COMP 3000 2011 Report: CrunchBang

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Part 1


The Linux distribution I chose is CrunchBang which is commonly referred to as '#!'. CrunchBang is "designed to offer a modern, full-featured GNU/Linux system without sacrificing performance."<ref name="About CrunchBang">About Crunchbang Linux. (2011, Feb. 18). Retrieved October 14, 2011 from</ref> It does not appear to be targeted at any particular audience.

CrunchBang was created and continues to be developed by Philip Newborough<ref name="wiki">CrunchBang Linux. (2011, Sep. 26). Retrieved October 14, 2011 from</ref> who goes by the name "corenominal" on the CrunchBang forums and on his blog. No public source code repository could be found and it appears that Philip does all of the development himself.

The latest release of CrunchBang, called CrunchBang 10 "Statler" R20110207, is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions with either the Openbox window manager or the Xfce4 window manager. They are available for download as torrents from the CrunchBang downloads page. The installation CD images are between 640-690MB in size, while a fresh installation of 64-bit CrunchBang took about 1.7 GB of hard disk space.

CrunchBang is based on Debian GNU/Linux,<ref name="About CrunchBang"/> with the latest release being based on Debian 6.<ref>CrunchBang 10 “Statler” r20110207. (2011, Feb. 8). Retrieved October 14, 2011 from</ref> Previous to this, CrunchBang was based off of Ubuntu releases, up to Ubuntu 9.04.01, but in the latest release Ubuntu was bypassed and it was based straight off of Debian.<ref>Development release: CrunchBang 10 “Statler” Alpha 1. (2010, March 19). Retrieved October 14, 2011 from</ref>


CrunchBang boot menu

After booting CrunchBang from an installation image, it gives you the option of running it as one of two live sessions, performing a text-based installation, or a graphical installation (as well as running a memory test). As there were two versions of CrunchBang, one using the Openbox window manager, and another using xfce4, I chose to install both, doing the graphical installation for the Openbox version, and text-based for xfce.

Choosing the language in a graphical installation (left) and a text-based installation (right)

I performed both installations from VirtualBox, giving both systems identical hardware (16 GB hard disks, 512 MB of memory). Aside from the obvious difference in appearance between the two installation methods, there was no difference in the installation.

Installation progress of the graphical installer (left) and text-based installer (right)

Both installations asked for: language, location, keyboard configuration, host name, user's full name, username and password, time zone, and partitioning options.

The time taken for both installation methods was roughly 10 minutes and, just after installation, used roughly 1.7 GB of space on the virtual hard drive (though their virtual disk files on the host operating system were around 1.9 GB). No problems were experienced during either installation of CrunchBang.

Basic Operation

Openbox desktop (left) compared to xfce4 desktop (right)

Both distributions have a minimalist look and feel, showing simply a black background with the CrunchBang logo in the center and a dark task bar on the bottom. The xfce4 installation had information on the desktop on the right displaying system information and shortcut keys. Notably, this was missing in the Openbox installation, which was odd considering they were present in the live session.

Openbox menu (left), xfce left side menu (center), xfce menu (right)

The menu can be reached by a keyboard shortcut (super+space with openbox, super+alt with xfce), while the xfce version also has a small menu that pops open from the left side of the screen when the mouse is brought near.

Usage Evaluation

software updates, Java, OpenOffice, printer software, LAMP, Liquorix/Zen Kernel,

Part 2

Part 3


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