunchbang Shill!

Fess up. How much free software are they giving you to get you to post this stuff?

If I hadn't let my mod points expire, you'd get them for this.

Hilarious.

Re:New distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678513)

Yes, you can.

theme != distro. (1, Troll)

julian67 (1022593) | about a year ago | (#43678475)

Anything you can do with can be done equally well, usually better, with the unadulterated parent distro.

I checked the Crunchbang "about" page. Here's what it offers: a collection of unquantifiable claims, the same kernel and userland already available in Debian, and a dark theme.

Apparently it's "Infinitely hackable" and "Super nimble" blah blah blah. I'm surprised they didn't also claim "elegant" and "intuitive".

Better description: pointless.

Re:theme != distro. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678589)

Is it "disruptive", too?

Re:theme != distro. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43683557)

ooh! Only if it has reached 'the tipping point'... Has it reached 'the tipping point' ?????

Re:theme != distro. (2)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about a year ago | (#43678739)

Your right, Crunchbang is essentially Debian with a dark theme - that's one of the reasons I like it so much.

The reason I use it over vanilla Debian is that all of the manual configuration and package selection that I'd do with a Debian netinstall is already done in Crunchbang. A couple config tweaks, and my system's fully-configured. They do add a lot of helper bash scripts and they add some custom packages in their repo, but mostly I use it because it's a Debian + Openbox installation with sensible defaults.

Saying that it's not a distro just because they don't include a custom compiled GNU/Hurd kernel and a fully reimplemented software repository is a little short-sighted. Half the Linux distros in existence are mostly Debian at their core.

Re:theme != distro. (0)

julian67 (1022593) | about a year ago | (#43679033)

Who mentioned Hurd? I didn't. That's not even a good strawman.

Why is the comparison point a netinstall? And why, on a system that can be upgraded from version to version, does anyone care very much about configuring it the first time? You only have to install once, not repeatedly. How hard is a netinstall anyway? The LXDE disc includes openbox, it's not like anyone needs a third party to provide a window manager.

If "helper bash scripts" are important why aren't they even mentioned on the project page? Or are they the kind of scripts you only need in order to work around issues arising from changing for the sake of change something that was already working and well tested?

If there is something substantial or useful about crunchbang (and similar) then why is it so hard to quantify? Phrases such as "many applications chosen specifically for their hackability attributes" (taken from their "about" page) are just layering more cringe making bs on top of the more usual bs higher up that page.

If the difference between distro X and its parent is a theme and some helper bash scripts then no it isn't a proper distro.

Re:theme != distro. (1)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about a year ago | (#43679735)

Who mentioned Hurd? I didn't. That's not even a good strawman.

You mentioned Crunchbang used a stock Debian kernel as a seeming downside, so I picked a facetious example of a non-stock kernel. You may commence your giggling.

Why is the comparison point a netinstall? And why, on a system that can be upgraded from version to version, does anyone care very much about configuring it the first time? You only have to install once, not repeatedly. How hard is a netinstall anyway?

Because that's how I've set up my Openbox desktops previously? I tend to distro-hop, so I end up reconfiguring quite a bit. If you're upgrading the same system for years, you're right, it probably doesn't make that much of a difference to you.

As for the website not giving you a bulleted list of features... who cares? There's no Crunchbang copywriters, no marketing department, etc; just the guy who makes the distro. If you're mortally offended by the About page, then by all means, don't download an ISO - or, hop on over to the Crunchbang forums and offer to help them out with their website.

There are plenty of great distros to use out there, including vanilla Debian. If Crunchbang doesn't qualify as an officially blessed, fully-qualified Linux distribution in your eyes... I think we'll find the will to go on living & using it ourselves. ;)

Re:theme != distro. (0)

julian67 (1022593) | about a year ago | (#43680461)

I said nothing about being offended, mortally or otherwise. Another strawman.

A complete failure to actually specify what makes crunchbang crunchbang on the project's own site is about the only thing there that is really informative, and that's inadvertent.

Crunchbang seem unable to say what distinguishes it from its parent. They resort to terms so vague as to be meaningless, except that it ships with Adobe Flash. The users who supposedly gain some benefit from it don't seem to know either.

This is a news site and crunchbang is a just one of many almost identical generic exercises with not a single notable or non-generic feature. It isn't newsworthy in the same way that "I baked a cake and used a funny food colouring" isn't newsworthy. Slashdot would be a better news site if it avoided brainless LXer style filler.

Re:theme != distro. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682355)

Don't mind Julian67, he's just a cranky old timer from the Debian forums ;o)

In response to his objections, as a former Debian Forums regular myself (sirfer) I have to say that now I am a developer, #! has saved me a metric shitload of time upgrading from squeeze to wheezy. There's stuff broken in wheezy (sakura oh woe is me!) and tbh I just couldn't be asred going thru all the config necessary to get my debian + openbox install back the way I had it in squeeze. Crunchbang turned a days work into half an afternoon. Don't get me wrong, I'm a die-hard Debian fan and always will be, it's just that sometimes there's a 3rd party which makes life easier and imo thats the beauty of Linux and the Debian infrastructure.

