What is LMDE?

Discuss non-support related topics related to LMDE.
Forum rules
Before you post please read this

What is LMDE?

Postby rubenvdg on Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:12 am

Hi all,

The question "what is LMDE" might sound stupid, but I couldn't come up with anything better. It is simply not very clear to me what exactly LMDE is, and how and in which context you would use it.

To give you some background... I am basically a long time Debian user. I am a pretty advanced user in the sense that I normally use Debian Testing, with extra packages from Debian Unstable and Debian Experimental (and external packages from for example deb-multimedia.org) with a specific configuration in an apt preferences file.

Lately however, I'm not very happy with my linux "desktop" anymore. Personally I think the linux desktop was in a better state several years back around 2007 or something like that. Either way: I have never used KDE.. it just doesn't "click" with me, I've used Gnome2 for a long time, but also things like e16, e17 and XFCE. I also checked Gnome3 and Unity, but none of those I like. I've tried Cinnamon which is included in Debian Testing now, and even though I think it's not bad... it still seems a bit buggy. I am really looking for a nice integrated desktop environment, that just works. I've spent lots of time messing around with linux systems, but nowadays I just wanna have a system that "just works". (Even though it's hard for me to not look under the covers and get annoyed about certain things I don't like.. :P)

In that context, I first tried a livecd from Ubuntu: I think it's a nice system, but I really don't like the Unity interface. Next I tried the livecds from Linux Mint (the Linux Mint 14 and the LMDE one), and I think Linux Mint is pretty nice. I really do like the MATE environment, based on Gnome2. It's nothing really fancy, but it's looking good, and it just works. Since I have a lot of experience with Debian, LMDE seemed like the edition to go for.

From the description on the main Linux Mint page, it says that LMDE is a rolling distro based on debian testing. That looks like the perfect thing for me: I was already using Debian Testing... now I get Debian Testing with a nice integrated desktop environment. The first difficulty was trying to find how I can install LMDE on my hard drive. Once you know, it's easy, but if you don't know you have to be looking for something like "install to hard disk" it's pretty hard... it doesn't mention this anywhere on the website for as far as i could see. Ok, then I got it installed. But then I notice that it is not really using plain Debian Testing: from reading on the forums it seems that at some point it was decided to build in some kind of "buffer" for the debian testing packages, to ensure a more stable LMDE, a "more stable" and a bit less "rolling" release with the use of Update Packs. Then with that system in place, another feature was added: the difference between "incoming" and "latest", with "incoming" some kind of beta channel for the Update Packs so that they can be finished and polished before releasing them in the "latest" channel. And when one goes reading even more in the forums... it also seems a lot of people are combining the linux mint repositories with the official debian testing, unstable and experimental repositories.

So, I'm a bit confused.... at first I thought to just use the Linux Mint package repositories, but it seems those repositories do not contain everything that is included in the debian testing repositories. For example, I wanted to install emacs24. This is a package that is available in Debian Testing already for a long time, but when I search it in the Linux Mint repositories, I only find: emacs24-common-non-dfsg. This is really weird, since that package is not useful at all on it's own, with the emacs24 package.

So, what exactly is included in those Linux Mint repositories? The full Debian Testing, or only a subset of Debian Testing?
What exactly is included in the Update Packs? A full "diff" of Debian Testing, or only a diff of a subset of Debian Testing?
Do the Linux Mint repositories also included repackaged Debian packages?
LMDE with official Debian repos, is that still considered "LMDE"?
Which packages are included in the "core" LMDE package repository? Only the desktop environments like MATE, Cinnamon together with things like package for artwork and all?

Also, I don't really understand the Update Packs... the packages that end up in Debian Testing, already went through Debian Unstable and even though it's possible, there rarely are any problems. I understand that using the Update Packs enables you to ensure a nicer and smoother experience... but on the other hand... the people that use LMDE are probably already more experienced anyways. What happens when some problem is discovered with a Debian package? Is upstream Debian contacted to fix it there, and then later an updated package is imported in LMDE?

Either way... as you can see, I still have a lot of questions... I already installed LMDE from the available ISO and I also upgraded to the most recent update pack. But I'm really tempted to use LMDE with the official Debian repos, and just reuse my previous sources.list configuration, with the added Linux Mint repo.

cheers,
Ruben
rubenvdg
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby zerozero on Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:34 am

rubenvdg wrote:The question "what is LMDE" might sound stupid, but I couldn't come up with anything better.

i understand :D lmde has a particular personality and it's not easy to grasp it fully

i see from your post that you've done a lot of reading here in the forum (kudos for that), there's just a couple things i want to outline
rubenvdg wrote:So, what exactly is included in those Linux Mint repositories? The full Debian Testing, or only a subset of Debian Testing?
What exactly is included in the Update Packs? A full "diff" of Debian Testing, or only a diff of a subset of Debian Testing?
Do the Linux Mint repositories also included repackaged Debian packages?

lmde uses 2 set of repos:
- one that is mint specific, here http://packages.linuxmint.com/list.php?release=Debian
- and then the full debian repo+deb-multimedia
UP are full syncs of debian testing + deb-multimedia at a given day/hour;

rubenvdg wrote: I wanted to install emacs24. This is a package that is available in Debian Testing already for a long time,

rubenvdg wrote: I've tried Cinnamon which is included in Debian Testing now

this is the problem :lol: 8) of using (abusing?) aptpinning
http://packages.qa.debian.org/e/emacs24.html
http://ftp-master.debian.org/testing/up ... ml#emacs24
http://packages.debian.org/search?suite ... s=cinnamon

welcome to lmde, i hope you enjoy it
Image

[ bliss of ignorance ]
zerozero
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6489
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby killer de bug on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:15 am

If you want something more rolling than the UP, you can definitively use the testing repo with your old sources.list :wink:
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. [Isaac Newton]
User avatar
killer de bug
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Austria

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby rubenvdg on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:22 am

zerozero, killer de bug,

Thank you for the quick answers!

