<DECIDED> LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testing.

Discuss non-support related topics related to LMDE.
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Would you like LMDE to be based on Debian Stable instead of Debian Testing in the future?

Poll ended at Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:24 am

Yes
44
55%
No
36
45%
 
Total votes : 80

<DECIDED> LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testing.

Postby Monsta on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:24 am

Update: decision has been made to switch to Stable; from the blog today:
After a long reflection and many discussions the decision was made to switch Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) from its current snapshot cycle to a Debian Stable package base. The transition from Update Pack 8 to Debian Jessie should be smooth and similar to a traditional UP upgrade, in sync with the upstream Jessie freeze planned for November this year.


As stated today by Clem in this blog post,

This new strategy is already very successful and not only will it make it easier for us to release 17.1 and allow us to focus more on the development side of things, it already benefited the 17 release greatly. The same strategy could be applied to LMDE by basing it on Debian Stable, essentially migrating it from a snapshot cycle to a frozen one, like in Linux Mint. The two distributions would then be more similar to each others. LMDE would gain in quality and attention to detail while requiring less maintenance. The pros and cons are being assessed at the moment. Don’t hesitate to use the section below if you want to comment on this or share your ideas with us.

I think a poll is necessary for the Mint team to know the percentage of LMDE users who like or dislike this possible change of course in the future.

So go ahead, vote and comment!
Update: the blog post comments have been closed now (28 Jul 2014, 11:05 UTC), so the place for comments is here.

And please note:

  • It's in the future. The current Debian Testing will be frozen on 5 Nov 2014 and the next stable release will be sometime in 2015. So there's plenty of time to weight all pros and cons of moving to Stable.

  • Don't ask for UP9 release date; I've asked Clem and he didn't give the real answer yet - and nobody else would know it. If you still want to chat on this topic, there's this thread for it.
Last edited by xenopeek on Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Updated with today's news that decision has been reached.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby GeneC on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:42 am

Hi Monsta
Good thread. I voted no. but with a caveat. Track a straight Debian Testing NO UP's. We already have a fine stable Mint (the main Ubuntu based eds.). LMDE should be more 'cutting edge. What's the point in LMDE based on stable when he already have a stable Mint. ?

Copy of my post on UP9 thread sums it up... :D

Just a few observations on LMDE. I was a faithful user until they instituted UP's and then dropped XFCE. I switched to another Debian based distro, that also uses UP's but with XFCE, but found that I still did not like the use of UP's and changed repos to track Debian Testing.

I now run "Sparky Linux" which is true rolling and tracks Debian Testing. I find this a much better solution for me, daily updates are quite easy and small. Takes little to no time. Yes, there can be setbacks, and problems, but I have found they are few and minor. Following their forums and others that deal with running Debian distros tracking Debian Testing (and use of Google search.. :P ..) is all I need.

Clem's old statement that LMDE (and Debian in general) 'has a few rough edges' and is not the best choice for beginners, or just those that must have a very stable system holds true. Users thinking that UP's are the answer for a care free system are being naive. Do you really want to wait 3-6-9 months or MORE for huge Up's of many hundreds of MB's to a GB or more of downloads?.. :shock: Do these UP's update with no issues? Never, that I have seen. Just go back and follow the UP threads. So many issues.

Just my opinion, but if you want/need a very stable system use the main Mint releases, or Debian Stable based. If you like to be really up to date -- day to day -- and want to be more involved and actually learn more try a Linux Debian based distro tracking Testing (Sparky, Makulu for example) or use one based on Debian testing with UP's but change repos to Debian Testing... :P , update daily.

Personally I would like to see LMDE return to a true Debian Testing (as it first started life), and any issues handled by Mint forum "LMDE Update Warnings" viewtopic.php?f=198&t=132747 that used to be quite active, but not so now..