I am back devving again after 3 failed attempts to get wheezy working how I like it, because, like I said, I'm a developer and I have forgotten 90% of the customisations I made to get my own DE working. CrunchBang has some real nice themes and fonts and for someone that looks at a screen for at least 8 hours a day, believe me it makes a difference. Also the time factor is a major for me now. When I was unemployed, I had all day to fuck around and tweak OB, but now I just can't be fucked. I have things to do and distros like #! help me get up and running sooner.

I'm sure Julian will come back with his own unique POV on how everyone can use Debian to achieve what they want and TBH I respect the hell out of him as he is more 1337 than most of us added together. But in my case it was a time issue and crunchbang does a great job of saving me that precious time by installing pretty much the same WM I always use with a bunch of useful stuff alongside.

YMMV of course but #! is a winner on this desktop

Re:theme != distro. (1)

julian67 (1022593) | about a year ago | (#43684021)

an anonymous Debian developer who can't successfully install Debian has spoken. Hmm.

I'll repeat my core point which hasn't been addressed in any way:

This is a news site.

Crunchbang is only one of many almost identical generic exercises with not a single notable or non-generic feature.

It isn't newsworthy.

Re:theme != distro. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678841)

There is some difference between "you can do" and "should I really, if it is allready done".

Better description: Not wasting your time (ok, my time, i don't care for yours...)

Great Distro! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678501)

I run this on an Asus eeePC 901 and it is the perfect lightweight setup for me.

Re:Great Distro! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679333)

That machine could run full Windows 7 as well, with hardware-accelerated Flash. Just sayin'...

Re:Great Distro! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43684433)

The eeePC 901 has 20GB SSD space. Win7 requires a minimum of 16Gb, so you probably couldn't even install windows updates, never mind any applications etc.

So... (2)

emag (4640) | about a year ago | (#43678517)

I've been running Debian since about 1999... and I've been using Openbox since about... 2003? 2004? Does that mean that I was running #! before it existed?

Re:So... (2)

Yebyen (59663) | about a year ago | (#43678685)

Yes. Why didn't you buy the domain before them??? ^_^

Re:So... (1)

emag (4640) | about a year ago | (#43678921)

I really dropped the ball on that one. Sorry.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43683005)

You must be a time traveller - Dr Who I presume?

FUCK EVERYTHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678529)

espeically anderson coopeer

Re:FUCK EVERYTHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678853)

Yes. You're right. Mostly. His good buddy Chris Matthews sucks too. But what has this to do with the topic at hand?

Re:FUCK EVERYTHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679381)

i dunno i just got so mad that i had to vent my frustration right here right now

Debian?? Ewwwww... (1)

luckymae (2691983) | about a year ago | (#43678539)

So gross!

Gentoo Forums (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43678547)

The best forums I ever encountered were the Gentoo forums. The OS is a pain in the ass if you don't want to update every couple weeks but the amount of help, howto's and other stuff available on the Gentoo forums frankly blows away every other forum I've ever encountered. And though Gentoo has a bad reputation for RTFM in fact I found their forums to be beyond helpful to total newbies (though I wasn't a newbie).

Re:Gentoo Forums (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43679397)

My personal favorite is the Arch Linux forums.

Re:Gentoo Forums (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682607)

Beyond helpful?

That's convenient, because when I last tried Gentoo, I felt like I was beyond help.

Re:Gentoo Forums (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43687193)

Gentoo is a great OS for learning how crap works. For a day to day system it's a friggen pain in the ass. I discovered rather by accident that if you don't update for a long enough period that the packages you have installed are no longer referenced in Portage anymore the system is completely unable to determine how to upgrade and the emerge tool is completely unable to perform any future software upgrades.

After trying to manually force new package installations I finally just blew the system away and installed Debian stable. I can't be recompiling the entire OS every month to stay up to date enough to warrant using Gentoo.

Debian + OpenBox used to == Knoppix? (2)

jphamlore (1996436) | about a year ago | (#43678601)

I thought years ago that Debian + OpenBox == Knoppix?

Re:Debian + OpenBox used to == Knoppix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681545)

knoppix had kde iirc

Debian already ships with openbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678667)

