Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Sep 2010 16:43 UTC, submitted by Kishe
Linux "Linux Mint Debian Edition comes with a Debian base, which we transformed into a live media and on top of which we added a new installer. It's rougher and in some aspects not as user-friendly as our other editions, it's very young but it will improve continuously and rapidly, and it brings us one step closer to a situation where we're fully in control of the system without being impacted by upstream decisions." It's a rolling release, so expect continuous updates. Not a new concept by a long shot, but it's interesting to see a distribution like Mint try this out.
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Excellent News
by BigDaddy on Wed 8th Sep 2010 17:13 UTC
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I stopped using Ubuntu (which Mint is based on of course) because of the guaranteed breakage every 6 months if you updated. There seems to be an inordinate amount of regressions with each new release. Mint has become big enough that they can go straight to Debian proper and do their "magic". I only use Mint on my kids PC (PCLOS elsewhere), but this is exciting enough to have me consider using it on some other machines.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Excellent News
by leech on Thu 9th Sep 2010 12:29 UTC in reply to "Excellent News"
leech Member since:

Agreed. The funny thing is, since Linux Mint Debian Edition is based on Debian, and is a 'rolling release' it puts it up more with Sidux, and really is probably going to overall more stable than Ubuntu.

You're lucky if you only had regressions every 6 months, I've had friends (myself, I usually use Debian or Arch Linux these days) that have had simple updates break installs.

When the Ubuntu project started, their initial goals were pretty straight forward; make a Debian based system with the most current gnome.

The problem is, they have rapidly become unstable because they don't have anywhere near as many developers / contributors as gnome, and so they ended up breaking a lot of compatibility between packages. So occasionally you'll see an 'ubuntu.deb' file that won't install on normal debian. I propose they should change their package extension to ubt. Just kidding, but still....

Reply Score: 3

Perfect timing
by FunkyELF on Wed 8th Sep 2010 17:36 UTC
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I just built a new rig last night actually.
Today I'm going to install an OS and I'm not sure what to use.

I have a laptop and a desktop that runs Gentoo, (in addition to my Xbox, PS3, and Sheevaplug which all run Gentoo as well).

I'm looking to possibly make a switch to something more mainstream.

I was looking at Ubuntu, Mint, and OpenSuse. For some reason I'm turned off to Fedora. I'll be using it mostly for photo stuff. I have 8Gb of memory so I'll need to run 64bit.

In the end I'll probably wind up using Gentoo because its what I know (although not that well). Also, who cares about compiling when you have 6 cores... make -j6 is pretty nice. At work I have a dual socket Intel machine with 6 cores each which makes compiling fun with make -j12.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Perfect timing
by lucke on Wed 8th Sep 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "Perfect timing"
lucke Member since:

Linux Mint Debian Edition is 32-bit only so far.

You might give Arch a spin though, if you're looking for something new and more in the Gentoo's DIY territory.

Edited 2010-09-08 18:46 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Perfect timing
by B. Janssen on Wed 8th Sep 2010 20:36 UTC in reply to "Perfect timing"
B. Janssen Member since:

I was looking at Ubuntu, Mint, and OpenSuse. For some reason I'm turned off to Fedora. I'll be using it mostly for photo stuff. I have 8Gb of memory so I'll need to run 64bit.

Why would that be the case? Linux supports RAM > 4GB for ages now. All you need is the Highmem64G option enabled. Debian (and derivates, I assume) offer a "bigmem" variant in their standard repos. That being said: 64bit is nice, too.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Perfect timing
by phess on Wed 8th Sep 2010 22:11 UTC in reply to "Perfect timing"
phess Member since:

Not exactly on-topic, but I suggest you use MAKEOPTS="-j2" and emerge --jobs=6, or any such combination.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Perfect timing
by acobar on Wed 8th Sep 2010 23:17 UTC in reply to "Perfect timing"
acobar Member since:

I suggest openSUSE if you are a kind of KDE guy. Their gnome is also nice, some gnomers usually go for greener pastures (i.e. mint), but openSUSE is also great.

Dont wast your time downloading the whole DVD. Use the CD version and do a minimum install. When the desktop is up and running add kde-4.5 and packman repo on yast2. Select the packages you may need (on my case, audio and video plugins).

You are going to find almost all useful packages already ready for openSUSE on official repos or on build service ones.

Anyway, mint is also nice and their gnome desktop is wonderful and you, like on openSUSE, is going to find almost anything ready on it, it is just that I like the long life span openSUSE brings to the table.

I am a bit skeptical of rolling distros but, will give a shot with mint to see how it pays out.

PS.: When I say long like span, what I mean is that many packages are going to get new major and minor releases updated.

Reply Score: 2

Easier upgrading of apps...
by jtfolden on Wed 8th Sep 2010 18:47 UTC
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It seems bizarre to me that after all these years there is no single distro intended for the desktop that has fixed the inherent problems with upgrading applications. You generally must ether stick with a static install until the next major release or run a less stable rolling release.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Easier upgrading of apps...
by siimo on Wed 8th Sep 2010 18:55 UTC in reply to "Easier upgrading of apps..."
siimo Member since:


It rolls out both major and minor version updates to most apps for stable releases of the OS. Check it out, its great.