And sorry... my bad for not double checking, obviously emacs24 came from unstable instead of testing.
So, that means I am going to switch and use the official Debian repos, since I already depend on a newer version of certain packages.
I already checked the threads about breakage for tracking testing and tracking sid, so I better follow those.

And now I also noticed the LMDE FAQ which actually also answers a lot of my questions.

Thanks!
rubenvdg
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 am

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby killer de bug on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:30 am

I don't know for Mate since I don't use it.
But if you use Cinnamon, with testing and unstable you could experience some breakage since you will get newer libs faster than with the UP. Apart this, I think it's ok. Your very long knowledge about Debian will help you no doubt ;)
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. [Isaac Newton]
User avatar
killer de bug
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Austria

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby rubenvdg on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:25 am

Ok, I came up with the following settings. This should allow me to mainly follow all the packages in standard LMDE, but upgrade only those that I explicitly want to. The packages that I explicitly upgrade, will stick on that version, until LMDE catches up, or I explicitly upgrade them again.

For the interested, the sources.list file and the accompanying apt preferences.

Code: Select all
# /etc/apt/sources.list
# LMDE
deb http://mirror.tuxis.nl/packages/ debian main upstream import
deb-src http://mirror.tuxis.nl/packages/ debian main upstream import

# LMDE, Debian packages
deb http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest testing main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest/multimedia testing main non-free
deb-src http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest/multimedia testing main non-free

# testing
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free

# unstable
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

# experimental
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ experimental main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ experimental main contrib non-free

# security updates
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib

# marillat
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org testing main non-free
deb-src http://www.deb-multimedia.org testing main non-free


Code: Select all
# /etc/apt/preferences
Package: *
Pin: release o=linuxmint
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: origin mirror.rts-informatique.fr
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian,a=testing
Pin-Priority: 90

Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian,a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 80

Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian,a=experimental
Pin-Priority: 70

Package: *
Pin: origin www.deb-multimedia.org
Pin-Priority: 95
rubenvdg
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 am

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby killer de bug on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:06 am

Code: Select all
# LMDE
deb http://mirror.tuxis.nl/packages/ debian main upstream import [b]romeo[/b]
deb-src http://mirror.tuxis.nl/packages/ debian main upstream import [b]romeo[/b]


Don't know this server. Strange is that it's not in "mint-choose-debian-mirror". Nevertheless, if you want you can add romeo. It's for some more up-to-date packages. To have them faster but they can be a little bit more buggy.
For example 1 month ago we got Cinnamon 1.6 with romeo. It's working fine. By using the official UP, you will only get it at the end of this month ;)
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. [Isaac Newton]
User avatar
killer de bug
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Austria

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby rop75 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:30 pm

Interesting thread, and interesting questions:

What is LMDE?. From my point of view, NOW, LMDE is just Debian testing in september 2012 with some extra packages from Linuxmint Debian repos (Cinnamon, skype, mozilla tools, mint themes and icos, multimedia codecs, flash...)

LMDE with official Debian repos, is that still considered "LMDE"? My answer would be that a LMDE user tracking Debian Testing repos is really a Debian Testing user with some linuxmint packages, anyway it does not matter, because this is just my opinion. As you can see here, many LMDE users are tracking Debian repos, and they consider that they are LMDE users. Are they right or wrong?... Does that make any difference?

AS far as your sources.list is concerned, currently (Debian testing is frozen) it does not look very logical to use both Debian testing security and multimedia repo, and LMDE security and multimedia repo, specially if you have also added sid repos to get more recent packages. If you want to track the latest repo (aka pure LMDE repo) you should uncomment the debian testing and multimedia repos. If you want (as I do) to track Debian testing and enjoy the Limuxmint Debian specific packages, you should uncomment the LMDE security and multimedia repos, and set your pin preferences to 500 for linuxmint, debian testing and multimedia.

An example, this is my source.list:

deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import backport romeo
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org/ testing main non-free
# deb http://packages.solusos.com/ eveline main upstream import non-free

I added the solusOS repo beause I wanted the solus' icon theme, when I got it I uncommented that repo. In my case I simply deleted the preference file as I don't need it (I am not interested in installing any package fron any other repo)
Last edited by rop75 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
rop75
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:08 pm

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby rubenvdg on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:36 pm

That server is one of the Linux Mint mirrors I found through "mintupdate".

Hmm.. I came across "romeo" in some places, but didn't know exactly what it was.
Good to know, I might enable it in the future.
rubenvdg
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 am

Re: What is LMDE?

Postby rubenvdg on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:48 pm

@rop75

Well yeah... that is in a way also a bit how I feel: if you start mainly following Debian official repo's it looks like LMDE is just an extra repo that you install a couple of packages from, i.e. you get a Debian with a Linux Mint MATE/Cinnamon desktop.

I know the sources.list might look a bit weird: a lot of packages will be exactly the same in the official Debian Testing, and the Mint snapshot of Debian Testing. But in my apt prefereces, I gave all the not-pure-Mint repos a Pin Priority < 100. That means those packages will never get installed by default. By default apt will always chose packages from the pure Mint repos if a version of the package is available on those repos. With that preferences file, the only way to install packages from the official Debian repos is to make that explicit with for example: apt-get -t testing install virt-manager. That is how I want it: that way I can still get as close as standard LMDE as possible.
rubenvdg
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to Open Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests