What are the differences between debian and main distro?

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JohnBobSmith
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What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by JohnBobSmith »

Hello all. I'm looking to expand my knowledge of Linux, so I would like to try debian. I am wondering what the biggest differences are between debian and the main distro of mint with XFCE desktop. My only requirements for the OS are as follows:

-Must be able to run on 32 bit hardware
-Must be lightweight and relatively fast

I might try just a window manager too. All in all, I'm not looking for complex answers. Just some key things that I should be aware of before trying debian. I will also google around, but I'm hoping to get answers from people with experience using debian, and not some random blog or article.

Thanks in advance,
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by py-thon »

JohnBobSmith wrote:I'm not looking for complex answers. Just some key things that I should be aware of before trying debian.
Don't start with LMDE right now. The former semi-rolling release is no longer supported (in my opinion what has happened to LMDE the last months justifies this wording) and is supposed to restart as a non-rolling distribution named LMDE 2 "Betsy" based on Debian Stable in spring 2015. For the last two years LMDE did not come with Xfce anymore.
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JohnBobSmith
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by JohnBobSmith »

Hm... okay. What abount a non mint distribution of debian? I tried gentoo once (while ago now) and absolutely could not get anything working. I want to try a debian install, or possibly arch. Something thats not as complex as gentoo though.

Also, as far as DE's are concerned, I wouldnt mind trying MATE or whatever Debian uses. Hopefully not GNOME though. I could try just a window manager, for the fun of it. That would make my pentium 4 desktop run really well.


On a different note, the only differences I've noted between mint and debian are the following:

-Different package system
-Different release cycles
-Debian focuses on stability over cutting edge

Other than that, I'm not too sure what the differences are. So I think debian would be a good choice for me. I still want advice from people who have used debian though.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by Crewp »

Even though LMDE will be going threw a bit of a change there's no need to wait to try it. Burn a ISO of LMDE with the Mate DE and run it from the dvd to see if you like it.
Also, if you must have XFCE, the distro SolydXK would be an option. The things you noted in your last post, about the difference's between an Ubuntu base and a Debian base where correct. But for me stability is very important, and also the fact that Debian is to me what open source is all about. Not that Ubuntu is bad, but to me they are like the MS of the Linux world.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by JohnBobSmith »

Thanks crewp. Are there any other big differences besides the package system that I should be aware of? I will probably burn LMDE when I get back from a 2 day trip. Leaving now, so sorry if dont get back to you for another 2 days.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by Crewp »

In LMDE a lot of the work is already done, if you go pure Debian you will have to do a lot of tweaking, codecs, firmware, etc.
LMDE makes Debian a breeze, with all the Mint tools, and DE's all in working order. If you like LMDE and decide to install it you will be all set for the spring because LMDE is already on Debian Jesse, although it is not yet frozen. And I believe we will not have to reinstall, but upgrade in place. So, enjoy.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by kurotsugi »

I am wondering what the biggest differences are between debian and the main distro of mint with XFCE desktop
1. since you mentioned XFCE, LMDE xfce version is officially die. some user take over it and resurected the project as another distro. LMDE currently offer Cinnamon and MATE version.
2. LMDE is based on debian while the main version is based on ubuntu. it's obvious but some people said it is the most important thing. as a user you probably won't notice anything since ubuntu is also based on debian.
3. mint main version is fully maintained by the devs while LMDE is abandoned by the devs. it probably the most important thing you need to know. LMDE is currently abandoned by the devs until 'only god knows when'.

I'm not quite sure what your purpose is...but if you want to try something based on debian you can try antix, sparkylinux, or solydxk. that's probably the best three distro based on debian testing. else, you can pick one from this list http://distrowatch.com/search.php?ostyp ... tus=Active you can also change the list to 'debian stable' based distro.
On a different note, the only differences I've noted between mint and debian are the following: -Different package system
ubuntu is based on debian. it means that they're using same packaging system (APT). APT indeed have several front-end, namely: synAPTic, apt-get, aptitude, packagekit, apt, update-manager, ubuntu-software-manager etc but it's just the interface. all of them is using apt under their hood.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by Crewp »

I believe that to say the devs have abandoned LMDE is a mistake. It is in transition as it moves from Debian Testing to Debian Stable as a base. And I think it will end up being more polished, and more attractive in the future.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by turtlebay777 »

A nice non-Mint version of Debian that uses the Openbox desktop is Crunchbang 11 Waldorf (http://crunchbang.org/)

To give you some idea, I installed it on a notebook that was originally supplied with Windows 98 SE and although it's a bit slow with only 340MB ram it works.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by py-thon »

