Announcing the official release of BunsenLabs Helium

Announcing the official release of BunsenLabs Helium

Linux Distribution

Announcing the official release of BunsenLabs Helium

Announcing the official release of BunsenLabs Helium

announcing the official release of BunsenLabs Helium, an OpenBox desktop environment based on Debian stable (stretch).

Please note that the first time the new system boots takes longer than normal as drivers and configurations initialize, subsequent boots should be quite zippy.

The BunsenLabs Welcome Script will display in a terminal window the first time you login to a session. You need a working internet connection to run the script. If you do not have one, you can run the script again at a later time by opening a terminal and running (without sudo)...


The script offers an easy way to install some commonly used extras, but takes a while to complete if all options are installed. If you are eager to use your system immediately, run the script through updating sources and packages and exit after you receive the message "INSTALL BUNSEN IMAGES", then run bl-welcome at your convenience.

What's New in BunsenLabs Helium?

The visual appearance has been worked over with new GTK themes (including hdpi, thanks to forum member vinzv!), the Paper icon theme with a few custom additions, and new wallpaper images based on "Beam" by Rashad Mohammed.

We also have new default conky and Geany themes.

There are some preset graphic theming collections accessible via the BLOB accessory.

The menu has been worked over and improved in some places.

Under the hood, many small improvements have been made:

  • Calls to gksu, which is insecure, are replaced with pkexec.
  • The default package list has been adjusted and some useful system tools added.
  • The former CrunchBang audio mixer, pnmixer, has returned.
  • Pulseaudio configuration tweaks previously needed have been removed.
  • QT5 GTK2 theme support has been added.
  • The boot menu now has a "boot in cli" and a "Rescue" option.
  • Nearly all BunsenLabs executables (scripts etc) now have simple man pages.
  • Compton configuration has been improved and reorganized.
  • A file /etc/bunsen/bunsen_install holds information about the system install method, version and date, to help diagnostics.
  • Numerous other small changes and tweaks.

The new "Helium" version also incorporates the changes made for the upstream Debian 9 ("stretch") release:

All binaries are now compiled as fully position independent executables and it is possible to run the X server as a normal user (if the "boot in cli" option is selected), both of which significantly increase the security of the BunsenLabs desktop.


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