The Future of LMDE 1

Archived topics about LMDE 1 and LMDE 2
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woodsman
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The Future of LMDE 1

Post by woodsman »

What are the future support plans for LMDE 1? Generally, previous Mint releases are supported for a limited period after new releases. Is LMDE 1 any different?

LMDE 1 has been receiving security updates. How long will that policy continue after the official release of LMDE 2?

LMDE is based on Debian. The official arrival of Debian 8 does not make Debian 7 obsolete. Should the official arrival of LMDE 2 make LMDE 1 obsolete? Should there at least be an overlap or "grace" period before terminating support for LMDE 1? When, during that period, LMDE 1 users still receive security updates?

What will be the official support policy for LMDE 1?

Please do not respond unless a member of the Mint development team. :)

Thank you.

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xenopeek
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by xenopeek »

If you wanted an answer of the development team, you would have gone to them (they are on IRC, not here :wink:). So I'll answer instead.

It's already been confirmed on earlier blog posts that there will be no further Update Packs for LMDE 1. The last one was in April 2014 IIRC. That means your software packages are, for the most part, frozen in time on early 2014. By hand security updates are pushed through, but that is not a tenable situation.

Upon release of LMDE 2 there will be instructions for how to move from LMDE 1 to LMDE 2. Timeframe is weeks/months of remaining support on LMDE 1, not years. Just like with the main edition of Linux Mint, there is a date when a release becomes obsolete and you'll have to move to a newer release. That time is rapidly approaching for LMDE 1.
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woodsman
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by woodsman »

I do not use IRC.

I did not ask about Update Packs. I asked about security updates and what kind of support period will exist. :)

I have been experimenting with updating from LMDE 1 to LMDE 2. The process is not smooth and takes a very long time.

I support other people who are using LMDE. I want to know the LMDE 1 time line to help them plan. Not just me. An official response from the development team is needed so current LMDE 1 users know the time line.

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killer de bug
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by killer de bug »

xenopeek wrote: It's already been confirmed on earlier blog posts that there will be no further Update Packs for LMDE 1. The last one was in April 2014 IIRC.
February in fact, which means that LMDE is Debian Testing frozen in December 2013. I remember that the testing period for the UP was end of January.
xenopeek wrote:Timeframe is weeks/months of remaining support on LMDE 1, not years. Just like with the main edition of Linux Mint, there is a date when a release becomes obsolete and you'll have to move to a newer release. That time is rapidly approaching for LMDE 1.
IIRC I have read somewhere Clem saying more or less that as soon as LMDE 2 is out (both iso and upgrade path), LMDE will not see any new updates.

Basically, the question is how long will we need to develop the upgrade path? This gives a good idea of when LMDE 1 will be discontinued. My bet is that LMDE1 is dead in May.
By the way woodsman, the probability that the upgrade path works only with terminal is really high.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.

woodsman
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by woodsman »

IIRC I have read somewhere Clem saying more or less that as soon as LMDE 2 is out (both iso and upgrade path), LMDE will not see any new updates.
Would be nice to know where he wrote that. :)
My bet is that LMDE1 is dead in May.
I am just trying to gauge the time line. There should be an overlap or grace period. Cutting off users abruptly is not a welcomed idea. That LMDE 1 has a certain EOL is not the issue. The suddenness of being forced to act is what end users don't like.
By the way woodsman, the probability that the upgrade path works only with terminal is really high.
Yes, my testing sadly more or less leads me to conclude as much. I can well imagine Windows or Mac users tolerating as much, which is not a good observation about Linux. :(

Then again, my latest testing resulted in no breakage. I don't know how the Mint Updater is designed but perhaps updates can be performed in steps --- if the Updater supports that. Still would take 2-3 hours, but would be all pointy-clicky and end users would not need to pay me to update.

Think about that: 2-3 hours. Wow.

A fresh install would be faster, but there are too many local changes. Printers, scanners, /etc/passwd, /etc/group, etc., whatever. A fresh install loses that important information. Even with a separate /home and a good backup plan, which I installed for the people I help, how do I know all system config files that need to be restored after a fresh install?

The people I support won't be happy about being forced to update with little notice or be told they can choose not to update but expect no security updates anymore. Windows XP deja vu.

I did warn them in autumn that a large update was coming --- when many folks thought LMDE 2 was going to be released in November. I am sure they all have forgotten about that. Yet even at that time, nobody discussed or contemplated needing to update from the command line.

Of course, I could choose not to charge them for my time and skills to update their systems. Yet the update process takes at least 2 hours --- on fast machines. When I started using LMDE I never anticipated updates that end users would not be able to perform on their own. One reason I selected LMDE was because of the Mint Updater and Notifier tools. No command line required, which is important for the people I help. Now that important element is gone.

Another reason for using LMDE was in case anything happened to the Mint project, falling back to Debian would be mostly pain free.

Another reason I selected LMDE was the semi-rolling release model. At the time, a semi-rolling release was a nice choice for users --- controlled updates without bleeding edge breakage. Fresh installs are something most non technical users can't do and do not understand. A rolling or semi-rolling release avoids that nonsense. Now that important element is gone too.

