Tag Archive: debian


I really like LMDE. While I’ve never been a huge fan of Linux Mint in general, I understand that it is a very well run project, with a very loyal group of fans. But I like Debian, and the Mint team seemed to address every issue I have with Debian, so liking LMDE makes sense. For me anyways. But it seems to be a hot topic elsewhere as well. And by hot I mean receiving way more attention than any other community built linux distro that I can remember. Here are some of the links.

Lifehacker rarely writes about distro releases, especially smaller ones like this.

This guy rarely writes about individual distros, and when he does he usually dislikes them.

Now this is only two sources, but I don’t read alot of linux blogs. And these two pieces hit on my feelings exactly: normal linux users can now test (live media) and easily install (live installer) Debian testing, without having to worry about flash and other codecs, because they’re included. And it’s fast as shit. This could turn out to be huge for the Mint project.

UPDATE – Another one. I have never seen this site write about distributions, impressive.

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Linux Mint Debian: fuck, really?

God damnit. The Linux MInt team has released a version of their OS based on Debian. So why does this anger me? Cause it’s freakin’ awesome, and I thought I finally was done shopping around for a distro. I have become a Lubuntu zealot, even going as far as installing it on random computers around the building. And I thought that was the end of it. Because I have tried Linux Mint before, but it wasn’t for me. Now, I think it’s a fantastic distro. When friends ask me which Linux OS should they begin with, I always say Mint LXDE. But for me, I like Lubuntu better. It just feels “tighter” if that makes sense. But like I said, Mint LXDE is great, and I have a lot of respect for it.

The reason I switched from Debian to Lubuntu is that I prefer distros that feel like they have someone in charge; that have direction. And as great as Debian is, the project seems to lack direction. And god damnit, I need my OS to have a clear vision. That’s why this pisses me off. The Mint project has great leadership and vision. So when you combine that with Debian, well fuck, that’s what I was looking for all along.

But, I do really like LXDE. Not that I hate GNOME (I do hate KDE however), but I prefer to use LXDE. And since Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is GNOME only, maybe I will have a difficult time installing LXDE and gutting out the GNOME schwag? Nope. It’s not only really easy, it’s better than I had expected. To install LXDE, just add the “lxde-core” meta package from the repos and you have an LXDE session ready to roll. There’s no LXDM in the Debian repos yet, but I don’t get too bent out of shape over login-managers, gdm is fine for me. And removing the schwag? Also not hard. Just kill the main mono library, the main compiz library and the main pulseaudio library, and whatever GNOME utilities you don’t need, and it gets pretty lightweight pretty fast. I refuse to uninstall any package that removes a mint package, like I said, I like vision and I want to see where the team takes this project. And one way to monitor that is to see what apps they decide to include. All of this was expected.

What I didn’t expect, is how easy it was to overcome one of my main pet-peeves with Linux. For some reason, all of the gtk themes other than clearlooks annoy me. And nothing really seems to go with my favorite openbox theme onyx. But the mint team has made an openbox theme “Mint” and a gtk-theme “AuroraMint” that look fantastic together. Like I said, I know this is stupid, but when everything looks “themed” it just feels like a real distribution. I feel stupid typing that, but it’s the way I feel. Toss in some Mint wallpaper, and fuck, I have a really slick looking, fast as hell, LXDE/Debian desktop. Which would have been great, if I hadn’t already committed to Lubuntu.

But it gets even better. Much better. The first is, the Mint team made LMDE a live DVD. Works flawlessly. They also made an installer, a really easy to use one to boot. These are two of the biggest drawbacks to other Debian distros. But the Mint team fixed them both.

But it’s not perfect. One, it’s a live DVD, so it’s a bigger file. Kind of annoying, but by no means a deal breaker. And there’s no native LXDE version. Now, with about 30 min of work, you can have a really slick LXDE desktop, that’s about 95% of what an official Mint LXDE Debian desktop would be like (I guess, I have no idea really, but I can’t think of anything else I can do to make it more “LXDE-like”). But that’s it. Everything else is as expected.

So, LMDE is what you would guess: the Debian repos plus the ease of use and enjoyable design that is a Linux Mint distribution. I can see a lot of Linux Mint GNOME, Lubuntu, Crunchbang, Debian and Ubuntu users switiching to LMDE. Mint might soon become known as a “Debian derivative” as opposed to an “Ubuntu derivative”, LMDE is that good.

CrunchBang moving to Debian Squeeze

My initial frustration with Ubuntu making the slow transformation to a free version of Windows led me to try and eventually switch to CrunchBang. CrunchBang was everything I loved about Ubuntu (huge repositories and a vast wealth of online documentation and forum help) minus everything I hated (GNOME, fixed release cycles and a user base that gets a collective erection when Ubuntu gets a new wallpaper). But CrunchBang never released an update after Ubuntu 9.10 came out, and I was tired of adding PPA’s every time I needed software newer than what was in the repositories. With a sad heart I switched to a setup of minimal Ubuntu+LXDE, which is aided by CrunchBang teaching me a few things about Openbox. But Ubuntu is still on a fixed release schedule, and that shit gets old really fast, so I decided to make the switch to Squeeze+LXDE. Other than maybe Arch+LXDE, I can’t think of an OS that might be available in the near future that could make me switch again, until I saw this announcement. Yep, CrunchBang is moving from Ubuntu to Squeeze. Now I know how an Ubuntu fan feels when they get a new wallpaper or move their window buttons from one side to the other!

The CrunchBang announcement also mentioned that they would be releasing an Xfce4 version, which struck me as odd since I was under the impression that they main reason that CB existed at all was to have an OS that was functional without a desktop environment. It will be interesting to see what these guys do with a desktop.

Debian+LXDE Squeeze obconf fix

Recent versions of Debian Squeeze with an LXDE desktop generate an error when you try to make and save changes using obconf. The default theme is Clearlooks, and it’s too close to Ubuntu for my liking, I prefer Onyx. This has been fixed in updated packages, but they have not yet made their way into the testing repositories. Here’s how I fixed it

1. Open your sources file and add (or uncomment) the Debian testing repositories

sudo leafpad /etc/apt/sou*

and then add or uncomment

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

2. The update your LXDE desktop with the LXDE packages from testing

apt-get update
apt-get -t unstable install lxde

3. Make sure you install the lxde meta-package and not just lxsession as it will generate an error and not let you boot into a working desktop (trust me).

4. Comment-out or remove the testing repositories and run

apt-get update

to ensure that you don’t accidentally upgrade to Sid the next time you run a system update. You should be able to make and save changes in obconf now.

I’ve had to do this twice in the past week, so I thought I’d pass along how to do it. The majority of this was posted by some guy going by craigevil on some random linux board. Worked like a charm, thanks Craig.

1. Add the unstable repositories to your source list. Open your source list by running

sudo leafpad /etc/apt/sou*

and then add

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

2. run the following in order

apt-get update
apt-get -t unstable install nvidia-kernel-source
m-a a-i nvidia-kernel-source
apt-get -t unstable install nvidia-glx
apt-get install nvidia-xconfig
nvidia-xconfig

3. Open your source list again, and comment out the unstable repositories

#deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
#deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

otherwise the next time you run an update, you might upgrade from Squeeze to Sid. Reboot, and you’re done (hopefully).