Review: CrunchBang ("#!") Linux 11 "Waldorf"

Main Screen + Openbox Menu
This is the last week of classes for me. I have turned in all my assignments and a handful of days until finals, so I can take today and tomorrow to write a couple of reviews at my leisure. The first will be #!.

#! should be familiar to many readers here. It is a lightweight Debian-based distribution that uses Openbox. While it is not technically a rolling-release distribution because it is pinned to the stable release, there were tons of preview releases for this version. Now that Debian 7 "Wheezy" is finally stable, so is #! 11 "Waldorf". Since version 10 "Statler", the Xfce edition has been dropped, so #! is back to using Openbox exclusively.

I tried this on a live USB made with MultiSystem. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

To be honest, as it turns out, very little has changed from the preview release that I tried almost a year ago; you can read that article here. Rather than wasting electrons by rewriting the same words, I will simply list what has changed.

Iceweasel + Abiword
Iceweasel is the default browser instead of Chromium, which is something I like; plus, now Iceweasel has no issue with extensions and plugins for proper Mozilla Firefox, including the Google Talk plugin. Furthermore, although Debian 7 "Wheezy" typically ships with old software and although #! usually follows suit, Iceweasel is included at version 20, which includes the separate window private browsing feature.

I had the same password issue before when I wanted to log out and log back in to try the autostarting of Redshift, but I happily found out that typing "exit" into the username entry and then typing "startx" into the resulting console would bring back the desktop as-is; furthermore, Redshift worked great, and its GTK+ panel applet integrated well into the Tint2 panel. Speaking of Tint2, it was easy enough to edit its configuration file to position it at the bottom of the screen and change its clock format.

#! now might use even less RAM than before, at 148 MB; of course, having taken 8.13 — Experimental Physics I and 8.14 — Experimental Physics II, I can't tell if that is significantly different from the previous value of 150 MB without error bars on the two values (though I could probably get a better idea with more testing, if I had that kind of time).

Thunar + Viewnior
Skype worked perfectly this time around; it had no problems in its download, installation, or configuration. Finally, VLC had no troubles at all in playing any multimedia files (including MP4 videos) on the local Linux Mint partition on my laptop's hard drive.

One of the only bad thing to come out of this was that Mupen64Plus did not have a configurable input plugin, so I could not configure which keys would map to which controller buttons, though this is an extremely minor annoyance. The other issue was that the shutdown dialog wouldn't reboot the system, but I was still in the normal session, so I was able to issue the command "sudo shutdown -r now" to make it happen.

Otherwise, overall, #! has improved quite a bit over the last 10 months, and my recommendation of it to beginner Linux users who may be getting a little more comfortable with the idea of the CLI is only strengthened. It is an even more powerful and polished distribution than before, and that is pretty darn amazing.
You can get it here. To compensate for the relative brevity of this review, I am including pictures similar to those that I could not include last time.