Philip Newborough abandons CrunchBang Linux

On February 6th all romours turned out to be true: Philip Newborough announced the End. of his distribution CrunchBang Linux.

His clear and direct first words about the end:

I have decided to stop developing CrunchBang. This has not been an easy decision to make and I’ve been putting it off for months. It’s hard to let go of something you love.

With CrunchBang 11 'Waldorf' Philip Newborough released the last official version based on Debian 7 on May 6th in 2013.

CrunchBang Linux was not only special because of it's name or by taking codenames from charakters of the Muppet Show but because of it's strict focus on being an extremely lightweight distribution as well as being still functional and feature rich so the user would not miss anything from the much heavier alternatives.

The founder therefore relies on the lightweight window manager OpenBox instead of a fully featured and complete desktop environment. Extended with many useful tools and out-of-the-box media support CrunchBand was unique among the huge family of Linux distributions and inspired many spin-offs with related names like ArchBang (a distribution which aims to be like CrunchBang but based on Arch Linux instead of Debian).

With the existence of well supported distributions like ArchBand and Lubuntu Newborough saw no added value by releasing a new version of CrunchBang, like he points out on his forum post:

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 [...].

This is the reason founder and lead developer Newborough decided to leave off work on his Linux distribution and to move on to new tasks and projects.

As a former and long time user of CrunchBang 10 and 11 I am very sad about the end of such a remarkable distribution. CrunchBang repesented stability and reliability like almost no other small distribution. But even the latest release, #! 11, turned out to suffer from it's stable but very conservative and old Debian base which brought some rough edges with it putting some of the users off already a while ago and moving on to other more modern operating systems.

Newborough announced to further run the forum as long as the community needs and wishes - a noble move.

I wish Philip Newborough success and fun with his projects and may health and fortune be with him.

Thank you a lot for a unique and inspiring distribution!

Further reading