Question About Updates

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Re: Question About Updates

Postby runbei on Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:01 am

If people pay enough attention to what they are upgrading this is pretty true.... Where LM_Ubuntu-base seems intended to hand hold, LMDE does not.... Many who come to LMDE do not seem to be beyond the point of wanting a rock solid, stable, pre-installed and configured device placed in their hands. Wanting such is ok, just choose your distro accordingly....


Thanks for this very clear explanation and guide. I've used LM for about three years and LMDE is an entirely new experience. I find myself spending much more time here in the garage with you-all. (Yes, LMDE is the garage-band version of Linux Mint.)

Your excellent comment tells me that what I was looking for with LMDE, i.e., Debian Lenny stable with a Mint face, is something I'm not likely to find - and haven't. There are just all these minor issues - suspend that doesn't work on my ThinkPad X32 laptop, fleeting problems with wireless (solved), and the constant feeling that the next series of updates may break something.

I really want a stable distro. The alternatives seem to be Scientific Linux (RedHat-based and reputedly very stable) or Mepis, the latter I don't trust based on past experience - like LMDE, I found that with Mepis regular tinkering is required. And with Scientific Linux there's not much hand-holding.

Now I'm wondering if installing Debian Squeeze would be a good idea. Difficult in the beginning, but trouble-free going forward.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby dawgdoc on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:46 am

runbei wrote:Your excellent comment tells me that what I was looking for with LMDE, i.e., Debian Lenny stable with a Mint face, is something I'm not likely to find - and haven't.

I really want a stable distro....
...the latter I don't trust based on past experience - like LMDE, I found that with Mepis regular tinkering is required. And with Scientific Linux there's not much hand-holding.

Now I'm wondering if installing Debian Squeeze would be a good idea. Difficult in the beginning, but trouble-free going forward.

Most of the fluctuation in LMDE is due to the Squeeze base. Once Squeeze goes stable, Debian Squeeze will probably be as rock solid as Debian Lenny. If you go to your sources.list file and edit it to change testing to squeeze, LMDE will track with the Squeeze repos once it goes stable and leave the changes brought about by testing. Be sure you do this prior to Squeeze becoming stable.

deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ julia main upstream import
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main non-free
this is a sample sources.list I copied from a post by someone else, I am at work on XP at the moment.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby rivenathos on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:56 am

In addition to what dawgdoc said, If you want to track Squeeze, I also have a sample sources list:
Code: Select all
deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian squeeze main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org squeeze main non-free

Note that I use the "us" repository. It would be a good idea to change that to whatever works best for you.

Also, once Squeeze goes stable, there will be two more repositories of interest:
Code: Select all
#deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports squeeze-backports main contrib non-free
#deb http://volatile.debian.org/debian-volatile squeeze/volatile main contrib

I have those two commented out in my Squeeze sources list since they are only useful after Squeeze goes stable.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby dawgdoc on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:30 am

As a side note, in this week's DistroWatch Weekly the quoted an article claiming that Squeeze will soon become the Stable release.
Release critical bugs concerning the next release have been markedly decreasing in recent weeks with persons of major concern dropping to its lowest numbers this release cycle. The total number of all bugs remains relatively high at 1555 (down from over 2,600 this time last year), the real number of bugs affecting this release is down to just 84. This number reflects all bugs minus ignored bugs, bugs in packages not in testing, and bugs whose tags indicate not in testing. This number has been very low and decreasing since the beginning of the new year. But for persons who like more tangible proof, there is little from actual developers at this moment, but there are small clues. One to surface today was mentioned on the Debian forum by a 'Sid' user. He noticed during updates that the latest base-files package changes the codename from 'Debian GNU Linux squeeze/sid' to 'Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby runbei on Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:16 am

I'm relieved, and convinced to stick with LMDE. My problems have actually been minor; they just loom large when I'm in the thick of solving them. (Another thread.) Thanks especially for the info on tracking Squeeze by changing the sources list. Will definitely do that - great info for others who want to do the same and will find this thread. Much appreciated.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:42 pm

Or else as an alternative..you could just leave it at the default level 3 which is more conservative anyway...and could very well prevent any possible breakage problems when debian lets out the floodgates from testing... :wink:

Although i had upped mine to "5" i decided to keep it at "3" and play it more cautiously...but am staying with the default of getting both debian stable, debian testing and of course, the mint updates from Clem as well...
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby runbei on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:12 pm

That sounds like a good choice (specify level 3) given what you say about the risks when Testing goes Stable. Thanks!

What I've done:

1. Right-click MintUpdate icon in the Panel > Preferences > Levels tab > choose Levels 1-3.

2. In MintMenu, open Software Sources > LinuxMint Software tab > leave the first three options selected: Main packages, Upstream packages, Imported packages. (Question: are these options safe for stability? Should I also select Backported packages?)

3. In the Third-Party Software tab, click each option > Edit > change Testing to Squeeze.

Hoping these choices are the right ones for a stable system that will track Squeeze without risks from accepting LinuxMint software sources.

P.S. I'm hoping this works for other users who value stability. Having spent 3-4 hours today on a suspend/resume problem with LMDE and my ThinkPad X32, I'll likely set LMDE on my laptop aside for now in favor of Julia - but keep 64-bit LMDE on my desktop PC. (The suspend/resume issue is a very old one with certain laptop models and Debian/Ubuntu/Mint.)
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:24 pm

Although i rolled my setting back to "level 3" i know that means i won't be getting any kernel updates, i assume?
And if that is the case, on a rolling distro such as LMDE, would that mean i may have future problems when new software gets installed through update manager, and i am not using more up-to-date kernels???

Also, i assume that when debian testing starts to flow again...we will get new versions of various software? (example: chromium, pidgin, etc...)...???
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby rivenathos on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:45 pm

craig10x,
You are correct that new package versions will begin to flow into Testing once Squeeze goes stable. There eventually will be new kernels, as well. It might be a bumpy ride for a while as everything gets settled in. I am unsure what the Level system will be like in a few months with necessary drivers being in a level that may not be enabled. We shall find out soon enough. Buckle-up.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby runbei on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:52 pm

I'll be watching with interest. Would love to settle in and stay with LMDE, but the unsolved problem with suspend/restore has tempted me to move - temporarily I hope - to Scientific Linux (Redhat Enterprise Linux compiled from source).

Can't help wondering if the Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint developers could solve this easily by looking at what's been done in distros where the problem doesn't exist - Scientific Linux for sure, where suspend/restore work beautifully, and possibly OpenSuse, etc. But, that's another thread.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:22 pm

Very good and glad to hear we will get newer versions of applications...i will be "buckling up" :lol:

Still i was wondering, is it wiser to avoid newer kernels or take them?
Can you run with the same kernel that came when i installed for all the time you roll with this? Or is it important to take newer versions to keep "updated"?

While i have been with mint i tended to keep it at level 3...but when i use to use ubuntu and kubuntu, as you know, they don't seperate the updates and i use to take them all, including kernels...never had any breakage on there...That is why i was wondering about LMDE...
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby rivenathos on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:30 pm

Mint has always been very conservative with updates. There are so many newbies using Mint as a first step into Linux that the updates labels as Levels 4 and 5 were deemed something to be avoided. That way, by default, the newbies would have almost no problem. Those who were more skilled with their systems would enable the Levels 4 and 5 knowing what to expect. As far as I can tell, LMDE is still operating on that newbie-friendly plan.
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