Is LMDE just a repackaged version of the Debian OS?

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Is LMDE just a repackaged version of the Debian OS?

Postby Saposcat » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:38 pm

See title. What exactly would be the benefits of running LMDE as opposed to your standard Ubuntu model Linux 13? What's the difference between running LMDE and the latest version of Debian?

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Re: Is LMDE just a repackaged version of the Debian OS?

Postby cwsnyder » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:44 pm

LMDE is a repackaged Debian Linux, just as Ubuntu and Simply MEPIS are both repackaged versions of Debian Linux. That is what a distribution consists of: What choices are made by the packagers and maintainers of the distribution.

Linux Mint 13 is more directly derived from Ubuntu than from Debian and can use the PPA Repositories from Ubuntu. Also, because it is derived from Ubuntu, it is more bloated. LMDE is derived more directly from the Debian testing branch, while what is usually thought of as Debian Linux is from the stable branch of Debian. Debian has 4 main branches: Old Stable - Presently Lenny or 5.0. Still supported by bug and security fixes, but packages are old. Stable - Presently Squeeze or 6.0. Thoroughly tested packages which don't change from release to release with only security changes backported to the packaging. There may be 2 or more years between stable releases. Testing - presently Wheezy (not released, so no point release). Closer to upstream packages than Stable, in the process of debugging and testing to get to the next stable package. Testing is presently in the process of feature and packaging freeze to produce the new Stable release in late 2012 or early 2013. Unstable always called Sid (all names are from Toy Story characters). Unstable has the latest packages proposed by the upstream maintainers and are almost guaranteed to be as buggy as beta packages on Windows.

LMDE is not only derived from a later set of packages than Debian Stable, it is also more tested and debugged than the latest unstable packages which are added by Ubuntu people through PPA repositories. LMDE's packages are also only updated from testing at set intervals to keep instability of LMDE to a minimum, although if you choose, you can track either Testing or Sid directly through LMDE. You just won't be supported on later packages. LMDE also adds the Mint Menus and other Minty goodness to Debian, including MATE and Cinnamon.
LMDE Mate 64-bit, LM17.3 Cinnamon 64-bit
Debian Mate 64-bit, Xubuntu xenial 64-bit, Ubuntu-Mate 14.04 64-bit, Antergos Xfce 64-bit, PCLinuxOS Mate 64-bit

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Re: Is LMDE just a repackaged version of the Debian OS?

Postby widget » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:59 am

LMDE Xfce is what I have installed on my other drive.

I use Debian testing Xfce as my production OS.

I am an ex Ubuntu dev release tester of some experience. Even used the dev releases as my production OS for a couple years.

All that said I can tell you that even without the Mint menus, which are not in the Xfce LMDE version, this is a much better respin of Debian testing than the way Ubuntu does it.

The last I tested was Xubuntu 12.10. Based on Debian testing as are all Ubuntu LTS releases. Took a whole gig more room on a standard install compared to Debian testing Xfce. LMDE Xfce is only slightly larger on the standard installation.

Ubuntu, what ever the DE, adds a lot of crap and changes the way the file system is used compared to Debian. This makes their system more and more incompatible with Debian packages.

LMDE uses their repo to filter Debian packages for stability. The packages, including the install scripts, are not messed with. Therefore the LMDE install is completely compatible with Debian packages from any of the Debian repos. Using those packages is going to give you some unstable conditions but you can do it if you want.

This strikes me as the perfect OS for someone that is a bit nervous of Debian but wants to learn to use it. The system is set up with packages that Debian will not install by default due to their definition of "free" so that is removed as a potential problem. Default configuration is probably more to the likeing of the new user than a clean install of Debian testing.

Xfce has not been messed with as it is in Xubuntu (added Gnome packages makes Xfce harder to configure there). The Xfce set up tips work under LMDE Xfce.

Really the best respin of Debian that I have seen for the noob.

I keep reading that it is for "advanced" users. I think that has to be the Ubuntu definition of "advanced". They also claim that Synaptic is for "advanced" users.

Coming to linux (Ubuntu 8.04.1) in my 50s with no experience with anything but MS (starting with MSDos) I had no trouble using Synaptic. Don't think I was an advanced user.

LMDE is more stable than 10.04 was on release. More stable than 12.04 on release. Will be ahead of 12.04 when 12.10 is released.

LMDE should, with the package management system it uses, keep pretty close to the Ubumtu releases. The main difference will be that LMDE will be stable.

If you have the space, say 60gigs, install LMDE, Debian testing and the current Ubuntu. I suggest whatever DE base you like. Put them on about 10gig / partitions and share a 30gig /home partition (different user names must be used in each distro).

You will imediately see the difference in size of installs on the / partitions. You will also see the difference in stability between LMDE and the other 2.

If you install the package "apt-listbugs" in the Debian testing install you can easily keep it as stable as Ubuntu. This will also give you an idea of the amount of work the LMDE repo maintainers go through to give you only stable packages from the Debian testing repo.

It is one of those things that you see in practice and wonder why no one tried it before. Seems obvious in hind sight.

Really a great idea.

If you really need the newest packages you can always corrupt the LMDE install with packages from the Sid repo or even the Debian experimental repo.

I would not do that with LMDE myself or recommend it. There are a lot of LMDE users doing just that or tracking the Debian repos instead of the LMDE repos. They like it a lot.

I don't because I prefer the Debian security model to the (basically) Ubuntu security model used in LMDE (at least LMDE requires a password to get a # prompt in recovery mode, unlike Ubuntu that just gives it to you with out one). I like a separate root password. I think with out it you have shaky security.

However, if you are coming from MS to linux, the LMDE system is much more secure. Even the Ubuntu system is somewhat more secure.

Side by side comparission of current releases may cause you to come to a different opinion. While I think your question is a good one, the only way to get an answer that really suits you and the way you work on your box is to compare them for yourself.

This is the LMDE forum. Most folks here are going to prefer LMDE of coarse. I prefer Debian. You may prefer Ubuntu, one of its family members or another distro all together.

Using them, side by side, over a period of time, is the only way to know what you want exactly.

This is why there are so many choices out there in Linux land. Some feel this is a weakness. I don't. I think it is one of the core strengths of Linux.

Try them out. Use the one YOU like. To hell with my opinion or anyone elses. It is YOUR box.

This is my box. I use Debian. I have LMDE on here as I need to keep an eye on it as it is what I recommend for noobs.

I am VERY impressed.
Dell XPS 420 Core2 Quad Q 6600, audigy5.1, Radeon HD 6450 - currently 4 320Gb HDD, Debian Squeeze for secure use, Debian testing for daily use, Debian Sid for fun.

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Re: Is LMDE just a repackaged version of the Debian OS?

Postby tdockery97 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:29 am

A very thorough explanation, widget. I've bookmarked it so that the next time someone asks, and they surely will, I can provide a link to your post.
Linux Mint 18.3 KDE

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Re: Is LMDE just a repackaged version of the Debian OS?

Postby Saposcat » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:45 pm

Thank you VERY much, cwsnyder and widget. Your responses have been very helpful in helping me decide to switch to LMDE from Windows 7. I'm confident that I will enjoy the experience.

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Re: Is LMDE just a repackaged version of the Debian OS?

Postby jan_goyvaerts » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:04 am

Very helpful indeed !

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