Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

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MotechMan
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Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by MotechMan » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:26 pm

In looking over the download page for LMDE, I wonder why Mint chooses to support both Ubuntu AND Debian as a base for Mint releases. I'm looking to start a new business using Mint as the basis for it. Debian looks more attractive from a maintenance perspective with it's rolling releases and my higher confidence in their testing methodology and standards than Ubuntu.

I'm a bit disappointed that Mint is advising users to avoid the LMDE version until it gets updated later this month. I am trying to make a decision on which Mint platform to roll out, and right now seems to be a terrible time to make that decision with the next LTS version several months away and the LMDE version not available.

Under the "cons" heading on the download page one is given the distinct impression the process of obtaining new software and keeping the system updated is less friendly than the Ubuntu based Mint. I would hope Mint would hide all such differences.

So why doesn't Mint focus on porting the synaptic / update tools from Ubuntu into the Debian process and use only Debian as the Mint release base? Seems like it would be less burdensome (i.e. less costly) than supporting both Ubuntu AND Debian, especially since Ubuntu uses Debian as it's base.

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clfarron4
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by clfarron4 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:59 pm

MotechMan wrote:So why doesn't Mint focus on porting the synaptic / update tools from Ubuntu into the Debian process and use only Debian as the Mint release base? Seems like it would be less burdensome (i.e. less costly) than supporting both Ubuntu AND Debian, especially since Ubuntu uses Debian as it's base.
Ubuntu is different enough to make it not worth-while.
Problems? Tell us EXACTLY what you've done and what you expected to happen, IN DETAIL. That will save us questions, and we should get along better,

I have dysgraphia. This means I might have understood you incorrectly through no fault of my own.

MotechMan
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by MotechMan » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:56 pm

That's not much of an answer clfarron4. WHY is that the case? It's hard to fathom that the portion of code related to putting a nice GUI front end on the Debian package system could be more to deal with than the entire remainder of Ubuntu code that Mint is built on.

I have a hard time believing the task is so difficult it isn't worth eliminating the overhead of two separate releases. If Ubuntu built a better front end to manage packages with a Debian base it shouldn't be that much harder for Mint to do the same.

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DataMan
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by DataMan » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:01 am

I recently explored transitioning my production Lx ops from Mint LTS to LMDE. I built up LMDE completely and started some serious evaluations. The show stopper for me (probably does not apply to a lot of LMDE users) is that LMDE is based on Debian Testing. I do work-work development on my local Lx build. I could not tolerate the php running at Debian testing.

If you are planning on a business- oriented around a Lx build, you may not want to introduce the potential instability element of a Testing level distro.

While not a huge fan of Cannonical, the Ubuntu base found in Mint can be workable if you take certain precautions with respect to upgrades and backups.

Just my thoughts on your post.

-DataMan
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clfarron4
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by clfarron4 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:25 am

Sorry, I mis-read the initial posting.

Just porting Synaptic and what not for the package management is definitely workable, which I now believe is what you are getting at. Porting more than that from the Ubuntu base back to the Debian release (which is what I initially read it as) is asking for trouble.

As for using Debian as the main release, there are pro's and cons to (truly) rolling vs any other release model, each with their own intricacies.
Problems? Tell us EXACTLY what you've done and what you expected to happen, IN DETAIL. That will save us questions, and we should get along better,

I have dysgraphia. This means I might have understood you incorrectly through no fault of my own.

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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by MotechMan » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:32 pm

Dataman says:
I could not tolerate the php running at Debian testing.
Not sure what you mean by this. PHP + HTTPD is not a big overhead if it must be running. Perhaps you could elaborate?

And what did you mean by a testing level distro? The quality control / testing standards are what attract me to the Debian base. I LIKE the rigorous testing as I believe it makes a better product which is less beg ridden and more stable.

As for your followup answer clfarron4 I cited the package release issue since it is very important and was used as one of the cons against the Debian base. IMHO it was the most significat con listed.

