Posted by: duskfire | March 31, 2013


I know I haven’t blogged on here in quite awhile – that has been due to 2 things: first, my wife and I finally bought a house, so I have been busy with getting everything in order for all that is involved with such a major purchase; we just finished moving in this weekend. Secondly, I was all set to do a review of SolusOS or openSUSE when my main laptop died (the HP Pavillion from 2009). For the last 4 weeks I have been using the old Gateway MX7340 laptop that runs Crunchbang Linux.

I set this up more as a gaming machine – it has DOSbox (with my favorite front end, DBGL), Angband, Nethack (plus 2 forks), Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, Brogue, DoomRL, ADOM, and several emulators – for NES, SNES, and Genesis.

I also added a few games from the Debian repositories that will run on such an old machine – like FreeCiv, FreeCol, and Frogatto. Others like Warzone 2100 and 0 AD just are too graphics-intensive to be playable.

Since Crunchbang uses Debian (I’m using the Waldorf edition of Crunchbang which is based on “wheezy”/testing), I haven’t tried to set up Netflix, and my games on Steam expect much more than the 1.5 GB of RAM that is available. But Flash and Java are working fine, so streaming music, videos, and Hulu are all possible entertainment options for me.

My current plan is to save up and get a new laptop from Newegg. There are a few that are very good in the $500 to $700 range, with dedicated graphics cards. Once I have a new machine, I’ll be installing the current version of Linux Mint on the entire machine, and then partition off a section so that I can install and review Linux distros as I have been doing in the past.



  1. Another alternative for low budgets is to test Linux distributions with a large pendrive like 16Go and you use it as if it were you hard drive, that is you install the Linux distribution on the pendrive. In my experience the Linux will run faster on the pendrive than in a virtual manchine, but a little bit slower than on a hard disk. You can speed up things by using a USB external hard drive instead of a pendrive. If you are not confortable with the concept you can temporarilly disconnect your internal hard disk drive in the BIOS settings at pc boot, so you don’t risk to erase some personal datas. Some people take time to build partitions and create a swap, but you don’t have to and your Linux will work fine with just one single partition. Enjoy 🙂

  2. I use since today siduction. What is your opinion about it? I earlier used crunchbang and also antix, but was not very fond of it. Siduction seams, while it is using Debian unstable, very stable. We will see what the next days will bring. I also seek other distro’ s to try. That’s why i Write a weblog in dutch called Distrohopper. See this link:

    • bert, I haven’t really tried any of the 3 “sid” based distros long enough to give a fair review, but siduction does seem to be a really well done version. I hope you enjoy it, and I’d strongly recommend paying attention to forum discussions (and asking for help if you need it).

      I have tried quite a few distros over the last 2 years, and once I get a better laptop I fully intend to resume testing and reviewing more.

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