Linux Mint Debian Edition 201303

I’m often asked what my “favorite” Linux distro is by readers. Well, if I have one, it has to be Linux Mint Debian Edition. LMDE has so much to offer Linux users since it combines the power of Debian with the elegance of Linux Mint. There really is something for everyone to love in LMDE.

Linux Mint Debian was upgraded recently so it’s time to take another look at it. I downloaded the Cinnamon version for this review. You can also opt for the MATE version if you prefer that to Cinnamon.

Before I get into the review, I want to clarify what separates Linux Mint Debian from the Ubuntu-based versions of Linux Mint. I know that this has confused some folks who are new to Linux.

Here’s some info from the LMDE FAQ:

1. Is LMDE compatible with Ubuntu-based Linux Mint editions?

No, it is not. LMDE is compatible with Debian, which isn’t compatible with Ubuntu.

2. Is LMDE fully compatible with Debian?

Yes, 100%. LMDE is compatible with repositories designed for Debian Testing.

3. What is a semi-rolling distribution?

Updates are constantly fed to Debian Testing, where users experience frequent regressions but also frequent bug fixes and improvements. LMDE receives “Update Packs” which are tested snapshots of Debian Testing. Users can experience a more stable system thanks to update packs, or switch their sources to follow Testing, or even Unstable, directly to get more frequent updates.

4. How does LMDE compare to the Ubuntu-based editions?

Pros:

  • You don’t need to ever re-install the system. New versions of software and updates are continuously brought to you.
  • It’s faster and more responsive than Ubuntu-based editions.

Cons:

  • LMDE requires a deeper knowledge and experience with Linux, dpkg and APT.
  • Debian is a less user-friendly/desktop-ready base than Ubuntu. Expect some rough edges.
  • No EFI, GPT or secureBoot support.
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Welcome Menu
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Welcome Menu

What’s New in Linux Mint Debian 201303

Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

  • Update Pack 6
  • MATE 1.4
  • Cinnamon 1.6
  • Installer improvements (graphical timezone and keyboard selection, support for installation on multiple HDD, slideshow, webcam and face picture support)
  • Device Driver Manager
  • Plymouth splash screen

As noted above, this release includes Update Pack 6. There is no list of exactly what is in Update Pack 6, so I can’t list highlights here for you. However, I have heard that these updates often contains hundreds of changes, packages, etc. So it would go way beyond the bounds of this review to really delve into it.

Linux Mint Debian 201303 Update Pack Information
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Update Pack Information

You can see a list of changes in MATE 1.4 here, and you can see what’s in Cinnamon 1.6 here.

One thing that I liked about this release was the installer’s ability to automatically partition the disk. I cannot remember if this was in previous versions, but it’s a great thing for newbies who want to use LMDE. Many of them might not be familiar with disk partitioning, so having the installer take care of it helps to make LMDE more accessible to them.

System Requirements for Linux Mint Debian 201303

I want not able to locate a specific hardware requirements list for Linux Mint Debian 201303 on the Linux Mint site. If you know the specs, please post them in the comments below. Also, if the LMDE developers read this, please consider including a hardware requirements list for each release as it makes it much easier to include that information in the review.

Linux Mint Debian 201303 Download

You can download Linux Mint Debian 201303 from this page or use these torrent links:

The file I downloaded weighed in at 1.31 GB. You can get Linux Mint Debian 201303 in 32 or 64 bit versions.

If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in a virtual machine via VirtualBoxVMWare, or Parallels before running it on real hardware. And if you’re totally new to Linux, then you might want to check out some of the books about linux available on amazon.

Linux Mint Debian 201303 Installation

The Linux Mint Debian 201303 install is not difficult, the installer will create the partitions you need automatically. However,  you do need to set a root partition. You can do this by simply right clicking on your preferred partition. I mention this for the newer folks who may not be familiar with LMDE’s install, but who might want to use it.

Note that LMDE 201303 is a live distro, so you do have the option to run it without doing an install. Boot into the desktop, and you’ll see that it is much the same as the installed desktop. Just click the Install Linux Mint icon to start your install.

Linux Mint Debian 201303 Live Desktop
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Live Desktop
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Install Disk Partitioning
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Install Disk Partitioning
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Install Slide Show
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Install Slide Show

The Linux Mint Debian 201303 Desktop

As I noted earlier, I opted for the Cinnamon version of LMDE 201303. The desktop contains the usual icons, along with the striking Linux Mint wallpaper. I love the Debian swirl included in the wallpaper, it’s a small thing but it helps set this version apart from the Ubuntu versions.

It’s also easy to find your way around the LMDE Cinnamon menu. Everything is laid out just as you’d expect so it’s easy to manage software, access system tools, logout or shut down your system.

When you first boot into LMDE 201303, you’ll see a Welcome to Linux Mint menu. If you’re new to LMDE, be sure to check the menu carefully as it contains some very helpful information along with support resources.