Decisions were made long before the format and nature of LMDE changed. Nobody can predict the future with certainty, so who knew this was going to happen? Nobody. Customers won't be happy. I can't blame them if they give up on Linux and move back to Windows. Especially with Windows 10 likely to be a rolling release model. They could pay me to help them update or pay to move back to Windows. :(

Sorry to sound so frustrated. :)

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killer de bug
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by killer de bug »

woodsman wrote: Another reason I selected LMDE was the semi-rolling release model. At the time, a semi-rolling release was a nice choice for users --- controlled updates without bleeding edge breakage. Fresh installs are something most non technical users can't do and do not understand. A rolling or semi-rolling release avoids that nonsense. Now that important element is gone too.
You are not looking in the right direction here. The change to Debian stable is beneficial for you and your customers. Look at the situation with Betsy:
  • Debian Stable is one of the most rocking solid system you can have. It's almost a guarantee to have a problem-free system.
  • Debian Stable has a security team, leading to a really fast correction of all the security issues discovered. In comparison, Testing has not such team and security is coming through Sid, which takes longer. With LMDE 1, the Mint team should additionally move the security fix to LMDE repo. This is a huge advantage.
  • Firefox and Thunderbird will still be pushed by the Mint team leading to fast updates of these softwares.
  • MDM, Nemo, Cinnamon,... will be updated regularly by the team. Your customers can have the latest version of these softwares without reinstallation.
  • No reinstallation is needed between Stable versions of Debian. You will be able to update from LMDE 2 to LMDE 3.
So yes, some softwares may get old in Betsy, like Gimp or LibreOffice. It will mainly depend if the team decides to push them as update or not. But seriously, I don't think it's a big issue for most of the users. Stability is key for most of them. And from this point of view, Betsy will be boring rocking solid stable :lol:
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.

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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by woodsman »

You are not looking in the right direction here. The change to Debian stable is beneficial for you and your customers. Look at the situation with Betsy:
I never wrote that there were no benefits after the transition. I see many benefits. :)

My focus is only about getting through the transition.

First, existing LMDE 1 users should not be abruptly dropped. There should be a transition period. If there will be no grace period then existing users should receive a notification now that LMDE 2 is in RC status, that support for LMDE 1 will be dropped soon after the official release, and that users need to update to LMDE 2 to continue receiving support. Existing LMDE users need fair warning and to be fully informed. LMDE users have been mostly ignored for months. How will LMDE users be notified and when? That is why I started this thread. People will accept change, but when there is no warning and they do not have all the facts then the change creates stress and discontent.

Second, a command line only update process is too hard for the people I help. Not everybody who uses LMDE is a geek. Yes, I am the tech support person for the people I help, but now they have to pay me for a huge update that unlike the past, likely cannot be done with the Update Notifier and Update Manager. Geek solutions do not win the hearts of the non technical users. Explaining things like this to them is a challenge.

That Betsy will be relatively boring is good. My observation with most non technical computer users, and I have worked with many, is they don't want continual updates. They are not geeks. They do not understand the rapid development of free software. They just want to "drive" and do not care otherwise. They accept automatic security patches like changing engine oil, but otherwise they could care less about the latest and greatest versions of apps. Most do little more than surf the web and read email. Most do not know what browser or the name of the apps they use --- they memorize which desktop icon or menu item to start apps.

In that respect Betsy is better for such people. The challenge is getting them there. Thus far, existing users have not been notified of future plans and a point-and-click method does not seem to be an update option. I admit I don't know how the Update Manager works so perhaps there is some hope. Yet even if I have to perform the update for the people I help, they need to be notified now of the upcoming events.

Somebody on the dev team, probably Clem as usually he is the official spokes person, should announce formally how LMDE 1 will be phased out. The sooner the better so existing users are fully informed. I don't mean a blog entry because I can share right now the people I help have no idea of the blog and do not use RSS. They need to be notified through the Update Notifier. Possibly Clem does not know what policy they will adopt until he and the team decide how the update process will work, but a short preparatory warning notification now will help existing users know that a change is forthcoming.

A preparatory warning notification now is good sense, good marketing, and good public relations. :)

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xenopeek
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by xenopeek »

I discussed this with Clem. He will likely address these points on the blog somewhere between now and the final release. I think your concerns will be put to rest :wink:
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killer de bug
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by killer de bug »

woodsman wrote: Second, a command line only update process is too hard for the people I help. Not everybody who uses LMDE is a geek. [...] Explaining things like this to them is a challenge.
I have already addressed this in an other topic: LMDE is not for everyone. You decided to install it. You made the fault. It's not Mint team fault. Warning was here. :wink:
woodsman wrote:In that respect Betsy is better for such people.
No! Linux Mint main edition is better as it will not be rolling and it's supported until 2019.
Betsy will face constant updates (MDM, Cinnamon...) and things can/will break. Clem already posted something about this. So if your customers don't want breakage, LMDE is not for them.
woodsman wrote: A preparatory warning notification now is good sense, good marketing, and good public relations. :)
That's why you have to do it. You have probably a file with the names and addresses of your customers. Send them mails or emails... At least they will thank you for the information, and probably come to you if they have questions...
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.

woodsman
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Re: The Future of LMDE 1

Post by woodsman »

I discussed this with Clem. He will likely address these points on the blog somewhere between now and the final release.
Thank you. :) Users still should receive notification through the Update Notifier. Yes, I receive RSS feeds and can forward the information to users, but a direct message is still the best public relations approach.

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