It is basically a continuation of CrunchBang Linux and comes with Openbox as the default window manager making it extremely light on resources. It has most of the common packages and utilities built-in, Tint2 panel and Conky system monitor.
Download and install it from here. The current release is Helium which is based on Debian 9 (Stretch). The system requirements are very low (256 MB RAM minimum with recommended as 1GB and 10 GB disk space).
You can use the live environment to get a feel of the environment before installing it.
If you have used Debian, the installation of the base system is the same.
Configure keyboard layout, time zone, set user/system name and partition the disk drives just like in Debian.
Once installed, this is where BunsenLabs becomes so easy to use out of the box. Login and you will see no start menu.
This is because Openbox window manager is minimalistic. Right click to access all the settings and programs. Also, there will be a list of keyboard shortcuts for commonly used tasks along with the system info in background.
BunsenLabs makes it easy to setup and install applications through the first run installation script.
Follow the on-screen instructions and install what is needed.
At any later point of time, you can re-run this script from Terminal by using the command :
It also provides a simple and easy out of box experience when you want to access and install new applications. Simply right click and choose the relevant category under which the application falls and choose Install.
Compare it with the whole first run Debian configuration where you would have to first change the apt settings to allow for proprietary packages to be allowed to install. BunsenLabs combines best of both the worlds – Debian stability and easy minimalistic interface using Openbox.
Openbox itself can be configured as per liking by editing two files – menu.xml and rc.xml. Both of which can be edited from the Openbox menu.
You can also install additional proprietary packages and goodies from the installation script along with other system tweaks.
If you’d want to experience Debian with Openbox, do try out BunsenLabs. It is sleek and easy especially for regular tasks like web surfing, checking emails and so on.