Selling a VP on CrunchBang

Greg DeKoenigsberg, vice president (community) of Eucalyptus, threw down the gauntlet on Facebook this morning: “So I get why the whole ‘why you’re supporting #!’ — tell me why you’re *using* #!. Consider me a potential convert. 😉 ”

Challenge accepted.

But first, let’s talk about one of my favorite topics: ice cream. Were we to go to Baskin-Robbins, which flavor would you choose? If you choose Gold Medal Ribbon, you and I would be having the same flavor. I always order that flavor because it’s the one that I like best, the one that works for me. You might not like that flavor and might go with something else, and that’s OK too.

Distros are like flavors of ice cream — we all have our favorites and while you might prefer one flavor over another, we can agree that we like ice cream. Same with distros; different flavors, same product.

Forgive this brief sermon to the choir, because I know you know this already. Obviously, that’s for the benefit of those in the blogosphere who might take a “$DISTRO uber alles” approach to FOSS, which you and I will agree is not the best policy.

Let me briefly tell you why I’m using CrunchBang: Part of it is performance — using Openbox window manager tosses out a lot of what bogs down a desktop environment, memory-wise (and since I’m stuck with older hardware for the moment, that in and of itself is a blessing). Part of has to do with personal experience: Having five years of Linux under my proverbial belt, I found I don’t need an off-the-shelf distro any longer, and CrunchBang has a tweakability that I find suits my level of growing expertise. Also, over the last several months, I find that answers to questions I have about CrunchBang are readily available on a very well-organized and well-stocked forum.

I also like the idea of contributing to a distro and a community that has the potential to grow. CrunchBang is not going to replace Fedora, Ubuntu or Linux Mint any time soon — no one in their right mind thinks that — but it has its place in the Linux strata in the same way that while Porsche does not rank high among the sales leaders in auto sales, its quality and reputation precedes it.

Such is the case for several distros that (shameless self-promotion alert) I’ll be talking about during my presentation, “On Beyond Zenwalk,” at SCALE 10X next month.

What it all boils down to — and I realize that I don’t win any sales points here — is honesty. In the final analysis, you have to try it for yourself.

If you like it, use it. If you don’t, use what you like.

Personally, I’m looking forward to your keynote at SCALE next month and I’d be glad to talk to you more about it if you’re interested. Meanwhile, to your question “why” I’m using CrunchBang, I hope this will suffice.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started testing and developing software in his new home office in the redwood covered hills of Felton, California, USA. Watch this space.)

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4 responses to “Selling a VP on CrunchBang

  1. the ice cream analogy is, quite possibly, the best explanation of the distro diversity situation in linux-land. i’m totally stealing that as my explanation from now on. 🙂

  2. Well said, like Nathan I like “The Ice Cream Connection” – to coin the phrase differently. No Baskin-Robbins down here, Italia ice cream is a “top quality” ice cream here, you can watch them make it right in the store. I can’t watch corenominal make #! but the quality is obvious.

    Oh, I have my favourite ice cream flavour that belays my love for #! – Mint with chocolate chunks. I can hear the LinuxMINT people chuckling now. However I doubt there is a distro out there that will replace #! on my machine anytime soon for two reasons, one stated above. The other; I’ve stopped looking because of one stated above

  3. Larry, I agree with your words completely. In case this might help with Greg’s question… here are some more words on the subject.

    Each individual has their own:
    – computing needs
    – motivations for learning (or not learning) new things
    – reasons for supporting one philosophy or another
    – idea of what is the “ideal” user experience

    I stumbled across #! shortly after its first release and was very happy to have found it. At the time, I was looking for a distro that would run well on older hardware. The more I used CrunchBang, the more I fell in love with it, for the reasons listed below.

    Debian Linux:
    Having used Fedora, Slackware, Gentoo, and Debian, I have come to love, and become most familiar with Debian, with its file structure, and its package management system. After trying out all of the other major players, Debian is just the right fit for me.

    OpenBox Window Manager:
    Having extensively used Gnome and KDE, and having also spent some time being wowed by the “bling” that is associated with Compiz, KDE Plasma, E-17 and the like, I have grown to further appreciate the simplicity and configurability of a window manager like OpenBox. I’ve also tried FluxBox and PeKwm, and also some tiling window managers as well, but I keep coming back to OpenBox because it is familiar to me, it’s easy to configure, and it does exactly what I tell it to do (not to imply that the others are not also easy to configure or that they do things other than what they are told…).
    – OpenBox is highly configurable
    – OpenBox is light weight and less reliant on system resources
    – OpenBox does what it is told
    – Good documentation is available for OpenBox

    Out of the box, #! is sleek and sexy looking. It’s simple, light weight on the system resources, but robust and powerful in all other ways. The cb-welcome script that runs after installation walks you through setting up your machine as a server or development platform if you wish to it as such, and the #! forums are a great resource for anyone who has questions. The #! community is very knowledgeable and is a great resource for anyone who has an issue that needs to be solved.

    Although I still like to occasionally look at what’s new with the latest releases of Gnome and KDE and also try out various Linux distributions, CrunchBang is my primary OS and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

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