Reply Score: 4

jtfolden Member since:

Can you direct me to a page with info on this? The last time I tried, and it's been a few years, they weren't a whole lot better than other distros in this regard.

If so, it seems better than the mish-mash Ubuntu is trying to do to band-aid this over. On Windows and OS X upgrading apps is a trivial process. It's always been rather silly that Linux tends to make you jump through hoops.

Reply Score: 1

Elv13 Member since:

It's Fedora Raw Hide, the roling repository, not very stable.

Gentoo and Arch do a better job at being a stable roling distribution. Debian testing/experimental is also fine.

Reply Score: 2

jtfolden Member since:

Thanks, I kind of figured it might be Raw Hide that was referenced.

Debian Testing is what this Linux Mint edition is using, I believe.

Reply Score: 1

siimo Member since:

No I wasn't referring to rawhide. I am referring to stable Fedora version.

have a look in

usually there are new versions of popular software there like Pidgin, Transmission, Firefox etc. I have had major versions in the past on Fedora also.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Easier upgrading of apps...
by No it isnt on Wed 8th Sep 2010 19:28 UTC in reply to "Easier upgrading of apps..."
No it isnt Member since:

Well, there's always backports, which Debian recently adopted as an official service:

Reply Score: 2

Always Fresh
by orfanum on Wed 8th Sep 2010 18:50 UTC
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Mint is a brilliant distribution. There's always improvement that's well thought out, what appear to me to be some of the best relationships around between users and developers, and a 'just works' magic about it. I have it running on a P4 Desktop and a trusty old VAIO laptop. I so much like the way Mint is laid out and operates (and have become naturally so productive with it as a result) that I am seriously thinking of dual booting it on my MacBook Pro; OSX, as much as I like it, sometimes feels less businesslike in comparison, at times.

I really wish the Mint team well with this new way of doing things. Based on past form, it will be entirely successful.

Reply Score: 4

by nt_jerkface on Wed 8th Sep 2010 21:43 UTC
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The 6 month break-o-matic cycle with Ubuntu is unacceptable.

A rolling release fits better with the development of the kernel, for better or worse.

At least they are trying something different and acknowledging the problem.

Everyone seems to prefer the Linux mint theme as well which is funny since Ubuntu has a team of designers while Mint is mostly the work of one guy.

Reply Score: 5

by jessesmith on Wed 8th Sep 2010 22:48 UTC
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A few people here have complained about Ubuntu (the regular base for Mint) due to the fast upgrade cycle. Why not use one of the LTS releases then? Those are supported for three years.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ubuntu
by nt_jerkface on Thu 9th Sep 2010 01:06 UTC in reply to "Ubuntu"
nt_jerkface Member since:

Because application updates and new drivers get tied to system updates.

Reply Score: 2

Based on testing releases
by indech on Wed 8th Sep 2010 23:46 UTC
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Having used Debian testing and unstable for a while, I would say that it isn't the best rolling distribution. One of the biggest potential issues for users, which I've seen in testing is that it commonly can have packages disappear for a while, and only exist in the stable or unstable releases. This issue can make updating awkward at times. Of course unstable has its own issues.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Based on testing releases
by da_Chicken on Thu 9th Sep 2010 21:12 UTC in reply to "Based on testing releases"
da_Chicken Member since:

Yea, that is a real problem. When a new stable release comes near, some packages with release-critical bugs can suddenly disappear from testing. Following carefully this howto should fix the problem:

The same howto should work also with the Debian flavour of Linux Mint.

Basically, you need to enable both testing and unstable repos in /etc/apt/sources.list. Then you write /etc/apt/apt.conf that makes testing the default branch for APT (Debian's Advanced Packaging Tool) to track.

It enables you to upgrade any applications you choose to the unstable version (hint: use the ncurses version of aptitude as your only package manager), and if packages disappear from testing, you will automatically get the updates from unstable.

It's neat, it's cool, and it works for me. ;)

[Note: If you want to add the debian-multimedia repo that is in the howto, you need to verify the gpg public key for the repo. It takes two commands (as root), like these:
# gpg --keyserver --recv-keys *key*
# apt-key add /root/.gnupg/pubring.gpg
Just replace *key* with the public key in the error message of "aptitude update" that you can see in the terminal output.]

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Based on testing releases
by sorpigal on Fri 10th Sep 2010 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Based on testing releases"
sorpigal Member since:

Yea, that is a real problem.

The problem is non-testers and non-developers using testing.

Just because Debian is awesome and testing is usually better and more stable than other distributions does not mean that regular users should rely on it.

Reply Score: 2

It just works
by marcp on Thu 9th Sep 2010 07:04 UTC
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I was always a Slackware fan, then I became an Arch fan despite being OpenBSD users for years. Recently I got tired of configuring all of my clients desktops and I switched them to Mint - works beautifuly. I even use Mint [besides OpenBSD] myself for the same reason. I think I accustomed to Debian, or it may be the case that Mint is so non-problematic?
Either way: it just works on all of my HW - laptops, desktops - and it saves me a great deal of work.

Reply Score: 2