back to article Crunchbang++ versus Bunsen Labs: The pair turn it up to 12

Crunchbang++ and Bunsen Labs each aim to continue the tradition of the very lightweight Crunchbang Linux, although both distros have thickened around the waist a bit over the years. BunsenLabs Boron is the latest release of one of the two projects developing Crunchbang's successors. This release updates BunsenLabs by rebasing …

  1. ldo

    either combine their efforts… or move further apart.

    I fully expect, if you take a look around at more distros, you will find a few options that fulfil your wishes in either direction.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    Start Menu vs Super Key

    You know what, when you look at your keyboard, there are 26 letters there from the alphabet and the super key. In pure day to day computing, does anyone use more than 26 applications? I'm looking at my taskbar on Linux Mint and I only have 10 applications open for the working day. For me those apps are pinned to the taskbar, and I can't actually remember the last time I needed the start menu really.

    Sure of course if a newbie starts using it then they'll want a start menu, but then would a newbie be starting off with something so minimalist as these distros?

    1. unimaginative

      Re: Start Menu vs Super Key

      I prefer press a key and start typing.

      I do this on KDE - a key assigned to start krunner and then type the first two or three letters of the application name. It means an extra keypress or two, but it also means all applications can be started from there and you do not have to remember key combinations). It has other advantages (it also shows matching already open windows so you can switch to them instead, you can type in amounts to do calculations or currency conversions etc.).

      KDE is far from lightweight, but there are stand alone equivalents which are quite light.

      I do use KDE pin to task manager on my tablet.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Start Menu vs Super Key

        Be careful - you'll have the usual suspects foaming at the mouth about using the command line.

    2. darkrookie28

      Re: Start Menu vs Super Key

      I do it all the time. Anything that isn't Steam, Waterfox, or Dolphin, I go thru the menu at home.

      At work I do use the pin to Start since I can somewhat organize that.

      I do not understand people obsession with using the keyboard with the occasional smudging.

    3. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Start Menu vs Super Key

      [Author here]

      > Sure of course if a newbie starts using it then they'll want a start menu, but then would a newbie be starting off with something so minimalist as these distros?

      I gave you an upvote anyway, but you are not wrong.

      One of the things I like about #! and its kin are that although they are quite minimal, they do just work as much as any distro, and if you just right-click, are just as easy to use as any conventional distro... while being a very great deal less hassle than, say, Alpine or antiX or Void or most of the minimal distros.

      Raspberry Pi desktop is even more minimal and yet also has a conventional desktop... but these have a touch of style and beardie-credibility that Raspbian might lack. ;-)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hash

    Unfortunately too many people think # is called Hashtag.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Hash

      One too many people certainly did.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh.......

    Linux problems:

    (1) Choose a distribution

    (2) Choose a desktop

    (3) Get down to work

    Isn't it a pity that most people just want to get to item #3??!!

    Isn't it a pity that some of the choices for item #2 are butt ugly? (I'm looking at you Gnome3!)

    Isn't it a pity that once you have got your chosen APPLICATIONS in place, items #1 and #2 are mostly irrelevant?

    Just saying!!!!

    1. LionelB Silver badge

      Re: Sigh.......

      > Isn't it a pity that most people just want to get to item #3??!!

      "Most people"? Chances are that if someone chooses to go with Linux then either they are already familiar with Linux to some degree and are happy to embrace the choices on offer, or they are a newbie — in which case if they have half a brain cell they will have googled "Best Linux distribution for beginners" (or some such), and flicked through a few screenshots of desktops.

      Linux is about choice - if that doesn't float your boat, then it's not the OS for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sigh.......

        @LionelB

        Funnily enough, Fedora 39 and XFCE actually do "float my boat"........

        But the drafting of three "linux problems" was designed to point out three reasons why Linux regularly fails to be "The Desktop Of The Year".

        Thanks for the downvote.....remember the injuction about assumptions? No....I didnt think so!

        1. LionelB Silver badge

          Re: Sigh.......

          Erm, okay, if you actually give a fig about Linux "making it" on the Desktop* (that wasn't how I read your post - you just claimed "linux problems"). Personally I don't give a fig. As it happens, it's been the "Year of the Linux Desktop" for me for the past 25 years, but I don't necessarily think it's for everyone. (What was that again about assumptions?)

          *FWIW, history tells us that no OS gains widespread traction unless it is mass-marketed preinstalled on commercial hardware (cf. Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, CromeOS, ...). Whether that ever happens for Linux is of limited interest to me.

      2. jgarbo

        Re: Sigh.......

        Choice, yes. But must we choose everything again every day? Once you choose a distro, you just want to get on with your work. Of course, there are nitpickers and fiddlers...

        1. LionelB Silver badge

          Re: Sigh.......

          > But must we choose everything again every day?

          Erm, why would you want to do that? (Unless it floats your boat - doesn't mine, I have life/work to be getting on with.)

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Sigh.......

      "Isn't it a pity that most people just want to get to item #3??!!"

      It is.

      How many work hours are lost a week with the need to restart Windows because it shat itself? Or it's decided 10am on a Monday morning is the prime time to lock itself to do updates for the next hour?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Sigh.......

        And how many more are lost to figuring things out again every time Windows crayon-kiddies decide to reinvent the UI?

