LMDE vs Linux Mint 19+

What's the pros and cons of each ?

I dabbled with Ubuntu about a decade ago...but these days I'm pretty much outta the loop. I've heard that cannonical (the people that publish ubuntu )is getting too cozy with Micro$oft and these days sends data .I've heard the same thing about linux mint but that I'm not sure. I want a branch of debian to go to, and properly get away from microsoft.

I've narrowed it down to LMDE (debian variant) and Linux Mint.

I'd like to still be able to play some PC games in free time that i have.

I'm conidering putting it on my nVidia 960m,16GB mem,500GB SSD (not sure if it's m.2, but I'm pretty sure it is) laptop. It's a lenovo Y700 17". Any tips/experience helpful.

@LINUX pipe in here if you don't mind :)
 
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LINUX

Ostrich
Gold Member
I will break it down on a level that is very easy to understand, there will always be some if's, not always, and other stuff that people can argue about like repositories, stable, testing, unstable, etc but I am going to generalize here instead of making the thread 50,000 words explaining every detail.

Debian (using the stable repository) is built for the type of personality that wants a computer that works without ever breaking. It's for people who don't care about updating (except security flaws) and don't care about having the newest release of every software out there. A lot of packages will stay frozen for the whole life of the release cycle. That's what makes the system so stable. The more you drift away from the stable repositories, and start installing deb packages on your own, the more likely you are to break something. So maybe you end up using a Firefox that's a year outdated, maybe you try to install a vpn software and it says that you need "phython 3" but you're still on "python 2" because that's what's in the stable repository. It'll make you mad and frustrated, but remember Debian is for people who want a stable system that will never break. I work as a property manager and may use a Debian system if I do nothing but write leases, docusign, email, spreadsheets, and printing/scanning because that is my priority, to have a work computer without ever breaking, without ever updating unless absolutely have to, and because of that, I sacrifice not being able to install the newest version of Spotify or Firefox. Like I said though, this is just generalizing, if you know what you are doing, you can of course install newer packages. Also, Debian is very strict on free software, if it ain't free, it ain't going in the distro and you'll have to install it yourself. They are pretty serious about this, at one time Firefox had a logo that was trademarked, so for a decade or so Firefox on Debian was called IceWeasel and thunderbird was called icedove. Debian stood by that for a long time until Mozilla finally said "Ok you win, you can use our logo under a free copyright license. " You got to tip their hat to them for that.

Now, let's talk Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a Debian system at it's core but a shady company named Canonical tweaked it, added their own repositories, and made it more user friendly with more frequent updates, and also allowed it to install proprietary software during installation like a NVIDIA driver, skype, etc. They also release a new stable version every 6 months compared to Debian which only does it every 2-3 years. A long term support of Ubuntu will last you 3 years max while Debian will last you 5+ years. Saying that, Ubuntu has pissed off a lot of people in the Linux community when they were caught collecting user telemetry in the past and they did some really sketchy stuff with amazon search integration until the linux community went ape shit and made them eventually remove it.

So to sum it up Linux Mint is Ubuntu. LMDE is Debian. Ubuntu focuses on user experience and Debian focuses on stability.

Linux Mint chose Ubuntu because they have more flexibility to build a beautiful system for beginners with newer drivers, propriety software, and a more likelihood that things will work out of the box without having to do any manual intervention. Linux Mint claims they took all the sketchy stuff out of Ubuntu. Saying that, Linux Mint knows how the linux community feels about Ubuntu as a company and there is no guarantee that Canonical will be around in five - ten years so they build LMDE as a backup because Debian will always be around, it's not ran by a company like Ubuntu is and hundreds of distros are built off Debian. I'm sure the Linux mint team spends about 90% of their time working on Linux Mint and 10% of their time working on LMDE because most users are going to choose Mint because they are beginners or because they want newer software.

If you want my opinion, if you want to use a Ubuntu system, start with either Linux Mint (cinnamon or mate) or Ubuntu Mate.
If you want to go with Debian, as a beginner, I would choose MX Linux which is built off Debian Buster. The package installer is great for beginners. LMDE is good but I don't think the Linux Mint team is too enthusiastic about it. It took them a long time to release LMDE 4 after Debian Buster was released, as a debian system isn't their priority, only a backup option. LMDE 4 only ships with cinnamon also, they phased out the mate desktop on LMDE, less testing for them to do, and I'm sure they want people to use cinnamon which they wrote and manage. You can of course install any desktop manager you want if you know how, but most beginers don't know how and they will stick with what the system ships with because they may be scared of breaking something.

