Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crunch, Bang (2) installation

Image taken from No_Gui

After trying out the CrunchBang LiveCD and finding a solution to display Japanese fonts, I have decided to switch operating system and install CrunchBang on this laptop.

I am actually typing this entry on the same laptop during the installation.


installation started at17:40
installation ended at18:50
total time1:10
disk usage1.93 GB

Actually, the disk usage is higher than I expected. If this would have been one of the "old boxes" that I was talking about earlier, the hard disk might have been too small.


Booting a computer with a LiveCD doesn't really give a smooth using experience. Whilst installing at the same time, the webbrowser (that I am using at the moment) is of course lagging, the CPU usage is the full 100%! The latency is quite painful, but hey: at least it is still working.

The installation process itself is very straightforward: some simple questions, creating a partition table and of we go!

Installation procedure

A small "how to" on installing CrunchBang from the LiveCD. I suppose you were able to download the LiveCD, burned the ISO and booted your computer with it.

Step 1 - start the installation

Open the Main Menu by right-clicking on the desktop or use the key combination Space Bar + Super (*cough**cough*).
Choose installation and Install CrunchBang.

Step 2 - set locale

Choose the language in which you want to run CrunchBang once it is installed.

Select the location that you are living. This is to determine your locale.

Choose the keyboard layout of your choice.

Step 3 - Preparing the hard disk

Select where you want to install CrunchBang on your hard disk. Now this is a tricky part, maybe your computer came with windows preinstalled or you want to make it a double boot. This means that it might be necessary to edit the partitions on your hard disk.

A good read with the necessary information about hard disk partitioning in Linux is this article on . More extensive reading on the topic you can find at LinuxQuestions .

Assume that you want to edit your partitions (and assume that you know what you are doing), click on the button Edit partitions. An extra window will open:
Click on Edit in the menu bar to make the necessary changes. Remember that with changing the size of a partition or by formatting it, you will loose all the data on that hard disk.

Make sure that their is at least one partition to install CrunchBang in, and one with some amount of swap space (1, 2). Apply the changes when ready and close the window.

Back to the original installation program: press on Refresh to show the new partition table. Right click on the partition that you want to install CrunchBang on and choose Assign to / as this will be the root partition.

Step 4 - User information

Input the information of the user (full name, username and password) and give the computer a name (hostname). This hostname will be shown whenever somebody logs in on this computer.

Step 5 - Install bootloader

Select the bootloader. Well, we don't have much choice here now, do we :-) ? It is highly recommended to install GRUB as is proposed, else CrunchBang will simply not boot.

Step 6 - Confirm information

Before starting the installation on the newly choosen root partition, CrunchBang requests you to confirm the information that you have given.

Step 7 - Installation

Installing the operating system and application software to the hard disk

Step 8 - Reboot to boot!

When the installation is complete (it took me about one hour), a prompt will come to reboot the computer.

Step 9 - Post-installation script

While your computer is starting up again, the #! should be pulsating promisingly. You get a login screen, input the username and password as you have given in step 4.
Once the windows manager has loaded, a post-installation script will be started:

It is actually not necessary to run this one, CrunchBang works completely fine without. It upgrades your software to the latest version, helps you to download the Java Runtime Environment or installs or even one of the exotic Liquorix/Zen kernel if you want to.
If you just want the basic CrunchBang Linux, then you can just press q to stop the post-installation script or just close the window.
I didn't do any of those, but I got you the screenshots anyway, so in case you know what you are doing or are purely curious what is coming next, press the Any Key.

Update the "software sources". These are necessary, so that your computer knows where to download new software from.
You will need the sudo password though, which is in normal cases just the same as your own password:

This one is a good idea for those with a good broadband connection (so not me, darn): update installed software and make sure you have the last version of the CrunchBang distro:

For those who like the feel of paper in their hands, printer support:

Java Runtime Environment:

SSH Filesystem support:

If you want to try Xfce besides Openbox:

The following screens are to install development packages (so we go even deeper into the basement). Most users can quit here by pressing s (which brings you straight to the end of this post-installation script), but we are continuing, just for the sport:

Version control tools:

Good ol' SSH server:

Webserver packages:

And software to develop Debian packages, perfect to give some blood, sweat and tears back to the community:

Last screen with some useful links:


Above you have the general HowTo for installing CrunchBang Statler. I have made some extra alterations to adjust this oven fresh installation to may personal needs:

Japanese fonts

Fiddy showed me that, for displaying East Asian fonts, you have to open a terminal and download/install the necessary fonts as follows (69MB):
sudo apt-get install ttf-arphic-uming ttf-wqy-zenhei ttf-sazanami-mincho ttf-sazanami-gothic ttf-unfonts-core ttf-unfonts-extra ttf-indic-fonts ttf-tmuni ttf-dzongkha ttf-khmeros ttf-jura ttf-sinhala-lklug ttf-sil-padauk


As I am trying to be more time conscious, it would be good to know the correct hour, so I installed ntpdate to automatically adjust my clock to the correct timing:
sudo apt-get install ntpdate

The clock should adjust automagically, else run:
sudo ntpdate

[more info]

CPU peeking at 100%

After installation , the laptop that I am using (a Dell Latitude D600) started peeking its CPU usage up to 100%. When I checked the CPU info (open a terminal and go cat /proc/cpuinfo ), it said that my CPU MHz was only 500.

Thanks to gman I learned to change it. Install the cpufrequtils (sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils) and ran:
cpufreq-set -f 1700
No more lagging!

[more info]

Dell volume buttons



IceWeasel or Chrome?

I have always been a big Mozilla Firefox supporter, but CrunchBang comes installed with Google Chrome. It feels a bit strange, but for now it works. The only (very!) annoying thing is that if I adjust a blog-entry through Blogger, all of a sudden a lot of <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: serif;"></span> are added to my code.
I haven't found out yet whether it is Chrome or CrunchBang, but it is driving me nuts.

update: Appears to be Chrome: issue 28904, the bastards... So I will jump to IceWeasel, home sweet home.



  1. Installed Crunchbang myself with the new release yesterday, and the post-install "cb-welcome" is just amazing!

    Glad you had fun with it, too...

  2. Still using it, nice and minimal :-)

  3. pvsage brought to my attention that the new, stable release of CrunchBang uses the default Debian installer again, making my howto redundant.

    Nah, it was fun while it lasted :-)


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