Introducing Update Packs in Linux Mint Debian

Written by Clem on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 @ 1:19 pm | Main Topics

Introduction

One of the strong points of Linux Mint Debian is the fact that it’s a rolling distribution. Users enjoy a continuous flow of updates coming from the repositories, which keeps their system up to date without the need to upgrade to newer releases or to go through the hassle of reinstalling the operating system. When the updates are significant and affect large or sensitive parts of the system, some experience is needed from the user. The new updates might ask you something you’re not familiar with, some post-configuration might be required for things to work as they did, and if you make a mistake and you don’t have the knowledge to fix things up, you might very well end up with a partly or completely broken system.

Linux Mint Debian is snappy, fast, elegant and its rolling aspect makes it a brilliant operating system to those experienced enough with APT to work around occasional breakages and regressions. It’s also rough around the edges and requires the user to know what he/she’s doing. No wonder LMDE users like LMDE so much, but it’s not surprising either to see a vast majority of Mint users stay on top of the Ubuntu base.

Linux Mint Debian is great, but it’s not for everybody. Today, we’re making it simpler and easier to use.

The current situation

Package updates are made available in Debian Testing almost every day. Depending on when users update their system they’re faced with different versions of the packages and experience different problems which makes it hard for them to seek help and find solutions. Very few people are selective in the updates they apply, and the rolling nature of LMDE pushes people towards full updates anyway. The consequence is that after a regression, people are rarely aware of what package caused the problem. And even if they were, that same package version might not cause the same problem to other users depending on which version they’re upgrading from.

Because things change constantly and people don’t update at the same time or as frequently, it’s hard to find people with the same problem and so it’s hard to talk about workarounds and find solutions.

At the moment, LMDE users rely on the forums. They’re using the following giant mega-thread in a chaotic effort to get organized: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=141&t=67502

It’s far from ideal, but it’s better than nothing. And thanks to some really dedicated users who go out of their ways to find workarounds and document problems and solutions, LMDE users have somewhere to look.

Improvements

What we’re doing today is addressing this problem with the following changes:

  • A brand new repository which mirrors Debian Testing on a monthly basis and assigns the frozen state of the packages an “update pack” number.
  • A fork of the Linux Mint Update Manager, specifically designed for LMDE.
  • Better communication channels between the team and the most active LMDE users to gather feedback and spread information efficiently.

The “Linux Mint Debian Latest” repository

By changing your APT sources and replacing Debian Testing with the Linux Mint Debian Latest repository, you basically point to a Debian Testing that is frozen in time and updated once a month. By the time the next batch of updates becomes available to you, the Linux Mint team has had time to adjust packages in the Linux Mint repository and to document the information you need to go through a safe and easy update.

To give you an example, Gnome 3 is just around the corner and coming to a Debian Testing repository near you. By pointing to the Linux Mint Debian Latest repository instead, you make sure you upgrade to it, after the Linux Mint team has tested the update and gathered precious information on it.

Sometimes, things get broken in Debian Testing and fixed a couple of days later. When that happens, the Mint Debian Latest repository simply isn’t updated. We wait until the Debian Testing branch is stable again, and only then do you get the updates.

It’s a compromise between a frozen and flowing rolling system. We open the tap on a monthly basis and we let you know what’s coming towards you.

The “Linux Mint Debian Incoming” repository

Of course we’ll need some help and now more than ever we’ll rely on the community and on the users to help each others. To facilitate this process, we’re opening another repository called “Incoming”, which is downstream from Debian Testing and upstream from “Latest”. In other words, we first update the “Incoming” repository. We test things out and we gather information from people using the “Incoming” repositories. And when we’re happy with the state of things, we point the “Latest” archive to the “Incoming” one.

Each time we update from Debian Testing we increase the number of what is called the “Update Pack”, i.e. the set of all the package updates available. And so, each update pack is first made available on the “Incoming” repository for testers and experienced users to give us feedback, and then later on the “Latest” repository for all other users to enjoy.

The new LMDE Update Manager

The first thing you’ll notice is a new button called “Update Pack Info”. We encourage you to click this button to get more information on the updates that are available to you.

You’ll also notice that the level filtering is gone. This feature makes a lot of sense on top of a frozen base such as Ubuntu, but in a rolling distribution such as LMDE, it’s better to keep up with all packages.

