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#1 2016-07-29 08:08:48

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 8,429
Website

What is BunsenLabs?

Maybe collect here some peoples' impressions of what makes BL what it is, probably referring back to CrunchBang.

To start off, something that crossed my mind the other day - some reviewers and forum posters have said how easy it would be to create something like BL or #! by hand in an hour or two, starting from a Debian netinstall base. Of course this overlooks the many hours/months of experimentation and discussion that went into each of the "simple" decisions that were made over package choice, configuration, scripting, theming, icon choice...

But in a sense, isn't the transparency, the human-readable text files, one of the merits of BunsenLabs? Anyone with a little bit of Linux experience can take it apart and put it back together the way they want.


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#2 2016-07-29 16:17:18

Sector11
Conky 1.9er Mod Squid
From: Upstairs
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,841

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

I'm the resident noob, despite the fact I have been using Linux for 9 years.  I like the terminal and do a lot with it - with the help of aliases collected and configured by me.  I'm not a programmer and know precious little about the 'guts' of any OS.

However, from Windows where I was 100% "user" to Ubuntu where I started to learn a little about command line stuff but was totally dependent on the GUI desktop apps I came to CrunchBang.

And here I am, tweaking config files, using man pages like crazy and "startpaging" ( I don't 'google' ) and John hit it on the head with his:

johnraff wrote:

transparency, the human-readable text files, one of the merits of BunsenLabs

And lets not forget the forums and people here, all (most) helping where thay can.  smile

So yea, text files are a blessing, along with the people here to help us understand what we are reading / looking at or tweaking.


The sun will never set if you keep walking towards it. - my son
Being positive doesn't understand physics.
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#3 2016-07-29 16:45:16

Horizon_Brave
Operating System: Linux-Nettrix
Registered: 2015-10-18
Posts: 1,473

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

Sector11 wrote:

I'm the resident noob, despite the fact I have been using Linux for 9 years.

Whoa whoa whoa, I call dibs on the resident noob title! big_smile

I agree though, I love the modularity that Bunsen provides.  While it's admittedly a lot to take in and learn upfront, its worth the effort. When I first found #! and then Bunsenlabs, later, I was confused by all the naming conventions... (what the hell is a conky, a tint, a compton, and what the heck is pinning?!)   Later and slowly over time, the openness of it, lets your figure it all out. IF you are willing to put in the time. That though I think is the great attraction AND downfall of systems like linux. It requires a bit of effort and experimentation to figure out. Which turns a lot of people off.  I had no clue about drivers and kernel modules before I studied for my linux+ and even then, only what they meant in name. Being "apart"  of the community here has really opened my eyes as to how linux truely works. And as Sector11 and I both do, asking lots of questions!


If anything, Bunsenlabs, which is essentially a "wrapper" on top of 'Ma Deb, should be even more open and experimental. I mean we use the term labs in our name! Debian stable, is available in it's vanilla form to anyone... Bunsenlabs, I would be proud to see, maybe not go into testing and unstable territory, but allow for a bit more diversion than sticking so close to 'ma Deb's apron strings!

So, in short, Bunsen is pretty neat because of the ground up openness of it.  Allows experimentation (but what linux distro doesn't?) and I think above all is a sense of community here... We're a small group of guys who don't seem to mind helping one another out which is ideally what a real community should indeed be.


"I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that will not work" -Edison

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#4 2016-07-29 16:52:38

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,732

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

I sometimes think that a gui system management tool might be a nice addition, but then remember that BL should require at least some effort to configure and tweak it. To me, that is part of the joy and satisfaction. If new users aren't happy with that, then there are many other distros which would suit them.

Anyone remember the guy who was worried that we weren't concerned about marketing BL, or having a target audience?  BunsenLabs is by and for the BunsenLabs "community" (whatever that is!), and was meant to provide a home for those of us who loved Crunchbang, and the well-regarded Crunchbang "community".


johnraff wrote:

Anyone with a little bit of Linux experience can take it apart and put it back together the way they want.

...and long may that approach continue smile


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#5 2016-07-29 17:09:07

Horizon_Brave
Operating System: Linux-Nettrix
Registered: 2015-10-18
Posts: 1,473

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

damo wrote:

I sometimes think that a gui system management tool might be a nice addition, but then remember that BL should require at least some effort to configure and tweak it. To me, that is part of the joy and satisfaction. If new users aren't happy with that, then there are many other distros which would suit them.

Anyone remember the guy who was worried that we weren't concerned about marketing BL, or having a target audience?  BunsenLabs is by and for the BunsenLabs "community" (whatever that is!), and was meant to provide a home for those of us who loved Crunchbang, and the well-regarded Crunchbang "community".


johnraff wrote:

Anyone with a little bit of Linux experience can take it apart and put it back together the way they want.

