Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

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PowerEngineer
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Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by PowerEngineer »

Hello all,
I posted this in the wrong topic previously. I have been using Linux Mint Cinnamon for a year and a half now. I am quite happy with it, especially the desktop environment. However, I am getting a new desktop, and I am debating which Debian based OS I want to install. I am not clear what the difference between LMDE and Debian Cinnamon would be. I have a couple of questions in mind.
  • Is LMDE basically Debian with a cleaned up DE? No offence to the LMDE developers, but I am not sure what the difference is.
  • What differentiates Debian and LMDE other than the DE?
  • Does LMDE still adhere to the FOSS policy of Debian or does it include any proprietary software or binary blobs?
  • While I know the package manger of LMDE is Debian rather than Ubuntu, is the update manager maintained by Mint or Debian?
  • May I just use apt upgrade just like in Debian for updates?
  • Can I upgrade LMDE easily to the next version, or would it require a fresh install?
Note: While I was a complete noob a year ago, I am quite comfortable with Linux now. I mainly use the terminal for most of my work nowadays, and I completely aware that I can not use the Ubuntu PPAs easily with Debian. By that I mean: you cannot do PPA: some link. I know how to install PPAs with debian and I am fine with that.
Thank you for all the help.
Last edited by xenopeek on Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: duplicate topic removed
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xenopeek
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by xenopeek »

PowerEngineer wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:40 pm
Is LMDE basically Debian with a cleaned up DE? No offence to the LMDE developers, but I am not sure what the difference is.
What differentiates Debian and LMDE other than the DE?
Does LMDE still adhere to the FOSS policy of Debian or does it include any proprietary software or binary blobs?
LMDE is basically Debian stable repository + LMDE repository, different default software selection, different default configurations and different themes and appeareance. Besides getting new releases of Cinnamon and Nemo which Debian stable doesn't, you also get new releases of other Linux Mint developed software such as Software Manager, Update Manager, Xed text editor, Pix image viewer and all the rest that make LMDE.

You can browse the LMDE repository contents here: http://packages.linuxmint.com/list.php?release=Debbie. All software developed by Linux Mint is published under the GPL. The Linux kernel and other OS components of LMDE all come from the Debian package base repository so adhere to Debian's policies.

That said, there are a couple of non-free programs in the the LMDE repository. This is pragmatism: Linux Mint prefer free software and as said publishes all software it develops as free software but Linux Mint user want to be able to easily install Dropbox or Spotify clients thus these are available from the repository though these are non-free. These are not installed by default.
PowerEngineer wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:40 pm
While I know the package manger of LMDE is Debian rather than Ubuntu, is the update manager maintained by Mint or Debian?
I don't understand the question. With "the package manger" do you mean the package base? As said LMDE adds the LMDE repository to the Debian stable repository. Both new software you install and updates for installed packages can come from either repository. Both the Software Manager and Update Manager are developed by Linux Mint.
PowerEngineer wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:40 pm
May I just use apt upgrade just like in Debian for updates?
You can. Some package updates will come from the LMDE repository and a few override Debian packages (like base-files to set the OS name and information). So long as you're already paying close attention to what apt upgrade tells you it will do that's fine.

Mind that apt on Linux Mint predates Debian's apt command and integrates all the various APT utilities (apt, apt-get, apt-cache, dpkg, aptitude and so on). Run apt on the terminal without argument to see list of everything it can do. You don't need to prefix it with sudo, it invokes that itself when needed.
PowerEngineer wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:40 pm
Can I upgrade LMDE easily to the next version, or would it require a fresh install?
I should say so for anybody that would be comfortable using Debian in the first place. For an eventual LMDE 5 there will be upgrade instructions for LMDE 4 users, like there was for upgrading from LMDE 3 to LMDE 4: https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2475
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by argentwolf »

xenopeek That's a hit over the fence and out of the park. Well done! 8)
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by Mike_D »

Just my 2 cents (and you can keep the change): Initially I tried out both Debian 10 Cinnamon and LMDE 4. I've settled on LMDE 4 as I feel it is a better overall user experience. I've been using it for months now. The only issue I've had was due the recent nVidia 450 update - even then, I used Timeshift to restore the previous day's configuration and I was off and running...
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by antikythera »

To add to the fairly comprehensive coverage by xenopeek please be aware that LMDE4 contains the non-free kernel modules that are essential to most of us like wireless, ethernet, and certain GPU drivers.

