LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby ukbrian on Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:14 pm

@ zerozero thank you for replying
I don't understand all of the post, I'm more of a belt & braces type, if someone says RTFM then I smile and look for plan B.

I don't mean to be argumentative and I hold you in the highest regard from your many very knowledgeable posts on this forum but do you know what levels he was using when the update borked his laptop? as I see no mention in his post or signature of the levels he used or whether he used Synaptic to upgrade.

From another recent post
This is my first boot-up after installation and, after the turbulence I encountered trying to update, I fear it may prove to be my last as well....
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=141&t=69886

If I am right :lol: then this is very important for newcomers to LMDE
If I'm wrong :oops: then I am just confusing matters more but I will go back and edit out my posts, I just wish somebody with more skills than I would have a spare partition to try out my level 1-3 install, for updating i just installed the minty ones logged out/backin and the other, I think 800 odd updates went in with no broken packages error, so simple.

I can only repeat my experiences on three machines using only level 1-3 for the past week could not have been better, totally trouble free but I might have been lucky with my hardware.

Also as a very knowledgeable Linux person, may I ask your opinion of the phoronix link about kernels I posted on the other thread?
yours with due humility and the utmost respect
ukbrian

edit
I see there's a thread about the kernel thingy at http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=71174&start=0
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby zerozero on Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:07 am

hi Brian,
there's a few points here, let's see if i can go though them all:

- in the link i gave you he was most certainly using the default levels (udev is not in the 1-3 levels, that's why his MU didn't update it, not until he used aptitude)

- in that link you give there, oh well, the only thing i can say, and can't stress this out enough, is: LMDE is not for everybody, not yet, maybe if Clem can pull out the snapshots, the regular user can enjoy some stability, but until then, LMDE is Debian's testing branch (with mint sweeties on top :) )

- about your wish, test-driving a vanilla LMDE updated only with the defaulted MU levels, i'm doing it since here viewtopic.php?f=34&t=69859&p=406173#p404866 , and yes, it's still working, but apt tells me this

Code: Select all
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  libdrm-nouveau1 xserver-xorg-video-nv
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libdrm-nouveau1a linux-headers-2.6.38-2-amd64 linux-headers-2.6.38-2-common
  linux-image-2.6.38-2-amd64 linux-kbuild-2.6.38
The following packages will be upgraded:
  base-files hal libhal-storage1 libhal1 linux-base linux-headers-2.6-amd64
  linux-image-2.6-amd64 linux-libc-dev python-dbus xserver-xorg
  xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-input-evdev
  xserver-xorg-input-synaptics xserver-xorg-input-wacom xserver-xorg-video-all
  xserver-xorg-video-apm xserver-xorg-video-ark xserver-xorg-video-ati
  xserver-xorg-video-chips xserver-xorg-video-cirrus xserver-xorg-video-fbdev
  xserver-xorg-video-i128 xserver-xorg-video-i740 xserver-xorg-video-intel
  xserver-xorg-video-mach64 xserver-xorg-video-mga xserver-xorg-video-neomagic
  xserver-xorg-video-nouveau xserver-xorg-video-openchrome
  xserver-xorg-video-r128 xserver-xorg-video-radeon
  xserver-xorg-video-rendition xserver-xorg-video-s3
  xserver-xorg-video-s3virge xserver-xorg-video-savage
  xserver-xorg-video-siliconmotion xserver-xorg-video-sis
  xserver-xorg-video-sisusb xserver-xorg-video-tdfx xserver-xorg-video-trident
  xserver-xorg-video-tseng xserver-xorg-video-vesa xserver-xorg-video-vmware
  xserver-xorg-video-voodoo
45 upgraded, 5 newly installed, 2 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 41.3 MB/43.5 MB of archives.
After this operation, 137 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? n
Abort.
amadeu@amadeu ~ $

and this worries me, i'm staying stuck in a old xorg, with an old kernel, and today there's no visible problem, but if i want to keep this install for years, what will happen then? when the inter-dependences are broken? Because in a Linux system, in the end of the day, everything is inter-dependent on everything.

- about the kernel issue, if really there's an issue, Linus will solve it, but with evolution there's always regression somewhere :lol:
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby craig10x on Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:42 am

Brian...i think zerozero just gave a good illustration of what i was trying to get across to you about why you need to have all 5 levels working on mint update...I just wasn't able to explain it as well as he did :wink:

It's a question of "interdependence" as he explained..there will sometimes appear in those level 4 and 5 things that fix things that break in levels 1-3 and you miss those fixes by by disabling those 2 levels...And though you may not be anxious to take the chance on a new kernel, down the road, there may be things installed on your system that may break using the old kernel because they need the NEW kernel to work properly...etc etc...