Of course, all the traditional features from mintUpdate are still here, and among them the ability to block and ignore package updates.

When you click on the “Update Package Info” button, you’re presented with a brand new screen:

At the top, you can see your system configuration. If you’re missing a repository or if you’re pointing to one too many, a warning or an error will be shown in there.

As an LMDE user you’re supposed to point to 2 distinct repositories:

  1. The Linux Mint repository (deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import)
  2. A Debian Testing repository…so here you have a choice and you can pick 1 of the following repositories:
    1. You can play it safe by pointing to the “Latest” update pack repo (deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest testing main contrib non-free)
    2. You can act as a guinea pig for others and help the team with the testing by pointing to the “Incoming” update pack repo (deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming testing main contrib non-free)
    3. You can point straight to the Debian Testing repositories themselves and do without all this (deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free)

Under the system configuration you can see the number of the Update Pack that is currently available, and the last Update Pack from which you pulled an update.

And finally below all this, appears what matters the most: The information you’re looking for to guarantee a safe update.

Warning, this is brand new

Before I go on and tell you how to update your system for this… I’d like to warn everybody that is BRAND NEW! It’s a new concept, it comes with a new Update Manager and a brand new server. Like everything new in I.T. it holds great promises and it’s nicely designed, but it’s never been used on a large scale before and it hasn’t been faced with community testing yet.

For this reason, unless you’re interested in helping the team and the project in regards to LMDE, I would recommend you wait for the respins of LMDE which will come this summer and in which these features will be fully integrated.

How to get started

As a user

  1. Wait for a few days until we start getting some feedback on these new technologies. We’ll then fix eventual bugs and when everything is ready this will smoothly replace your version of mintupdate.

As a tester

  1. Install the package “mintupdate-debian”, which will replace “mintupdate”, “mint-meta-common” and “mint-meta-debian”.
  2. In your /etc/apt/sources.list, replace “deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free” with “deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming testing main contrib non-free”
  3. Enjoy the new mintupdate-debian and report bugs and feedback as comments here on the blog.
  4. Whenever you experience a package update breakage or a regression, notify the team using the following forum thread: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=187&p=444219#p444219

Questions and comments

Please let us know what you think and what your experience is with this new server, this new Update Manager and the Update Packs. The Update Manager was forked from the existing one so it should be quite stable. The server is located in Denver, USA and offers 1Gbps unmetered bandwidth so it should be efficient. The Update Packs principle should make things clearer and easier to document for users. In the future we’ll improve the communication process between the testers and the team and we’ll mirror this repository in different places around the World.

I look forward to receiving everybody’s reaction on this and improving this tool and technique with your feedback. This is a really exciting development for LMDE and it should make life significantly easier for many users.

167 Responses to “Introducing Update Packs in Linux Mint Debian”

  1. Clem Says:

    By the way, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our donors and sponsors once more. As you can see, this is something big and it’s the first time we feel confident enough to host an archive as big as the Debian Testing one, and for all our users! We never had access to servers with this kind of bandwidth before, and it’s all thanks to the support we’re getting from you. By donating and generating an income for Linux Mint you didn’t just make this easy, you made it so we feel confident we can scale things up if need be. So thanks to everybody for that.

    When it comes to LMDE and 2011, the first thing was to bring it on par feature-wise with Linux Mint 11. This was done in June. The second thing was to give it a dedicated update manager and this is what we’re tackling now. After this, we’ll implement improvements in the installer and we’ll respin the ISOs.

  2. John Says:

    This is great news! I was surprised to see how few Linux Mint users were using LMDE, and I think that this will be a great reassurance for those who were nervous to wander a little further from Ubuntu.

    The ‘Update Pack Info’ button looks like an excellent way for users to save time and maintain a long and happy relationship with LMDE and Linux at large.

  3. bluemeda Says:

    wow, it will make lmde user easier to use linux.
    Good job. :)

  4. rhY Says:

    Awesome Clem! Simply Awesome. This looks like another step toward Mint being fully it’s own distribution and more completely forgetting it’s Ubuntu roots. Which is a good thing all the way around. LMDE is great, and with these new improvements it might start being a really good alternative for the mainstream too, making LMDE the official Mint eventually. Really great ideas and a really great implementation. Can’t wait to guinea pig it up for you!

  5. mhnassif Says:

    I will install the new LMDE update manager, and I will leave my feedback later. Keep up the good work guys!