If you are brand new to linux, try out every major distro in the beginning. The whole point is that Linux distro hopping is fun because it's like going into a distillery and trying every whiskey until you find the one you enjoy. Don't let anyone tell you which distro to use. Many distros ship with gnome 3 as a desktop manger, but if I use that fisher price looking dm for more than five minutes, I'll go and jump off a bridge. That is after all why Mate and Cinnamon exist, Gnome 2 was what everyone liked and when Gnome 3 came out, they tried to reinvent the wheel so most of the Linux community said "no thanks, I like my menus and desktop icons, thus the creation of MATE which is a continuation for the gnome 2 fork and cinnamon which is a gnome 3 fork made to look like gnome 2.

You also have to find some programs that you relate to personally. Some would say VLC player is the best music player in existence. I use xmms player which hasn't been updated in 15 years. I use it because it was the first program I ever installed on Slackware Linux in 1997 and the program reminds me of my youth and the old winamp days. There really is no best distro, it's whatever distro you enjoy using or one that prevents you from swapping back to Windows. Distros will come and go, but fedora, arch, and debian based systems will probably always be here to stay and that's why most distros are built off one of those three. So if you go to distrowatch website to see the most popular linux distros at the moment, if you click on the distro, you'll be able to see what each distro is based on in bold letters. Most of them will probably say " based on : debian (stable)

And when you are trying to understand the difference between all the distros, this is a very simplistic way to think about it. The main difference between distros is

1. How you install a program (package manager).
2. How often you want to update your system.

That is it in very simplistic terms.

After you understand the distro, understand the Desktop Manager, which is how you want your Linux system to look. (gnome, kde, mate, cinnamon) You have over 30 options. If you stay with Linux, five years from now, you may not even want to use a desktop manager, you'll instead install a tiling window manager because you want to be in complete absolute control of everything.

Remember, every distro out there can install almost every desktop manager out there.

So, a distro is how you install a program and how often it updates and a desktop manager is how you want your system to look. Underneath all that is the linux kernel, thus the saying "Linux is Linux". That is a very simple and easy way to look at it.

Linux is sort of like walking into a junkyard and buying a 67 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport because no one else out there can see the possibilities, so other people stick with a Hyundai like they stick with Windows because it's safe and goes from A to B without breaking down. They'll spend the rest of their life being spied on or telling their os to shut down and being questioned " are you sure?" Yes, I'm sure, "OK, shutting down .......but only after I install these updates".
 

LINUX

Ostrich
Gold Member
Acco,

autologin is set in the lightdm config file. https://wiki.debian.org/LightDM

Debian shouldn't require more pc resources that mint, the amount of resources you use is going to be dependent on what desktop manager or applications you are using, since underneath the kernel is the same. Gnome and KDE use much more resources than say XFCE or mate.
 

hervens

Sparrow
In terms of Linux MInt vs LMDE, @LINUX summed it up pretty well, but have you considered Fedora ? I'm currently on Fedora Gnome as my primary OS.
I used to have a dual boot windows/Linux but I've since removed windows entirely and only use Fedora.

I've tried a couple of other distros before settling on this one, including Linux mint, Manjaro, Pop Os, and a few others but for some reason fedora gnome just seemed more crisp, better looking and simpler to use than the others. It's also more professional since it's used in a lot of corporate settings.

If you're coming from a Windows environment, be prepared to experience a lot of frustration before you finally get the hang of it, no matter which distro you choose including a beginner friendly one such as Linux Mint. There is a reason why windows is still the number one OS used by the world's population. It's easier to use, you don't need to tweak with it as much and in a lot of cases hardware drivers such as graphic cards and laptop batteries already come preconfigured for use on a windows environment.

However, the payoff to learning to use LInux is enormous, I'm so happy I made the switch:
- No more automatic updates without my consent.
- I have FULL control over my pc, including the ability to uninstall absolutely anything and everything down to the kernel level.
- I haven't had a virus (yet) ever since I've been on Linux.
- Peace of mind knowing I'm not being spied on by Microsoft with all their various analytics and data collection background services.
- I haven't had the need to go back to windows ever since I made the switch. There is a linux equivalent to most software found on Windows. If all else fails ( especially for video games) there's always Wine.
 

