Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce. [SOLVED]

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Old farmer
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Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce. [SOLVED]

Post by Old farmer »

I'm hoping someone will post the differences between the versions of Linux Mint. How does a newbie choose. I see LM 20 there is a explanation for LMDE.
Does one version offer a 'full' install? A minimum install? For developers? Gamers?
Which version is good to start learning?
So many questions. :D
Cheers
Last edited by Old farmer on Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

Old farmer wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:24 pm
I'm hoping someone will post the differences between the versions of Linux Mint. How does a newbie choose. I see LM 20 there is a explanation for LMDE.
Does one version offer a 'full' install? A minimum install? For developers? Gamers?
Which version is good to start learning?
You're going to get a lot of opinions :)

Essentially, Cinnamon is a leading-edge desktop environment that is probably best suited for new-comers familiar with Windows.

MATE is also a desktop environment. It is less resource-intensive than Cinnamon and is often used as a compromise between Cinnamon and Xfce by some people, though it used by others because they just like it.

Xfce is also a desktop environment, and is quick, sleek, and easy on less powerful machinery. Some people use Xfce because it is very much minimalist, and some people use it because they don't have higher-end equipment that can run Cinnamon, or because they have low memory and a slower machine.

All three desktops are highly customisable.

LMDE is a distribution, not a desktop. It uses the Cinnamon desktop. People use LMDE mainly for the fact that there are fewer updates than with Linux Mint, so LMDE is considered more stable, where stable refers to the amount of change, not to crashing.

To decide what desktop or distribution is best suited to your tastes and your equipment, grab a couple of 4GB or more flash drives and try each one by booting from the flash drive.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by RIH »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:52 pm
To decide what desktop or distribution is best suited to your tastes and your equipment, grab a couple of 4GB or more flash drives and try each one by booting from the flash drive.
The best possible advice.

What I, or anyone else thinks about the desktops is irrelevant - only you can decide what is best for you.
Kadaitcha Man has given an indication of what might be best for you depending on if you have old equipment but unless the equipment is dated then it will be a matter of what suits your needs best.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by DAMIEN1307 »

LMDE is a distribution, not a desktop. It uses the Cinnamon desktop. People use LMDE mainly for the fact that there are fewer updates than with Linux Mint, so LMDE is considered more stable, where stable refers to the amount of change, not to crashing.
And this should be re-iterated as well, just in case the OP missed this in the "differences", LMDE is a Linux Mint distro that is pure Debian base platform vs the other three which are based on Canonicals, (Ubuntu), platform. Also not able to accept outside PPAs in lieu of its Official offerings...DAMIEN
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by all41 »

There are more similarities than differences--by far.
They all use the same software
They all use the same update manager
They all use the same package manager
They all will do the tasks you want

Think of it as the dashboard and controls in a car.
They all have pretty much them same gauges, buttons, and switches--but they are located
differently--that does not mean you can't drive the car.
Same with the desktops--you can drive them all. Which do you prefer?
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Moem »

Old farmer wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:24 pm
Does one version offer a 'full' install? A minimum install? For developers? Gamers?
Which version is good to start learning?
All of them offer a full install, none of them offer a minimal install. Usability for developers or gamers is pretty much the same for all versions. And to start learning, they're all good too, except that LMDE is a bit less well supported and a bit less suitable for newcomers. But of course not all newcomers are equal!
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Hoser Rob »

all41 wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:25 am
... They all use the same software
They all use the same update manager
They all use the same package manager ...
LMDE doesn't.

As mentioned just dl the 3 DE versions of regular Mint and test them via booting them from a USB stick. Iwouldn't recommend LMDE to newbies.

The main issue, in practical terms, is that Cinnamon is a lot heavier than Mate and Xfce, the latter 2 are more suitable for old and/or less powerful machines.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by DAMIEN1307 »

the latter 2 are more suitable for old and/or less powerful machines.
I wouldn't recommend LMDE to newbies.
Agreed on both counts...DAMIEN
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Mick-Cork »

Of course all this info is readily available on the LM website :twisted:

:wink:
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:31 pm
Hoser Rob wrote:I wouldn't recommend LMDE to newbies.
Agreed on both counts...DAMIEN
I completely disagree and really, I'm forced to wonder if either of you have even ever tried LMDE4.

There are differences in the software stack, notably the driver manager and installation of codecs, but there is absolutely nothing to discourage new-comers from using it.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by antikythera »

I concur, LMDE4 is newbie friendly and arguably requires less intervention than normal Mint because of less frequent updates and upgrades involved.

By the way, installation of codecs can be done from the Mint Welcome Screen in the First Steps page. The installer could be improved upon to handle that too really if Clem wanted to offer the option (Calamares can offer such choices). It's more of a shame it doesn't offer to download updates in the background. The first updates required bring many new features for Cinnamon and a better Mint Welcome Screen apart from underlying core components like kernel and xorg stack but can take a while to download and apply.

