LMDE vs Main

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LMDE vs Main

Postby dalcde on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:12 am

I'm sure this has been brought up several times here, but here is my situation:
I've bought a notebook and I am to decide whether I install LMDE or Main.
I've got 100GB space and a separate drive for data, so the 100GB will be just the distro and programs.

I've been using linux for less that 1 year (unless you count those times when I was 5 and didn't even know what was linux), but I'm already pretty familiar with the command line (except that I still don't know how to use sed) and have managed to use linux by myself without problems, so the non-userfriendlyness of Debian wouldn't be much of a consideration.

I'm engaged in Cinnamon programming (applets/extensions/themes and a bit of the programming of Cinnamon itself). Since in Update pack 4, we have Cinnamon, I suppose that isn't a issue (but is there any difference?).

The third consideration is that Linux is installed alongside with Windows, and doing a fresh upgrade between versions can be a problem since I have to be careful that I don't wipe the Windows and lose everything in there.

I'm a bit worried about the statement on the linux mint website:
"LMDE requires a deeper knowledge and experience with Linux, dpkg and APT."

Do I really need to know well about dpkg? I don't use that often and all I know is dpkg -i "something".

Given the above considerations, what do you think? What suggestions would you make? Any help is appreciated since it can really matter.
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby TBABill on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:43 am

Debian does not use PPA's, configuration of proprietary drivers requires use of the terminal, you can use apt or aptitude, font rendering by default in Debian is not as good as Ubuntu/Mint without tweaks (but good in LMDE), update manager is a bit different (not difficult at all, just different). It's not a world of difference because Mint (Ubuntu based) is based ultimately on Debian anyway, but some of Ubuntu's tweaks really make regular Mint easier for newer users than LMDE.

On the flip side, LMDE uses less resources and is just a faster desktop to use in terms of feel and responsiveness.

Dpkg is mentioned because you'll use it for .debs, obviously, but I am not sure why it was pointed out like that. If I download a .deb in Ubuntu I also need it so that point shouldn't be worrisome. Terminal use isn't much greater with LMDE than Mint other than some hardware configuration (graphics and wireless drivers in particular but there are others). Many Debian users promote always using the terminal for updating, but LMDE has tackled that task with a GUI in the newer update manager for you.

The Debian wiki is always there to walk you through many tasks so I'd say give it a spin, in a virtual box or spare partition if you have one, and see how you like using it. Fear of wiping Windows is not resolved by choosing Mint over LMDE because both installers prompt you for partitions to use and format.
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby dalcde on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:57 am

Updating through the terminal isn't an issue for me. I do that through the terminal anyway. But PPA is an issue. How could I forget about that?

The "wiping Windows" issue is when re-installing since Main is not rolling while LMDE is.

Thank you, anyway.
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby viking777 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:20 am

If PPA's are an issue for you let me put your mind at rest, although Debian doesn't have them and you can't add them to LMDE automatically with 'add-apt-repository', you can add them manually by copying the address into the sources.list. (you also have to add the gpg key manually as well but that is not too difficult). If the program works on lmde then the ppa will work on lmde as well. The only problem I have with LMDE is with update packs, as these can lag well behind the development of the Main branch according to how busy the development team are with other projects, though this is easily fixed by simply tracking debian testing instead of the default.

One thing to bear in mind is that if you want to install LMDE to your new machine then you really must wait for the iso respin (it has been promised, so it will come, but don't ask me when). Trying to install with the last iso will result in nothing but a mess, it is too out of date. Another consideration is that you already seem to have LMDE on some machine (you mention update pack 4) so given that you have to wait for the iso respin anyway I would install Main edition on your new notebook, firstly because you can do it right away and secondly because it will enable you make up your own mind as to which you want to stick with. Don't do too much customisation on the Main edition, and when the LMDE respin comes out substitute that if you have decided you prefer it.
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby dalcde on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:34 am

I can wait for the respin since I can use Windows for the time being (as long as it's not windows 8!). Thanks for the PPA tip, although there might be some compatibility issues. Maybe I'll try LMDE with the notebook. Thank you for all your advice.
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby zerozero on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:06 pm

i'm sorry to be the "party pooper", but lmde and ppa's is a recipe to disaster;
- first you should ask yourself "do i really need ppa x and y and z?"
- can't i find proper debian pkgs to replace (or even the same ones but packaged for debian) the one pkg or app that i can't live without?
- can't i find it here http://sites.google.com/site/mydebiansourceslist/ (read the warnings Craigevil puts in some of those sources- they are from other distros, so there's always a risk using them)
- ok, i can't find it, it's only available though a ppa (or the v. i want/need is only there). is it a pkg that won't pull in a lot of low-level deps? (you are not thinking about x-swat are you?)
- in the end of the day, it's your freedom (even to break it)
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby pluraldave on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:11 pm

