Crunchbang Linux Review


It all started when a friend of mine wanted to install Linux on his IBM ThinkPad. But, as he was working in Reliance Communications, the laptop was company provided. But the USB ports on the laptop too were blocked that means there was no option of using a USB drive either. He had a Seagate External HDD at his disposal. So, I decided to install Crunchbang Linux on that spare drive. It was a success, but I was so impressed by the Crunchbang Linux distribution that I decided to install it on my own spare 100 GB partition.

Installation

The installation was very smooth. To install it, I downloaded the 64-bit image from http://www.crunchbang.com. The, I burned it to my re-writeable DVD. For some odd reason, I couldn’t make a bootable USB of it. You all must be familiar with the installation of Linux so I’m not going to cover it here. But after 10 minutes, I was on the desktop.

The Desktop

The desktop is neat & clean OpenBox implementation. I was surprised to see that it was using just 110 MB of RAM. Get a 32-bit distribution & it will use less RAM. Here’s the screenshot of the desktop.

See, the desktop is the cleanest implementation I’ve ever seen. The little widget that you see on the right side is called Conky. It displays the information regarding your system such as RAM usage, Disk Usage & swap usage. Right clicking on the desktop will display the OpenBox menu. Here’s the example :-

The applications that switch by default are :-

  • Iceweasel (Firefox without official branding)
  • Terminal
  • VLC Player
  • Abiword
  • gFTP
  • xChat
  • And some more

After the installation it gives you the option of installing other software. In case you skipped that option, open the terminal and issue cb-welcome. It will restart that script and will ask you to download Libreoffice, Java, development libraries & tools. Also, as the distribution is based on Debian, it is ultra-stable. Moreover, you can use the ususal sudo apt-get update to update & upgrade your system.

After the installation, I installed some more programs which I deem essential for my daily needs. They are :-

This distribution is perfect if you want to make it a host for VirtualBox. It uses only 150 MB RAM so it plays perfect with simultaneous distribution running together in a virtualized environment.

There are some drawbacks too. For e.g. it doesn’t automatically mount the internal drives (NTFS) after the installation. To mount those you have to edit your /etc/fstab file & add the mount points of Windows drives over there. Moreover, it is a 650 MB installation disk and there’s no email client & Office distribution. I think that they should include LibreOffice in the next release.

Pros :-

  • Ultra Light.
  • Very, very stable
  • Based on Debian
  • apt-get goodness
  • Perfect for low power systems.

Cons :-

  • No mail client.
  • No Office Suite.
  • Internal drives need to be mounted manually.

Rating :- 8/10

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