why not switch now?

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why not switch now?

Postby MALsPa on Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:25 am

Many of us, myself included, are interested in seeing the Debian-based release of Linux Mint come to fruition. And many want to see Mint completely switch over to a Debian base; but my understanding is that, as of now, that is not in the works.

Since there are no plans as of yet (that I'm aware of) to switch Mint to a Debian base, I'm curious to know why folks here simply don't switch to Debian, or to some distro that's closely aligned with Debian, at least until Clem decides to make that change, if he ever does.

If folks are so unhappy with Ubuntu, and so unhappy with Mint being Ubuntu-based, why not switch now? I'm not making a suggestion here (I'm actually quite satisfied with the way things are, even though I'm looking forward to trying the Debian-based Mint release, and even though I do use other distros besides Mint, including Debian). I'm just wondering what keeps folks using Mint when so many seem to be so unhappy with it being based on Ubuntu. Thoughts?
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby randomizer on Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:27 am

Maybe because there isn't a pure Debian-based distro that has the newbie-friendly feel of Mint. Then again, maybe there is.
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby MALsPa on Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:30 am

randomizer wrote:Maybe because there isn't a pure Debian-based distro that has the newbie-friendly feel of Mint. Then again, maybe there is.


Good answer! That's a reason that occurred to me, as well -- that perhaps there aren't that many other good choices out there right now.

But I'm thinking that there are quite a few experienced Linux users who happen to use Mint...
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby tdockery97 on Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:27 am

I think a lot of users just want more stability than the ubuntu base provides, but without giving up all that is good about Mint.
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby randomizer on Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:42 am

It's entirely possible that there are experienced users who have lost interest in the finer intricacies of GNU/Linux and prefer everything to Just Work ®
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby viking777 on Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:50 am

Why switch at all, why not use both?

If nothing else you will see how much work is done by Canonical to turn Debian into Ubuntu and you probably already know how much work Clem and the gang do to turn Ubuntu into Mint!

The contrast will be particularly striking if you choose Debian stable for comparison, as I do. You will feel like you have travelled back in time! It will be unbeatably stable as the name suggests but half your hardware won't work because they haven't tested the drivers that make it work for long enough yet. On the other hand you will have the undeniable advantage of not having to use Grub2 :lol:
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby MALsPa on Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:26 am

tdockery97 wrote:I think a lot of users just want more stability than the ubuntu base provides, but without giving up all that is good about Mint.


Yeah. And I can see where the good things about Mint would be worth putting up with a bit of instability, for lots of folks!
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby Robin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:36 am

I went with Mepis for a time and it was rock-stable and newbie/kid friendly. It's a good alternative to an Ubuntu-based distro, but being built on Debian Stable, it's kinda out of date. Good on my older computer, though. Except I don't care much for KDE.

Crunchbang Statler is built on Debian Testing and offers the speed I'm looking for, but being more "pure Debian" it lacks the out-of-the-box functionality of Ubuntu, Mint, and Mepis. They offer an Xfce version (yay!) which makes it alot easier.

I'm really enjoying PCLinuxOS, too. It's not Debian based, but it's as easy to use as Mint and has all of the out-of-the-box functionality with none of the buggy upstream crap that the Mint team can't fix (and Ubuntu won't fix). It's a truly independent distro, using Synaptic for software and upgrade management so it's familiar to Ubuntu/Mint users, and it's rolling release!

I've become so dissolusioned with Ubuntu and so afraid that some upstream crap from Ubuntu will ruin Mint that I've made the switch already. So far everything is running very smoothly, and as effortlessly as Mint. They have "respins" as well, so that users who prefer other desktops besides KDE can enjoy the beauty, ease, and simplicity of PCLinuxOS.

Of course there are about a zillion other Ubuntu-based distros as well, but I'm pretty sure that as Ubuntu continues down the insane path they have chosen, fewer and fewer distros will follow.

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Re: why not switch now?

Postby MALsPa on Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:23 am

Robin wrote:I've become so dissolusioned with Ubuntu and so afraid that some upstream crap from Ubuntu will ruin Mint that I've made the switch already.


Sounds like a lot of people are afraid of that. I don't worry about it, perhaps because I use a use a multi-boot set-up with other distros to boot into, perhaps because I only stick with LTS versions of Mint and Ubuntu. If anything truly awful comes down from Ubuntu, it won't be a tragedy here -- I'll have plenty of time to decide whether or not to keep Mint, or what to do.

Still, it's interesting that some people, like you, have switched instead of hanging around with Mint. I was hoping you'd offer your thoughts, Robin. Thanks!
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby Rifester on Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:46 am