cat /etc/debian_version && apt-cache show openbox
6.0.6
Package: openbox
Priority: optional
Section: x11
Installed-Size: 1508
Maintainer: Nico Golde
Architecture: amd64
Version: 3.4.11.1-1
Provides: x-session-manager, x-window-manager
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.2.5), libfontconfig1 (>= 2.8.0), libfreetype6 (>= 2.2.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.24.0), libice6 (>= 1:1.0.0), libobparser21, libobrender21, libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.14.0), libsm6, libstartup-notification0 (>= 0.10), libx11-6 (>= 0), libxau6, libxext6 (>= 0), libxft2 (>> 2.1.1), libxinerama1, libxml2 (>= 2.7.4), libxrandr2 (>= 0), libxrender1, zlib1g (>= 1:1.1.4)
Recommends: openbox-themes
Suggests: obconf, menu, ttf-dejavu, python, libxml2-dev
Conflicts: menu ( 2.1.12)
Filename: pool/main/o/openbox/openbox_3.4.11.1-1_amd64.deb
Size: 332214
MD5sum: 198f49c7c3982dad42a066554b9da6d2
SHA1: 8c66233b574ca565fb655d9907235207b4c81f69
SHA256: 692525b483bdd4936b1c67a07bd27434d41ad72620bb48bcfc73735bb0ff01d7
Description: standards compliant, fast, light-weight, extensible window manager
  Openbox works with your applications, and makes your desktop easier to manage.
  This is because the approach to its development was the opposite of what seems
  to be the general case for window managers. Openbox was written first to
  comply with standards and to work properly. Only when that was in place did
  the team turn to the visual interface.
  .
  Openbox is fully functional as a stand-alone working environment, or can be
  used as a drop-in replacement for the default window manager in the GNOME or
  KDE desktop environments.
  .
  Openbox 3 is a completely new breed of window manager. It is not based upon
  any existing code base, although the visual appearance has been based upon
  that of Blackbox. Openbox 2 was based on the Blackbox 0.65.0 codebase.
  .
  Some of the things to look for in Openbox are:
  .
    * ICCCM and EWMH compliance!
    * Very fast
    * Chainable key bindings
    * Customizable mouse actions
    * Window resistance
    * Multi-head Xinerama support!
    * Pipe menus
Homepage: http://www.openbox.org
Tag: implemented-in::c, interface::x11, role::program, scope::utility, uitoolkit::xlib, x11::window-manager

Re:Debian already ships with openbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678875)

cat /etc/debian_version && apt-cache show openbox
7.0
Package: openbox
Version: 3.5.0-7
...

FTFY! (Pssttt... Wheezy has been released...)

PiBang (1)

Xolotl (675282) | about a year ago | (#43679161)

There is also a Crunchbang-inspired derivative for the Raspberry Pi, called PiBang [pibanglinux.org] . I find it much more pleasant than the gaudy Raspbian ...

Crunchbang delights,but needs direct download urls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679555)

It's a shame their download page requires javascript. I never see any direct download links without JS.

Crunchbang admin, if you care about your users, post direct download links without requiring javascript! And not just torrent downloads, either!

Crunchbang is nice, it's the direction the TAILS Linux Distro should've gone, but instead TAILS uses the clunky and old Gnome 2.30.2 (11/12/2010) and an outdated Network Manager 0.8.1. Liberte Linux may use OpenBox, IIRC, but they've only released one version and it needs updating.

If you use Crunchbang, disable Conky so your TEMPEST loving friends can't keep track of your different computers with all of the information printed on the screen including I/O local and remote transfers and IPs.

Re:Crunchbang delights,but needs direct download u (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682567)

if you don't like it quit whining and stfu.

Absolutely love it (1)

X.25 (255792) | about a year ago | (#43679689)

I came across Crunchbang few days ago, when I noticed it on distrowatch front page. I needed something light so I've decided to try it.

It is seriously impressive. Install is very very simple and intuitive (and supports full-disk encryption in installer - fairly important for me), it is logical, desktop looks nice, it's fast.

It was one of those really nice surprises you don't expect :)

# = Crunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43679997)

Since when. How on earth did # = crunch.

Shebang, Hashbang are widely accepted. but crunchbang?

Re:# = Crunch (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | about a year ago | (#43682177)

Came to post same, no mod points or you'd get them.

Are we just making up new names for established characters now?

Can I call "E" "Wibbly" or how about redefining "3" as "Wobbly".

One Two Wobbly Four

Crunch then Bang? (3, Funny)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#43680381)

I would think the usual order of things is BANG-> CRUNCH... :o)

Not quite as friendy # ! forums as advertized. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43681613)

While # ! is truly a great distro, it's not all Hearts & Flowers in the forums like the guy in the video says, try asking why only one usb drive will mount at a time, or why SD cards aren't recognized when a usb drive is present, or why they won't even mount, and you get back something like "well just enter the ID of the SD card and usb drive into the blah, blah, blah, and that's that".

Yeah, do that for my 22 + SD cards and usb drives just so I can use them like I can on every other OS on the planet except # !, sure, especially since nobody offered just HOW to do such a thing, great help, plenty of help, NOT.

It's 2013, all distros should mount SD cards and usb drive without any issues, and without cludging the OS.

Unpleasant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682393)

Funny, I tried this one on my netbook a while ago.
It felt like a return to the early nineties.
bad.

This sure is not for everyone.
Do you want to edit every menu and config parameters as a text file ?
need to learn where is every one of those text files ?
and then learn the syntax of every said config file ?

Seriously considering it (1)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | about a year ago | (#43683167)

as a replacement for Ubuntu 10.04. I want to stick with debian because I get on with apt-get, but I don't want unity/kde/gnome3/cinnamon. Obviously the other alternative is linux mint mate.

D

I don't get it . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about a year ago | (#43686269)

I've watched the video and the explanation doesn't really make sense to me. What am I getting with CrunchBang that I'm not getting with Debian/Openbox? More apps added? So? They're not available in the repositories?
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