I can't speak to the "other issues" you refer to, not being involved in the project, so I can't say if they're significant enough to avoid using Debian as the only base for Mint. It just seems like alot of overhead to support both, and the merrits of Debian are more compelling from a quality standpoint. I do recognize quality is not the only metric of value nor do I believe end users have the skill to judge the quaiity difference between Mints of the two varieties. I'd be willing to bet the marketing gurus put more stock in feature sets and eye candy appeal than stability.

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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by kurotsugi » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:45 am

mint main version and LMDE is two completely different beast. at this time using ubuntu as the main version is a lot easier both for mint team and the users.
I'm a bit disappointed that Mint is advising users to avoid the LMDE version until it gets updated later this month. I am trying to make a decision on which Mint platform to roll out, and right now seems to be a terrible time to make that decision with the next LTS version several months away and the LMDE version not available.

the delay was for a good reason. the current LMDE iso is based on UP6 while LMDE is already on UP8. skipping UP7 isn't fully tested and can cause a lot of problem. you'll also need to download more than 1 GB package to move from UP6 to UP8. the new iso also will come with EFI support. using the next iso is the safest and better option.
Under the "cons" heading on the download page one is given the distinct impression the process of obtaining new software and keeping the system updated is less friendly than the Ubuntu based Mint. I would hope Mint would hide all such differences.
it's not just less friendly. it's more dangerous and potentially broke your system. we did our best to test the UP before release it but there's no guarantee that your system will survive after upgrade. if you peek into LMDE section you'll find most of the post is about 'how to revive a system after an UP upgrade' or 'how to solve a problem after UP'.
So why doesn't Mint focus on porting the synaptic / update tools from Ubuntu into the Debian process and use only Debian as the Mint release base? Seems like it would be less burdensome (i.e. less costly) than supporting both Ubuntu AND Debian, especially since Ubuntu uses Debian as it's base.
sadly it's not quite true. LMDE also have synaptic and the update tools from mint main version. the problem lies on LMDE's rolling release nature, not the tools. LMDE need more work than mint main version. since mint team focuss is on cinnamon's development and give better user-friendly experience to user, using ubuntu as the base would be a better option for them.

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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by DataMan » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:03 am

MotechMan wrote:Dataman says:
I could not tolerate the php running at Debian testing.
Not sure what you mean by this. PHP + HTTPD is not a big overhead if it must be running. Perhaps you could elaborate?

It's the version of PHP that is currently supported in LMDE. As I recall, it's an alpha release. It was too incompatible with the stable production versions I need for my work-work propagation to our production servers.

And what did you mean by a testing level distro? The quality control / testing standards are what attract me to the Debian base. I LIKE the rigorous testing as I believe it makes a better product which is less beg ridden and more stable.

It's not a matter of quality. A lot of the apps and libraries are based on versions that are running at more of a development version level versus the more stable versions. Depending upon your mix of apps and supporting libraries, you could end up with more instances of instability (breakages) in LMDE than in say the LTS Mint. For a lot of LMDE users this is totally acceptable. For me this is not as I still have to support my income stream in my Lx production environment.

As for your followup answer clfarron4 I cited the package release issue since it is very important and was used as one of the cons against the Debian base. IMHO it was the most significat con listed.

I can't speak to the "other issues" you refer to, not being involved in the project, so I can't say if they're significant enough to avoid using Debian as the only base for Mint. It just seems like alot of overhead to support both, and the merrits of Debian are more compelling from a quality standpoint. I do recognize quality is not the only metric of value nor do I believe end users have the skill to judge the quaiity difference between Mints of the two varieties. I'd be willing to bet the marketing gurus put more stock in feature sets and eye candy appeal than stability.
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xenopeek
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by xenopeek » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:52 am

