CrunchBang Linux: The Minimalist Distribution

The minimalist Linux distribution CrunchBang Linux was discontinued back in Feb 6, 2015.

CrunchBang Linux was popularly known by its abbreviated symbol #!. It was based on Debian.

It wasn’t just another Linux distribution because it featured a window manager instead of a desktop environment like GNOME and KDE. That’s something interesting!

CrunchBang Linux Overview

Crunchbang Linux
CrunchBang Linux

CrunchBang included a customized Openbox window manager experience instead of featuring any popular desktop environments.

Hence, it was a very lightweight Linux distribution back then. It also includes a couple of useful pre-installed applications that utilized the GTK+ widget toolkit.

The final/last version of CrunchBang was CrunchBang 11. Along with a simple version number, every release also had a code name that used the name of a character from the Muppet Show.

CrunchBang Linux Shutdown

Announcing that CrunchBang will no longer be developed, head of the project Philip Newborough said that when he started the project, Linux world was different place. He mentioned that there was no ‘competition’ in the same ilk at that time but with the advancement of Linux distros like Lubuntu, Crunchbang doesn’t hold the same value.

For anyone who has been involved with Linux for the past ten years or so, I’m sure they’ll agree that things have moved on. Whilst some things have stayed exactly the same, others have changed beyond all recognition. It’s called progress, and for the most part, progress is a good thing. That said, when progress happens, some things get left behind, and for me, CrunchBang is something that I need to leave behind. I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian.

CrunchBang Successors

Crunchbang Plus Plus

As of now, the CrunchBang website/forum is no longer active and you will not be able to access them.

However, there are a couple of community projects that are unofficial successors to CrunchBang Linux. Here’s some of them:

Except for Crunchbang Monara, the rest of the two options are being actively maintained, you can try them out if you want.

You can head to ArchiveOS’s page to download the original file for CrunchBang Linux to try it out. Since it’s been discontinued, I don’t recommend using it on your main computer and as your regular operating system.

Did you get the chance to try CrunchBang Linux back then? What did you think of it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

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  • I used Crunchbang for a time while it was active and loved it. The speed and simplicity of the window manager was a big factor in my appreciation of it.

  • A year in and no update to the article or even mentions on the comments of Bunsenlabs or CruchBang-Monara? At least CrunchBang Plus Plus got some love.

    Granted, I have not really looked into any of these enough yet to know which if any are the most active / viable alternative. Posting here for the benefit of others who might have landed here from a search. I’m too busy getting used to a new Arch system after years of Ubuntu to really weigh in on these myself.

  • I find this interesting but should the people that use Crunch Bang Linux not try using FreeBSD or for that mater GhostBSD which is actually based on an open-source version of BSD UNIX.