The question of which version is better has come up fairly often, Cinnamon or MATE? I like both of them, I just happened to go with Cinnamon for this review. If you haven’t used either, then I suggest trying both of them in a virtual machine to see which environment  you prefer to use on a daily basis. I really can go either way, they are both great to use. But your mileage may vary depending on your tastes.

Linux Mint Debian 201303 Installed Desktop
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Installed Desktop
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Cinnamon Menu
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Cinnamon Menu
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Home Folder
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Home Folder
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Backgrounds
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Backgrounds
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Cinnamon Settings Menu
Linux Mint Debian 201303 Cinnamon Settings Menu

Linux Software Included in Linux Mint Debian 201303

Here’s a sample of the linux software included in this release.

Games
Games can be downloaded from the Linux Mint Software Manager

Graphics
Document Viewer
GIMP
gThumb
ImageMagick
LibreOffice Draw
Simple Scan

Internet

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18 thoughts on “Linux Mint Debian Edition 201303

  1. I can run this version on the Live CD but on install I am blocked at the password screen, tried admin and the others it asked me for to move on through the installer… any ideas. I am not using a that difficult of a password.

  2. If I wanted to stay with Mint rather than moving to the new SolydXK distro, could I install LMDE with Mate or Cinnamon and then install KDE? Would KDE then be updated through Mint updates? Thanks.

  3. The only onion in the ointment in this release is that it still requires
    the user to set a root partition during the install. This is not a hard
    thing to do, but it may perplex newer users who haven’t done it before.
    I’d like to see the installer do this automatically, assuming the user
    opts for automatic partitioning.

    See……problems already……why don’t you just tell us how to do this?

    1. Great point. Right click the partition you want to use and select “Assign to /” and you should be good to go. This is easy to do, but I do think that some newer folks might not how to do it. Thanks for pointing out that I should have covered it though.

      1. i appreciate your article very much. the time it takes to write is under-appreciated. So thank you for taking the time to write this. it is because you took the time that I have been convinced many people love Mint Linux and that is reason for me to give it a look.

        I comment here because i thought editing your post would better than answering here for new users.

        i knew what you meant, but when he stated that you should show users how to do it… you’d be doing a great service by adding into your article.

  4. A few necessary fixes for LMDE 201303 Cin64:
    Set autologin from login windows preferences/security, not users.
    Enable Autologin and find your name.
    Add numlock by typing numlockx in terminal
    To change “open with” defaults, 1st goto SystemSettings/Details/Defaults
    No Samba GUI. Add nemo-share to get a Share Tab
    Remove nautilus, add gparted, add Disk Utilty to monitor Smart data
    Share printers: Open Terminal system-config-printer/server/settings/Show, Publish and Allow (top 3 boxes)
    Change Video Driver from Device Driver Manager

  5. After various Ubuntu fiascos (Unity, spyware) I tried a bunch of similar distros. I was hoping LMDE would work, but the ubuntu installer they [appear to] use refuses to install onto software mdRAID drives. This is a sticking point for me, and I went on to Sid. Note that even Ubuntu uses the debian installer to install onto mdRAID, so even if I figured out how to install debian Mint via the debian installer I’m not sure how that would be better than straight debian.

    It still sounds good for anyone not interested in the redundancy of RAID (I used to mirror /home and stripe /, but everything but /home is so small it fits easily on an SSD.)

  6. Despite my only disappointment over the fact that Team Mint and the majority of their users were no longer interest in using LXDE or xfce for LMDE, I still believe that LMDE itself is an excellent distro. It’s perfect in MATE, without question! Even today, I’m surprise that Team Mint has never thought of making LMDE their true main edition and just push the Ubuntu-based Mint down to secondary status.

    1. I think there’s plenty of room for the Ubuntu versions, as well as LMDE. I prefer LMDE, but I can understand why others might opt for the Ubuntu releases. To each his own and all that. :)

  7. Jim, I do not know any stated software requirements either, but I can give you some parameters that ought to work.

    1. If you want the minimal amount of installed memory needed to run a text console-based installation, in console mode, you ought to be able to get away with as little as 128 MB of memory, and there is an outside chance that under certain very limited scenarios, you may get away with even less than that.

    2. If you are performing a standard graphical user interface (GUI-based) installation, plan on having at least 512 MB of memory; if you have 1-2 GB of memory, system performance will be improved; more than that will depend primarily on work load; 512 MB sill get the job done; 2 GB of ?RAM will work well.

    3. You may be able to configure a relatively minimal system within a 5 GB disk partition. Plan on reserving 10 GB or more. 20 GB is a nice number for a reasonably well-equipped system. Reserve more space or mount additional disk partitions if you store a lot of data, record videos, save movies, etc,; otherwise 20 GB is plenty.

    4. The released version of LMDE has been improved a lot and works much better than the test versions that came out near Christmas time a year or two ago.

  8. I am satisfied with my Debian systems, but if I were looking for an alternative desktop to the KDE I run, LMDE-Mate would be an alternative. When I have tested it, it has run well.

  9. Just info. People who love LMDE but prefer KDE/XFCE maybe want to try SolydXK. Very similiar distro with update pack concept.

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