Crewp wrote:I believe that to say the devs have abandoned LMDE is a mistake. It is in transition as it moves from Debian Testing to Debian Stable as a base. And I think it will end up being more polished, and more attractive in the future.
Abandoned is the right wording in my opinion. A distribution that claimed to be semi-rolling, had the last update pack eight months ago, won't be upgraded for another five months (spring 2015) and has always lagged behind even in terms of fixing security issues can be called abandoned.
LMDE is not in transition. LMDE is dead and LMDE 2 will be something completely different.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by steanne »

py-thon wrote:Abandoned is the right wording in my opinion. A distribution that claimed to be semi-rolling, had the last update pack eight months ago, won't be upgraded for another five months (spring 2015) and has always lagged behind even in terms of fixing security issues can be called abandoned.
LMDE is not in transition. LMDE is dead and LMDE 2 will be something completely different.
agreed, especially given that i chose it specifically because i was looking for a rolling release.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by kurotsugi »

it's just semantic. mint team choose 'transition' and I choose 'abandoned'. I prefer 'abandoned' because a transition in general means 'move into something else in short period of times'. LMDE haven't got update for 8 months and 'only god know' when will mint team release LMDE2. that's not a proper usage of 'transition'.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by JohnBobSmith »

Okay, I'm not sure if I want the mint edition of debian or not. I wouldnt say that LMDE is dead, but at the same time I want something that's actively being worked on/supported to some degree. Obviously, LMDE's state is questionable right now, so I think I will try a pure debian install.
Crewp wrote: ... if you go pure Debian you will have to do a lot of tweaking, codecs, firmware, etc. ...
How hard would that sort of stuff be? I would rather be able to tweak and customize the inner workings of my system. Especially since the whole point of installing debian is to learn more about Linux. Asuming codecs is stuff like audio/video, I don't need that a whole lot, as that's what my laptop is for. And asuming firmware is stuff simmilar to drivers, I wouldnt mind messing around with that. I've already been doing a lot of C++ recently, getting into GUI's and game engines, so low-level stuff is fine by me.

The only downside is lack of XFCE desktop. However, what are some of the options other than the "mint desktops" (KDE, XFCE, MATE, and Cinnamon)? I wouldnt mind trying something entirely new, so long as its light and fast. Gnome seems okay, but I'm not too sure where I stand in regards to gnome. I'm generally on the negative side (maybe biased a bit).

All in all, I'm probably going to get a debian ISO from their website, and try it later today. :)
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by py-thon »

JohnBobSmith wrote:Obviously, LMDE's state is questionable right now, so I think I will try a pure debian install.
Crewp wrote: ... if you go pure Debian you will have to do a lot of tweaking, codecs, firmware, etc. ...
How hard would that sort of stuff be?
Not hard if you want Debian Stable, they have Live-DVDs of 7.6 with Xfce so you can try. But this means a somewhat old system in terms of software.
Not hard either if you want Debian Testing: download a Live-DVD of Sparky Linux. It uses Debian's Testing-Repos and comes with Xfce. A downside is lots of unnecessary packages preinstalled in my opinion. But that can be solved and might even help ("codecs, firmware").
If you have real quick internet access you can also download the official testing-snapshots (that's 5 DVDs, I think) and start almost from scratch.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by xenopeek »

Some confusion in this topic I think; LMDE 1 will upgrade in place to LMDE 2, which is currently in development. It will see a release after Linux Mint 17.1 is done and, as I understand it, Debian testing goes into freeze (that is scheduled for November I think, and with testing progress of 17.1 that will likely also be done after November). It will be a new ISO release for installation, and also an option for LMDE 1 users to upgrade in place to LMDE 2.

LMDE is getting a lot of attention from the developers these days; ensuring that the Mint tools and such will work properly also on LMDE 2.

What wasn't sustainable was the LMDE 1 way of doing updates with Update Packs. LMDE 2 will take updates directly from Debian and Linux Mint repos, instead of doing the Debian repo updates through Update Packs (requiring a lot of time and effort from the developers). All the time not needed to work on Update Packs is time they can spend on further polishing Cinnamon, MATE, and the Mint tools on LMDE also.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by JohnBobSmith »

Right on. Almost down downloading debian from their website. DIdnt see what DE it had, if any though. It didnt say on the website. But I might even try just a window manager for the ultimate challenge, so to speak. That'd be really fun. :)

Thanks for the help guys. My conclusion is that I will be trying pure debian. Topic solved, but if you have any other advice/stuff I should be aware of, let me know.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by kurotsugi »

Code: Select all

It will see a release after Linux Mint 17.1 is done and, as I understand it, Debian testing goes into freeze (that is scheduled for November I think, and with testing progress of 17.1 that will likely also be done after November). It will be a new ISO release for installation, and also an option for LMDE 1 users to upgrade in place to LMDE 2.
is it an official statement? I've heard lot of rumours about it. IIRC the first and the official statement said that it will got updated when jessie becomes stable. later, some people said that it will got new UP after jessie enter freeze period. a while later, roughly a month ago they said jessie will get a new iso in a few weeks but I haven't see any official release yet. the newest rumour, they said that it won't get any update at least until next spring (2015). which one is true?
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by xenopeek »

That's my understanding right now; it's not an official statement.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by py-thon »

The last official statement I know of, dating from 2014-10-10, says
Work continues on Betsy but a lot of what’s required for it will only happen once the base is completely frozen. We might be looking at Spring 2015, it’s hard to say just yet.
(see http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2690).
Further down in the answer to response 1 Clem more or less says that there won't be any UP before Betsy.
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Re: What are the differences between debian and main distro?

Post by kurotsugi »

that's a bad news. with the current systemd issue on debian, jessie will delayed further. the previous frozen period takes up to 1 year. I'm not quite sure if jessie will got released on next spring.
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