Moved here as this isn't a support topic (nothing is broken, yet :wink:).
MotechMan wrote:Debian looks more attractive from a maintenance perspective with it's rolling releases and my higher confidence in their testing methodology and standards than Ubuntu.
Please understand two concepts:
  • LMDE is based on Debian testing, and the purpose of Debian testing is to test software for an eventual stable release (IIRC, they aim to do one every two years). Stuff breaks? Though... You should have used Debian stable if you wanted unbreakable stability (like they do on the International Space Station :wink:). LMDE does add a layer of testing on top of Debian testing with the Update Packs which will reduce the number of problems you can expect to encounter as compared to running pure Debian testing.
  • Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and the LTS (long-term support) releases of Ubuntu aim for being stable releases also. The non-LTS releases of Ubuntu are development releases. Ubuntu gets most of its packages from Debian testing so it is comparable to LMDE. Stuff breaks? Though... The difference with LMDE is you can choose to use Linux Mint LTS.
They each have their pros and cons. You should use the one that works best for you. As for the testing methodology, I doubt you have sufficient insight in how those differ (if at all).
MotechMan wrote:Under the "cons" heading on the download page one is given the distinct impression the process of obtaining new software and keeping the system updated is less friendly than the Ubuntu based Mint. I would hope Mint would hide all such differences.
Ubuntu has PPAs, which aren't compatible with Debian. PPAs are ideal for developers, as Launchpad (the platform on which PPAs are hosted) is a build service. Consequently, many developers and individuals wanting a newer release of some software have set up a PPA. Linux Mint is fully compatible with Ubuntu and can use all those PPAs. LMDE generally can't. So it will be a bit more work on your end to add software (or versions thereof) that's not available in the LMDE repositories.

As for updating, the difference between a rolling release and a point release is that a rolling release is inherintly a bit more risky. The Update Packs of LMDE reduce those risks but users should not start using LMDE without being aware of those differences.
MotechMan wrote:So why doesn't Mint focus [...] only Debian as the Mint release base? Seems like it would be less burdensome (i.e. less costly) than supporting both Ubuntu AND Debian, especially since Ubuntu uses Debian as it's base.
Why not ask the question the other way around? Why doesn't Linux Mint focus only on Ubuntu as a package base? The answer to both questions is because both package bases have a large group of committed users. Like I said, both have pros and cons and you should use whichever works best for you.
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by Conni » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:12 am

MotechMan wrote: I am trying to make a decision on which Mint platform to roll out, and right now seems to be a terrible time to make that decision with the next LTS version several months away and the LMDE version not available.
  • There is an LTS version (Linux Mint 13 Maya) supported until 2017
  • The LMDE version (201303) IS available. You can download it and you can install it. Installing UP7 and UP8 in order to get a brand-new OS is gonna take approximately 2 hours. Waiting for the new ISO saves that time, that's all.
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by Crewp » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:01 pm

As a LMDE user I can tell you it is very stable, and the software is not ancient, but very up to date and behaves very well. Yes, sometimes things go wrong, but for the most part it seems to be hardware compatibility issue's. Also, I think if all goes well LMDE ISO might be out this week as it is in QA right now. So hang in there. :D
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mike acker
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu base philosophy

Post by mike acker » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:32 pm

Crewp wrote:As a LMDE user I can tell you it is very stable, and the software is not ancient, but very up to date and behaves very well. Yes, sometimes things go wrong, but for the most part it seems to be hardware compatibility issue's. Also, I think if all goes well LMDE ISO might be out this week as it is in QA right now. So hang in there. :D
yea!!
this is a fascinating discussion
I have my new HD here,-- actually I have 2,-- waiting for 201402
+Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 6
+Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB

the WD1002FAEX has some pretty good press; I think I'll put 201402 on that one. I've been using the Seagate drives right along -- no trouble -- they run good

this will be the 3d O/S in this box. I'm really looking forward to checking it out but I'm taking all the advice here and waiting for 201402 . I like the idea of getting away from Canonical... which seems to be drifting into a more commercial type paradigm. also I like the idea of the continuing update. besides, I just want to try it out. I'm just an ORF* that likes to play with software.

~~
*ORF = Old, Retired, Fellow.
¡Viva la Resistencia!

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