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"ArchBang 2012.05 is out in the wild. If you are already running ArchBang smoothly on your system you don't need to install the new release. Some changes for this release: QDarkStudio4 default GTK+ theme; Shotwell picture viewer; improved Conky; Epdfview replaces zathura; simple clean tint2 panel; Broadcom wireless added; VirtulaBox Arch Linux additions; mobile broadband modem capability added to NetworkManager. ArchBang will now be released four times per year to provide users with more regularly updated versions. Due to upgrades and improvements to the Arch Linux system, ArchBang may release unofficial updates between official releases to prevent excessive workarounds in installing and updating newly installed systems."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 6
Definitely not for beginners
Archbang is a rolling release distro, with live CDs issued four times a year. Itís based on Arch, and the differences are that Archbang installs a GUI and some software for you, and its forum is friendly instead of rude.
All of the documentation warns that itís neither user-friendly nor suitable for beginners, and this is born out by the installer. For example, it only enables you to choose a keyboard at the stage where you can optionally edit configuration files. But do you know the abbreviation for your keyboard driver? And to configure, youíll need ď#Ē; do you know where it is on the default US keyboard? Itís vital to read an installation guide before you start, to know what what questions youíll be asked and what the answers are.
The only software installed is Firefox, Shotwell, Gnome-mplayer, DeaDBeeF, and the media codecs. There is no GUI tool installed for adding software, so you canít see whatís available: only search for programs or their descriptions. The installer is pacman. I couldnít get it to work until I remembered it first had to load the repository data with ďpacman -SyĒ, which isnít mentioned in the pacman man page. When I asked for LibreOffice, it offered over 100 versions. I chose UK, only to find thatís Ukrainian! If you donít choose, you get Afrikaans by default. At least all the software provided or installed worked perfectly, and the media player coped with everything, even my ďmp4 from hellĒ.
Archbang will run Firefox or LibreOffice in 128MB, so it invites comparison with AntiX, Bodhi, Salix, Swift, and ZorinOS. Those are all far easier to install, and have reasonable package managers; nevertheless, this is a sound distro, and pleasant to use if you know what youíre doing.