Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

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Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby 0xnak on Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:53 pm

Hi all,

I had been using ubuntu as my main os for a while (since version 6.10), but after some major privacy concerns (beyond just the shopping lens nonsense), I decided canonical was taking ubuntu in a direction I longer supported. Anyway, I've been distro hopping for the last few weeks and after reading some good things about it, decided to try lmde. I actually tried it a little while ago, but had some repo issues that have since been resolved. Anyway, now for the questions...

This will be the main/only OS on a computer that I use for personal tasks (web browsing, email, listening to music, watching videos, etc.) as well as for work (coding, web dev stuff, database work, hosting vm's.) Is lmde a good fit for that? The one thing that I haven't been able to wrap my head around yet are the updates, but perhaps I just need to get out of the ubuntu mindset of new software arriving relatively quickly and installing updates immediately, all of the time. From what I understand, updates only come from the periodic update packs. Is that correct? What about security updates? Also, for instance, FF(firefox) is at version 17 in lmde, while version 18 has been out for a little while. Is that any cause for concern? I can live with older packages (in most cases), but I also don't really want to sacrifice security for stability. Is there any way to force the upgrading of certain packages, like FF or virtualbox for instance? What are the pros and cons of doing that? Sorry for all of the questions. I'm just trying to wrap my head around the lmde way of doing things so I can decide if it is for me or not.

Thanks!
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby jjaythomas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:39 pm

Hello and welcome

LMDE probally will work for your needs (not need new install every 6 months or so (more like a semi-rolling LTS :lol: )

FF (can get version 18 (as a debian usually) right from their site. But FF in LMDE is usually pretty good for coming as a update thru 'mint-update', and doesn't have to come with/tru a Upack!

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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby vrkalak on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:56 pm

Just because an App has been released as 'stable' by its Developers - does not make it stable.

Debian has some very strict guidelines about accepting Apps/packages in to their various releases. (stable, testing, unstable, experimental)

LMDE is based on Debian's Testing branch - so if a particular version of an App or Kernel has made it into the Testing Repros, it will also show up in the LMDE Update Repros, as well.
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby 0xnak on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:17 am

vrkalak wrote:LMDE is based on Debian's Testing branch - so if a particular version of an App or Kernel has made it into the Testing Repros, it will also show up in the LMDE Update Repros, as well.


I know the debian repos may be a bit stagnant with wheezy on its way, but is there something that I can/should do to install/enable intermediary/interim updates or are the mint update packs the only way to go?
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby wayne128 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:21 am

0xnak wrote:
I know the debian repos may be a bit stagnant with wheezy on its way, but is there something that I can/should do to install/enable intermediary/interim updates or are the mint update packs the only way to go?


You can do:
consider tracking Debian Sid like those in this thread
viewtopic.php?f=198&t=70230

You can also add Debian experimental repos,
for me, I use Sid for a long time, and I used iceweasel ( Debian unbranded version of firefox) in experimental repos, it is at version 19 for a while, I read FF18 had slow response, but I did not experience the slowness on FF18 as well as iceweasel18 on several OSes.
Code: Select all
 apt-cache policy iceweasel
iceweasel:
  Installed: 19.0~b3-1
  Candidate: 19.0~b3-1
  Version table:
 *** 19.0~b3-1 0
        500 http://mozilla.debian.net/ experimental/iceweasel-beta i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     18.0.1-1 0
          1 http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ experimental/main i386 Packages
     10.0.12esr-1 0
        500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ unstable/main i386 Packages



Caveat: I do not know if you should do that ..
Because once you are tracking other than the official LMDE, there is no support from Mint, however, those people who posted in the link above might have discovered issues and resolution, because Debian Sid is more fast acting....
If you consider tracking Sid, you should always CLONE your OS before a major dist-upgrade.
so that if something break, and if you cannot repair, you can at least return to the last known-good conditions by reinstalling the Clone OS.
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby zerozero on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:34 am

0xnak wrote:I know the debian repos may be a bit stagnant with wheezy on its way, but is there something that I can/should do to install/enable intermediary/interim updates or are the mint update packs the only way to go?

the beauty of lmde is that you can run it pointing to different debian releases and still be lmde at its core.

if the UP are too restrictive for you :) you can jump into testing or sid or use apt-pinning
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby altair4 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:16 am

From: http://www.linuxmint.com/download_lmde.php
Cons:

Although it's using Romeo for unstable packages, LMDE continuously changes as it receives updates and new software. Compared to a frozen version of Linux Mint which changes very little once it's publicly released, it's not as stable. Things are likely to break more often but fixes can also come quicker. For this reason, LMDE requires a deeper knowledge and experience with Linux, dpkg and APT.
Debian is a less user-friendly/desktop-ready base than Ubuntu. Expect some rough edges.

You stated in your original post that you are a software developer. In my experience I have found that software developers make bad computer users probably because they use it as their work platform and would just as soon do that than become System Administrators. So you need to decide what it is you ultimately expect from your OS.

The default install of LMDE is a moving target. If you want a hobby this is the one for you. If you want something less volatile and more predictable you can:

** Point LMDE to stable.
** Use the standard Ubuntu based Mint LTS version - Mint13.
** You could use Mint14 but be aware of the development process over at Ubuntu when you do this.