Bird

Kingfisher
Acco,

autologin is set in the lightdm config file. https://wiki.debian.org/LightDM

Debian shouldn't require more pc resources that mint, the amount of resources you use is going to be dependent on what desktop manager or applications you are using, since underneath the kernel is the same. Gnome and KDE use much more resources than say XFCE or mate.

I didn't say Debian, but thank you the autologin hint.

On my very old notenook an installation of LMDE takes at least half an hour compared to Mint which takes approx 10 minutes.


However, the payoff to learning to use LInux is enormous, I'm so happy I made the switch:
- No more automatic updates without my consent.
- I have FULL control over my pc, including the ability to uninstall absolutely anything and everything down to the kernel level.
- I haven't had a virus (yet) ever since I've been on Linux.
- Peace of mind knowing I'm not being spied on by Microsoft with all their various analytics and data collection background services.
- I haven't had the need to go back to windows ever since I made the switch. There is a linux equivalent to most software found on Windows. If all else fails ( especially for video games) there's always Wine.

I fully agree with you except the last point.
WINE in not a substitute for all Windows apps.

My GPS navi doesn't work with WINE so I use a WIN7 (download licence for 9 Euro) in VMware to update my navi.
 
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jarlo

Woodpecker
I will break it down on a level that is very easy to understand, there will always be some if's, not always, and other stuff that people can argue about like repositories, stable, testing, unstable, etc but I am going to generalize here instead of making the thread 50,000 words explaining every detail.

...

Nice overview. One thing I'd note is that there isn't anything about Debian distributions which prevents you from using the most recent version of software. You just have to add new source repositories, or install software using some other installation method: directly download a deb file, use Snap, use Flatpak, or git.

If you run into choice overload, I'd suggest Ubuntu if you're coming from OSX, and Mint if you're coming from Windows. They're more or less the same system with graphical differences. I'm not too privacy-concerned with using Ubuntu-base distributions, but I'm not super hardcore on privacy. If you are, there are some really crazy distributions you might want to try like Qubes OS and Whonix, but I would not be optimistic about gaming performance with those distros.
 

jarlo

Woodpecker
I settled for Pop OS. I looked at the repository that it had and it's based off of ubuntu. But they're their own variant

The tiling for Pop OS looks sick. I would try it out, but I hate having to do all the installation/config work when changing operating systems.
 

Bird

Kingfisher
I settled for Pop OS. I looked at the repository that it had and it's based off of ubuntu. But they're their own variant
Meanwhile, how are you doing with POP?

But let me ask you what's better about it than comparatively Mint?
Here you have the best of both worlds Ubuntu and Debian.
 

LINUX

Ostrich
Gold Member
Pop won't be be the best of both worlds. Ubuntu is a fork of debian and pop is a fork of ubuntu. You're going further away from the source.

Mint is getting closer and closer to dropping ubuntu. With the implemention of forcing snaps in newer ubuntu distros for chrome, it seems to most people in the linux community are starting to see that ubuntu's aim is to be bought out by Microsoft in the future, snaps help them with that because it's something propriety they can control.

If your aim is to truly learn linux and use it for the rest of your life, use a distro like Arch. Start with Arco Linux until you learn how to run an Arch system -- https://arcolinux.com/choose-your-project/ . Choose any desktop manager you want but for the love of God, stop using Gnome 3 like pop os and ubuntu defaults to. You're never going to learn anything and it's the most pussified organization I have ever seen.

The GNOME community prioritizes marginalized people's safety over privileged people's comfort. The committee will not act on complaints regarding:

  • "Reverse"-isms, including "reverse racism," "reverse sexism," and "cisphobia"
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as "leave me alone," "go away," or "I'm not discussing this with you."
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
  • Communicating boundaries or criticizing oppressive behavior in a "tone" you don't find congenial
 

Bird

Kingfisher
Pop won't be be the best of both worlds.

Sorry, I didn't mean POP, that was clumsily expressed.
I wanted to say Linux is the best of both worlds.

Arch doesn't seem to be user friendly or I'm to stupid to run installation,
there is a prompt waiting for some entry, that sucks.