...and long may that approach continue smile

My only comment on that, is that is generally the philosophy of most linux distro's... Arch...Gentoo...Fedora etc, even the bigger names, all generally take the approach of giving the user the ability to take the os apart and putting it back together.  So to play devils advocate a bit, I don't know if that's a very unique trait just for B.L


"I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that will not work" -Edison

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#6 2016-07-29 18:35:43

Sector11
Conky 1.9er Mod Squid
From: Upstairs
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,841

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

@Horizon_Brave

OK, you did say "most" but not all as seen here: 5 things that set openSUSE, elementary OS and Ubuntu apart and I'll bet there can be more said among others.

4. Customization

One of the biggest benefits of using a Linux based distribution is customization. You can personalize your computer to reflect your personality. That’s is where openSUSE has an edge over other distributions. You can install multiple desktop environments on the same system without breaking it. openSUSE comes with Plasma as the default DE and Plasma is known to be extremely customizable; it's the same case with Gnome. At the same time, openSUSE’s YaST offers a lot of customization options. That makes openSUSE the most customizable distribution from among the three we are talking about here.

Ubuntu comes in different flavors and due to compatibility issues you can’t really install different DEs on the same system without breaking it. On top of that Ubuntu’s Unity is quite restrictive about customization. They have added some customization features in the latest release, but you may need third party tools to do that.

Also, elementary OS is extremely rigid about customization so there is not much personalization you can do there.

BunenLabs has an OOTB experience but the beauty of this little OS of ours, like #!, is; it was made for tweaking, bending, folding and mutilating - and you get to keep all the pieces.

I'd like to add that they stitch back together without even leaving a scar.  ;)


The sun will never set if you keep walking towards it. - my son
Being positive doesn't understand physics.
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#7 2016-07-29 20:13:23

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

johnraff wrote:

some reviewers and forum posters have said how easy it would be to create something like BL or #! by hand in an hour or two, starting from a Debian netinstall base.

Trilby wrote:

It would be quite easy for anyone who knows what they are doing.  But newcomers to linux would have a hard time with this.  And - while some might disagree - I believe the big DE-heavy distros that are marketted to linux newcomers set them up to *not* learn about their system.

This 'pay no attention to the man behind the curtain' mentality is the main reason I dislike the major proprietary OSes out there.  The price is just a distant secondary issue.  Many of the big-DE newbie-friendly linux distros strike me as not much different from Windows or OSX - the same, just free.  Crunchbang was one of a few options that was newbie friendly, yet encouraged learning and understanding.

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 8#p1501098

Quoted for truth.

smile

EDIT:

I wrote:

With CrunchBang though, it was all about the community.

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 2#p1501092

cool

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2016-07-29 20:15:19)


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#8 2016-07-29 21:13:31

Horizon_Brave
Operating System: Linux-Nettrix
Registered: 2015-10-18
Posts: 1,473

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

Jeez HoaS, being the go to guy on one forum isn't enough, you even reign on other distro's forums?? tongue


"I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that will not work" -Edison

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#9 2016-07-29 21:19:48

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
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Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

I am a mere underling on bbs.archlinux.org, the expertise of those boards is mind-blowing glasses


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#10 2016-07-29 21:25:25

Horizon_Brave
Operating System: Linux-Nettrix
Registered: 2015-10-18
Posts: 1,473

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

I am a mere underling on bbs.archlinux.org, the expertise of those boards is mind-blowing glasses

Yes! You know how i feel!! big_smile

Anyway, back on topic, I also thought of this. I'm very happy about how many of the dev's here (johnraff in particular) Opens up the decisions and progress of Bunsenlabs to us. Posting the decisions and polls here on the forum, gives a voice to everyone. While not all user's opinions are accepted, at least we "underlings" have a say. I just hope that the devs and higher ups continue this, and value all of our opinions and don't just disregard them in knee-jerk reaction. 
Taking each person's opinion and use cases seriously is something I really really appreciate, and love


"I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that will not work" -Edison

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#11 2016-07-29 21:45:03

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,732

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

Horizon_Brave wrote:

....Taking each person's opinion and use cases seriously is something I really really appreciate, and love

Obviously there is some stuff going on behind the scenes, but much of that is working on a concensus about what to put to the community. Suggestions and opinions are certainly debated - the sound issue is a case in point. And the Good Doctor's hyperactivity with the exit script!

Anyone can also see what progress is happening, and contribute or comment, on the github repos.


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#12 2016-08-04 00:56:20

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,568

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

johnraff wrote:

some reviewers and forum posters have said how easy it would be to create something like BL or #! by hand in an hour or two, starting from a Debian netinstall base. Of course this overlooks the many hours/months of experimentation and discussion that went into each of the "simple" decisions that were made over package choice, configuration, scripting, theming, icon choice...

just quoting this for truth...
two truths, actually:

  1. a distro is usually some team's work, based on somebody else's work. in other words, it is always conceivable that this (the distro) could have been achieved by "some script" on top of "some netinstall" or such, but this does not invalidate the effort.

