Arch with a Bang or ArchBang

More and more arch based non-systemd projects are converging to Artix, officially or unofficially we can’t tell, as officially Arch-OpenRC and Manjaro-OpenRC have taken the responsibility for the Artix creation.

Arch Bang Icon
Arch-Bang has switched its repositories to artix and was updated last August 17 2017.  But switching repositories alone does not automatically make a distribution an artix.  Yet again, as with Manjaro, there seem to be slight structural differences and configurations.It comes with a very plain autologin of openbox on its live installer.  The installer is simple with step by step q/a and works as a terminal-graphic/tui.  You better not jump any steps or it will backfire on you.
There were some glitches to fight with on networking (it comes with adequate firmware), and localization peculiarities.  It is still a pain trying to get a second language keyboard and back, but once I figure it out I will post the exact method.  Trying to use lxpanel instead of tint2 so I could have an easy keyboard switch locked the whole system.  After some investigating and search it appears that much of the LXDE related packages have come from Debian based systems un-audited.  I didn’t have any problems with the same from arch/artix.
(update 10 hours later): All I wanted was to add functionality for a 2nd language keyboard, it took hours and countless reboots to see the effects.  I nearly had a stroke, but ended up with gxkb on tint2.  Not the simplicity of having alt-shift as I always had, now I have to click something in the midst of typing something on a window, but I gave up.  Nearly gave up on this arch-bang because of this as I’ve never had this problem before.  Never got lxpanel to work either.  I did follow instructions for doing exactly what I wanted to do from Arch and Manjaro wikis.  Not only did they not accomplish the task, for a while one of the modifications that seemed pretty standard on Arch broke the X-server which refused to start.  Something about keyboard definitions in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-keyboard.conf which the X on arch-bang can not accept.  Just removing or commenting out the conf releases the X).  Feel free to contribute any alternative solutions.

What I ended up with was a very lean in RAM openbox, no usual display manager, it starts openbox from X, autologins the user and gives the user no prompt for password sudo rights.  Great for a VM or a fully encrypted installation.  Anywhere on the menu (or obmenu) that you may be used to having gksudo to run something as root, on this setup you can use sudo and it starts up.  A good but dangerous thing if you are not conscious of doing just that.

Looking for the latest version? Download archbang-artix-rc-190817.iso (602.9 MB)

2 thoughts on “Arch with a Bang or ArchBang

  1. I’ve followed ArchBang on-and-off for a couple of years. I remember when they were going to drop the project, then it returned almost immediately…which I was glad to see. 🙂 I do remember (in reading through their forums) Mr. Green (?) was working on having a non-systemd release…can’t remember the particulars. So is this the route they’ve chosen…to use Artix as their base? Or, was that just a quick-fix in their attempt to move away from systemd?


  2. To tell you the truth I have not followed arch-bang’s development but I read that the project’s original creator had given up and mrGreen took over. The installer I got had already had the conversion to OpenRC and used artix as its core-system repository and arch and AUR were already setup. The installer itself was a bit flaky. Out of curiocity I went back and reinstalled artix to see how different the experience was. Huge! I gave up on arch-bang really quick.

    Arch-Bang was an answer to CrunchBang that was based on debian. A minimal system with openbox as a desktop. Just like MIYO-linux :). Only Arch-Bang was based on Arch. Meanwhile Arch-OpenRC has been around for 2-3 years, so it may have seemed a bit redundant to have another Arch based OpenRC system. Manjaro-OpenRC was a one person project, and it was flawless. The two projects converged. What is going on behind the scenes in terms of work and negotiation we don’t know yet. It may be that other projects are working on conversion scripts and when Artix gets officially announced it will be a bigger project than it is perceived,

    In a way this can be perceived as Arch-Bang is giving up, as the system now is Artix, if you can manage to get it up with what the installer leaves you. With the artix-live and the calamares installer you can be all set within minutes. You can pick a minimal base install or choose desktop and applications. Even your network setup from live passes straight into the installation and what is installed is fully updated and upgraded as calamares installs what is up to date and downloads anything new straight from the net. Very comparable experience with refracta and none of the antiquated graphic-installer of debian/devuan.

    There is still obarun (arch & S6) which is unclear as it will be joining forces with artix and whether this means your choice of init systems in artix will be growing. Then there is Void, which I am not sure, but resembles Arch very much. I think it will take a large collaborative effort to make an impact against the systemd domination. It will also take a good shift of users away from systemd for desktop developers to realize they need to separate what they do from the init system.

    I think it is an exciting period to engage with minority projects, to put a bet on the underdog sort of speak.

    Liked by 1 person

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