CrunchBang 11 has been released so it’s time for a review. I last looked at CrunchBang back in 2009. Wow! Has it been that long? I’m pleased to report that CrunchBang 11 didn’t disappoint in any way.
If you aren’t familiar with it, Crunchbang 11 is a distro based on Debian. It uses the Openbox window manager. Openbox is very fast and minimalistic. You won’t find tons of useless eye candy or stupid interface glitz in CrunchBang 11. It’s not bloated and slow, nor does it try to “wow” you with things you don’t need or want.
Frankly, it’s one of the most functional and efficient distros available today. You can run it on top of the line hardware, or you can run it on older, slower machines. It’s a perfect choice for anyone who prefers functionality over form.
Here’s the official description of CrunchBang:
CrunchBang is a Debian GNU/Linux based distribution offering a great blend of speed, style and substance. Using the nimble Openbox window manager, it is highly customisable and provides a modern, full-featured GNU/Linux system without sacrificing performance.
The primary aim of the CrunchBang project is to produce a stable distribution offering the best possible out-of-the-box Openbox experience. To achieve this goal, CrunchBang pulls many base packages directly from Debian’s repositories, which are well-known for providing stable and secure software. Packages from CrunchBang’s own repositories are then customised and pinned to the system to produce what is known as the CrunchBang distro.
Put simply; CrunchBang could be thought of as a layer built on top of Debian, specifically to provide a great Openbox experience.
What’s New in CrunchBang 11
I was not able to find a list of changes or new features on the CrunchBang site. I encourage the CrunchBang developers to create a “What’s New” page for future releases. It makes the job of reviewers much easier. See how Linux Mint does it for their distro releases.
System Requirements for CrunchBang 11
I was not able to find a list of system requirements either. Since CrunchBang 11 is based on Debian, you can use that as a reference point for system requirements.
CrunchBang 11 Download
You can download CrunchBang 11 from this page. The file I downloaded weighed in at 775 MB.
You can get CrunchBang 11 in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. I opted for the 64-bit release.
CrunchBang 11 Installation
The CrunchBang 11 installer is quite good. It offers a guided partitioning option, and it’s very fast. Even total newbies shouldn’t have a problem installing CrunchBang 11. You have the option of jumping into the install or running a live session.
After the install is complete, and you boot into the desktop, a script will run in a terminal window. The script gives you the option of updating your system, installing Java as well as LibreOffice. You can also install development packages.
I like LibreOffice, so I used the script to add it to my system so I wouldn’t have to bother later.
The CrunchBang 11 Desktop
If you’re used to other distros, you might be slightly freaked out by CrunchBang 11 when you boot into the desktop. You won’t find garish wallpaper or 3D doodads. Instead, you’ll see a dark grey background.
On the right you’ll see system information and shortcut keys. Take note of the shortcut keys as they can be quite useful.