I tried ArchBang on a Virtual Machine earlier this year and was impressed.
1) Used Crunchbang since February -- outstanding distro
Crunchbang got kinda long in the tooth with the barrage of Firefox updates and Vim 7.3, otherwise, I wouldn't have switched from Crunchbang.
2) Used Linux Mint Debian Edition for about 3-4 weeks. Love the idea, but the default window titles are the hideous/blinding WHITE and almost unreadable grey INactive window titles were too much. Sounds kinda picky and "an easy thing to change", but I just couldn't get something that was reasonable.
3) Used Ubuntu 11.11 for about 3 days. Unity is an OK idea, but it was still too buggy. Tried Gnome 3, and it's still a bit too young. The configuration/window settings are bare-boned and didn't have enough advantages.
4) Went to Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) -- I have a lot of respect for this community/distro, but this release is really a transitional release. Too much wonky behavior with my machine, and again, those white, difficult-to-read window titles were enough to drive me nuts.
Sounds dumb, right? Well, try to change the desktop/window settings in Linux Mint. There's no "Preview" button when trying out the various "Styles" in the Gnome-3 Tweak Tool or WTF they call it. So, I had to restart X to preview the window titles. (edit: I just found out you could press Alt-F2, then type "r" :-/) For Linux Mint not to have a "preview" button or functionality built-in is not good. I expect them to improve greatly in the next release, but for now it doesn't make sense to run a 1GB Linux Mint that doesn't fire on all cylinders and save me the time of hunting down how to change the window title colors.
5) Loaded ArchBang -- The fonts are *awesome* please keep up the good work. I can read the text in my browser, my terminal, the window borders, the window titles, everything! This was the one downer from Arch proper that I couldn't get past. In the past, I've spent hours/days dorking with the fonts and Xorg, etc. just to get readable text. In ArchBang, I spent 10 minutes max tweaking the fonts in OpenBox to be normal weight, and it looks great!
I have a 1920x1200 monitor and I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to install the nvidia drivers, but
I've run Arch before, so I knew where to look. My machine runs noticably faster and is more snappy. It boots in like 15 seconds.
I've strayed from Arch in the past, and have laid off of it recently due to the package signing, but now that package signing appears to be gaining ground and Arch seems to be getting some love from the Linux blogs and podcasts, I think it's going to be ArchBang for the forseeable future.
Thanks Nate!! We appreciate the positive words about AB and it's also nice to see constructive opinions about other distros and their positive and negative points. Welcome aboard to ArchBang!!
GUI's?? We don't need no stinkin' GUI's!!!
Yeah, nice and informative write-up, thanks.
It shows how different aspects not functioning as desired can be a deal breaker for each of us.
I encourage everybody who has something interesting to tell about his distro/DE hopping history to do the same.
Why do I hardly ever read stories about people dumping AB? There must be enough people doing it.
There can be a lesson for us in it.
Make it detailed and honest. I mean the tiniest things can put you off. And I like to know about it.
Getting your questions answered here at ArchBang Forums
Please! Always give hardware info, if there is a chance that 's relevant: #lspci -vnn
Quote: What I have learnt from Linux is to minimize dependencies and functionalities for greater independence.
On Arch(bang) and Openbox: http://stillstup.blogspot.com/
From pure curiosity tried Sabayon Linux lately, developers of which claimed "ultra-optimized kernel". It's Gentoo-derivative (but pre-compiled) making use of e17 WM.
Enlightenment's graphics proved to be faster then openbox' (subjectively, as well as measured login time), indeed. However further measurements showed the whole system is about 50% slower than Arch concerning both boot time and application launch (took GIMP as a heavy-gunner). I don't think I would continue experimenting with Sabayon. I expected more from a Gentoo fork...
Previously I tried few distros, including CrunchBand. Maybe I would have stayed with it, but I've quite new hardware and 2.6.32 kernel lacks some hw support. I also use Debian Squeeze-based server at home with some stuff backported.
The only thing I dislike with Arch - sometimes it is "too rolling" distro for me. New kernel every week is a little bit too fast. And every new update produces some bias - for it may just break the system. However, it's price for 3.2 kernel and latest packages included, and it seems to be a fair deal.