The true "Mint" part of each release becomes incrementally better just like a real world adult run development shop but the Ubuntu part is more incoherent. The LTS version ( Ubuntu12.04 / Mint13 ) is relatively predictable. The LTS+1 version has all the crazy stuff that was deemed too unfinished for the LTS version even for Ubuntu so it usually needs future updates to fix. LTS+2 becomes more stable again and so on.
Please add a [SOLVED] at the end of your original subject header if your question has been answered and solved.
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby 0xnak on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:02 pm

Thanks for all of the replies. I think I'm going to stick with lmde for a while. I don't mind having some older packages/software and it's nice to know that if the urge/itch to have the newest version of something, I have options. One final question though...I suppose this is more of a hypothetical/what-if situation, but let's say I keep the repos default and my only updates are from UP's. Then, somehow a package with a major flaw/security issue makes it into testing and eventually into a UP. The flaw/issue is then fixed and a new version makes it into the debian repo. How long until that fix makes it to my system? Would I have to wait for the next UP? Are updates ever available (with a default setup) outside of UP's?

EDIT:
I found an older post from zerozero that basically answered my question:
viewtopic.php?f=199&t=122371#p672020

I must say that while I understand the security stance lmde takes, it is still pretty concerning...
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby zerozero on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:42 pm

you saw this link in the middle of that mess :lol: ?
it's not the definitive answer but is reassuring(ish)
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby 0xnak on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:54 pm

It's a bit reassuirng, but the question (which was also posed in that thread) is what that threshold is...Also, from what I can gather, the initial thought was that the update packs would be a monthly thing, which tightens up the possible security holes a little bit. If I'm not mistaken though, it seems as though that 1 month between UP's has become 2-3 months...

Anyway, I'm going to give regular mint another try. I was initially turned off because there are a lot of weird ubuntu dependencies when installing/removing packages that added a lot of bloat.

zerozero, out of curiosity, what is your current main/production setup?
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby zerozero on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:11 pm

:lol: what i call "home" is a lmde install pointing to testing :P

[don't get me wrong here: it's not the security issue that made me chose testing over the UPs, it's me: i need my update fix daily :mrgreen:]
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby 0xnak on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:41 pm

In theory, testing would be inherently 'more secure' as it would get updated packages regularly correct?
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby zerozero on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:55 pm

from here http://testing-security.debian.net/
Security support for testing

The team is providing security support for Debian's testing branch by

writing patches and doing NMUs to unstable as necessary
tracking the fixed packages and working with the Debian Release Managers to make sure fixes reach testing quickly
if this process is too slow, providing fixed packages built against testing in the testing-security apt repository:

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


However, the majority of security fixes reach testing by migration from unstable.

Note that in order to take advantage of the security support for testing, you must update your system on a regular basis.
Limitations

For several reasons, the security support for testing cannot be expected to be of the same quality as for Debian's stable branch:

Updates for testing-security usually receive less testing than updates for stable-security.
Testing is changing all the time which increases the likelihood of problems with the build infrastructure. Such problems can delay security updates in testing.

the debian release(s) really focused in security are either stable (with an active security team) or sid (without security team but where the updates are so quick that it patches any security issue)
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby jjaythomas on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:03 pm

FF (can get version 18 (as a debian usually) right from their site. But FF in LMDE is usually pretty good for coming as a update thru 'mint-update', and doesn't have to come with/tru a Upack!


sorry if came out wrong :oops: I was just saying FF actually doesn't come from testing (otherwise would be 'Iceweasel) it comes from the Mint repo. So not dependent on a UPack release, so technically Mint can upgrade FF when they deem stable.

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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby 0xnak on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:49 am

Thanks for the clarification jay.
zerozero,

I'm going to give testing a shot. If I do a clean install of the UP5 iso, should I update to UP6, configure my software (install nvidia and remove mate/compiz leaving only cinnamon), and then make the switch to testing? Or, should I make the switch to testing right from the UP5 clean install?

Edit: Just a side question...I know testing is pretty 'stable' with it being frozen due to wheezy's impending release. Is all hell going to break loose (things breaking) when jessie get's moved to testing?
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby zerozero on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:21 pm

hi
this might help you >> viewtopic.php?f=201&t=123323

i would add a few notes:
- the upcoming respin will bring cinnamon and mate in separate isos (should be just just around the corner);
- if it was me i would install nvidia drivers only in the end of the ride;
- the end of deep-freeze might be a bumpy road during a couple weeks (viewtopic.php?f=201&t=123275)
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby 0xnak on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:52 pm

I successfully made the jump to testing. So far, so good. Quick question though as far as updates: will mintupdate-debian be suitable for finding/installing updates or am I stuck with just using synaptic?
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Re: Questions from a distro hopper new to lmde...

Postby zerozero on Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:18 pm

mu-debian is today a robust updater, synaptic is the gem we all know, you'll be fine with either :wink: or just open a terminal and
Code: Select all
apt update && apt dist-upgrade
(short & easy :lol: )
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