If M$ gets involved into Ubuntu and that affects also Mint, I would go next with Debian,
thanks for that hint:
autologin is set in the lightdm config file. https://wiki.debian.org/LightDM
I also have to keep my NVIDIA graphic adapter in mind, which requires propetary driver software.
 

bucky

Ostrich
Sorry, I didn't mean POP, that was clumsily expressed.
I wanted to say Linux is the best of both worlds.

Arch doesn't seem to be user friendly or I'm to stupid to run installation,
there is a prompt waiting for some entry, that sucks.

If M$ gets involved into Ubuntu and that affects also Mint, I would go next with Debian,
thanks for that hint:

I also have to keep my NVIDIA graphic adapter in mind, which requires propetary driver software.

How usable is Debian out-of-the-box? I've always had the impression that Debian is more intended to be a base for other, more user friendly distros like Ubuntu and Mint and that due to its fundamentalist stance on closed-source, proprietary software it would require quite a bit of configuration to be fully usable for the typical user. For example, things like the proprietary NVIDIA driver you mentioned or Skype. Can you just install those, or do you have to fight with the OS to get them to work?
 

Bird

Kingfisher
My beginner experiences with Debian are already 4 years ago. Because of the supposedly missing possibility of the auto login I quickly decided to use Mint, this made the least work for me as a WindowsXP user.

If Mint is no longer recommended, I will probably have to check the matter with Debian/NVIDIA first.
 

Bird

Kingfisher
For example, things like the proprietary NVIDIA driver you mentioned... .
Can you just install those, or do you have to fight with the OS to get them to work?

I've checked the Mate installation log and it looks like there is NVIDIA support avail.
The drivers aren't the freshest ones, but that doesn't mean that much.
nvidia-vdpau-driver
nvidia-legacy-340xx-vdpau-driver
nvidia-legacy-304xx-vdpau-driver


Mint offers the 4xx drivers.

Bildschirmfoto-zu-2020-06-22-15-35-18.png


A 4GB USB drive will do the job, if you want to try it:

DVD/USB
Hybrid ISO image files suitable for writing to DVD-R(W) media,
and also USB keys of the appropriate size.
 
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Eggsnbacon

Chicken
I used Ubuntu and Linux Mint on old laptops for a long time because it made those computers more usable (1gb-2gb ram and single core CPUs). When I got a newer 3rd gen i5 laptop I switched over to Windows 8.1 with classic shell and then 10. I have found Win 8.1 and 10 quite stable but there are lots of minor annoyances with Microsoft software, especially the menu digging and hidden settings (like in Android).

This thread has prompted me to jump back in. I tried Mint 20, Pop! Os and Mx Linux. I am a bit tired of Mint. Pop! Os is interesting with its Auto-Tiling, I might return to it. But so far I really like Mx Linux, it feels fast, looks clean, and it has just the right amount of pre-installed software. It comes with a great manual and a set of customization tools. The only thing I am struggling with is to share a folder with a Win 10 machine. It just will not show up (via Samba). I will figure it out, probably a Windows 10 issue :hmm:
 
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bucky

Ostrich
Might as well throw this out here: Can anyone recommend a good basic laser jet printer with wifi that is compatible with Linux Mint? Bonus if it can also scan and copy and isn't too expensive. Thanks.
 

JCleetus

Pigeon
Might as well throw this out here: Can anyone recommend a good basic laser jet printer with wifi that is compatible with Linux Mint? Bonus if it can also scan and copy and isn't too expensive. Thanks.

I am using a Xerox Phaser 6022/NI Wireless Color Laser Printer over 802.11n on OpenBSD 6.7. If it works on OpenBSD, using CUPS, then it should certainly work on Mint. I used to use Mint. The Phaser 6022/NI has been discontinued but I am sure there are similar Xerox printers that will work. The Xerox Phaser 3260/DI Monochrome Wireless Duplex Laser Printer may work.

First you have to link the printer, by DHCP, to the access point. You can do that through the little setup screen on the printer.

Xerox provides a CD withe the relevant *.deb containing the *.ppd file. Mine was xerox-phaser-6022_1.0-22_all.deb.
Once the *.deb is installed, CUPS will guide you through the configuration. You need to be root. Point your browser at http://localhost:631
You can now login and configure your printer with CUPS
 
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