Debian doesn't contain any, so if you go down that route be prepared to source them for installation yourself.
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by xenopeek »

antikythera wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:37 pm
please be aware that LMDE4 contains the non-free kernel modules that are essential to most of us like wireless, ethernet, and certain GPU drivers
All kernel modules come from the Debian repository but yes firmware-linux-nonfree is installed on LMDE 4 by default and not on Debian.
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by jwiz »

PowerEngineer wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:40 pm
Hello all,
...
[*]Does LMDE still adhere to the FOSS policy of Debian or does it include any proprietary software or binary blobs?
...
Just run 'vrms' and look for yourself.
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by Mike_D »

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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by antikythera »

xenopeek wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:59 am
antikythera wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:37 pm
please be aware that LMDE4 contains the non-free kernel modules that are essential to most of us like wireless, ethernet, and certain GPU drivers
All kernel modules come from the Debian repository but yes firmware-linux-nonfree is installed on LMDE 4 by default and not on Debian.
True but importantly the Debian ISO does not contain firmware-brandormodelgoeshere files either. There's a nonfree community ISO but even that didn't contain everything my computers needed either. That's what led me to LMDE4 to begin with as I'm too lazy to faff with sourcing firmware packages to add during install these days.

@Mike_D there's another thread about the Cinnamon compile issue. From what I read it has already been dealt with but the Debian maintainer is yet to completely figure out what LeighLinux did to fix it for Fedora and apply the same to Debian Bullseye. Eventually clem will have to update Linux Mint in the same manner anyway. As Bullseye is not package frozen yet it can still be sorted out in time.
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by PowerEngineer »

I am surprised by the amount of responses. Thank you for all the responses. By package manger I meant repo; sorry for the mistake. Reading all the comments, I am now very convinced switching to LMDE 4 rather than debian 10 cinnamon. It is FOSS enough for me, and uses the debian repo mainly. This one of my main reasons for switching. I trust the mint team, but not canonical that much. My setup will be a dual boot with LMDE 4 and Fedora Cinnamon if anyone is curious. Just one final question. When downloading software, sometimes there is a difference between Debian, Ubuntu and Mint. I should use the instructions for the Debian version. At least that has worked for in the LMDE VM I use.
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by antikythera »

you can use apt or synaptic by all means since both are present by default anyway. mint update manager and software manager are present but I don't bother with software manager at all and only ever use mint update manager to alert me of new updates as I disabled and masked apt daily and apt daily update services.
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by Mia »

I'd been using Debian for years, and a couple of years ago, I switched to Mint. Now I want to switch back (for many reasons, including stupid Ubuntu's decision to move chromium to snap; I dislike depending on untrusted software, and Mint doesn't provide a suitable solution). I'm testing both Debian and LMDE now. And I have something to say - as a former Debian user and current Mint user.

After Debian, Mint looked more "ready to use." Install it, mounting your previous home partition - and you're aboard. Now Debian looks like "tweak something here, and move something there - and you'll get your perfect system." Mint has got almost no time to get ready but isn't so perfect. LMDE now looks for me as an ideal compromise. With it, you can finally get what's best for you. But, unlike Debian, you don't need to spend hours before "oh, ok, I can fit with it" feeling - it goes "out of the box," just like with the original Mint.

And non-free software. The default apt/sources.list of LMDE differs from original Debian's (except adding LMDE's repo and Debian's backports) by adding contrib and non-free sections of the same repos available from the Debian project. Again, the only difference - you don't need to add it by yourself.
Last edited by Mia on Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by xenopeek »

Mia wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:58 pm
stupid Ubuntu's decision to move chromium to snap; I dislike depending on untrusted software, and Mint doesn't provide a suitable solution
We're working on offering Chromium as a regular deb package. See latest monthly news, which include links to our test build: https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3969. It's coming...
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Re: Linux Mint Debian 4 vs Debian Cinnamon

Post by Mia »

xenopeek wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:07 pm
Mia wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:58 pm
stupid Ubuntu's decision to move chromium to snap; I dislike depending on untrusted software, and Mint doesn't provide a suitable solution
We're working on offering Chromium as a regular deb package. See latest monthly news, which include links to our test build: https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3969. It's coming...
Wow! It's perfect news. Thank you. And availability for both Mint and LMDE makes it even more perfect.
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