LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

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LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby PawnTakesKing on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:20 am

Hi everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster. Total Linux newb with no previous Linux experience whatsoever.

I finally ditched my Mac and took the plunge into Linux about a week ago. I bought a netbook and (after some thorough research) decided to wipe Windows and install Linux Mint Debian Edition instead. I chose LMDE because everything I've read says it's based on Debian, which is supposedly the most stable Linux distro, and also because it's a rolling release. I didn't feel like having to wipe my hard drive and reinstall every six months.

I've finally got Gnome customized the way I like, and after reading through the forums here I've installed Window Picker and Maximus to create a pseudo-netbook remix of LMDE. However, I'm starting to wonder if I should have gone with the regular Mint 10 or maybe KDE instead. After running Software Manager the first time, it won't let me run it again because it says I have "broken packages." Not sure what this means, or how to fix it. I'm wondering if I did something wrong. I'm not a command-line savvy guy, so while I know a few lines of code could probably solve the problem, I don't know where to begin.

Any advice for a completely clueless newbie?
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby Oscar799 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:30 am

Moved here from Newbie Questions

This may help viewtopic.php?f=141&t=67449
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby dbkblk on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:47 am

LMDE is a very good distribution. However, i don't think i'll recommend it to beginners.
LMDE, as its name says, is based on Debian "testing" which is stable-but-not-so-much because it is constantly updating package that could lead to some problems. That is why LMDE could have some "rough edges".

You could use Mint 10, which seems easy (never tried, i began on Ubuntu), but the best i can recommand you is a pure Debian Stable @ http://www.debian.org/ with the LMDE repository. This way, you will have an extremely stable OS with the "mint" power. This is easy to configure, and i can help.
I suggest that, because you'll be able to learn slowly how to use linux, then when you'll be ready, you will be only at one commandline away to switch to LMDE (however, you cannot do the opposite).
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby randomizer on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:08 am

The alternative to the above is to install LMDE but switch your repositories to Debian Stable rather than Debian Testing.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby rivenathos on Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:25 am

@ pawnTakesKing - Welcome to the forum!

You can run LMDE just fine, but you will need to pay more attention to what is being added/removed in Testing. That is why it is called "Testing" instead of "Stable." For this first issue, the "libva1" package is in transition. Un-check that package from the updates, and everything else will update properly.

For more info: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=141&t=66960&hilit=vlc and http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=141&t=67502&start=0&hilit=libva1
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby tdockery97 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:40 am

As an alternative to unchecking (or marking "ingnore") libva1, instead of using Update Manager to update, open the Terminal and type:
Code: Select all
sudo aptitude update && aptitude dist-upgrade

As it runs the upgrade, when it comes to the problem with libva1 and wants to remove vlc, when it asks you type n. Then it will give you the choice of leaving libva1 as the old version. Answer this y and it will do the upgrade and leave vlc alone.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby rivenathos on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:11 am

tdockery97 is correct with using the command line as an alternative. That is yet another option and one that will be helpful as those new to the command line get more familiar with it. I had based my suggestion on using MintUpdate as per what the original poster was using. I was unsure as to the skill level of the original poster, so was giving the easiest option with a GUI.

LMDE is a different animal, and this is lots of fun, eh?
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby PawnTakesKing on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:22 pm

Thanks to you all for your replies. The command line is like a foreign country to me. Coming from using a Mac, I expected everything to "just work," and it does for the most part. I'm loving LMDE aside from the minor issues such as the broken packages.

@dbkblk: If I decide to go Debian Stable, any place I can find a live version to try it out first? I can't seem to locate it on Debian's website, unless perhaps I'm just blind.

@randomizer: Your solution sounds like the safest (and easiest) bet, but how I do set the repositories? Sorry, stupid question, I know.

@rivenathos: Thanks, I'm happy to finally be here. And yes, as different as LMDE is, it is a lot of fun so far to learn.

I will also try updating from the terminal using that command from tdockery97. Thanks for the tip.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby wayne128 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:28 pm

PawnTakesKing wrote:I can't seem to locate it on Debian's website, unless perhaps I'm just blind.



debian live : http://live.debian.net/
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby dawgdoc on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:41 pm

After you do updates today you will be able to reinstall VLC while running the most recent version of libva1

The updates had several of the VLC support packages but not the VLC package itself.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby randomizer on Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:55 am

PawnTakesKing wrote:@randomizer: Your solution sounds like the safest (and easiest) bet, but how I do set the repositories? Sorry, stupid question, I know.

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list (you'll need root privileges, so use sudo) and replace all occurrences of "Testing" with "Stable," then run:

Code: Select all
sudo aptitude update && sudo apt-get full-upgrade

(or equivalent commands using apt-get, whatever you prefer)

It's best to do this before doing any updates after an installation though, because otherwise you may already have newer packages than are in Stable. That said, Testing has only been "unfrozen" for a few weeks, so it may not be that much newer than Stable at the moment (not sure).
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby TBABill on Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:47 pm

randomizer wrote: That said, Testing has only been "unfrozen" for a few weeks, so it may not be that much newer than Stable at the moment (not sure).
Although I don't have an accurate count, saying I have received "hundreds" of updates since Squeeze released as Stable and Wheezy hit the repos would be quite accurate. It'd almost be nice to have a sticky on "how to have LMDE based on stable (Squeeze)" to inform users to use a pre-release iso (which they all are as of right now but tha will surely change at some point just to minimize update impacts after install). Then to change the repos to squeeze or stable from testing.

