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CrunchBang Development Halted

CrunchBang lead developer Philip Newborough released this statement on the CrunchBang forums today:

“I have decided to stop developing CrunchBang. This has not been an easy decision to make and I’ve been putting it off for months. It’s hard to let go of something you love.

“When I first started working on CrunchBang, the Linux landscape was a very different place and whilst I honestly didn’t know if there was any value to it, I knew there was a place for CrunchBang on my own systems. As it turned out, there seemed to be quite a demand for it on other people’s systems too. I’m not entirely sure why this was the case, but if I had to guess, I would say that it was probably due to the lack of competition/alternatives of the same ilk. If I’m remembering correctly, at the time, there was no LXDE tasksel in Debian and certainly no Lubuntu around. CrunchBang filled a gap and that was nifty.

“So, what’s changed?

“For anyone who has been involved with Linux for the past ten years or so, I’m sure they’ll agree that things have moved on. Whilst some things have stayed exactly the same, others have changed beyond all recognition. It’s called progress, and for the most part, progress is a good thing. That said, when progress happens, some things get left behind, and for me, CrunchBang is something that I need to leave behind. I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian.

“Talking of its users, thank you, you’ve been awesome and you’ve taught me so much, much of which is beyond the scope of this post, but needless to say, I think I’m much wiser now than I was before the existence of CrunchBang and its community of users. I’ve made many friends through the project, which for me, has ultimately been the biggest benefit of the project, and something I’ll be forever grateful for.

“I also want to take a few words to thank my wife, Becky, aka bobobex. She has supported me and the project from the outset. Over the years, I’m sure I’ve bored her almost to death with my geeky gobbledygook and she’s never moaned about it once, well, not to me at least. Seriously though, thank you Becky for your support, help and guidance, you’re my rock and I love you.

“Regarding what will happen to the CrunchBang forums, they will remain online. Ultimately, they belong to the community and so it will be for the community to decide what happens to them. I’m happy to continue supporting them for as long as need be. I have already expressed my thanks to the forum moderators, privately, but I would like to do so publicly too. Unless you’ve been involved with a project like CrunchBang, I’m not sure you can entirely appreciate the behind-the-scenes work that goes into it. The forum moderators have effectively kept the community running and without them, I’m sure there would not have been a community at all. Over the years, they’ve had to deal with some truly bonkers and poisonous people (seriously, there are some bat-fucking-crazy nutters out there with far too much time on their hands) and they’ve done so with enormous tact, diplomacy and decorum. All the forum mods have my utmost respect, they are an incredible bunch of people.

“As for me, while I’m deeply sad to let go of a project that in many ways has defined my existence for many years, but I’m also excited to see what happens next. I’ve got a few little pet projects I want to work on, and I’ve also got a day job that I want to excel at. It’s going to be interesting to see what the future brings.

“See you around 🙂 ”

FOSS Force will monitor updates on this issue and report as they develop.


  1. Neko Nata Neko Nata February 7, 2015

    “There’s no good that won’t end, nor everlasting affliction”, like my wise grandpa used to say.

    “See you around.” Indeed. In the end, we are what we start with. We’re very poor, essentially, when we drop the vanities… but doing the good work and seeing the human landscape, especially the best parts, that kinda makes it all worthwhile.

  2. Abdel Abdel February 7, 2015

    I repect the man’s decision, but this is a very sad day for me.

  3. Larry Cafiero Larry Cafiero February 7, 2015

    As a CrunchBang user and a CrunchBang forum moderator, I’m crushed that the distro and community — as it has grown to be at this point — will eventually be no longer.

    If anything, CrunchBang typified what FOSS should be — a person executing an idea and having a community grow around it. No hierarchy, no ego — just a good distro with helpful people supporting it. It is a model that other FOSS programs should emulate.

    I completely understand Philip’s position and need to move on with his life, and I am grateful for having been a part of the CrunchBang experience.

  4. Eddie G. Eddie G. February 7, 2015

    Another Great One passes (Into History that is!…LoL!…Feeling just as heart-broken as when Fuduntu shut down its site!) I can honestly say though, that I have been blessed to have downloaded and used Crunch-Bang to great effect. I wish it’s creator nothing but the “Best of Everything” you are one of the people whom future developers and programmers will discuss over coffee in the break room! Godspeed!!!

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