    3. Adair Silver badge

      Re: Sigh.......

      Isn't it a pity that some of us don't appreciate, or even understand, the concept of 'freedom', e.g. the freedom to/not to use Linux.

    4. ldo

      Re: Sigh.......

      Car problems:

      (1) Choose a make

      (2) Choose a model

      (3) Get from A to B

      Isn't it a pity that most people just want to get to item #3??!!

      Isn't it a pity that some of the choices for item #2 are butt ugly? (I'm looking at you Toyota/Ford/Mazda/VW/alltherestofthem)

      Isn't it a pity that once you have got your chosen DRIVING ROUTE in place, items #1 and #2 are mostly irrelevant?

  5. corb

    Openbox is No Go on 4K

    As a Crunchbang user way back when, I like that these two derivations are still around. I've always liked the menu-on-right-desktop-click approach of Openbox (and XFCE).

    That said, Openbox themes don't know about 4K/HiDPI displays. They're broken enough there to be unusable. LXDE and LXQT, both much like Crunchbang and both using Openbox, have the same weakness.

    It's not appropriate to think these distributions are candidates for mainstream use. The amount of configurability they expose, out of necessity, limits their appeal to users who are attracted by the need to spend time learning how Openbox and things like pipemenus work. Most users would be stumped trying to figure out "what to do next" after the first boot of an installed system.

    1. Steve Graham

      Re: Openbox is No Go on 4K

      I don't know what you're doing wrong, but OpenBox works fine on my 4k screen. All I had to do was use Obconf to adjust font sizes. Oh, and install "big-cursor" to make the mouse pointer visible.

      I've tried tint2 but prefer xfce4panel (which does come with a system menu). You don't need the full xfce4 suite, but can pick and choose.

      1. corb

        Re: Openbox is No Go on 4K

        The window decorations/headers don't expand well vertically when I increase font size. I think 9pt is the usual default, I want 11-12 pt and that, iirc, doesn't work well for me. Ditto the traditional XFWM themes in XFCE.

        I'm also not satisfied with the compositors available for Openbox. Scrolling in Firefox in Openbox with a touchpad, with or without a compositor, is "ripply" with smooth scrolling on (and I want it on and am too lazy to fiddle around with compositor configurations). I notice it less on a desktop with a mouse and the larger display.

  6. Grunchy Silver badge

    I’ve grown accustomed to Ubuntu Debian, it works with every part of my setup, including the networked laser printer.

    But I’ve set up another slot in virt-manager to play around with Kolibri OS, which I find absolutely Kick Ass. The bare OS fits inside 1.44 MB, but if you can spare 40MB you get the complete package including file managers, text editors, plenty of games (including Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, Lode Runner, “Super” Star Trek, and my current favorites Flood-It and Laser Tank), two web browsers, graphics editors including a really good icon editor. Hex editors, IDEs, it’s got DosBOX in there, TinyBasic, numerous calculators, an interesting CNC editor (in Russian though).

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Author here]

      > I’ve grown accustomed to Ubuntu Debian,

      Used to what now?

      Where did you get that from, then?

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "native English speakers"

    How did you smuggle that one past the watchdogs, Liam?

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      *Cough*

      Nothing to see here. Move along please.

  8. williamyf

    CBPP Vs. Bunsen

    I came to Know about #! and its devivatives CBPP + Bunsen through el reg, many years ago when I was looking for tyny distros to Replace Damn Small Linux with something more modern. I was using it for VMs, also to resurrect old machines, and I recomended it to my students to simulate Workstations in virtualized nertwork topologies.

    I ended up decanting for CBPP for a simple reason, they are MONTHS faster to release after a new Debian drops. Debian is stale as it is, imagine waiting on top of that for the extra time that Bunsen takes to release, by the time you get the Bunsen with the latest Debian, you have already oudated applications. That is a no-go for me

    Having said that, I have read many times that the Bunsen Comunity is more welcoming and helpfull for newbiies, but, not having used Bunsen, I can neither confirm, nor deny.

    CBPP for the Win!

    JM2C, YMMV

    1. ldo

      Re: Damn Small Linux

      Ah ... anybody else remember those business-card CDs? They could hold something like 50-80MB, and Damn Small Linux was sized nicely to fit.

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Damn Small Linux

        [Author here]

        > Ah ... anybody else remember those business-card CDs? They could hold something like 50-80MB, and Damn Small Linux was sized nicely to fit.

        I'd forgotten about that. I think you're right: it was originally intended to fit onto one.

        The paranoid can blame Apple. The rise of tray-loading optical drives killed off business card CDs, because they not only don't work, but they get stuck. And slot-loaders got trendy because of the original iMac, IIRC.

  9. hh121

    I get the principle of Linux, Liam's articles about the FOSS landscape are invariably interesting, but I always end up with the same question...why does anyone need all the rats and mice variants, where 'choice' just means another headache (which seems to get bigger with each of these articles). The concerns would be a) how can I be sure it's going to be kept up to date and secure, a b) how can I be sure there's nothing untoward in it, same as occurs to me when faced with any download/install of something that isn't from a trusted brand name. I barely trust my bank(s) and my telco(s) for software, let alone randos putting together distros.

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