  6. kvv Says:

    It will be a hell lot of work for you guys to keep track of all the upgrades and regressions, almost as much as a new release. Hope you can maintain it.

  7. Shanks Says:

    This is seriously the greatest plan ever.

    You essentially have your own Debian-based distro now, Mint. Evan more-so than previously. Good on ya :D

  8. exploder Says:

    @Clem

    Would it be possible to add a gui front end to the existing scripts to make it easier to install proprietary graphics drivers? Anoother thought, Is it possible to provide proprietary graphics drivers out of the box like Simply Mepis has started doing?

    I like the changes that you have outlined here, it has great potential and could help people that are interested in the Debian based releases. I know that many have had questions related to installing the proprietary graphics drivers and was wondering if we could do anything to make this easier for the community.

    Thanks for sharing the changes we can look forward to in the next release.

  9. Clem Says:

    @exploder: We could port jockey to Debian or find ways to distribute the drivers and have them installed in a trivial manner (or even automatically) without binding them on the distributed media… I’ve seen this done in Sabayon before and I’m sure there’s ways to guarantee the GPL is respected. As far as I know you can bind binary blobs to the kernel as long as you don’t distribute the binded binary without its source code (which you don’t have). From a technical point of view, it’s a matter of having the user bind the driver he/she needs and us distributing it to him/her in a manner that it can build, bind and install itself at runtime. I’d need to know more about these drivers though.. I’m not an expert when it comes to that so I might need some time to study this in-depth. At some stage we’ll definitely do something about this, especially considering the fact that new UIs require acceleration. It’s out of the scope for this iteration but if I’m early I might be able to do something about it before switching the focus towards Linux Mint 12.

  10. Adan Ova Says:

    I am currently using Linux Mint Debian-Sid Based =P

    It works very well and there are like three updates every single hour.

    Again, this is NOT for people who would not know how to fix things up.

    I have noticed there are a lot of people who go from Windows to Ubuntu to Mint-Ubuntu to Mint-Debian to Debian. Maybe now they will switch to Mint-Sid in the last step.

  11. Mauricio Camara Says:

    This is simply… FANTASTIC, Clem!

    The truth is: Mint is getting mature. LMDE is getting better. The community is growing. And we need to prepare ourselves.

    Congratulations for you and The Team and… keep up the REMARKABLE work!

  12. Renan Levine Says:

    Does this apply to LinuxMint Xfce or just LMDE?

  13. Clem Says:

    Renan: It applies to both.

  14. Ayon Khan Says:

    Can’t wait to install the new LMDE Update Manager. Nice work.

  15. exploder Says:

    Thanks for the response Clem. It’s nice seeing the Debian based editions maturing and they could be very important to the future of Mint. I don’t know if Jockey is the answer but I have seen people using scripts to install the proprietary drivers with success. My thoughts were just about trying to simplify the installation of the drivers to make the Debian based editions more attractive for those having issues with the Ubuntu based releases.

  16. zerozero Says:

    @Clem

    i’m already one of the guinea pigs :)
    Again, thanks for your amazing work

  17. ddavid123 Says:

    what is the url for the new repository?

  18. nomadewolf Says:

    Mint Team innovating once again.

    Just the idea is a positive thing. Congrats.

    I don’t really know about the 1 month interval. Seems a bit too much. But then again, i know you don’t have that much resources.

    I just came back from Mint DE to Mint 10 (Mint 11 doesn’t work for me), cause although i have the knowledge to fix things, i don’t really feel like doing it…

    I think Mint DE can have a bit more work done making it less ‘Rough around the edges’, but i’ll keep an eye on it and on this new updating system and maybe i’ll try it again some time.

  19. Mauricio Camara Says:

    @Clem: (Please ignore this one if I’m oudated.) How about upgrade OpenOffice (original 201012 ISO) to LibreOffice, as implemented in Mint 11?

  20. ddavid123 Says:

    Never mind, I must not have been paying attention from all the excitement!

  21. Bearded Ian Says:

    Sounds like a good idea.

    @Adan Ova: I am at the Mint-Debian (XFCE) step of your progression through the distributions, and I enjoy each better than the one before. Taken 13 months to get from my first (serious) install of Ubuntu, to XFCE

  22. zerozero Says:

    @Mauricio Camara, you should try LMDE :) it’s a great distro, and it’s getting better;
    LO is in LMDE since March.

