ArchBang vs CrunchBang

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ArchBang and CrunchBang are Linux distributions that are designed to be light-weight and to include the latest free open source software. Both use Openbox as their Window Manager. Crunchbang is based on Debian while ArchBang is based on Arch Linux. Crunchbang was the original inspiration behind Archbang.


Both distributions include openbox. Their implementation lacks some of the features that full desktop environments typically provide - for instance, configuration utilities for what the computer does when the power button is pressed. Power saving by automatically going to sleep-mode is one feature that missing. GUI utilities to manage what programs run at startup are another. .

Download Size[edit]

The exact size will vary by version and/or processor type.

Archbang is a download of about 425MB; CrunchBang is a download of about 650MB.

Update Process[edit]

Crunchbang and Archbang use the repositories and update process of Debian and Arch respectively. Crunchbang / Debian's update process tends to be very easy and reliable - issue a couple of commands and the machine takes care of the rest.

Archbang, ideally, is even easier - one command downloads information about what packages are available and then installs them. In practice, it can cause problems in a couple ways:

  • The first time you run an update, nearly all the packages may need to be updated. This can take a really long time.
  • One broken package can block all updates - Pacman might say "error: failed to commit transaction (conflicting files)". One can force these files to be overwritten or upgrade other packages while avoiding the package whose update causes conflicting files.... but trying these solutions could cause the operating system to quit working.

If many files conflict, the recommended solution (renaming the offending files and then upgrading the package) may be very time-consuming to implement.

Cutting Edge software[edit]

Archbang uses the Arch repositories, and that means cutting edge software. A look at shows that Arch repositories generally include very few packages older than the latest stable release. Comparing Debian (testing or unstable) on distrowatch reveals that many packages are behind the latest version.