As for myself, i returned for now to main edition...it was getting a bit too frustrating for me...If eventually, Clem can get it set up where the chances of breakage are greatly reduced through his "snapshots" approach and also smooth out the rough edges such as: no auto-installer available, touchpad tap not activated by default, problems with icons not going into mint menu sometimes when a new program is installed, problems with the system remembering certain settings (for example: pdf reader doesn't remember when i enable the side bar on it...i had to keep resetting it manually each time i used it...Package Manager not having "search" by default, etc.)

You know, "rough edges" you just don't see on main edition...Then i may consider trying it again...until then, i will be happily (and with great relief) be using Mint 10 main edition :lol:
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby rekik on Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:23 pm

My thoughts : with a new install of Main edition each 6 months or each year, you will get less headaches and your softs will be more up-to-date than with a rolling distro. IMHO, LMDE is a good choice for skilled Debian users, not for the average user.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby craig10x on Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:43 pm

rekik wrote:My thoughts : with a new install of Main edition each 6 months or each year, you will get less headaches and your softs will be more up-to-date than with a rolling distro. IMHO, LMDE is a good choice for skilled Debian users, not for the average user.


That is the conclusion i came to also rekik...which is why i am back on main edition now...and i don't regret it :)
I think i may just install a new version of mint main perhaps once a year for now on...no need to jump on every 6 month release...
Of course, one could use the same edition for several years if one chooses, even after it stops updating...

A friend of mine often installs Mint on friend's computers when they get disgusted with windows and it's problems...and since most of them are really just appliance operators and really know very little about computers, he just shuts off all updates and they do fine...so of them have been running for well over 2 years like that with absolutely no problems...

But for normal guys like most of us here (average user as you mentioned) that know a bit about computers but just aren't experts with debian, rolling and fixing breakage, then standard mint with it's normal updates is really much more appropriate and pretty trouble free and dependable... :wink:
Last edited by craig10x on Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby nunol on Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:44 pm

What you call headaches to me is just a opportunity to learn more.

I don't use LMDE or Mint XFCE as my only OS, and I am not a new user to linux. For my main OS I use Mint 9 LTS on the desktop and Mint 10 on the netbook.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby craig10x on Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:49 pm

nunol wrote:What you call headaches to me is just a opportunity to learn more.

I don't use LMDE or Mint XFCE as my only OS, and I am not a new user to linux. For my main OS I use Mint 9 LTS on the desktop and Mint 10 on the netbook.


For learning it's fine...for a main system...uh uh...and i only have one computer my 17" laptop which i use as a home desktop...and i only want to run one system...that is why i concluded that mint main was the best way to go...i need reliability and dependability...

Maybe some day LMDE will reach that point, but i suspect that will be way down the road since Clem doesn't have enough people working with him to speed up the process...perhaps a year or two from now it would reach that point....it just isn't there yet...
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby ajt007 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:58 pm

rekik wrote:My thoughts : with a new install of Main edition each 6 months or each year, you will get less headaches and your softs will be more up-to-date than with a rolling distro. IMHO, LMDE is a good choice for skilled Debian users, not for the average user.


I have seen "LMDE is good for skilled Debian users and not for the average user" many times in the Mint Forums. Believe it or not most Linux Mint users are in the average user column and LMDE is not working for us less experienced users. I have used Mint since 2006. I want to use my computer operating system and not build one. Perhaps it would help if the experienced Debian users would assist the majority of us Mint users.
Last edited by ajt007 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby rekik on Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:01 pm

In fact, Mint update manager with it's default 1-3 levels for the average user gives us the best solution for the Linux dilemma : stable distros with outdated softs and kernel (such as Debian stable) or distros with bleeding edge softs and kernel but sometimes unstable.
I do a fresh install of Mint each year (7-9-etc .), update levels 4 and 5 each 15 days after a partition back-up (thanks Clonezilla :) ) and have, with this, a perfectly fiable and up-to-date system.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby nunol on Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:32 pm

ajt007 wrote:I have seen "LMDE is good for skilled Debian users and not for the average user" many times in the Mint Forums. Believe it or not most Linux Mint users are in the average user column and LMDE is not working for us less experienced users.


The main Mint edition is very good for a newcomer but LMDE or Mint XFCE require more attention when updating. I think Mint should have a Debian stable based distro but testing is much more fun and up-to-date but it's not mandatory, you can use Mint 10 or Mint 9 LTS and fell good about it.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby ukbrian on Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:50 pm

@craig
As for myself, i returned for now to main edition...it was getting a bit too frustrating for me...If eventually, Clem can get it set up where the chances of breakage are greatly reduced through his "snapshots" approach and also smooth out the rough edges such as:

Be a shame if you left, to humor an old man could you reinstall and try running a vanilla LMDE only using Mint Update set to level 1-3 only, as zorozoro and I am doing and Clem supplied. You might have a very pleasant surprise.

