Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Distro Review: Crunchbang 9.04 + 10 Alpha 2

My review of Crunchbang Linux (herefore referred to as "#!" for ease of typing).  I did manage in the same 48 hour period try and use #! 9.04, 9.04-lite and 10-Alpha2.

The story begins with looking for a smaller footprint distro to put on my son's Asus eeepc 700 which has a dead SSD and is using a 4gb class 4 SD card as a hard drive.

Looked at a few and recalled "Crucheee" (I remembered the name being funny) so I went to look at the Crunchbang website.  Where I read that the old CrunchEEE distro was based on 8.10 (following the Ubuntu numbering scheme for which the distro was based) and that the current #! 9.04 had all the support for the EEE built in.  As I arrived at the download page I noticed the "lite" version and saw it was a smaller iso file.  So I grabbed that, put it on a usb key and installed it.

It runs great.  With the low memory footprint and smaller app selection the bottle neck of read/write speed to the SD card is not a huge issue once applications are open.  So the verdict:

✔ #! 9.04 Lite on eeepc 700 = Awesome, Fantastic and more.

Then I saw there was a "full" version and though, hey, I have VM space.  Let's take that for a spin.
I put it in, same experience with the wonder and grace of the full graphical install of Ubuntu, the software repo's available and a wonderful default configuration for Openbox I was very impressed.   So the verdict was:

✔ #! 9.04 Full in VirtualBox = Way Cool. Great Interface, a real treat.

So, I'm realizing that these versions are based on a distro nearly a year old and I think to myself, what would be better would be a newer version, with more current repo's and all the other updates.  So I return to the #! website to discover there is a "unstable" version.   Enter #! 10 Alpha 2 "Statler".  So I just did the sane thing and installed this over top of the #! 9.04 Full Vbox install.  Of great importance is to know that the new version of #1 (10) is based on Debian Testing (Squeezy).  This changed the rules for the installer (text and blah, but not impossible) and the first impression was the same as with #! 9.04, in fact the conky impression the menu's and most other things didn't change (in the Openbox version) from #! 9.04 -> 10.  The #! team has done well to make that experience so similar that the difference is almost unnoticeable.   Until you go to install chromium-browser from the repos which was removed 1 month ago from the "testing" branch of Debian.  If you can't tell by the tone, that's a fail.  There were 3 deb packages that I tried to install from the net (binary blob stuff) all failed on Debian that installed just fine under the Ubuntu 10.10 install I have right next to it.  Verdict of #! 10 Alpha 2:

× #! 10 Alpha 2 in VirtualBox = meh.

Total Summary,  I'm on a personal quest to install Ubuntu 10.10 add Openbox and "borrow" the default Openbox config files from a #! 9.04 Full install.  That way I get the awesome interface on the software/distro platform that offers me a large software repo, comfort zone (used since 2006) and keeps me on the distro that I recommend to folks (eating my own dog food).

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