The lack of Driver Manager isn't really a major issue, a number of newbies seem to end up screwing up their systems using it anyhow.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

antikythera wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:37 pm
I concur, LMDE4 is newbie friendly and arguably requires less intervention than normal Mint because of less frequent updates and upgrades involved.
I have it running here on a spare AMD 2700X CPU, 32GB 3200MHz RAM, dual NVMe in RAID0 for the OS, 12TB hardware RAID (all WD Red NAS drives) and two 12TB mdadm arrays (one is a pair of high-speed USB drives, and the other is a pair of fast WD Red NAS) for multiple layers of backup, running my household over 2.5GB/s ethernet, VPN gateway, DNS, proxy, a GT710 video card, and it's up 24x7. The less frequent updates are a major boon, it's extremely stable, nothing ever shows up in dmesg as a problem, and best of all, it's completely familiar in terms of the UI and CLI. The UI being Cinnamon means it carries all the benefits of Cinnamon familiarity for new-comers coming from Windows.

And while I'm at it singing the praises of LMDE4, I want to crush some FUD. I've seen eye-rolling comments by some posters claiming that the current Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon is backported to LMDE4. This is absolutely false. Cinnamon on LMDE4 was backported to Linux Mint 20.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

Mick-Cork wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:22 pm
Of course all this info is readily available on the LM website
And answers to almost every single question ever asked on these forums is available in a search engine near you, but some people simply don't think about that, nor do they think about what they are asking for help with. "Hi! I'm running Manjaro and the folks over at the Manjaro forum can't answer my question so I thought I'd ask here...", or "Hi! I'm running Windows 10 and get a blue screen of death...", and when questioned on the sanity of asking such things here, the response is something along the lines of, "Well, my mother's uncle Tom's brother works with a woman who has a cousin three times removed whose grandmother's great aunt Bertha once saw Linux Mint in a shop window, so I hardly think this is off-topic".
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by antikythera »

I'm not claiming Cinnamon was backported from Mint 20 to LMDE4 and don't recall doing so. They seem to have been upgraded concurrently though. The Mint 20 default theme configuration, new colour icon sets and background wallpaper were only made available to LMDE4 after the Launch of Mint 20. If you install LMDE4, the first update does include all that but also Cinnamon package upgrades as well because it did not come with Cinnamon 4.6.7 on the ISO.

There's actually a benefit to running the first update of an installed system by booting into run level 3 first if you can (requires wired LAN which should auto-configure or knowledge of CLI wireless connection management). You get the default Mint 20 look applied to the Cinnamon Desktop, including the new Menu icon and wallpaper, plus the current Welcome Screen which gives the folder icon colour choice. If you log into Cinnamon before running the update, this doesn't happen. It retains the old look presumably from Mint 19 and Welcome Screen is not as feature rich.

Warpinator has also been made available for LMDE4 after being released for Mint 20 first but it needs installing.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by absque fenestris »

As for LMDE 4 Cinnamon: I don't know why, but the display in Hi-DPI has its pitfalls - Scribus e.g. is simply unusable, even the latest AppImage.
With Mint 20 Cinnamon on the other hand (and with the latest KDE's), with very few exceptions, all applications can be used in high resolution.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

antikythera wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:36 pm
I'm not claiming Cinnamon was backported from Mint 20 to LMDE4 and don't recall doing so.
I don't recall pointing the finger at anyone in particular so I'm surprised you say that.
They seem to have been upgraded concurrently though.
The process was described in a blog post by Clem in response to many questions about when LM 20 was due. He said it wouldn't happen until LMDE4 was done and the Cinnamon enhancements moved to LM.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce. [SOLVED]

Post by MurphCID »

I, too, am interested in LMDE 4, but I don't think it will run on my hardware (System 76) which really wants more modern kernels than the 4.19 series. Not having ANY experience with LMDE 4, isn't the installer more difficult for newbies (like me) to run and effectively set up a system? I am curious about LMDE, but also IIRC it does not use flatpaks, and the store is different since it uses older software, or am I mistaken? The impression I have is that it is "Here is Debian, with a little bit of Mint flavor and color, but otherwise it is Debian". I could be completely wrong.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce. [SOLVED]

Post by antikythera »

LMDE4 will run flatpaks and there's even a startup application entry for mint update to check for flatpak updates automatically. I am using a couple of them but Libreoffice 7 primarily as LO stable is at 6.1 from Debian Buster's repositories. There is a backport version available but I prefer the flatpak which is maintained by TDF themselves.

The installer is a bit more basic than the one Mint 20 uses but easy enough to follow. Backports are enabled by default as well, so installing a newer kernel is relatively easy if needed.
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce.

Post by all41 »

Hoser Rob wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:38 am
all41 wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:25 am
... They all use the same software
They all use the same update manager
They all use the same package manager ...
LMDE doesn't.

As mentioned just dl the 3 DE versions of regular Mint and test them via booting them from a USB stick. Iwouldn't recommend LMDE to newbies.

The main issue, in practical terms, is that Cinnamon is a lot heavier than Mate and Xfce, the latter 2 are more suitable for old and/or less powerful machines.
Of coarse it does.
Update Manager is mintUpdate 5.6.9
Package Manager is Synaptic 0.84.06
These are tailored to the LMDE environment and go directly to the Debian repositories, but
even here the difference is miniscule. A newcomer can still get behind the wheel and drive it.
And I agree with Kadaitcha Man and antikythera
I completely disagree and really, I'm forced to wonder if either of you have even ever tried LMDE4.
This is very user friendly, stable, and indeed could be our Mint destiny someday
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Re: Difference between Cinnamon, Mate, LMDE, Xfce. [SOLVED]

Post by MurphCID »

That is good to hear. Again, I have not tried LMDE 4, but I am glad it is out there. If it works and operates just like "regular" mint then that is a great thing.
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