  23. gee7 Says:

    Hi Clem and Team
    It looks the right step forward to have our own Update Manager and I’m 70% looking forward to it :-)

    My 30% worry relates to the size of recent updates … i fell for Mint’s elegance years ago and part of that elegance was that it was full but somehow kept slim … if there is no Level 1 and 2 filter to separate the wheat from the chaff, there is a danger of getting a flabby operating system by installing more than we remove.

    Ok, we can use the ignore packages filter (glad you said it would still be there) but as we upgrade we fill our system with bits of broken old packages. In a Rolling Release we could get fat as pigs in a few years. Any advice on cleaning out the debris and keeping slim would be useful too. There is software for that I think, but I don’t know if it’s any good.

    And I agree with Mauricio #11. Yes, Mint is getting mature and that’s great. Let’s keep our favourite distro slim too.

  24. Bone Says:

    cuando sale la versión final?

  25. gee7 Says:

    #18
    Hi Mauricio
    I switched to LibreOffice 6 or 7 weeks ago and it works great. There have been no problems with Libreoffice on LMDE, on my setup anyway.

    LibreOffice 3.3 is fast & sleek, recommended.

  26. Larlequin Says:

    Simply Awesome, for sure! Great news. Linux Mint is such a nice distro and LMDE in particular. Thank you guys!

    I switch (back again) thank to your work!

    Larlequin

  27. Tamoghna Bhattacharya Says:

    How you people manage to make things even better when it seems it’s already the best?

  28. Sharmila G Sivakumar Says:

    Thank you Clem!
    Will try it as soon as I can. LMDE is rocking!

  29. midas Says:

    Wow! What a great news about the LMDE-edition. I will wait jumping on the bandwagon when the proprietary drivers will work out-of-the-box. As they do in the regular Mint 11 Katya release.

    But for now all the best wishes to the Mint-team. I do know it will be the best and easiest linux-distribution…as it is right now. But fully Debian and a rolling-release….a dream coming true.

  30. tdockery97 Says:

    Thanks for the info Clem. I will be adding the new incoming repository and signing on as a guinea pig.

    Re: Drivers. It would be nice to see the NVIDIA/ATI drivers installed automatically as done in PCLinuxOS.

  31. teg Says:

    Silly question, but does this include security updates as well? I’m linking to http://security.debian.org in my repositories in addition to http://cdn.debian.net which includes the main files and the updates.

    I know that in the Linux world that security updates get patched quickly so with this being frozen for a month, should I still include the security link or will it break LMDE?

  32. Jean Chicoine Says:

    Just want to say what a fantastic job the Mint developing team is doing. You people rock!

  33. Badevilcow Says:

    As a long time Debian user/fan, I think this is a wonderful idea. I think the time and effort will pay off for both the users, and the Debian community.

    I would like to see Mint pull away from Ubuntu (seeing as how they are pulling off in their own questionable direction) and focus 100% on making LMDE an “OOTB” Debian option for first time users, or people whom don’t want to take the time to install all the codecs when they have multiple machines.

    That being said, i’ve really fallen for Arch Linux over the past two years, but i’m keeping a close eye on LMDE.(I run it in virtual box, inside of Arch, and in VB on my macbook pro)

    I really feel you are moving in the right direction with these choices.

    Keep up the good work!!

    -Badevilcow

  34. Mauricio Camara Says:

    @gee7 (#25) and @zerozero (#22)
    LMDE rocks! I use it for weeks, but unfortunately my [extremy slow] internet isn’ t helping with the updates.

    Glad to know that LMDE switched to LibreOffice. :-)

  35. Dave Says:

    More and more I like Linux Mint. Although based on Ubuntu, they seem to have a much different attitude toward their users. Where Ubuntu makes changes apparently just for corporate advantage (Unity), Mint is trying to correct a basic weakness in use of the Testing repos by normal users. Adopting Unity in effect gives Ubuntu total control of its desktop and frees it from “upstream” considerations, which helps the corporation but doesn’t do anything major for users. Mint, on the other hand, is concentrating on making things easier and safer for its users who would like to stay closer to the bleeding edge. My hope is that Mint will move totally away from the Ubuntu base and toward an entirely Debian base.

    Mint demonstrates the proper helping spirit. ¡Aplausos, Señor Clem!

