Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I had set up the battered Thinkpad with a Crux installation, and was one-fourth of the way through an Openbox system when I remembered that I had, at one time in the past, wanted to see a full Gnome installation on Crux. I was wondering if it would feel anything like Debian did on the ugly little laptop.
Well, I spent about a half an hour trying to figure out where the Crux ports for Gnome were, and came up empty-handed. It was rather strange — the port search pages show an address and location for all the ports for Gnome, but accessing them either from a browser or from httpup gives nothing but 404s. So, rather than embarrass myself by asking the Crux mailing list where the darn Gnome ports were, I did the next logical thing: I gave up.
And then decided to go for second-best: KDE. Then decided I would be more interested in XFCE, since I had seen some very quick XFCE performance from slim Ubuntu installations. Thus far, it’s been very promising.
(Oh, so that’s what the screen looks like without that giant crack in it. )
It has all the angry speed and razorlike intensity of a Crux installation, plus the greasy-kid-stuff XFCE look … which is good, because to be honest, something needs to tame a Crux machine. Otherwise, installing Crux is like implanting a borderline personality on your computer. It’s just too fast and too temperamental to be trusted. You get the feeling something is going to go horrorcrash-wrong at some point, and it’s taking everybody with it.
But Crux is so much a jump beyond Arch that I find myself addicted all the same. My 1Ghz machine running Arch lags behind the 550Mhz machine running Crux, and is positively blown away by the 750Mhz Celeron with Crux on it. Yes, compiling stuff takes a while … but remember: All three machines are Coppermines, which means they’re compatible once a package is compiled. So I can build a Crux package on the 1Ghz machine, then just add it to the others. No extra wait time required.
So remember that the next time someone says compile-it-yourself distros eat just as much time at the start as they do for slower, less streamlined distros. It’s only true if you compile everything, every time.