I have found that Debian seems to run better on my machines. I had no problems installing stable but had many problems I could not fix each time I tried to switch or install to Testing. I have to admit that I do like to have the latest updates on a few of the programs I use (Banshee, Shotwell, etc.) as they have features I really like. I have tried Mepis (recently) and really found it snappy and stable on my machine, but I just cannot devote myself to KDE full time. I find myself deleting ALL of the KDE applications and replacing them... I think there is a huge void for GNOME based Debian that is more user friendly and easier to install. However, if the next version of Debian Stable is released prior to the Mint Debian version I am probably going to make the switch then. I have been increasingly unhappy with the direction Ubuntu is going. I don't want change for the sake of change, I want my volume indicator to handle volume only and I prefer it to function vertically, not horizontally. I don't want it to control my media player. There was NO reason to move the buttons to left in an LTS. I know it was made for the coming "windicators" but why not move them then? I have Ubuntu Netbook Remix installed on my netbook, now it'sdevelopment is over and it is being replaced with Unity. It just doesn't make sense anymore (I keep saying Ubuntu development is neurotic). I have been testing other Distros lately (OpenSUSE, Mandriva, Sidux, Mepis), but I feel more at home with Gnome, Synaptic, and Debian. I don't find Ubuntu or Mint highly unstable but I do find it to have some glitches that are annoying.
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby libssd on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:26 am

viking777 wrote:The contrast will be particularly striking if you choose Debian stable for comparison, as I do. You will feel like you have travelled back in time! It will be unbeatably stable as the name suggests but half your hardware won't work because they haven't tested the drivers that make it work for long enough yet. On the other hand you will have the undeniable advantage of not having to use Grub2 :lol:

"half your hardware won't work because they haven't tested the drivers" doesn't fit my definition of "stable".

Somewhat overlooked in this discussion is the importance of the user community, which is a critical resource for both Ubuntu and Mint. Personally, I found some insurmountable problems with Isadora, and went back to Ubuntu 10.04, which has been rock solid for me. But, whatever distro meets your needs and runs on your hardware is the "right" distro for you.
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby randomizer on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:33 am

I think what he means is that the drivers haven't been tested and therefore are not available, thus preventing newer (basically post-Jurassic) hardware from working. Debian will be rock stable if you fit into the available hardware combinations. It's kind of like OSX, except that you can dirty it with "unproven" packages if you want to.

For me Ubuntu 10.04 worked fine and then stopped working right. Plymouth stopped working and so did ureadahead. Even after wiping out every partition and starting over. So I installed Isadora again and it worked. :shrug:
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby MALsPa on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:35 am

libssd wrote:
viking777 wrote:The contrast will be particularly striking if you choose Debian stable for comparison, as I do. You will feel like you have travelled back in time! It will be unbeatably stable as the name suggests but half your hardware won't work because they haven't tested the drivers that make it work for long enough yet. On the other hand you will have the undeniable advantage of not having to use Grub2 :lol:

"half your hardware won't work because they haven't tested the drivers" doesn't fit my definition of "stable".



Perhaps it's not that it won't work, it's just that it won't work "out of the box."
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby libssd on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:39 am

randomizer wrote:For me Ubuntu 10.04 worked fine and then stopped working right. Plymouth stopped working and so did ureadahead. Even after wiping out every partition and starting over. So I installed Isadora again and it worked. :shrug:

Stopped without explanation, or as a result of tweaking? All of my problems have been self-inflicted, and recoverable by restoring from a Remastersys image. Whenever a new kernel is released, or after I've made a bunch of changes, or if it's just been a while, I make a fresh backup.

Based on discussion in this thread, I tried to look at PCLinuxOS, but their server appears to be down, which isn't an encouraging sign.
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby randomizer on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:48 am

Stopped as a result of tweaking (I believe), but still didn't work after reformatting and reinstalling. I don't understand why that is... but that's what happened.
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby libssd on Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:43 pm

randomizer wrote:Stopped as a result of tweaking (I believe), but still didn't work after reformatting and reinstalling. I don't understand why that is... but that's what happened.

Yeah, that's weird. Secure erase, followed by re-partitioning might have solved the problem, but that's moot since you are now running with something that is stable for you.
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby Rifester on Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:10 pm

Debian Squeeze frozen today: http://www.debian.org/News/2010/20100806
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby exploder on Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:54 pm

Robin summed things up very well. :)
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby DrHu on Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:13 pm

Robin wrote:I've become so dissolusioned with Ubuntu and so afraid that some upstream crap from Ubuntu will ruin Mint that I've made the switch already. So far everything is running very smoothly, and as effortlessly as Mint.

I think this is true: that Ubuntu with their own specific interests at stake are not that good for Linux as a general project, albeit that they keep coming up with different ideas or applications, that they feel relates to that project
Which, if I quote Apple, Linux for the rest of us..

I personally would prefer that Mint based their system from Debian, and I don't even care if they used testing instead of stable; however I think the real reason for not switching despite the advantage of getting a more stable system direct from the Debian project is simply the Ubuntu experimentation and various ideas/concepts and applications that flow from their project
--as you can see if you notice the various target markets/environments they go after
  • Media
    --audio/video workstation
  • Education
    --edbuntu etc
  • Server OS
  • Others that may arrive sooner or later

Now, I don't think Ubuntu can even keep up with all their projects, and so tend to let things (bugs, rushed deliverables) slip, and therefore are getting a reputation of being sloppy
    Unlike Debian
    --which has never been thought of as sloppy, as far as I can tell
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Re: why not switch now?

Postby Robin on Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:26 am

I would advise any newbie trying out any of the 'buntus or anything based on Ubuntu to set up their Update Manager to accept only security updates, never the "recommended" ones that so frequently b0rk a perfectly good working system. The sheer number of "b0rked by an update" threads in their forums (and a few here as well) is compelling evidence that whatever the heck they're doing over there, it's sloppy, hurried, random, and harmful. It must be a full time job for developers of Ubuntu spin-offs like Mint to protect their users from the ever-increasing flotsam coming from upstream.

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