After I tried the December 2010 edition of Linux Mint Debian 64-bit, I had come to the conclusion that it was not for me, as it was, and that I would rather stick with the Main edition of Linux Mint, built on the current Ubuntu base distribution.
Two things made me change my mind and try it again: First, I tried Ubuntu 11.04 and I really did not like the new launcher! Second, I really could not put up with Mint’s Main Edition requirement, to have to back up and re-install from scratch with every new version…
So, I thought I should give LMDE 64-bit another try; and I’m glad I did!
After the first boot, I enabled all repository sources. Update: For repository configuration, check out Fine-tuning Linux Mint Debian 201012 64-bit.
Then I executed the two magical commands you’ll have to use about every couple weeks with a rolling distribution like LMDE:
[code]sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade[/code]
Then, I followed all the fine-tuning tips & tricks described on my previous post on LMDE.
I also installed most of the applications described in my “perfect linux desktop” post. [NB: I installed without adding any extra repositories! The instructions for adding extra depositories are not applicable (not needed, actually) for LMDE, because almost all packages are already current in the main repository and most packages one would want already exist in the main repository.]
I additionally installed the package “ttf-mscorefonts-installer” via synaptic, in order to get some really nice and free Microsoft fonts.
Incidentally, if the fonts on this blog look ugly, then you’re missing the font “Georgia” from the abovementioned package!
To get the desktop look that I preferred, I moved the taskbar to the top: Right click on Mint taskbar, hit “properties” and change its position to “top”.
Since I have moved to Chrome as my browser of choice, I went to the Google Chrome download page, chose the 64-bit deb version and installed it with
[code]sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb[/code]
By the way, this will also automagically install the Google stable repository, so you’ll get the new Chrome versions as soon as they get out!
Finally, I installed the stable version of GLX-Dock, or “cairo-dock”, again from the main repository, via synaptic.
Setting up Canon MP560 multifunctional printer
In case you have that printer, this will help you. I followed the instructions from a previous post in order to get my Canon MP560 scanner/copier/printer to work wirelessly.
By all means, do follow all the instructions in the mentioned Moritz89′s Blog. I have to say, they did not work for me, but it is esssential to install the package he has prepared. In order to get the printer recognized by linux’s CUPS printing system, I installed the ia32 (x86 compatibility) libraries and then rebooted. Then it worked by adding the printer via the web interface. I typed:
in the browser and logged on as “root” with “my account’s password”. I pressed “Administration” –> “Find new printers”, and that was it.
I don’t know if it was the reboot or the ia32 libraries, or both, or something else that did the trick.
Regarding the scanning part, I followed the instructions on the bottom of the abovementioned post. What I did differently was that I downloaded the current “debian testing” x86 version of libgimp, decompressed it and then copied (with “sudo”) the files of the directory “usr/lib” from inside the package, into my linux system’s “/lib32″.
After creating a launcher for scangearmp (see post), I started the program and it found the scanner right away! After that, I installed the excellent scanning program “xsane” via synaptic.
Don’t panic. It’s not as bad as it seems! If you think you can manage the above, the experience you get from using LMDE is “mostly indistinguishable” from that of the Main edition, which is a great thing! Plus you get the bonus of lower memory usage and faster responsiveness.
Just remember to do a “dist-upgrade” at least a couple times a month. LMDE is based on Debian Testing, which is a rolling distribution. This means that there is no “fixed” version of it; and there will never be one, ever. It is always under development, always updated and upgraded, always current; but also, and this is very important, it is always tested thoroughly enough to be usable, stable and not to crash all the time – there’s Debian Sid for that, which is the cutting edge, unstable Debian version.
In retrospect, to answer my own question from the LMDE 201012 review, I’m glad LMDE exists:
- It gives me the choice not to have to use Ubuntu’s Unity project right now. Maybe later Unity will be very fast and very intuitive and very light and not in the least limiting in choices, customizations and shortcuts. But for now, I’ll pass.
- Additionally, LMDE gives me the choice not to have to use Mint Main edition and then to have to back up and re-install from scratch, every six months when a new version comes out. Don’t get me wrong, I back up my home folder every week. It’s the re-installation and setting up of every application that I don’t like.
- Lastly, it now (as of May 2011) gives me a user experience that is easily at par with the Main Edition, give or take a few geeky tweaks in the initial setup. Anyway, that’s my personal view, YMMV!
Given the fact that Ubuntu seems to be boldly going where no man has gone before (except Apple, perhaps 😉 ), and until it gets there, at least, I will stick with LMDE, which is a brilliant flavour of Debian and a pleasure to use on its own right. At this moment in time, I would personally see the “Mint Movement’s” future mainly tied to Debian’s, and I can’t wait to see how the Mint team will incorporate Gnome 3‘s vision (currently in Sid) into their own!…