CrunchEee Linux: minimalist distro for Asus netbooks

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A lightweight derivative of Ubuntu Linux, CrunchBang is designed for the limited display resolution (and the hardware profile) of Asus’ Eee PC range of netbooks. It’s also limited in size, offering a few basic apps like Firefox, but otherwise maintaining a minimal footprint: Just slap it on a flash drive or CD and get cracking. Here’s a forum thread about it.

As much as Linux confuses and disappoints mainstream users, projects like this are a much better path than the current trend in netbook software, which is “Put as much RAM in as possible and hope Vista won’t suck too badly.”

It’s also perfectly named for Mike Arrington’s tablet netbook thingy, if and when it appears! (And also comes in a standard edition if you want to put it on anything else)

Download [CrunchBang Linux via Lilliputing]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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8 Responses to CrunchEee Linux: minimalist distro for Asus netbooks

  1. nopuppy says:

    “Linux confuses and disappoints mainstream users”?? Since when? Oh, you mean the braindead people who think switching OSes should pose no learning curve (and does learning Vista pose no learning curve?).

    Well, as a pretty mainstream user, my transition to Linux was seamless and simple. The only trick is to not expect it to be Windows. Just as you had to learn Windows/OS X at some point (and we did, we did), you have to learn the Linux distro you’re using. Just like being a vegetarian: if you eat fake meat and then blame it for not tasting like meat, you’re screwed. If you eat the thousands of fruits and vegetables and legumes available for the wonderful flavors they offer, you’ll do fine.

  2. Oddball says:

    In response to #2:
    I think the big problem now is that the custom Linux installs the netbook manufacturers are shipping their products with are utter crap. The version of Xandros that came with my eee PC quickly ticked me off. The libertyfs file system is an interesting idea, but essentially cutting an already small root partition in half is just dumb, and the default interface just made it feel like a toy. I blew it off and slapped Debian on it and was much happier, and have since switch to Ubunutu 8.10 for hardware compatibility issues and love it.

    My dad recently bought an Aspire One with Linpus Lite on it. He called me up and asked how to get to a “real desktop.” After downloading a copy of Linpus and booting the live CD, I understood his issues. The default interface looks and feels like it was designed for a 5 year old. What’s worse is that it appears that Linpus doesn’t have some pretty standard Linux commands (ifconfig, iwconfig, lsmod to name 3). I’m currently on the hunt for a distro that installs easily on the Aspire One since I’m ~500 miles away and the only person he knows that has a clue when it comes to Linux. I’m not even going to get into trying to walk him through installing a USB cellular modem on it over the phone.

    I think it’s a huge shame and there should be an outcry of linux geeks over how these companies are treating a powerful OS. Most of the geeks that I know just brush it off and install their flavor of choice. Your average person doesn’t know that’s an option and/or won’t deal with the hassle of finding a good flavor and installing it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does it include EVDO support? Trying to get an EVDO card up and running on an ASUS Surf 2G was an exercise in endless frustration. After totally killing the machine and restoring to factory install four times, we finally gave up and sold the thing.

    It just seems strange that something so obvious for a netbook should be so difficult to install.

  4. noen says:

    Way tog o Nopuppy. Way to drive people away with your arrogance and conceit. Your attitude is what keeps people away, thanks.

  5. EyeSpy Guy says:

    I’m running the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my Aspire one, at the moment. It is nice, but not ideal. I would love to know what you decide on, Odball.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I just unwrapped my asus eee pc with linux. So far things work great browsing is so fast! The keyboard is a little too small… Anyways I’m trying to figure out how to get firefox> f ile>send link to work. Any ideas of how to answer this question? I identified myself under “webmail” and i hoped that would do the trick. It’s so lean and mean I don’t want to bog it down with too much software…TIA

  7. Oddball says:

    I installed eeebuntu netbook remix on my Aspire One (my work laptop, so it’s dual booting windows and linux), and everything seems to work out of the box. I believe the eeebuntu standard desktop edition should work the same if you don’t like the netbook remix interface.

    I used to be in the “ubuntu is Debian without choice” crowd, but their official repositories are now just as big as Debian’s and, frankly, significantly more up to date than Debian’s stable. I think I have a winner for my dad. Of course, I’m still going to wait until we can get together face-to-face before installing the cellular modem.

  8. Pitabu says:

    I use CrunchBang on an older Compaq notebook- really happy with it. What’s important to remember though is that although these are minimalist distros, they are still modern linux distros and not really suited for the more ancient of laptops.

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