I also suggest that Mint have a dedicated developer for LMDE. It appears to be handled by the main Mint developers now who do not really have enough time (or Debian experience ??..)
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby DrHu on Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:47 pm

I think the Debian testing phase is OK for most Linux users
--but if anyone feels or finds that does not work, they can always use stable
    Of course that may mean they need to re-establish their system (install)
    --or they could make two installs testing and stable and compare their results: if they found testing was working for them after a time, they should probably use that in order to get the latest versions of Apps or system files..
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby nascar64 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:49 pm

Hi guy i got LMDE running on my 2 pc love the cinnamon ,i just love cinnamon De any way but would vote Stable just like to use stable, why well am using Robolinux 7.5 right now too and it's base on stable and been getting constant update every other days -week and like that way my system is runnning great even do Robolinux is running gnome and Compiz kind of like the Desktop cube compare to cinnamon exception for me but a stable i think would be much better if i want to have testing i can choose that myself LMDE should not be made easier for now let it be . has you learn linux all this thing come to you after try and miss and many of it, waiting for LMDE upd9 hope fully soon.Ray
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby xenopeek on Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:39 pm

Stable makes a lot of sense to a lot of people I think. Enthusiast users might grumble at older software versions or moving away from the semi-rolling release method of UPs (though I think there's some grumbling about the frequency of UPs as it stands), but for average Joe and Jane that wouldn't matter as much as having a stable & low maintenance system. I'm not confident in what category the majority of LMDE users right now falls, so I think the call for feedback on the blog and this poll are a good idea. As I think it fits with what the team is trying to achieve with Linux Mint--and I can see this making LMDE more suitable for users that just want a rock-solid stable and low maintenance operating system with a classical desktop paradigm user interface--I vote to switch to stable.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby GeneC on Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:50 pm

xenopeek wrote:.................... I think the call for feedback on the blog and this poll are a good idea..............


^ From Clem's comments on the blog we can see that most likely he is pretty serious on Debian stable.... :)
He does have a point, but again I say why have both a stable Mint (Ubunbtu LTS) AND a stable LMDE..? There may be a good reason. I just dont see it. "Killer" mentions GTK development and Cinnamon issues. I can see that as an issue for tracking Debian Testing but not huge.

Perhaps the thought is on Mint/Ubuntu's future and migrating to Mint Debian stable as the main Mint...? That is the only advantage I can see at this time for a LMDE stable.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby kurotsugi on Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:26 pm

I prefer no because :
1. the semi rolling release model was invented by LMDE and many user love it. it started becomes a trend and followed by another distro like manjaro, solydxk, and netrunner arch version. it have been a biggest selling point of LMDE since long time ago.
2. while the stability indeed is an advantage but if LMDE is based on stable there will be almost no differentiation between LMDE and the main version.
3. ubuntu LTS version's stability is on par with debian stable but in other hand ubuntu offer lots more packages compared with debian while. thus, user with stability in their mind will mostly prefer mint main version over debian stable. using debian stable sounds like will kill LMDE.

I can only see "more stable and less work for the devs" as the only advantages. the argument which stated "GTK toolkit updates kill cinnamon" doesn't quite true since the reason it happened on LMDE is because the cinnamon didn't got updated with the latest GTK version. the problem should be disapear as usual when it builded with the latest GTK toolkit. I believe that stability isn't the main reason someone choosing LMDE. the mass migration recently when this rumour spreaded shows that most of the user choose LMDE because it's bleeding edge and rolling, not because it is stable.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby Chris M on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:05 pm

I think clem's been slowly headed in this direction since going with the UP scheme. With Debian Testing these days, it's easy enough to download, install, and season to flavor. clem's dropping XFCE pushed me to Debian, and while I wasn't happy with that at the time, I'm happy with it now.

Of course, the same can be said of installing Debian Stable - easy enough, also.

I'm hooked on Debian Testing, now, but I'd actually prefer a preconfigured Mint Stable Cinnamon and Mate. There would be redundancy, but clem would produce a very zippy and stable Debian.

The only reason I would vote against it is that fresh Mint repositories would no longer be there and supported for Testing. For instance, I still use clem's installer for Firefox. But beyond that, Debian Testing does have Cinnamon and Mate packages.

So the selfish part of me wants him to continue with Testing. I think the smarter choice is Stable.

