It was just a little while ago that the Linux world was shocked to find that CrunchBang Linux had died. The CrunchBang developer felt like it was time to move on, and so CrunchBang users were going to have to let it go and find a new minimalist distro for their computers until now.
The loss of CrunchBang Linux hit a lot of people hard, given its popularity. Fans of CrunchBang even buy t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and stickers on Amazon to show their loyalty to their favorite distribution. Yes, CrunchBang Linux has a lot of devoted users who value it far above other distributions.
The CrunchBang Plus Plus site is promising to continue the legacy of CrunchBang, but this time it will be based on Debian Jesse packages. The site already has a beta version available for download, and it’s promising to have a release candidate soon.
The download page also has this warning for those who want to give CrunchBang Plus Plus a try:
Keep in mind, as the distro is currently based off of the Debian netinst, an internet connection will be required. This is in no way a finished product. The Beta is currently more of a proof-of-concept than a full fledged release. As such, some breakage may arise through normal use. Regardless, experienced users and those familiar with the issues between Jessie and the #! metapackage will likely be familiar with the issues and should have no problem using this as a daily driver. While we don’t forsee any serious issues at this time, INSTALL AT YOUR OWN RISK. We are not responsible for any loss of data or otherwise unexpected consequences. VMs would be the safest choice until we can test further.
Thunar home shortcuts are missing (change manually in ~/.gtk-bookmarks) -cb-welcome prompts are mostly/all non-responsive -cb-pipemenus (Install Chromium, Install LibreOffice, etc.) are largely non-responsive
The resurrection of CrunchBang Linux
I must say that I was shocked to see CrunchBang resurrected so quickly, although I probably should not have been surprised. While it was never as well known or as popular as Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and other distributions, it did seem to have its dedicated following. And those folks were not happy to find that their favorite minimalist distribution had died.
Kudos to the folks who have brought CrunchBang Linux back from the dead. I’m a big fan of people having choices, and CrunchBang has always been an excellent option for those who want a minimalist Linux experience on their computers. So CrunchBang Plus Plus could be a fine replacement for the original CrunchBang distribution.
Some Redditors shared their thoughts in a thread about CrunchBang Plus Plus, and some of them weren’t supportive of bringing it back:
Emk2203: What exactly is it that needs to be kept alive? What need does crunchbang fill that is not already satisfied with arch, gentoo or debian unstable?
Cbmuser: You can just install Debian and install Openbox with the package manager.
NothingMuchHereToSay: Oh okay cool, while Linux Mint goes backwards by using Debian Stable, CrunchBang is now based off Debian Testing. Unless CrunchBang has hideous security practices for beginners like Linux Mint does, then it’s not that big of a deal since this is even more niche than Linux Mint.
TheManThatWasntThere: Crunchbang had unbelievably sane defaults which can take awhile to replicate, especially for new users.
Cathalgarvey: I love Debian, but I always use distro overlays like LMDE (which was a mistake because they EOL’d without switching to Jesse..) and !#. Why? Because Debian is ugly and heavy on first-launch config. Sorry, but that’s precisely why there are so many debian forks; user experience.
As you can tell from the comments above, the resurrection of CrunchBang also brings a bit of controversy with it. But I still think it’s a good idea, and I’m glad to see it happening. It may indeed be another niche distro, but if the developers support it and people want to use it then more power to all of them.
Welcome back, CrunchBang!
Update: Apparently CrunchBang Plus Plus is not the final word on CrunchBang Linux. FOSS Force is reporting that there is another CrunchBang version in the works as well:
…many long-time CrunchBang contributors and forum moderators (of which I am one) have banded together to form what is now being called Bunsen Labs — named after the Muppets’ top scientist Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, perhaps? — to preserve the spirit of the technological simplicity initiated by CrunchBang, and combine it with maintaining the spirit of openness and helpfulness that was the hallmark of the CrunchBang community.
Rather than rushing into producing something quick and ghoulishly capitalizing on attention given to a distro in demise — a distro that has meant so much to so many — Bunsen Labs is taking a more careful and thoughtful approach in refocusing the original intent of the original distro to make sure what the original lead developer started remains intact.
So it remains to be seen exactly what will happen with CrunchBang. We may end up with several versions of it being done by different groups. I suppose that some might see that as a bad thing, but at least it will give former CrunchBang users some options as to which one of the new CrunchBangs they want to use.
You may also want to check out this thread in the CrunchBang forum for reactions to the news about CrunchBang Plus Plus from some CrunchBang users. Some folks aren’t happy with the spin-off using the same name as the original distro.
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