In todays post in my prep for my yearly weekend at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) Im going to give my personal review of CrunchBang Linux.
Lets start by saying that I’m a big fan of live distributions. The reason I love them so much is because you drop in a CD and you have a running Linux system in seconds that doesn’t have to touch the hard drive of the existing system. I know that CrunchBang will have a booth at SCALE and I’d never heard of it so I thought I’d give it a try.
Let me let the cat out of the bag from the start. This is such a fantastic distribution that I will definitely be using it for systems that are slow or that I might just want for basic things like web browsing or standard desktop work. I’m not the all knowing computer genius but I do like when a distribution thinks and works like how I want to work so I test things by just trying to do things that I’d do on a casual day.
Before I go into what features it has let me tell you a little bit about what it’s working with and it’s look and feel. Starting this system up you’ll feel like it’s really going to be a minimalist experience and maybe a little too bare bones but you’d be wrong. It’s running of the stable branch of Debian Linux runs with the Openbox window manager. This thing is LIGHTNING FAST! I can not say how impressed I am at how fast and clean this system runs and I’ve run many an OS on this computer. Best thing about it is that it’s ready to go right out of the gate.
Now what do you usually do? Well, I started out with the scenario in my head that I’m having a little trouble with my original system or that it’s a computer with a hard drive filled with corrupted data. I booted this up as I described above and came to a very grey bland screen with data on the desktop of memory, cpu usage and some other little handy things. Right click and a menu pops up and accomplish the following steps with ease: Go to the web (Iceweasel browser), play some Youtube videos, type up a document (Abiword), look through the files (Thunar), download a pic of the web and edit/resize it (Gimp), and watch a video file off of my USB stick (MPlayer). Fast and easy.
Ok, let’s make the test a little harder though because I’m going to need this computer to still operate as a print server to other computers and do a little serious work on it at the same time. Well, options on the menu such as LibreOffice and printer support are one more click away and it actually lets you install the software while running from a CD. I go ahead and click it and next thing you know instead of the menu saying to install it has it available to me so I set up my printer and get to typing in LibreOffice. Next I pull up a terminal and I don’t expect this to be a already installed software choice but I like to use sshfs to mount a remote system and mount the hard drive and I can copy the data off and send it to the remote system. This worked right away without hesitation. Beautiful! I even decide I’m going online and blog about it which is where this post is being typed up.
I can’t say enough about this distribution. It is well thought out, fast and very customizable. Definitely going to be a tool in my bag of tricks.