Well, as much as I’ve been loving Crunchbang 9.04.01 on Piggybacker, I’ve been hankering to work with a Debian-based distro for a while. (I plan to migrate Limited Edition over to Aptosid, or maybe vanilla Debian + KDE4 with Sid repositories, and I want to have at least some practice with Debian before then.) So, upon hearing of a new release of Crunchbang Statler that was at a pretty usable point, I downloaded the ISO and got to installing it.
Statler’s install screens are pretty self-explanatory, and the install process took about half an hour, which is pretty good time considering that everything is written to a crotchety and uber-slow CF card. The only real bump in the install process was when I forgot to explicitly tell Crunchbang to use my swap partition, so it of course didn’t use it (apparently I’m already too used to automation!). I took the easy way out and just reinstalled rather than fiddling with
After booting into my new Statler install (with a working swap partition this time 😛 ), a startup script popped up to help with the inevitable post-install customizations. Among other things, it allows you to enhance your default install with OpenOffice.org, Java runtime libraries, the Liquorix/Zen kernel (a more bleeding-edge and potentially better kernel, but I’ve not noticed a difference), XFCE side-by-side with Openbox, printer support, and development tools. It is a really nice touch that I would absolutely love to see in other distributions (especially the option to install OpenOffice.org).
I immediately took to Statler’s default theme, mostly because it is much easier to read in bright conditions (like near a window) than the 9.04.01 theme. The scrollbars are way harder to see, but that’s why we have keyboard shorcuts, right? Also, I’m not really a fan of Chrome, so I installed Iceweasel (a.k.a. Firefox).
I only had minor annoyances with the install, like having to manually alter some shortcuts and having some applications (including Firefox) not showing up in the main menu, but the Alt-F2 shortcut is keeping me happy in the meantime. Overall, Statler seems much more polished and visually appealing than 9.04.01, and it has proven very stable and workable as my mobile workstation.