Mint created a lot of enthusiasm for a rolling Testing Mint. Then he pushed his enthusiasts out to other distros, or Debian Testing with the UP scheme. For Mint, Testing is sort of broken. I appreciate the road to Debian Testing that came through LMDE, but I think Stable is a better choice now for Mint. There's zero chance of clem going back to an Ikey-style, fully rolling Testing distro.

What will be lost is the Debian education required to some degree to run a Testing based Mint. But that too is not really in Mint's best interest.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby xfrank on Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:14 pm

I did vote for Stable for this reasons:

1 - Debian Stable has more updates than the last UP of LMDE

2 - is rock solid, almost impossible to break, especially with Mate

3 - will be still "rolling" because the transition from the actual Stable to the next will not require to reinstall the OS.

4 - will have several useful backports for the most important programs (LibreOffice, Firefox, Inkscape, etc.)

I'm concerned first about stability, then the overall efficiency of the OS, then to the aesthetics, and last about the freshness of the packages. I don't understand all the fetichism about the last and most actualized versions of every package in the OS. If the OS works well, that's fine. What matters always have the newest version!
Linux: LMDE (Mate), Mint13 (Xfce), Mint 17 (Xfce), Peppermint 3 (LXDE), Manjaro (Xfce and Netbook Edition)
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby killer de bug on Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:24 pm

GeneC wrote: There may be a good reason. I just dont see it. "Killer" mentions GTK development and Cinnamon issues. I can see that as an issue for tracking Debian Testing but not huge.


That is just for this reason that the team moved to the new LTS only scheme... Not a big issue to handle a new GTK version every 6 months :lol:

Chris M wrote: But beyond that, Debian Testing does have Cinnamon and Mate packages.

Last time I checked, testing had Cinnamon 1.7, an unstable version. And currently Cinnamon 2.2 is not compatible with the GTK version presents in testing...


Of course, I voted in favor of the yes. It makes a lot of sense. I'm using Cinnamon so of course I'm even more concerned. But as Clem said it, with less work, being based on stable will give people more results. :wink:
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby woodsman on Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:51 pm

I voted No.

If LMDE moves to Stable then the only difference is some "Mintifying" of Stable. Nothing to distinguish the distro from other Stable derivatives.

That said, I will embrace LMDE moving to Stable as long as the UPs are replaced with regular backports of popular apps.

I believe the major complaints about LMDE are two-fold: 1) popular apps are not being updated and 2) the lack of UPs tends to indicate a lack of focus and concern about LMDE. Somewhat like the proverbial black sheep.

With Stable, regular backports of popular apps could calm the entire discussion. I suspect most LMDE users are mostly concerned with staying current with the popular apps. Most users likely don't think much about the OS foundations such as the kernel version, gcc, libs, etc., unless they happen to buy bleeding edge hardware. There are many apps where users want the latest versions such as web browsers, mail clients, LibreOffice, GIMP, VirtualBox, etc. Generally, the latest of such apps are improved although regressions occur now and then. A regular backport schedule could supplant the current UP system.

The enthusiast user likely will not want a move to Stable, but if popular apps are regularly updated then possibly many of them will be satisfied.

If LMDE remains with Debian Testing, then a commitment is needed for scheduled UPs. The SolydXK folks have adopted a three month schedule. I use SolydX along with LMDE. The caveat is at three months the number of updates is huge and will require more than an hour to complete. The longer the period in between UPs the longer the updates. While I have yet to experience UP problems with either LMDE or SolydX, I recognize that some users have. Massive updates usually open the doors to corner case bugs and problems.

The other choice with Testing is no UPs at all. Just roll with the Testing releases. A caveat is daily updates are a nuisance. Perhaps a compromise is to queue the Testing updates into a weekly or bi-weekly Saturday rollout.

Another caveat with pure Testing is whether changes break Mint packages such as themes.

