Debian Mint better, worse or much the same?

SeanK

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I have a 7 year old Windows 8 HP netbook that I wanted to "reform". It has 2GB of DDR3 ram, pretty crummy internal graphics, oddly enough, a touch screen, a 320GB mechanical SATA HDD, a very basic Intel processor and Windows 8.

So I installed Mint Debian replacing Windows 8. The latter which never, in my opinion, ran well on this netbook, will not be missed. I've been running Debbie for a few weeks now and I can say thus far I'm impressed. What stands out is its ability to provide an appealing experience on the hardware equivalent of an "oily rag". I have installed a theme with transparencies in the menu and lower panel plus wallpaper, loaded up Vivaldi, VLC and Sublime text editor. Everything runs seamlessly, no discernible performance deficit from the eye candy I installed and so far, a vastly superior experience, than anything I ever managed with Windows 8.

Browsing in Vivaldi is no problem although I did find Falkon offered a not unsurprisingly, snappier experience. Coding using Sublime is dead easy but what really blew me away was how well films and video's run using VLC player. Its seamless, no screen artefacts, stuttering or lag. Audio has been just as good and blue tooth support is excellent. My blue tooth speakers which had issues under Manjaro run without fault on Mint.

So far everything is much as it was using Ubuntu based Mint Tricia 19.2 on my primary laptop (I've since moved to Manjaro). Same interface, all the pre bundled software is there and software manager is for the most part, as good as ever. The only minor issue was an occasional glitch installing some software that kept asking for my password but installed anyway, even after declined to keep entering it.

What I can say for anyone considering the move is its hard to discern much difference between Debian and Ubuntu based Mint so unless you can see some compelling reason or you just like Debian derivatives, in my opinion, you might as well stay with Tricia. That said this is a great release which has given an old laptop, I was unsure I'd ever use again, a valid reason take down off the shelf and take with me when I'm out and about or on holiday.
 


Vrai

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Very good and informative post! :)

It has been several years since I installed and tested Mint Debian Edition. As I recall, it installed and ran fine on my test machine (an old 'beige' box if I remember correctly). The only issue I had at the time was the software tended to be a bit 'dated'. I think the software repos pointed to the Debian repos at that time. And Debian tends to move very slowly as regards newer, updated software.

I haven't tried the newest LMDE 4 "Debbie" yet but I would guess the Mint team has improved it a lot.
 

Alexzee

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I just installed LMDE on a friends desktop and it's running great!
Looks good and is very fast.

I might install it on my laptop but I need to find out if it will make the backlight work.
 
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Deleted member 58530

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You can't go wrong with Debian or Debian based Linux disrtos.

I run several Debian based Linux distros and they are rock solid zero problems from any of them OOTB.

All of the additional software I need is from the Debian repository's.

Debian seems to work well with older computers and the hardware installed in them.
 
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I have a 7 year old Windows 8 HP netbook that I wanted to "reform". It has 2GB of DDR3 ram, pretty crummy internal graphics, oddly enough, a touch screen, a 320GB mechanical SATA HDD, a very basic Intel processor and Windows 8.
Since you are only running 2.0GB of memory I'd recommend lowering the level of swappiness for a minor speed increase since memory is less than 4.0GB.

This is easily done by following these commands open the spoiler and have a read.

Swappiness
The swappiness setting determines when a system begins swapping data to the hard disk. A low value makes more use of memory and less use of the swap partition.

As memory storage is many times faster than hard disk storage this is what we want.

The default setting is 60, which makes swapping begin early. Lowering to, say 10 sometimes makes a significant improvement in speed, dependent on the hard disk type and workload.


Copy the command to the terminal and press Enter. You will now see the present value of swappiness.

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

After that run the command

sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10

in the terminal and press Enter and then enter your password and press enter.

After that run the command.

sudo sed -i '$ a\vm.swappiness = 10' /etc/sysctl.conf

to make the changes permanent.

The new setting is activated in next boot. In effect it moves workload from a slow, rotating hard drive to the memory modules, which are faster than a solid state drive, and it could be referred to as the poor man's SSD.
 

Vrai

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I just installed LMDE on a friends desktop and it's running great!
Looks good and is very fast.

I might install it on my laptop but I need to find out if it will make the backlight work.
@Alexzee Did you happen to notice if the LMDE repos point to the Debian repositories or are they Mint specific now?
 
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These may explain.

 

wizardfromoz

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yes, tom, that bit with

...even if Ubuntu disappears one day
has caused some disparaging remarks, but clem lefebvre has broad shoulders so it is probably water off a duck's back :)

nice tip on the swappiness, too

i've been using lmde since betsy and it is always a reliable member of my stable of linux.

nice writeup again sean - we might have to take around the hat and pay this guy to author :D

happy and safe easter guys and gals

wizard
 
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Thanks for the complement Wizard and yes LMDE works great and I like it and use it also.

I just don't care for Cinnamon desktop but if that's all I can find wrong than that in itself say a lot about LMDE and recommend it.

I really don't see Ubuntu disappearing anytime however if it ever does it's good to know that there are fallback distros to use and Debian is one of the best imo.
 
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Vrai

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I really don't see Ubuntu disappearing anytime however if it ever does it's good to know that there are fallback distros to use and Debian is one of the best imo.
I have seen it mentioned in several places that LMDE is a "just in case Ubuntu disappears" effort but I wonder if there is more to it than that.

I wonder if Mint (Clem) wants an alternative just in case Ubuntu (Canonical) makes policy changes which are 'intolerable'. Things like sending desktop search to Amazon, collecting telemetry, and such. Those types of decisions really rub some Linux users the wrong way.

I'm sure I don't know the answer - it just makes me wonder....
 

Alexzee

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Does anyone know if LMDE will make the backlight on a laptop work?
 


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