@zorozoro
- about your wish, test-driving a vanilla LMDE updated only with the defaulted MU levels, i'm doing it since here viewtopic.php?f=34&t=69859&p=406173#p404866 , and yes, it's still working, but apt tells me this
Thanks a bundle for that link, it was just what I wanted. My conclusions are that nobody really knows where Mint Update is going or the right way? to use it.
Code: Select all
 but apt tells me this
but Clem is not going to let them filter down to level three until they are safe, would you have been happier if you hadn't run apt?

I truly believe there should be a separate subforum for the developers/testers who do not run a vanilla LMDE

I can only repeat, I have two desktops and a laptop running vanilla Mint LMDE with no problems
I think we all need a bit of direction from Clem as to the right? way to run LMDE as regards updates to clear up the confusion but IMHO you only use Mint Update level 1-3.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby craig10x on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:03 pm

Perhaps you are actually going the best way, ukbrian and i will be interested in seeing how zerozero's test install of LMDE with levels 1-3 will work out and hope the two of you continue to provide feedback on it :wink:

I'd be tempted to try it that way myself...but to be honest, i re-installed Mint 10 main edition over this weekend and it's running "like a dream"...and i even enabled levels 1-5....actually there was a problem with "fix broken packages" on the mint updater (i think it was because of a problem caused by the Pidgin PPA i added when it was trying to install the newest version) and since to correct the situation i had to update in the terminal (thus getting all 5 levels) i figured..well since i already did THAT..may as well just take all 5 levels in Mint Main...

By the way, it included a kernel UPDATE (i don't think standard ubuntu editions provide new kernels just updates on the installed one) and it was perfectly fine! But then you have to remember that any fixes on those updates come from ubuntu itself (which has a huge staff) not from debian like in LMDE...so i think that has an effect on the reliability...As i mentioned, in all the ubuntus i ran over several years, i always accepted all updates and never had breakage at all...

Anyway, otherwise Mint Main is running soooo smooth i think i better do the waiting game on this one... :)
If i had two computers, i would have tried that...and i didn't want to do a side by side install as i am not crazy about dual booting...
Last edited by craig10x on Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby zerozero on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:25 pm

ukbrian wrote: but Clem is not going to let them filter down to level three until they are safe


Brian, i believe you are wrong there my friend :) MU classes the pkgs in levels and they remain in that level, no mather how long they are proposed to update: xorg is always level 4, the kernel is always level 5, and so on;

So, if you stay with the default levels, your xorg, your kernel, your hal will always be the same!

About your other question,
ukbrian wrote: My conclusions are that nobody really knows where Mint Update is going or the right way? to use it.

i'm going to quote Clem

clem wrote:Well, the rationale is different for Ubuntu and Debian Testing.

On Ubuntu, it's about filtering per level to prevent novice users from upgrading sensitive parts of their system. On Debian Testing, since it's rolling, it's about skipping temporary issues until they get resolved... so it's not a matter of filtering per level, but snapshoting the flow of updates and releasing it when it's stable.

With this in mind, mintupdate in its current form is still very much designed for an Ubuntu base. You can enable all 5 levels in it and get the same level of functionality as with apt itself, but what's really needed is a snapshot repository of Debian Testing and a fork of mintupdate designed specifically for LMDE. This will be designed and released after Mint 11.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby ukbrian on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:11 pm

@Craig
and i didn't want to do a side by side install as i am not crazy about dual booting
I have 2 drives in both my laptops, one drive dual boots XP and LMDE the other dual boots windos 7 and another LMDE. In addition I have an esata/usb hub I just drop 80GB drives into to test other distros out. Similar to this http://www.cclonline.com/product/27400/HD-HDOCK06/External-HDD-Enclosure/3-5-amp-2-5-Hard-Drive-Docking-Station/HDD3320/, esata is great if you have a desktop.

I have windows for video software reasons but also for macrium reflect image backup, it's free and the best I have found the last 5/6 years and I've been through acronis, r-drive etc, macrium has the simplest gui and outperforms them all. Best of all you set up a profile the first time, put a shortcut on the desktop so that one click and it's off, no interaction needed, great for beginers.

I install XP in a 30GB partition first, then Linux in a 20GB partition and then format the rest of the drive NTFS for my data.
The most popular videoI have made is installing LMDE as a guest in virtualbox on an XP host.
The pst for the videos are well buried in the forum but folk still find them, yesterday there was a surge in downloads that must have been due to this thread and folk seeing my sig.Image
The other popular video is of the Firefox multi tabbed Speed Dial addon, all the other browsers speed dials are only one page.
http://lin.me.uk/pics/speed-dial.png which gives me nearly a thousand very visual links

The reason I got into this debate about levels was that I'm about to produce some more videos, I can now capture the video output from one machine and record it, high def on the other so I really want to get things right, no bad advice, just the best working practices.
I will host them on my own server until I'm satisfied with them and then youtube them.

