DistroWatch Review: BunsenLabs Linux [↗]

When I first started using BunsenLabs Linux I did not enjoy the experience. At first, it felt like installing Debian with a depressing theme and fewer features. The initial installation and configuration steps felt overly long and complicated. The Openbox environment lacked the features of fuller desktop environments while, at the same time, offering unwanted distractions such as Conky and extra virtual desktops. It would be fair to say the first two or three hours with Bunsen were unpleasant for me.

For distro developers, DistroWatch is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it can help attract talent and interest in your distro. It’s a curse because you run the gauntlet with reviewers, who can sometimes totally miss the point.

At the end of my trial, I still had some mixed feelings. As much as Bunsen grew on me, I couldn’t help but feel the experience felt very much like installing Debian and adding the Openbox window manager as a session option. While Bunsen takes care of that step for us, it also adds several extra steps during the initial configuration that made me feel like going with plain Debian and installing Openbox might have been faster and easier.

Whilst I haven’t tried Bunsen yet, I can guarantee that simply installing Openbox in vanilla Debian would not be faster and easier. Seriously, have you tried doing that lately?

I’m thinking that I should fire-up a virtual machine and give Bunsen a try, before attempting to write a proper review that does it justice.

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Bunsenlabs is just what I needed for my 1.46 ghz single core 1.5gb ram laptop. It zooms along like it was running XP. Maybe faster. I put Mint MATE on my dual core machines with lots of memory.

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