Wouldn't it be incredibly easy to make a LMDE Stable release? Just take the iso, change the repos to Squeeze and release it? Then someone could have a stable LMDE distro for a few years and only receive updates from Debian? I'm not really thinking too far outside the box here so there are probably a lot of ways this would get screwed up, but it seems simple enough in theory. (Clem and team are probably already laughing at how naive this whole paragraph sounds to them!!) :wink:
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby viking777 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:13 pm

TBABill wrote:
randomizer wrote: That said, Testing has only been "unfrozen" for a few weeks, so it may not be that much newer than Stable at the moment (not sure).
Although I don't have an accurate count, saying I have received "hundreds" of updates since Squeeze released as Stable and Wheezy hit the repos would be quite accurate. It'd almost be nice to have a sticky on "how to have LMDE based on stable (Squeeze)" to inform users to use a pre-release iso (which they all are as of right now but tha will surely change at some point just to minimize update impacts after install). Then to change the repos to squeeze or stable from testing.

Wouldn't it be incredibly easy to make a LMDE Stable release? Just take the iso, change the repos to Squeeze and release it? Then someone could have a stable LMDE distro for a few years and only receive updates from Debian? I'm not really thinking too far outside the box here so there are probably a lot of ways this would get screwed up, but it seems simple enough in theory. (Clem and team are probably already laughing at how naive this whole paragraph sounds to them!!) :wink:


That would be easy TBABill, but within a few months of doing it many of the users of that system would all be screaming at us "xxxx works on Ubuntu but it doesn't work on LMDE Stable why is that - I am going back to Windows".

A large portion of the computer using world does not seem to understand that there is an impossible conflict between stability and running the latest software on ANY system. They just want both. Well they can't have it, on ANY distro at ANY time.

If folks want stability then let them run Debian Stable or Crunchbang - they will get it, but they will not accept the fact that stability and modernity are mutually exclusive, they always have been and always will be.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby TBABill on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:17 pm

Although very true, it's an easy answer when they complain and an alternative is available. Those on stable could change their sources.list, dist-upgrad (full-upgrade?) and let 'er rip. Lose the stability but gain the newness. Can't have it both ways, but at least they would have a choice. Those of us who know how to do it can have stable whenever we want by reinstalling and changing repos to Squeeze, then updating. But new users would never know that on their own.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby sparksabre on Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:26 am

Hi guys!! :)
I'm new in linux.. I want to migrate from Windows to linux..
I have an interest to use LMDE..
Based on what i read (if i'm not mistaken), LMDE is a rolling distribution, but it based on debian testing so not really stable..
So can we choose the package update to only the stable one?
Thanks.. :)

p.s. Sorry for my bad english
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby wayne128 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:57 am

sparksabre wrote:Hi guys!! :)
I'm new in linux.. I want to migrate from Windows to linux..
I have an interest to use LMDE..
Based on what i read (if i'm not mistaken), LMDE is a rolling distribution, but it based on debian testing so not really stable..
So can we choose the package update to only the stable one?
Thanks.. :)

p.s. Sorry for my bad english


As you said you are new to Linux, I would recommend you not to start with LMDE for the reason that it takes a lots of time to deal with maintaining or update/upgrade.

Read this thread, by zerozero,
if after you read all the posts and still think you can manager, then by all means go ahead.
viewtopic.php?f=141&t=67502

You should start with Mint9-main edition or Mint10-main edition.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby LifeInTheGrey on Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:28 pm

sparksabre wrote:Hi guys!! :)
I'm new in linux.. I want to migrate from Windows to linux..
I have an interest to use LMDE..
Based on what i read (if i'm not mistaken), LMDE is a rolling distribution, but it based on debian testing so not really stable..
So can we choose the package update to only the stable one?
Thanks.. :)

p.s. Sorry for my bad english


I've actually put together a very detailed step-by-step tutorial about how to attain what you are looking for. It involves a little Terminal action, but all the commands are given so you can really just copy and paste. It is located here:

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/497

You can also PM me if you have any questions; I've helped several people make the jump to Linux straight to LMDE, and I'm more than happy to help however I can.
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby sparksabre on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:04 pm

wayne128 wrote:As you said you are new to Linux, I would recommend you not to start with LMDE for the reason that it takes a lots of time to deal with maintaining or update/upgrade.

Read this thread, by zerozero,
if after you read all the posts and still think you can manager, then by all means go ahead.
viewtopic.php?f=141&t=67502

You should start with Mint9-main edition or Mint10-main edition.

Yuph, i read that.. Thanks for the reference.. :)
Honestly, i little bit confuse about the code in terminal thing.. I'm not really used to do that.. Lol
But i would like to learn.. As long as it wouldn't broke my system n hardware, i would like to do trial n error..
I like to learn programming.. :)
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby sparksabre on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:43 pm

LifeInTheGrey wrote:I've actually put together a very detailed step-by-step tutorial about how to attain what you are looking for. It involves a little Terminal action, but all the commands are given so you can really just copy and paste. It is located here:

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/497

You can also PM me if you have any questions; I've helped several people make the jump to Linux straight to LMDE, and I'm more than happy to help however I can.

Thanks for the tutorial.. It's really step-by-step tutorial..:)
If i'm not mistaken, changing the backports will make LMDE become Debian squeeze instead of rolling edition, doesn't it?
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Re: LMDE for a beginner...did I make a mistake?

Postby dawgdoc on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:59 pm

LifeInTheGrey's tutorial will change the LMDE install from a rolling release into Squeeze, but this is not because you add the backports. In the repository address lines in /etc/apt/sources.list it is the substition of the word stable for testing that does this. The backport repositories allows you to add newer versions of applications which have been approved by the Debian stable maintainers, probably things like Firefox 4, newer versions of OpenOffice, etc. Although in his tutorial you are adding LibreOffice from a downloaded tarball instead of from the backport repository.
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