It’s the end of an era, lightweight Linux fans. Philip Newborough has decided that it’s time to move on, and he’s ceasing development of #! — CrunchBang, for the uninitiated.

CrunchBang 11 Waldorf

Years ago when Brad and I started working together at AOL’s Download Squad, I purchased an MSI Wind U100. I threw all kinds of operating systems at it, from (shudder) Vista to an unpolished Windows 7 and OS X to endless Linux distros. No operating system lasted long on my little Atom-powered netbook, but one that I kept coming back to was CrunchBang.

Why? It was incredibly compact and efficient, and it booted in a flash. It didn’t come with scores of apps I’d never get around to using like some distros, but everything that I needed on a day-to-day basis was there from the very start.

But a lot has changed since Newborough first started working on the distro. He feels as though CrunchBang “no longer holds any value,” and that keeping the project going for purely sentimental reasons wouldn’t benefit the #! userbase. Instead, he’s suggesting plain vanilla Debian as a worthy alternative.

While he won’t be working on CrunchBang any more, Newborough has promised to keep the user forums up and running. “Ultimately, they belong to the community and so it will be for the community to decide what happens to them,” he wrote, adding that he’ll proudly support them as long as required.

It’s tough to hear that Newborough is letting CrunchBang go, but that’s how things go in the Linux community. Beloved distributions come and go. Sometimes someone else takes the reigns, and sometimes you’re left waiting for a worthy successor to come along. Debian’s certainly a great OS, but there are plenty of Lightweight Linux fans out there wondering what’s next for CrunchBang.

Whatever happens, Philip Newborough’s years of hard work won’t be forgotten. Best of luck on your next great adventure, Philip!

via Slashdot

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.

12 replies on “CrunchBang Linux developer moves on, recommends switch to Debian”

  1. Even though I never used CrunchBang (I’m an Arch guy), it makes me sad to see such a beloved distro pass on.

    I send my thanks to Philip Newborough. Thanks for creating and maintaining a great distro. My regards and best wishes go out to him.

    And most importantly…
    RIP: CrunchBang

  2. Lee, didn’t realize you and Brad worked at Download Squad – was a big fan back in the day. Guess it makes sense that I’m also a big fan of Liliputing. 😀

  3. The Wind U-100 was my daily driver (Hackintosh SnowLeopard) until last year when it up and died. Great little computer (and a vastly better screen than the ChromeBook that replaced it)

  4. My hat is off to Phillip and the Crunchbang community, thanx for those wonderful years.

    Looking for a Lightweight OS now for your PC?
    We got u covered, try one of these:
    * Lubuntu
    * Xubuntu
    * Ubuntu Mate
    * Ubuntu Classic
    * Debian

    I hope that helps. Keep it up guys.

    1. If you really want to keep old hardware running like a champ, my vote is for Arch with a lightweight window manager (e.g. Openbox) and no desktop manager. My Acer Aspire One netbook went from #! to Mint to Arch and it is responsive enough to be a daily driver. I ran #! for over a year and only switched because of all the good things I’d been hearing about the newer versions of Mint, but taking the plunge to Arch was nowhere near as painful as I expected.

    2. I’ve really enjoyed using elementary OS. I’m not sure if it’s as light as the distros you listed, but it’s very quick on a low end Pentium 4 (2.4 GHz) with 1 GB of RAM. Plus, its interface is simple, beautiful and easy to use.

  5. It’s HARD to CHEER for an article that has some IMAGE
    POSTED over the TEXT…
    I can’t READ it. (screenshot SAVED)
    THANKS for the FIX!!!

    1. neither desktop chrome, android chrome or the asus branded browser on my phone had any problem with the article displaying correctly.

  6. My portable yping and scripting laptop is still an Asus netbook I bought in 2009 that runs Crunchbang. It is/was a great little distro: fairly easy to install, idiot-resistant, extremely lightweight, and with a great and helpful community as well as Debian’s stability and huge number of available packages. Corenomial has a really excellent design sense, so even though I could probably just install Debian Stable and configure Openbox and etc., I know the results are going to look like crap compared to what he’s always put together. It’s always been among the best distros for someone who is maybe a computer geek without necessarily being a Linux geek. You get a system focused on development that makes heavy use of the command line and hand-editing preference files, but that rarely requires you to know any of the more baroque commands buried deep in the system. That’s been very satisfying for me, and I imagine a bunch of other people as well. Great implementation of Openbox as well, the best I’ve played with.

    So, a great run for a heck of a distro. I hope someone out there ruthlessly pillages it for ideas.

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