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

    Generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

  36. TK Kocheran Says:

    This. Is. Genius.

  37. Florin Says:

    so, it will be the same as doing a dist-upgrade?
    My fear is that the project will get lots of attention for a while, but loose it afterwords..
    people will loose interest on this and not release after 1 month, but after 2, then after 3, this becoming a debian-stable release with a bit of a faster release cicle..
    Also, i wonder how many houndreds of MB’s of updates are in a month..

  38. TomG Says:

    Cool news, Clem. This looks like a good time to add a new virtual machine to my V-Box setup so I can test this out. And who knows? Maybe a blog post!

  39. Marto Says:

    What a fantastic idea!!!! I have dabbled with LMDE a few times and had one or two breakages, I managed to fix them but it was a bit of a long process and eventually I found it easier to jump back to Mint 11. This could be the final push that people need to move to LMDE, it worked on me as I am downloading LMDE again as I write this. I have one very small suggestion to encourage others to LMDE – a port of Jockey, allowing less-experienced users to install graphics drivers with very little or no fuss. Keep up the good work guys – You guys are amazing!!

  40. Satya Says:

    Nice. This tempts me to switch to LMDE.

  41. tdockery97 Says:

    Got it set up and the new Mint Update Manager is great. I had already update just prior to installing and switching repos, but the first Update Pack info is there, with solutions to possible problems. This will surely bring LMDE to the masses.

  42. amina Says:

    This is the greatest news since I started to use LMDE (January 2011).
    I do not use anything special (like exotic hardware or proprietary drivers), but I already pointed my sources to incoming.
    Hope this will work and thanks for all your efforts Clem :)

  43. mockturtl Says:

    Great news! (Is that angels I hear singing?) Thanks to zerozero and everybody on the forum for taking the lead on the Linux Mint Debian Exploding Lemming Team. :D

    NB: if you’ve used a tool like netselect-apt to find a local mirror for packages.linuxmint.com, you’ll see this warning in mintupdate:

    http://img199.imageshack.us/i/screenshotupdatepackinf.jpg/

    Presumably that will go away when the mirrors update to the latest; meanwhile, switch back to the official repo (“deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import”).

  44. Clem Says:

    @mockturtl: Congratulations, you’re the first one to find a bug in the new mintupdate-debian :) I’ll have that fixed soon.

    @Florin: If anything this will cut on all the packages that were updated more than once in the month, so in terms of space it will require less to be downloaded than if you were previously updating daily.

    @teg: Not a silly question at all. You’re only replacing your main Debian repository. When it comes to the multimedia one and the security updates you should leave them as they are. Here’s an example of a sources.list using the latest update-packs:

    deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import
    deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest testing main contrib non-free
    deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
    deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main non-free

  45. Exploit Says:

    Thanks all for the latest MINT it is Sweet :)

  46. teg Says:

    Now that the Mint team knows exactly what is going into the OS with the update packs, will we someday see both the Gnome and XFCE versions on the same ISO? I figured it would be easier to maintain and not have to have two separate ISOs.

    I ask because we are already burning a DVD for an ISO that doesn’t come close and could give an option to boot/install into Gnome or XFCE from the main menu of the DVD. I know that Debian does that for the LXDE+XFCE versions.

  47. nykur Says:

    Do you realize this might eventually result in an user-friendly rolling-release distro? Nice, nice, nice! If this all works out I’ll recommend LMDE to everyone and their mothers:-)

    Too bad there isn’t an Icelandic mirror for this repo as we have a quota for overseas traffic. How will this update manager work with the normal Debian repos plus unstable/testing? I realize the “safety switch” will not work, but can it function as a front end to apt without using the new repo?

  48. NEON SAMURAI Says:

    This is great news. Is there any news on a more up to date gnome iso?

    This would be perfect

  49. Linux4life Says:

    Sounds genius.
    I’m in when the next snapshot is released.

  50. Anzhr Says:

    This is truly excellent news. While Wheezy is generally quite stable recent Nvidia and Xorg breakages demonstrate why this will be useful. Thank you, Clem and Ikey.

