ArchBang Is Lightweight & Always Up To Date [Linux]

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archbang linuxInstall a lightweight operating system that’s always up to date. Featuring the speedy Openbox desktop and built on the rolling release Arch Linux, Archbang delivers both minimalism and up-to-date software. Best of all, it’s a lot easier to set up and use than a vanilla Arch installation.

In a world full of lightweight Linux distributions, why look at ArchBang? For one thing, it’s fast. It’s like CrunchBang, only built on Arch instead of Ubuntu. OpenBox is a very lightweight window manager, and Arch is known for its speed. If you dig minimalism, you’ll love ArchBang. This isn’t just a stripped-down system, however. With ArchBang you have access to Arch’s always-up-to-date library of software. Best of all, stability isn’t compromised for the sake of staying up to date, another key feature of Arch.

So while this system isn’t for everyone, ArchBang’s own Linux website sums it up best: “Suitable for both desktop and portable systems, it is fast, stable, and always up to date.”

The Desktop

Boot ArchBang and you won’t see much. There’s a black wallpaper, a list of keyboard shortcuts, and a very simple dock:

archbang linux

Where is the menu? Simple – just right-click on the desktop. You’ll see the complete selection of applications here:

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lightweight linux os

Alternatively, instead of using the menu, you can use the keyboard shortcuts listed on the desktop. One you get used to these shortcuts they will become natural to you, and you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with menus before.

Want to change what’s in the menu? A GUI menu editor gives you that power:

lightweight linux os

Traditionally OpenBox menus are edited by hand, so it’s nice having an alternative means.

Browse the menu and you’ll find various ways to tweak your operating system. Highlights include turning special effects like shadows on and off, and changing the desktop theme.

Included Software

So what can this operating system do out of the box? If you’re like most people, the web browser is the first thing you’ll be looking for. Good news: ArchBang comes with Chromium, which Chrome users should be more than comfortable with.

lightweight linux os

The office applications offered by default include AbiWord, the best free lightweight word processor, and, of course, image editor The Gimp is offered for anyone needing to edit images:

archbang linux

Want to know more about included software? Find the complete list of ArchBang software here.

Installing ArchBang

First things first: download ArchBang here. You’ll get an ISO file that works as a live CD.

Once you’ve booted into ArchBang from CD you can install the system. You’ll find the installer in ArchBang’s menu, and it’s relatively self-explanatory if you’ve ever installed Linux. The ArchBang Wiki features installation instructions if you get stuck.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a netbook user looking to squeeze more performance out of your tiny computer or just a Linux enthusiast looking for something new to play with, ArchBang is worth checking out. In fact, it just might become your go-to operating system.

But that’s just what I think. What do you think? Is there a better Arch-based system out there? Or is it best just to install Arch yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Comments (49)
  • Undefined

    If you get used to Archbang, then there is no harm in ‘trying’ to setup arch as Archbang even though minimal has software pre-installed while in Arch, you actually have ONLY what you want.. Not even a single thing which is not going to be used by you

  • Bsdsolarux

     Thanks for review, albeit not a full one ;)

    archbang seems like one of the fastest “WORKING” distro’s outta-the-box I’ve ever hopped onto. :)   nice.
     
    btw, I found a great “DOC” in Archbang, for all your above needs, to get you started.
    -just press “Super + r” combo keys on your OpenBox desktop and it’s all there.

  • Rohan Choukkar

    Like the article said – ArchBang just became my go-to operating system!

  • David Sena

    I love arch so much. After him, my linux experience change greatly. I like ubuntu, i like other, but i cannot imagine myself returning to them. The pacman is a lot more faster then debian based distros. The install and updates are 10 times faster. I am not speaking about the internet speed, but in the way like the sistem process the packages. Try and surpreend yourself.

  • Cicas

    Great article!
    As a netbook user, I’ve been always looking for something light and speedy. After hell with Fedora on my old machine, where I discovered XFCE, I was totally sure no fedora anymore. So my new netbook went ubuntu (10.10 netbook) very quickly and xfce came right after that.. but it wasn’t as light as I wanted it to be. After a while, i discovered a LXDE desktop environment (which uses OpenBox), which finally provided me what I was looking for – but.. Out-of-the-box distro Lubuntu is just piece of ****, wifi non-working and many other troubles. Much better was classic ubuntu+lxde metapackage – until I’ve switched to 11.04 (about two weeks ago). After that my friend showed me a WattOS, which I’m using now. It’s a really nice piece of work and I can’t figure out why Lubuntu is such a ****. Another appealing distro is LXDE version of Mint with its update management, which is a bit hazard in Ubuntu (and WattOS).
    But deep inside I’ve always felt these cyclic updates are not my cup of tea and rolling releases were always a +1 when considering new distro. Unfortunately those distros had too many cons against this one. But maybe that’s finally changing. I’m downloading ArchBang and I’ll post my experiences after trying.
    Thans a lot for showing me a new hope! :)

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.