The great lure of a rolling or semi-rolling distro is not having to reinstall the OS. To me, this is one of the worst aspects of Linux systems. LTS releases somewhat modify that approach, but at the end of the LTS period the inevitable must still be performed. Rolling and semi-rolling releases are easier for Windows refugees as they are already accustomed to quiet background updates and patch Tuesdays.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby KBD47 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:55 pm

I like Ubuntu and Main Mint, but sometimes Debian Stable is better on older or low spec hardware. LMDE based upon Stable would definitely fill a need for a Debian Stable based version that is easy to use out of the box with drivers and codecs, there are very few Linux distros based upon Stable. Those who have used a nice Stable based distro like Mepis well understand how solid it is, almost unbreakable. Debian Stable is now offering LTS 5 years security updates support, which puts it in a similar vein as Main Mint. Debian Stable is aimed at being a server OS, which means by its nature it is meant for long term use and to be unbreakable. Take that base and add Mint to it and you have a pretty powerful combination.
If I understood the comments correctly, LMDE will use Debian Stable (jessie) sources directly, with an added Mint source for the Mint updates, this should mean that the adventuresome folks like Gene can change the sources and upgrade to Testing or even Sid using Mint as an easy to install base for Debian. Of course things may break, and Mint items may be removed, but the ability to experiment will still be there, or so it seems to me :-)
I voted for Stable. I think it fits better with Mint's ideas about easy use and reliability for their operating systems.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby GeneC on Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:06 am

From reading the replies on the blog it appears pretty clear that most likely LMDE will go to track Debian stable. That's fine for Mint, and really OK with me, but I am curious to hear just why someone would use LMDE stable over the latest Mint (Ubuntu based).? What are the advantages ? I see the advantages for Mint itself certainly less work, a more stable system, less Cinnamon breakage, et.

In the end I will still use LMDE, but I will change sources to track Debian SID. (I already have Mint 17 Cinnamon), using LMDE Cinnamon stable would seem redundant to me. I use XFCE with Debian Based distros, so Cinnamon breakage is not an issue.

For any not interested in using LMDE stable surely have the choice to use LMDE and change their sources to track Debian 'testing', or Debian SID. Many of us have been doing this for the longest time. I personally have been tracking Debian 'testing' since LMDE first came out with its first iso some years back. I find it fun and satisfying. I update daily with very small downloads and little effort on my part. You do have to be vigilant (by following breakage threads). If you do choose this route you may find these threads of much use.
Hope to see you there... :wink:

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=198&t=132747 :arrow: LMDE Debian Testing breakages

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=198&t=133211 :arrow: LMDE SID breakages

Edited for clarity... :oops:
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:01 am

GeneC wrote:I am curious to hear just why someone would use LMDE stable over the latest Mint (Ubuntu based).? What are the advantages ?

While Linux Mint 17 is based on Ubuntu LTS, it is ultimately still using packages from Debian testing and unstable (which is what makes up the majority of packages in Ubuntu AFAIK). While the perception may be to us that it won't differ much, I think stability wise Debian stable as a base would prove to be more stable than Ubuntu LTS as a base--and thus be lower maintenance for the user. Given that Debian is generally more lightweight than Ubuntu, at least that was the case when I last compared fresh installs, a Debian stable base has a lot going for it for users that have simple needs I think.

Though looking at Cinnamon, which has dependencies on newer Gtk versions that weren't available before Linux Mint 17--I wonder how a newer version would be brought to Debian stable base which probably also has an older Gtk version? Introducing a newer Gtk version to Debian stable would undo what makes it stable I guess.

Anyway, I think LMDE based on Debian stable makes sense for the scenario where you as somebody familiar with Linux Mint tools have to do an installation for a relative or friend, they have simple needs (not running latest games), and you want it to be low maintenance for them/you. I agree though that it might not make sense in other scenarios; why if you are comfortable enough installing an operating system yourself, would you pick LMDE based on Debian stable over Linux Mint based on Ubuntu LTS? I've been looking at this with assumption "if I install it for somebody else", and it's difficult to shift my perspective to a prospective user that themselves has to choose between these two.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby KBD47 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:15 am