  51. Mahmudin Ashar Says:

    seem very interesting,

  52. Kirk M Says:

    @Clem – As one of the other early guinea pigs (Hi zerozero!) I had to repartition my hard drive recently and have been waiting for the LMDE repsin before reinstalling LMDE. But if it’s possible to install the first (64 bit) release of LMDE and then switch the entries in the installed “sources.list” to the new “Incoming” repository as well as installing the new “mintupdate-debian” before the initial update I’d be more than glad to put the new update system to the test. Think I will anyway just to see what happens.

    By the way, the work that you and the rest have been doing with Mint is nothing short of phenomenal. And that’s coming from an old geek.

  53. Kirk M Says:

    Oh bother! I forget to close my italics tag! So much for the old gekk, huh? :P

  54. Kirk M Says:

    gekk?

  55. scuubadoo Says:

    Excellent news! Like Badevilcow and rhY, I think this is the future of Linux Mint.

  56. dimitrins Says:

    First of all, thanks again

    Its a good thing to have your own repositories. So the new firefox version will be deliver sooner

    I’m running LMDE64 following updates with original debian tools (apt in a terminal)

    apt-listbugs is a great tool that kept my system out of troubles

    Trying to make LMDE more user friendly, one thing that needs attention is closed drivers with upgrade kernel, With each new kernel i have to manually install closed nvidia drivers following by a reboot. It is a serious issue for a user friendly OS

  57. Craig Says:

    @Clem I went back to standard MInt but this may tempt me back to LMDE again…Though i hope that when you do the installer improvements…try to add some newbie friendly ways to install..namely the auto install options that have always been provided on the ubuntu based mint….

    Along with your new Updater system, this would make it much more friendly for the less experienced to use…

    Thanks for listening…and keep up the outstanding work….Linux Mint is my FAVORITE linux distro…

  58. baffle-boy Says:

    WOW! what a clever idea! sounds like a great solution to an age old problem between rolling and frozen!

  59. conejitosuavecito Says:

    Clem: I LOVE YOU

  60. Simon Says:

    This is a really positive development. I have very quickly become a huge fan of LMDE. This kind of innovation is exactly in the right spirit (I have to echo #33 Dave’s comments about Ubuntu’s developments being driven by corporate concerns), and is something I’m delighted to see. I have no real interest in the regular version of Mint, but I consider myself very firmly in the Mint Debian corner now.

  61. Sy Says:

    Hmmm, let me get this straight, you take a rolling distro, and freeze it for a month in order to get it slightly more stable? Doesn’t that defy the purpose? And doesn’t that actually get you closer to the very release model LMDE was trying to break away from?

    Next thing you know, you realize one month isn’t enough, or you realize it’s too much work to pull this off each month, so you make it two or three… Or maybe six?

    I was hoping the update packs would refer to finally finding a stable solution for updating software that gets stuck (even in Debian Testing) on old/outdated versions. I’ve seen you handled some software well (Firefox for instance is at latest version) but a huge amount of other software doesn’t get updates, sometimes in months. I know it’s down to the flaws in the Linux and the package management, but tbh that’s the one major thing I miss from Ubuntu (and why I still use it on my main computer) – at least Ubuntu has PPAs.

  62. Johannes Schmidt Says:

    Wonderful idea.

    Have you thought of suggesting your approach to the “official” Debian people?

    I think they are debating about similar ideas (rolling release with snapshots). They might profit from your idea and be a strong partner – who knows?

    (To be honest, I dislike the idea of mirroring a bit. I love Mint, but totally “foreign” repositories?)

  63. ajay-tech Says:

    Cool i will give this a good testing and will report any findings that i have.

    Keep up the great work.

  64. ferri Says:

    I would like to get some advise.
    I want to install Linux mint rolling and I do not know which version is appropriate.
    According aticle above I’m little confused.
    Is Linux Mint Xfce correct or Linux Mint Debian Gnome?
    Which is preffered?
    Are these changes above for LMXfce? And in the future?

  65. Adam Says:

    This is a brilliant idea. Tidy work, team.

    LMDE scared me away when it broke [and broke HARD!] the very first time I updated. I’m on Katya now, and even she’s required some tinkering to set right on account of the now-famous upstream problems. But this news could well win me back.

    I’ll definitely be giving the next ISO respin a try, you can bank on it.

  66. mihail george Says:

    Wow, you are SOOOO GREAT! This concept is amazing, it’s like you’re waiting for a good wave! I’m relatively a noob so this is great news for me! I don’t mind when somethings go wrong if i update but i am uncertain if i can fix it on my own, but this – receiving updates one per month – is AWESOME!

