Why Mint/LMDE?

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Why Mint/LMDE?

Postby HTD » Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:19 pm

I started my Mint adventure with Mint 10 Julia. It worked faster than Ubuntu, had some nice themes preinstalled. Then Unity appeared in Ubuntu and GNOME2 + Compiz were broken beyond repair. Then Katya was released, broken to being unusable for me. So I tried LMDE. First it didn't work very good, but after some hacking it started to work better than any Ubuntu or Mint before.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but LMDE seems to be Debian testing with Mint GUI installer and some nice tools like updater. Of course I tried to use Debian unstable repo and it broke my LMDE completely, I chose to format disk, reinstall all and do not ever try this thing again :) But things have changed. First updater was replaced with updater-debian. There was more and more Debian in my LMDE, or at least that's what I thought. So, about a week ago I upgraded my repo to unstable. And surprise! It works. So I disabled testing repo. Guest what - it still works, no broken packages. I install upgrades everyday.

That makes me think: why Mint/LMDE? Since GNOME 3 I don't use Mint artwork. GNOME 3 has its own updater (I couldn't make it work though).

What exactly sits in LMDE which is not available in pure Debian?

Recently I replaced some packages. First: libpixman-1-0 0.20.2-ubuntu1 with 0.22.2-1. This held xserver-xorg-core upgrade. I lost fglrx. But new open ati driver is quite usable. Slower, but works.
Then I replaced fontconfig 2.8.0-2-1ubuntu3 with 2.8.0-3. Then fontconfig-config and libfontconfig1. I cannot take it back. Apt wants to uninstall most of installed packages with downgrade. So - it has to stay.

I noticed small change in font rendering. It's less smooth, looks more like in Windows 7. But hinting slight and medium now looks usable, before they had color artifacts, and the only usable setting was full hinting.

I'm curious - how Debian and LMDE differ? What problems would I face if I tried to install regular Debian instead? I've heard Debian had problems with font rendering, and Ubuntu was the first Linux where fonts looked good from the start. Is it still true or not? What was the magic trick with fonts?

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Re: Why Mint/LMDE?

Postby HTD » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:15 am

So - you don't know why LMDE? :) Not good. I would be glad even if someone said something like "I installed, it worked so it stays". Never mind.

I think I know exactly why. I've chosen it again yesterday. I played so hard with packages I broken it so badly I couldn't fix it without reinstalling. (Experimental packages - they never downgrade without damage).

So I could choose Ubuntu, Mint Katya or Debian.

1) I like Mint Installer :)
2) I like Debian updates (and mintupdate-debian)
3) I like the way terminal works in LMDE (Ubuntu and Mint) - I don't know if it behaves this way in regular Debian:
- it displays colored text (prompt, ls output)
- tab completion works for everything - commands arguments, apt packages, and probably lots of other things I haven't figured out yet
I could do everything without it - but I would miss it.

Oh, I just wanted to search how to remove Mint Google search customization from Iceweasel, but when I saw updated style I gave up. It looks good enough to stay. So it looks LMDE and Mint is not dead yet :) Someone still does some artwork for it :)

A little bonus for those who read - do you want automated installer for loads of cool Gnome 3 tweaks? I hate spending hours to hack everything to just work, so I write install/uninstall scripts for things like gnome-extensions, theme selector, system monitor, and shared themes (my invention to never, ever have bad looking root app). So if anyone is interested, I could share them on github.

They are all LMDE specific, targeted for Gnome 3.0. Most things you can find are for Ubuntu (or Fedora) and they don't really work good in LMDE (or are not installable at all). My scripts should work on Debian Sid too, but they wget some files from various sites, so they break if they break or move the files. But why would they do that? :) My scripts should work at least until Gnome 3.2 will become default in LMDE and extensions will be available as regular Debian packages. Gnome 3 works with open drivers, no crashes, but has some minor problems with settings.

Here's my Gnome 3 screen: Image

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