Linux Mint Debian Edition review

Linux Mint Debian Edition, or LMDE, is the edition of Linux Mint based on Debian Testing. The latest release was made available for download on December 24, 2010. LMDE was announced as an alternate edition of Linux Mint in first week of September 2010. A review of that release was focused on the installation program. This article presents a more detailed review of this distribution.

Installation: The installation program on this edition of LMDE is similar to that on the main Linux Mint edition except that on LMDE, the disk partitioning phase of the installation process does not have an automated option. You have to partition the disk manually if you are going to install it successfully on your computer. That calls for a familiarity with GParted, the application used for creating partitions. Manual disk partitioning guide for Linux Mint Debian Edition offers a step by step guide on how to accomplish that task.

A default installation of LMDE takes up about 3.2 GB of disk space. Brtfs, ext3 and 4, jfs are the journaling file systems supported. LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, and disk encryption are not supported. Like the main edition, GRUB 2 is the version of GRUB used as the boot loader.

Desktop: The only LMDE installation image released so far uses GNOME as the desktop environment. It is no different from what we are used to on the main edition. Everything worked as expected on my test machine except CompizFusion, the 3D compositing window manager. Compizconfig Settings Manager is installed by default, as is the core compiz package, but 3D effects failed to work.

Package Management: Like all Debian-based distributions, package management on LMDE is via the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT). Applications can be installed from a shell terminal using apt-get, or using any one of two graphical interfaces installed by default – the Software Manager and Synaptic. Though the Software Manager is newer and has a more modern interface than Synaptic, it does not allow applications to be queued for installation in the same fashion as Synaptics. And because you have to authenticate for every application you need to install, installing multiple applications using the Software Manager can be a pain. Synaptic presents a better option when you want to install several applications at the same time.

Features applications on Software Manager

When you click on the link of a website in Software Manager, it will be loaded in place, rather than in an external browser window.

The Update Manager works and it is set to check for updates 30 seconds after startup and every 15 minutes thereafter.

Installed Applications: Here is a list of the main applications installed by default.

  • Firefox (3.6.13). Flash, Java and other multimedia plugins are installed out of the box.
  • Epiphany, another Web browser
  • The GIMP
  • F-Spot
  • office suite. Note: LibreOffice is not in the repository.
  • Gwibber Microblogging Client
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Pidgin Internet Messenger
  • Transmission
  • Totem Movie Player
  • VLC
  • Rhythmbox
  • GNOME MPlayer
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