CruxEX is an open source Linux distribution based on the well known CRUX operating system and designed to be used on computers that lack CD-ROM drives. It is built around the lightweight LXDE desktop environment and comes with out-of-the-box support for “all forms of” hardware.

Distributed as a zip archive for 64-bit platforms

The project is distributed as a zip file containing all the necessary files for deploying the live environment to a USB flash drive or an external hard disk drive. This version only supports 64-bit hardware platforms.

Installation instructions

Detailed installations instructions on how to write this operating system to a USB thumb drive are provided at After installation you can use the USB stick to boot the CruxEX distribution, which can also be installed on a local disk drive.

Uses the LXDE desktop environment

As mentioned, the live session is powered by the full-features and low on resources LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) project, and it uses the latest stable Linux kernel package (4.16.9 at the moment of writing this review). Unfortunately, booting the live environment will drop users to a shell prompt where they’ll have to login with the root/root username and password combination. After that, you’ll have to type the startx command to fire up the graphical desktop.

Default applications

Default applications include the Mozilla Firefox web browser, GIMP image editor, Wicd network manager, PCManFM file manager, Leafpad text editor, as well as some compilation tools that help you to easily install apps from source.

Bottom line

All in all, CruxEX proves to be a stable, fast and unique Linux-based operating system that not only it contains a great selection of applications that will cover all your needs, but it also provides users with a familiar and easy to use desktop environment well suited for low-end machines.

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