I've found that the younger generation nowadays go on youtube to find out how to do things and it's the kids and newcomers I'm aiming at.

Later Edit
My thoughts that level 4-5 updates will be promoted to level 1-3 once they have been shown to be reliable seems to be confirmed with this post by dawgdoc on the breakages thread.
I just checked my update history and it was udev/167-1 instead of 167-2 that was also Level 3. But further back udev/166-1 was a Level 5.
So I restate
Do not use levels 4-5, do not use Synaptic and do not do a "sudo apt-get upgrade" or a "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade"
and you will have a very stable, quick and reliable machine.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby Telecaster72 on Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:15 am

If stability is the question, why not just switch the repos to squeeze (stable) once you have your computer set up the way you want it?
If for whatever reason some newer version of a particular software or library is neccessary then just swich repo, install it and then switch back again and you are set for the remainder of you hardware's physical life.
I changed to the squeeze repos, but i run Iceweasel 4 and kernel 2.6.38.4, a mix between bleeding edge and stability and you still don't have the hassle to install a new version every 6 months or every year.
On the other hand, there is other things in a debian distro like LMDE that is not so smooth for a newcomer, samba for instance and proprietary drivers.
To answer tho OP's question: Yes, if you can handle the initial set up of the system.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby Kilz on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:23 pm

Telecaster72 wrote:If stability is the question, why not just switch the repos to squeeze (stable) once you have your computer set up the way you want it?


This may not be the case in the op situation. But after 7 years of running Linux and helping people a lot over that time I have observed some things. One is the insane idea that users "must" run the latest and greatest code. This is especially common in recent converts from Windows. The short release cycle of some distro's also foster it.
The reason its a problem is that its called "bleeding edge" software for a reason. You are more likely to run into issues that will hurt you. This is not apparent to the Linux newbie because they dont yet understand the development model of Linux. Bleeding edge code is released just as soon as it is written so that the users can find the bugs. There will be bugs and there will be issues. Windows users would call it pre alpha code. Most Windows users would not even think of running that., But to new linux users call it "new" and the thinking comes that its improved and they just cant wait to install it.
Then reality comes in. Things break, and after the new user has time invested in trying to fix it they are less likely to give up and install something safer. Personally I would not recommend a new distro or version for a new user at all. In fact I tell people who I convert not to install new versions of distro's until they are at least a month old. I also advie them to stick to stable established disto's untill they have a few years under their belt and are comfortable using the command line and finding solutions. If the first thought is to post a problem to a forum, they are not yet ready.
You advice is great, I just hope if I have read this situation correctly that it will be followed. But I wont hold my breath waiting because its likely to make me blue.
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby rdonnelly on Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:00 pm

Sounds like I will enable all 5 levels on my next update, with a clone of the / partition that can be restored in 2 minutes in a worse case scenario. :mrgreen:
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Re: LMDE is it worth it for a PC user?

Postby ukbrian on Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:40 pm

@Kilz very eloquently said and I totally agreed with your every word. Image
I've been around computers for many years and watched folk jump on the latest & greatest so many times.
I don't mind at all folk beta testing stuff for me before I use it, truth be said we all owe the "testers" a great deal Image

I started with Ubuntu and owe them a lot for smoothing the path into Linux for me but I don't like the direction I think they are going in.
I came to LMDE in September and went the usual route of levels 4-5, Synaptic, dist-update, even Sid and then I sat back and thought about the direction LMDE might be going in and I decided levels 1-3 and purely Mint Update, LMDE default was the way to go as I set up machines occasionally for first timers and LMDE set up properly can be a very good painless intro into computers.

I don't think you will see the true LMDE until the Mint repos are up and running and then Mint Update with it's safe and dangerous levels will show it's a very essential and integral part of LMDE.

The only reason I posted in this thread was because I thought the advice being given was wrong and very misleading to the folk most likely to read this thread ie newcomers to Linux.
The testers use levels 4-5, Synaptic and "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" not mere mortals like the average person, they are very skilled folk, they're not called "The Headbangers Group" for nothing! Image

I originally thought that snapshots were a very good idea but have decided the best way to go to avoid all the man hours involved with producing regular snapshots would be craft an installer based on Debian's netinst http://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst particularly if it was further refined so you only downloaded the apps you wanted as another distro does.

Unfortunately one thing you would miss out on would be the regular burst of publicity every six monthly but there must be a way around that.

I just did a fresh install of LMDE, updated the minty bits, rebooted and then updated the rest and had one small hiccup, after downloading the updates Mint Update freezes when "configuring gdm3".
It might have been me rushing but no app was using any CPU time apart from the System Monitor so I just rebooted and when I ran Mint Update again I got the usual message telling you to run "sudo dpkg --configure -a" which completed successfully.
This has happened many times on different machines, next time I'll get a snapshot of it.
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