I don't see why it's an either/or situation. Install both and see which one you end up using more often.
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby viking777 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:17 pm

I actually find it quite refreshing that zerozero and myself have finally found something to disagree about. We have agreed about so much for so long it was getting quite scary :lol:

I have been using ppa's for as long as I have been using lmde (or perhaps I should say for as long as I learnt how to add them to lmde) I have never had a moments bother with them. Now the thing is I don't overdo it. At the present moment in time I have two ppa's enabled, I have never had more than three. And because I haven't had any trouble with them to date, doesn't mean I won't have in the future. Of course there can be problems. For example, if your ppa is trying to force version 11 of some program or other onto your system when the default version in use by Debian is version 5 then you may expect problems, but I have to say this situation is rare, in most cases you will be one or two versions ahead of the mainstream debian version and on 99% of occasions that will not make the slightest difference to anything, it is certainly not a 'recipe for disaster'.

If you can find the program you want without using a ppa then you eliminate the risk of getting too far ahead of the main debian base, but in my opinion it is such a small risk it is hardly worth worrying about.

As they say though - 'Opinions differ' The choice is down to you.
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby zerozero on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:29 pm

'nuff said :lol:
Code: Select all
amadeu@amadeu:~$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
## testing ##
deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main import backport romeo upstream
deb-src http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main import backport romeo upstream #Added by software-properties
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main non-free
deb-src http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main non-free
## mate
# deb http://tridex.net/repo/debian/ sid main
deb http://tridex.net/repo/debian/ wheezy main
## incoming ##
# deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming testing main contrib non-free
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming/multimedia testing main non-free

## latest ##
# deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest 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

#Xorg downgrade
# deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports squeeze-backports main contrib non-free

# deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian squeeze contrib non-free

# deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ squeeze-backports iceweasel-5.0

# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/themes/ubuntu natty main

# deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ squeeze-backports iceweasel-4.0
# deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free

# deb http://main.mepis-deb.org/mepiscr/testrepo/ mepis11cr test
# deb http://restricted.mepis-deb.org/mepiscr/testrepo/ mepis11cr test-restricted

# Debian experimental http://wiki.debian.org/DebianExperimental
# deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ experimental main contrib non-free
# deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ squeeze-backports icedove-release
# deb-src http://mozilla.debian.net/ squeeze-backports icedove-release
amadeu@amadeu:~$
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Re: LMDE vs Main

Postby GeneC on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:56 pm

'nuff said here too. :lol:

LMDE/SID/hybrid

Nothing major broke in the last year or so.
(I only turn them 'on/off' as needed). :wink:
That is the KEY to not breakin' stuff.
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Code: Select all
#####-  MINT -#########
deb http://mirror.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/linuxmint-packages/ debian main upstream import backport romeo
#####-  Testing  -#######
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free #"Debian Security"
# deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main non-free #"Testing Multimedia"
# deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
######-  SID  -##########
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org sid main non-free #"SID Multimedia"
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free #"SID"
#####-  Debian MISC -###########
# deb http://liquorix.net/debian sid main #"Liquorix"
# deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian experimental main contrib non-free #"Experimental"
# deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free
# deb http://tridex.net/repo/debian/ sid main #"MATE"
# deb ftp://ftp.spline.de/pub/aptosid/debian/ sid main fix.main #"Aptosid"
# deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ lisa main upstream import #"Lisa"
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/gnome3/ubuntu oneiric main #"WebUPd8"
# deb http://frickelplatz.de/debian/ sid main contrib non-free #"Frickleplatz Repo"
# deb http://hadret.rootnode.net/debian/ unstable main #"Hadret -SID"
# deb http://hadret.rootnode.net/debian/ experimental main #"Hadret-Experimental"
# deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/shames/debian-sid/desktopfx/unstable/ ./ #"TuxFamily"
##################- MINT Latest -################
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest testing main contrib non-free #"MINT Latest"
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest/security testing/updates main contrib non-free #"MINT Latest"
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest/multimedia testing main non-free #"MINT Latest"
#################- MINT Incoming -###############
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming testing main contrib non-free #"MINT Incoming"
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming/security testing/updates main contrib non-free #"MINT Incoming Security"
# deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming/multimedia testing main non-free #"MINT Incoming MultiMedia"
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