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What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:37 am
by Statham
Hello All,

I am fairly new to mint and need specific help on what edition/distro to choose for my current setup. I know there are lots of posts out there on this topic but nothing that I can tailor to my situation.

My pc has the following components

AMD Phenom 9750 Socket AM2+ 2.4GHz 4MB L2 Cache
MSI K9A2 Platinum 790FX Socket AM2+ 8 channel audio
4gb 1066MHz/PC2-8500 Kingston Hyperx Memory
2x Kingston SSDNow V-Series 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD)

Note: 1 ssd for windows and 1 ssd for mint “so duel booting”

I am currently running Mint 10 after trialling it with my wife. However now is the time to reinstall for a fresh start. So whilst the natural solution is to upgrade to Mint 11, LMDE has also hit my radar.

I do like the fact that LMDE will have a faster boot (which is high on my wish list) and has rolling updates however I have read that it is also prone to bugs (which I don’t know if this is really true).

But then I do like that mint 11 is a stable system based on one of the most out of the box distributions out there.

I only use Linux for day to day practices like internet emails and the odd bit of media. Whilst my windows install is used for itunes and my games. However when I go to reinstall I will need to choose the correct edition as not to upset my wife to much by constantly changing my mind.

So to my question. From your experiences of both editions which do you think will be the best for me?

Many thanks for all you help in advance.....

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:21 am
by tdockery97
My opinion would be to go with the Mint 11 Gnome edition until you become really comfortable with working "under the hood" in Linux. LMDE is a nice distro, but due to the rolling nature it is prone to occasional breakage that sometimes requires a bit of experience to solve. Just my opinion of course.

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:28 am
by Aging Technogeek
With that system, which is quite similar to mine, you can run anything you want.

Why not download all Mint versions, use unetbootin or another similar program to make bootable USB drives (closer to installed speed) and try all of them. Then you and your wife can install the one you like the most.

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:34 am
by AlbertP
I'd recommend Mint 11 Gnome (64-bit), it is in my opinion easy to use and doesn't require as much maintenance as Debian Testing does. It boots a bit faster than Mint 10.
Mint 11 will run just fine on your hardware. I can also run it fine with a Pentium M (1766 MHz), 512 MB RAM and a 60GB harddisk with 6GB for Mint. On your setup it will of course be some faster, but on that laptop it's fast enough for normal internet/e-mail usage (not very laggy or using much swap).

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:56 am
by Statham
Thank you all for your advice and opinions. I think from what I am reading that whilst LMDE is fast and beneficial mint 11 is a lot more reliable for a newb like me and my kit is fast enough not to really have to care about speed.

The unetbootin suggestion is a very good one, but my main aim is to install and have done with for the next few years, and as to not upset or confuse my wife with my constant tinkering.

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:53 pm
by TBABill
I run LMDE myself, but when I was newer to Linux I relied more on the distros that make installing hardware drivers easier, such as Mint, Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS. I would recommend Ubuntu-based Mint as well over LMDE until you get a feel for setting up your system and dealing with updates, new kernels, etc. You get a lot of punch for a distro that cares for your hardware and doesn't require you to know how to or remember how to handle changes.

I'd recommend Mint 10 over 11 myself, but that is largely based on opinion. The underlying system is pretty nice and I run it in the form of Xubuntu right now (Mint 11 is based on Ubuntu 11.04), but some of the quirks from Ubuntu (Unity to be specific) make 11 less friendly or appealing in my own opinion. The overlay bars are an example of what I mean. Scrolling became more difficult with a touchpad than in 10. But, there are other issues as well.

From a new user perspective, however, you may actually prefer the changes that Mint 11 introduced and find them to be quite appealing. I'm not trying to sway you to one over the other, just offering personal opinion on both. I'd give them all a go (including LMDE) from a live session and see what you like the most. And, because it hasn't been mentioned, the LTS version (Mint 9) is spectacular in its own right and is supported for another 2 years, which is longer than Mint 10 or 11 will be supported.

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:05 pm
by Statham
A fantastic insight many thanks TBABill.

I think you are all correct, use Mint until I get more of an understanding then try LMDE. I am going to try mint 11 as I have been trialling mint 10 for the last 6 months. If i don’t like it then finally try LTS, else fall back to mint 10.

Thank you all for your advice everyone.

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:11 pm
by AlbertP
If you don't like Mint 10's wallpaper, you can just install the Mint 11 wallpapers: ... .1_all.deb

And the extra wallpapers for 11: ... .1_all.deb

You can install those DEB files by just double-clicking. If it does not work by default, then you can right-click > Open With > GDebi.

By the way, the Mint 10 wallpaper is perfect for detecting that the backlight is not evenly distributed on LCD screens. A screen having a good reputation on internet (V7 L19WA), failed miserably to display the same dark grey color on the borders of the Mint 10 wallpaper.

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:23 pm
by edwardr
Since you want this next installation to last you for a long time, then I recommend you take the time up front to try out several different flavors of Mint to see which you prefer. Download the iso's for Mint 11 Gnome, Mint 10 Gnome, Mint 10 KDE, and Mint 9 Xfce, get your hands on one or more 2GB usb thumb drives and install the different iso's to the thumb drives with unetbootin and try them out in live mode. Bear in mind that when installed to the hard drive they would run a bit faster than they do from the USB drive. The KDE version will be most like Windows 7 in terms of eye candy and bling. Check out the scroll bars in Mint 11 Gnome vs Mint 10 Gnome, see which you prefer. Xfce should be the fastest of the versions, as the Xfce desktop environment uses less resources than Gnome and KDE. Version number 9 of the Mint flavors are Long Term Support releases, with updates for three years, whereas the 10 and 11 versions only have one year of support (note that they don't stop working after that time, they still work, but the developers will stop releasing updates for them). If you decide to go with Xfce (my favorite) let me know as there are some tweaks that should be done when installing to wring the most out of it.

Consider your partitioning plan as well. Will you and your wife have different users on the Mint installation. You may consider linking your Linux documents, music, and video folders over to the corresponding Windows folders so that your files are shared between the operating systems.

Re: What eddition should I choose?

Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:37 pm
by Statham
Thank you all for you opinions and guidance.

I have had a play with mint 10, 11 lmde and xfce. Honestly I can say I am in love with xfce.
All of these editions were fantastic in their own rights but xfce seemed a lot quicker and easier for me to customise. I also like the fact that it is a rolling distribution so I don't have to do anything (unless a update goes wrong).

I am also confident that if and when I do run into a tricky situation, that is well out of my knowledge base, I only have to log onto this forum and help is on it's way.

once again thank you everyone :D