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Debian Open Source Operating Systems Linux

CrunchBang Linux Halts Development 129

An anonymous reader writes: Philip Newborough, the developer behind CrunchBang Linux, has put an end to work on the distro. CrunchBang was built as a layer on top of Debian using the Openbox window manager that focused on performance and customization. Newborough says the changing landscape of Linux over the past decade has obviated the need for a distro like CrunchBang. "Whilst some things have stayed exactly the same, others have changed beyond all recognition. It's called progress, and for the most part, progress is a good thing. That said, when progress happens, some things get left behind, and for me, CrunchBang is something that I need to leave behind. I'm leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don't believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian."
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CrunchBang Linux Halts Development

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2015 @05:47PM (#49001695)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2015 @05:47PM (#49001701)

    Before this announcement:

    Newbie: "I hear about this Linux thing too. How do I get that?"
    Linux Advocate: "Well, you start by choosing from 10,294 confusing distros and dozens of different desktops..."
    Newbie: "Uh, I think I'll just choose Windows or Mac instead."

    After this announcement:

    Newbie: "I hear about this Linux thing too. How do I get that?"
    Linux Advocate: "Well, you start by choosing from 10,293 confusing distros and dozens of different desktops..."
    Newbie: "Uh, I think I'll just choose Windows or Mac instead."

    • Nah, more like this

      Newbie2 is an Apple fan, Newbie1 is not

      Newbie1: "I hear about this Linux thing too. How do I get that?"
      Linux Advocate: "Here, I'll help you install "
      = some newbie oriented distro that Linux Advocate is familiar with just for this purpose and recommends to all his/her newbies
      Newbie1: "OK.. procedes to ask questions when needed.. eventually graduates to doing things on own and probably uses a more complex distro... Newbie1 is now a Linux advocate too"

      Newbie2: "I hear about this Linu

  • For me, CrunchBang is something that happens when I'm about to get up in them guts but forgot that last night I ate a whole bag of tostitos half-asleep on my bed.
  • It's sad, 'cause I just started using it after discovering it late last year. I got my system upgraded to be based off of jessie instead of wheezy and was truckin' along just fine.

    I would have loved to see #! continue even as just a metapackage that installs what makes the distro different from vanilla Debian.

    • I would have loved to see #! continue even as just a metapackage that installs what makes the distro different from vanilla Debian.

      Since you're probably more knowledgeable than the submitter or any of the trolls commenting thus far, care to tell us what you liked that made it worth your choice? Specifically what it does better than vanilla Debian?

      • by e4liberty ( 537089 ) on Friday February 06, 2015 @06:13PM (#49001917)
        I've been using it for years on a cheap Samsung Atom netbook. I like that it is svelt, has a nice minimalist look, and has great community support. I'm sorry to see it die.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2015 @06:40PM (#49002183)

        I've been a #! user for about 4 years now. I am sure that it will survive as a community-developed netinstall script. A lot tend to install it that way already. Here are a few of my thoughts why it was great:

        1. Forums. Almost completely asshole free. Very helpful to noobs without being patronizing. They helped me set up MPD when I was new. Rather than just treating me as a loser and recommended a bloated gui app, they helped. They also took the time to teach rather than just tell me what to do. I will forever be greatful to them. The Forum is the greatest legacy of #! and is going to stay around too.

        2. Lightweight. Openbox is extremely light on the system. #!'s default looks, keyboard shortcuts, and other config files were clean, well-documented, and saved a heck of a lot of work to set them up myself. It was as if the ideal system of my dreams were pre-configured. Sure it had a user interface from the early 1990s with more up-to-date visuals, but that's what I wanted back when Gnome3, KDE, and Unity were all forcing a new paradigm upon us.

        3. Minimalist in looks and function. Default apps were well-selected with little to no bloat. One tool per task. The interface is clean and simple, making the system about working rather than how pretty the widgets are or the cool transition animations.

        4.. Nice post-install script

        5. The stability and breadth of the Debian base.

        • by AqD ( 1885732 )

          What do you do with the system, seriously, other than learning Linux itself?

        • +1 to the Crunchbang forums. What an incredible intellectual community and technical resource. Crunchbang has been my daily driver on three different machines over about five years and I never ran into a problem that couldn't be solved with the collective help of the forums. I switched to wmii from openbox a few years ago but still kept up with the Crunchbang releases since they were so close to perfect out of the box. Light a candle for one of the greatest little distros in history!
      • I like Crunchbang because the maintainer put a lot of thought into the Blackbox configuration. It's basic, but very usable out of the box and discoverability's really helped by the default wallpaper featuring several helpful hotkey combinations.

        I'm disappointed because it'd take a good deal of effort to replicate this off of stock Debian.

      • It's lightweight, easily customizable, runs really quckly, has a nice community, and did I mention easily customizable? It's also really easy to make a console-centric desktop. I installed it last fall, spent a couple weeks customizing it, and have just been using it for daily computing since.
      • I used their xfce version of #!-10 and it was wicked quick. Not fast, in that rendering in GiMP or loading web pages was quicker -- it wasn't --, but in responsiveness. When I clicked on something, the desktop responded instantly; I had the feeling it had read my mind and prepared for my request for action before I made it.