  2. many distros derive their character from superficial qualities; the typical looks of ubuntu or mint; while this is also true for crunchbang/bunsenlabs, the emphasis here is on what happens behind the (grey) curtains. there is much more work to it than just "sudo apt-get install openbox" plus cosmetics.


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#13 2016-08-04 15:50:53

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 343

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

To me, #! and BL are ideal minimal Debian Stable installations with clever defaults and a lightweight feel that "just works." It's the canvas by which I prefer to paint my own dotfiles and DE preferences.

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#14 2016-08-04 23:28:27

geekosupremo
Member
Registered: 2016-04-27
Posts: 168

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

BunsenLabs is the first place where I don't feel like I'm going to be punished for breaking things in the course of understanding. I might be teased for doing something silly, but not out right punished. wink

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#15 2016-08-05 06:34:51

pvsage
Internal Affairs
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,433

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

^ +1

BunsenLabs, like Debian, is a distro where "If you break it, you can keep the pieces."  Unlike the Debian forums, at the BunsenLabs forums you won't get beaten up about breaking things; we'll help you fix things if we can.

Of course, if you break things by adding Ubuntu PPAs and/or mixing stable and testing/unstable despite The Stern Warning in the bl-welcome script, someone might chide you a bit for it, but in general "If you use BunsenLabs, you're going to have a good time." #memeticmutation


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#16 2016-08-05 07:30:10

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 8,429
Website

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

pvsage wrote:

"If you use BunsenLabs, you're going to have a good time."

big_smile


...elevator in the Brain Hotel, broken down but just as well...
( a boring Japan blog (currently paused), idle Twitterings and GitStuff )

Introduction to the Bunsenlabs Lithium Desktop

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#17 2016-08-05 07:56:49

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 12,505
Website

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

A stand-alone WM desktop environment, that's what is is. And damn slick, lately.

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#18 2016-08-05 08:01:30

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 12,505
Website

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

With non-free firmware. Live. CD-sized non-PAE if necessary.

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#19 2016-08-05 10:16:29

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,732

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

And it's got a little thing you can pull out to hold your pen.


Be Excellent to Each Other...
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#20 2016-08-05 10:46:04

pvsage
Internal Affairs
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,433

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

...and a cupholder!  "And if you call in the next 20 minutes, because you know we can't do this all day..."


Be excellent to each other, and...party on, dudes!
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#21 2016-08-30 13:13:44

Temetka
Member
From: Sol System, Western Spiral Arm
Registered: 2015-10-14
Posts: 549

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

To me BunsenLabs is the perfect distro. Small enough not to have the kitchen sink thrown in in terms of packages and applications, yet totally usable right "out of the box." Not only that, it comes with the best GUI environment for linux - OpenBox. It's beauty is in it's minimalism.

Now that's awesome right there. But let's kick it up a notch and toss in the best linux community I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. The people here range from total newbie to advanced users. All of them contribute in someway to making the community the open and friendly enviornment that it is.

Got a question? We'll help you find and answer.
Broke something? We'll help you fix it.
Want to chat about whatever? We love talking to people, pull up a seat.

So what is BunsenLabs? It's an operating system that by itself is meaningless, but couple that with the community and it is a winning combination.


The meaning of life is to just be alive. It is so plain and so obvious
    and so simple. And yet everybody rushes aroound in a great panic
             as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.
                                                                                                             - Alan Watts

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#22 2016-08-30 17:13:35

Sector11
Conky 1.9er Mod Squid
From: Upstairs
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,841

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

damo wrote:

And it's got a little thing you can pull out to hold your pen.

lol  lol  lol Surly you mean the cup holder, right?  The one pvsage referred to.


The sun will never set if you keep walking towards it. - my son
Being positive doesn't understand physics.
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#23 2016-08-31 04:00:06

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 8,429
Website

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

Another thing that occurred to me: the "hands on" philosophy.

Big DEs might say "Here, let me do that for you."

BL and #! say "Here, let me help you do that."

A difference.


...elevator in the Brain Hotel, broken down but just as well...
( a boring Japan blog (currently paused), idle Twitterings and GitStuff )

Introduction to the Bunsenlabs Lithium Desktop

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#24 2016-08-31 05:44:24

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,568

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

^ whereas other distros say: "Here, do it yourself!"

brings me back to my favorite reason to like #!/bl:
the "intermediate aproach".


Give to COVAX! Here or here. (explanation)
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#25 2016-08-31 07:18:30

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: What is BunsenLabs?

We are a gateway distribution to the hard stuff...

devil


“Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.” — Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII., 18.

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