  67. DrTeeth Says:

    Hi,

    Will it be possible to print out the update pack details? It would be nice to have if the system is FUBAR after an update.

    DrT

  68. Clem Says:

    @Sy: Both frozen and rolling releases have pros and cons. Ideally you want to get the best of both worlds and so it’s all about finding the best middle-ground. Note that as an LMDE user you’re faced with multiple choices… you can stay on latest, you can venture into incoming, you can even follow testing on daily basis, or even upgrade to unstable or mix it up with APT pinning. Debian is huge and we’ve very little control over it. We can workaround breakages to a certain extent and this new system gives us the ability to do so before delivering the updates to you. It also allows us to hold things up for you until they get solved upstream. It gives us more leverage and you more choice.

    @teg: Interesting idea, thanks.

    @Johannes: Debian already has the technical ability to do this. They’re not using Testing as a desktop base though, they’re using it to make the next Stable release. I’m sure they might look at what we’re doing and get inspired by it to change things a little but as far as the implementation goes, they do not need our solution. From the upcoming LMDE they’ll probably be more interested in the installer and (if we have time) the work we do on the proprietary drivers. Also, the distributions that are the most likely to be interested by this isn’t Debian itself but some of their derivatives. As far as I know the installer is already used in a couple of systems along with some of the tools we developed. These repositories and probably even the update manager can be used by Debian Testing users as well as LMDE ones or users of Debian derivatives (excluding Ubuntu/Mint which aren’t compatible with Debian).

    @ferri: They apply to both. LMDE comes in two flavors at the moment: Gnome and Xfce. If you’re unsure which one to use, go for Gnome.

  69. Clem Says:

    DrTeeth: If you only have access to the console, you can check /var/log/mintUpdate.history and /var/log/mintupdate.packlevel. What we’ll probably do is publish the list of package updates within the info relating to the update pack.

  70. ferri Says:

    @Clem: Thanks. I will try Xfce. I’ve already downloaded iso. Gnome iso is more older.

  71. maulbongo Says:

    Hello Clem,

    This ist a really good idea, finally I can spread LMDE to users who do not know how to fix bad problems, which are caused by fast testing updates.
    Seems you’re going a good way with LMDE.
    I use it since the 64bit version arrived and I don’t cry a tear for leaving ubuntu behind.
    Keep the good work going on.

  72. thetall82 Says:

    This plan is ambitious but it can seriously make Mint the best linux distro out there. This rolling release model combinanes the rolling concept with stability and ease of use. And I’m sure it will succeed! I’ll keep on donating to support this great project, as an happy and loyal Mint user since 2009 :)

    Thank you Clem and all you guys!

    Giorgio

  73. nehsog Says:

    Great news! I have been testing Mint XFCE for four weeks in a virtual machine. It’s an excellent OS. The “Linux Mint Debian Latest” repository is the improvement I was waiting for! Now, it is time to disburden my Mint XFCE and run it as my native main OS! From freedom came elegance!

    Thanks to Clem and the team.

  74. Dr.Optix Says:

    I salute this idea!

    Can’t wait for the moment when LMDE’s ISO will be updated. I run LMDE at this moment, but I had to do some tweaking to make it work after some major upgrade.

  75. GoustiFruit Says:

    Wow, great idea, great improvement, great everything. But it looks like a *lot* of work for you guys, I hope you’ll succeed in managing such a huge project !

  76. Linux n00b Says:

    Am I right that with the change, we will have choice to either stay with a more stable but slower release, or stay with daily update debian testing (only changed name to incoming)?

    The idea to hold incoming update and try to pack them in a monthly release is good. However, I can see it could also backfire if “urgently” needed update has to wait longer.

    I’m not experienced (and my LMDE is still “offical” test install on my laptop – it’s been test since Dec last year), but I’d like to take the risk and stay with incoming. So far the only breakage for me is the kernel panic issue with “safely remove” external drive (but manually umount works fine, so I can live with it). The relatively daily update has fixed few issues I’ve had with Linux for long time. I’m pretty happy with those updates.

  77. Trollboy Says:

    I think this is perfect compromise between a cutting edge rolling release and stability. I think I will sign on as a tester. LMDE gets better and better.