Though Main Mint is pretty solid being based upon LTS, a Debian Stable version will have fewer updates, and thus less likely to have update-related breakage or issues. Also, as mentioned, it will run lighter and perhaps better than Main Mint on older hardware and low spec hardware. And at the very least it provides a "plan b" if Ubuntu goes and does something really crazy or God forbid, disappears.
From Clem's comments, current LMDE is eating up lots of resources, as much as Main Mint, with fewer actual users. Perhaps the question could be put: would we rather have an LMDE based upon Stable, or no LMDE at all? I think those who still want to use LMDE for a launching point to Testing or Sid will still be able to do so, and we will have an LMDE that has much less drama for newer users.
Last edited by KBD47 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby GeneC on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:16 am

Hi xeno... :)

Yes, Cinnamon (gtk depends) seems to be the crux of many issues here, especially with regards to a debian base. I am sure that Clem has/will consider this, and perhaps find a way to make Cinnamon less dependent on gtk?

PS
Looks like gtk 3.12.. :shock: is moving into Debian SID with associated breakages....

http://forum.siduction.org/index.php?topic=4501.0

Status of Gnome 3.12 in Debian
http://people.debian.org/~fpeters/debia ... tatus.html

Interesting times ahead.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:26 am

Hm. I might have to eat my earlier words :? Apparently Debian stable release have a shorter support cycle than Ubuntu LTS releases? (http://raphaelhertzog.com/2014/07/16/sp ... to-ubuntu/) That's not ideal for users looking for a low maintenance solution.
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby KBD47 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:39 am

xenopeek wrote:Hm. I might have to eat my earlier words :? Apparently Debian stable release have a shorter support cycle than Ubuntu LTS releases? (http://raphaelhertzog.com/2014/07/16/sp ... to-ubuntu/) That's not ideal for users looking for a low maintenance solution.


I get Hertzog's monthly emails and he is trying to get Companies to support or sponsor developers for LTS Debian Stable releases for a full 5 years rather than the 3 standard years. My understanding is that Squeeze has some support for LTS, but they need more developers, and want to continue 5 years LTS into the future for Debian Stable. As it stands, there is and has been 3 years Debian Stable support for security updates.
What I will be interested to find out is if LMDE goes to Stable whether we can do full upgrades every two years without the need to re-install just like with the current Debian Stable. If so, maybe we could call LMDE on Stable a "slow rolling release" :-)
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby GeneC on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:43 am

KBD47 wrote:Though Main Mint is pretty solid being based upon LTS, a Debian Stable version will have fewer updates, and thus less likely to have update-related breakage or issues.

When does Mint Main (Ubuntu) ever break?.. (never, at least from what I can see).
-------------------
And at the very least it provides a "plan b" if Ubuntu goes and does something really crazy or God forbid, disappears.

Yes, I have long suspected just this as an underlying strategy, and perhaps a main reason. It makes sense from Mint point of view.
-------------------
From Clem's comments, current LMDE is eating up lots of resources, as much as Main Mint, with fewer actual users. Perhaps the question could be put: would we rather have an LMDE based upon Stable, or no LMDE at all? I think those who still want to use LMDE for a launching point to Testing or Sid will still be able to do so, and we will have an LMDE that has much less drama for newer users.


Yes, but it would be much easier for Mint to just return to LMDE tracking Debian Testing as it began and let the community (forum threads) handle issues. . Just release an updated iso now and again for new installs. Things worked out very nicely back then. We had a very active LMDE Debian Testing/SID community that has died off as of late. Advertise LMDE as it once was (to paraphrase) '...for the folks who like to get hands on..has some rough edge..., et... Lots of folks don't feel the UP's were the answer.

Its just my feeling (and I seem to be in the minority... :lol: ..) that this would attract more new users than a LMDE stable.. Hell, we already have the most stable Linux around with the Main Edition... :wink:

Whatever happens Mint will be around for a long time, no worries on that... :wink:
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Re: Would you like LMDE to be based on Stable, not on Testin

Postby KBD47 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:52 am

Gene, I would rather see what you propose--full on Testing with no UP--than the way it currently stands. But as has been mentioned in other threads, it's not doable with Cinnamon, it would break constantly. And users savvy enough to constantly fix and work on Debian Testing could just grab an iso from Debian Testing. LMDE being based upon Debian Stable would provide new users or non-tech types an easier way to use Debian, easier installer, codecs out of the box, etc.
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