Philip Newborough is the man behind CrunchBang Linux, a solid distro beloved by many for its dedication to minimalism. As you might expect, Newborough doesn’t like a lot of bells and whistles attached to his Linux. Philip is also a loyal Debian man, graciously taking time out of his interview to credit Debian for making CrunchBang possible.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Philip Newborough. I am a web developer and GNU/Linux enthusiast. I produce an unofficial Debian derivative known as CrunchBang. At the moment, I am working full time on CrunchBang, trying to improve its quality and purpose. I love working on the project and I love learning more about the Debian system.
- What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
Debian. Out of respect for Debian and its developers, I always tell people that I am a Debian user. I mean, CrunchBang is effectively Debian, but tweaked. And CrunchBang would simply cease to exist without Debian. Anyhow, I like to keep up-to-date with what is happening, so I maintain a working system of each branch, stable, testing and unstable.
- What software do you depend upon with this distribution?
I use and depend on lots of software. I am not sure I could possibly list everything, so here are 3 pieces of software that I use on a daily basis and admire a lot:
- Openbox [http://openbox.org/] – I adore it. It is the most flexible window manager I have ever used. I love how it can be so simple, yet so powerful. It really can be a dream to use.
- Terminator [http://www.tenshu.net/p/terminator.html] – I spend a fair amount of time working in a terminal and Terminator has a few tricks that I find really handy. For example, it will let you broadcast commands to multiple machines via a grid of terminals.
- Geany [http://www.geany.org/] – as GUI text editors go, Geany is pretty nice. It has a bunch of nifty extensions/plugins and does the job.
- What kind of hardware do you run it on?
I have a few systems at my disposal, but I prefer to work on my ThinkPad X200s. It is small and compact with a 12 inch display, but it is more than powerful enough to handle most jobs. When I need more
room/power, I have a quad core Dell Studio desktop that is hooked up to a 1080p display.
- What is your ideal Linux setup?
This question is easy to answer: CrunchBang. No, but seriously, I like to use a minimal, yet fully functional system and CrunchBang comes pretty close to providing this, for me.
- Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Sure, see the image [below]. I am not sure that the screenshot is very informative, but it is a true representation of the kind of clean/minimalist layout that I prefer to work with.
Interview conducted March 18, 2012