        It was installed on a rotating hard disk, unlike Mint 10, which was on a SSD, and it beat Mint for speed (on a 1.6 gHz Pentium-M box with 4 G ram. YMMV)

        Ironically, when the community xf

      • The fact that it comes setup with cocky, ob-keys (hot keys for web, file manager, ...), openbox was nice. Way back when I gave it a try and moved on to archbang then arch. It is just nice that it provides a certain try of environment out of the box. I'm sure one could make a post install script to do the same with arch or Debian but that takes time. Sometimes I just want to get to work and install my other software that I need.
    • by 31eq ( 29480 )

      It isn't much more than a metapackage, anyway. Gnome, KDE, LXDE, and XFCE are all metapackages and Debian live images. There is a point to Crunchbang living on in some form because most of the desktop is different to LXDE (they both have Openbox). And it probably will live, but with a different name.

  • It's a sad day when a distribution is put down and nobody notices.

    • I didn't even know it existed.

    • Do we even need distributions now that we have systemd? The choice is which desktop interface you use, everything below that layer will practically be the same.

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Friday February 06, 2015 @06:04PM (#49001831)

    CrunchBang could have been the systemD-less distro, unlike Debian which is embracing that morass of bad engineering

    • by shadowknot ( 853491 ) * on Friday February 06, 2015 @06:40PM (#49002187) Journal

      CrunchBang could have been the systemD-less distro

      Thankfully, for that we have Slackware [slackware.org].

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        Yup, if you want "Good old Linux" you've got Slackware.

        And if all you want is "Good Linux" you've got openSUSE.

      • by rdnetto ( 955205 )

        Not to mention Gentoo.

    • by 31eq ( 29480 )

      If you want a systemd-less Debian, go make a systemd-less Debian. Make it everything you think crunchbang should have been. Nobody's stopping you.

      • Already done, Linux Mint Debian doesn't use systemd and it's an open question if it will ever have it

        "LMDE 2 'Betsy' received a lot of updates this week and its 'Mint' packages are now almost on par with Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca. The next step is to adapt the Debian Jessie base and port all the changes and fixes already applied for Linux Mint 17.x on top of Trusty. This should take a week or two and we might be in a position to open up a BETA some time in February and to start welcoming feedback from people

        • who is maintaining Consolekit these days? i put in a googel search for "consolekit maintenance" and the latest reference was 2011
      • If you want a systemd-less debian just install sysvinit on Debian. You don't need a new distro.

        • Problem is there are some things written for systemd that distros that need a bit of recoding for a systemd-less system. Good thing some distros are doing that, SystemD even if perhaps a good thing for average desktop user isn't ready for prime time yet by far

          • For example?

            • (I mean, apart from gummiboot, the only package in Debian that depends on systemd).

            • You can read Devuan project news to see things for which systemD dependencies being removed, for example consoleKit2, UDisks2, PolicyKit-1, and PCSC-Lite.

              • You can read Devuan project news to see things for which systemD dependencies being removed, for example consoleKit2, UDisks2, PolicyKit-1, and PCSC-Lite.

                I could do that I suppose.

                But since Debian doesn't include consolekit2, for example, that doesn't help.

                As a simple matter of fact, as far as I know, the only package in the Debian repo's that (pre)-depends on systemd (with no alternative) is gummiboot.

                A bunch of stuff depends on libsystemd0, but that does nothing if systemd isn't pid 1. The Devuan people are making huge efforts to remove those dependencies for some religious reason.

                But the question I asked was:

                What are the "things written for systemd that

  • I stopped using Crunchbag for saving old PC, when I discovered it requires a fast graphics card/good drivers. OpenBox have the option to hide window contents while dragging. This makes windows operations painful on GeFore4 or older hardware.

    https://bugzilla.icculus.org/s... [icculus.org]

  • Oh NO!!! God please no, not crunchbag!!!1

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yep, this was predicted, making it so hard to keep up with EEE, shifting sands and all that crap now they apparently can buy most of the bigger distros so the small one cant keep up with this faster pace of development, completly replacing all ducting and then wayland completly replacing the gui manager. soon all applications will have to be recoded, see how that works out.

    Linux gurus you MUST eject Microsoft from Linux asap or you will all die.

  • I s/wheezy/jessie/ in /etc/apt/sources.list and did apt-get update/dist-upgrade, and on first blush at least it seems to work. There seems to be a viable upgrade path until someone else steps in to make a Debian respin, at least.

  • I really did like #!.
  • After years of using Slackware, I installed Crunchbang on a netbook about 4 or 5 years ago. The decision was made because Crunchbang worked with the hardware, but I really enjoyed using it, and the community was/is great. Then the developer killed the XFCE version, which was far more usable than the OpenBox variant. At that point, I decided never to go with a one-man show again, and installed a minimal version of Debian. Given the size of the Debian development team, you don't have to worry about a single
  • ...I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value,

    Would disagree pretty strongly. I was a longtime KDE user and was scared witless of lightweight WM after a few failed attempts back in the day. #! gave me a lightweight distribution that worked OOB and gave me a usable system; I felt free to backup configs and tweak to my heart's content, knowing I could always put it back the way it was if I screwed it up.

    That's how I learned openbox. That's also how I learned that I preferred fluxbox to openbox.

    Then I figured one day that since I had a really nice #! c

  • I use this distribution since 2009. It also heavely influenced how I configure my non-Crunchbang Linux machines (Ubuntu Slackware, Raspian and OpenBSD) with a Openbox, Tint2 and Conky setup.

  • --This is sad news for me, I have Crunchbang installed on a couple of older boxes at home. Really liked the distro; I hope it can survive on in some way, as a set of apt-gettable scripts or something.

Sometimes, too long is too long. - Joe Crowe

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