  78. Daniel Says:

    Sounds interesting, reminds me of Debian CUT (http://lwn.net/Articles/406301/), perhaps there could be some collaboration to lessen the burden on LMDE maintainers?

  79. tdockery97 Says:

    Another great benefit of this concept is the likely return to LMDE of those who got discouraged by breakages, or simply tired of the constant upkeep of the Debian Testing model. They can now install LMDE and ride on the Latest repository, knowing that either most possible breakages have been dealt with before receiving their update, or that there are simple instructions to provide a fix right in the mintupdate-debian update pack info!

  80. ukbrian Says:

    Great news, I like your style, just a small point but I had to change the repos before I was able to install “mintupdate-debian” ie do (2) and then (1) here
    Quote
    As a tester

    1. Install the package “mintupdate-debian”, which will replace “mintupdate”, “mint-meta-common” and “mint-meta-debian”.
    2. In your /etc/apt/sources.list, replace “deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free” with “deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming testing main contrib non-free”

  81. TomG Says:

    I should have asked earlier, but can testing be done via a virtual machine? Or will that introduce too many unknowns?

    I use Mint 11 daily at home, but want to help test the Debian Edition – I would definitely consider moving to it if testing proves good.

    If the testing help for the improvements can ONLY be done with a “real” installation, I’ll still consider installing it, but I hope some testing can be done inside a VM environment.

  82. Deichscheich Says:

    Great news, you’re really making up some elegant solutions. Freedom is useless without creative people like you who do put it to use.

  83. schlomie Says:

    This is great news! Just get that “can’t install to a JFS partition” bug fixed, and we are ready to go! :)

  84. Murali Says:

    This sounds so cool and useful. Had some issues with LMDE Appearance menu(mostly my fault), this gives me an opportunity to wipe it clean and install LMDX. Hoping to find a bug or two :-) and see how we can improve this great idea and make it even better.

  85. Holger Says:

    Wow…! I am not a LMDE user (yet) but the idea behind this concept and the concept itself is excellent! It proves that there are some really brillant people involved with Linux Mint. This strengthens my confidence in the OS itself and also everybody involved with Mint. Currently I am a happy Isadora (Main Edition) user, which is my first Linux system ever. Already I am sure that I will never go back to the “common OS”.

    I will follow LMDE closely to see how this concept will work out. I sincerely hope this thing will turn out to be a winner. If so, I will consider switching to LMDE at some point.

    Congratulations and keep up the very, very, very good work, guys!

  86. paulnest Says:

    one more step to a sweet little distro. please do kill as many rough edges as possible as i’ll have to install this on my girlfriend’s pc till the end of the year =)

  87. GR Says:

    As a LMDE user, this is excellent news, keep up the excellent work! I made my donation today and encourage others to donate whatever they can, our funds are clearly being put to good use!

  88. LifeInTheGrey Says:

    Fantastic work Clem! I am so glad LMDE is getting such a huge push … this is the future, no question. The modification to the update system will REALLY help with the mainstream and “noob” approval in terms of ease of use, and you mentioned the simple installer for proprietary drivers like nVidia … to me, that is the last big hurdle to make it completely noob-friendly. I’ve been an LMDE user since December of last year, and everything I was hoping to develop has, can’t thank you and all the Mint devs enough for their hard work.

    Along the lines of mainstream adoption, there is one very minor thing that doesn’t matter in terms of functionality, but adds to that polish that noobs look for … a bootsplash. I know that we can install Plymouth optionally, and personally I have it installed just with the solar theme, but I really think that a custom Plymouth LMDE theme would add that touch of “finished product”. I’ve set up Plymouth on machines with Intel GMA, ATi, and nVidia cards, and they all work just as they should, so in my mind stability isn’t an issue.

    Just an idea. Keep up the fantastic work guys!

  89. ginjabunny Says:

    Sounds good to me, like the thinking on the repos, I think respins more often could be good. Before I noticed your post I have just put LMDE on a PC at work today and got 850MB of updates to put on!
    I did try LMDE when it first came out on my old laptop at home but had issues with the ATI chipset, but I may try it on my new laptop.

    Keep up the good work, it is much appreciated.

  90. ZAP Says:

    I was already a fan and a user, but Mint just won me over for good!

  91. cpatrick08 Says:

    do you know when this month the new isos will be out

  92. aljazek Says:

    I just can’t wait for new snapshot. Thanks Clem, LMDE is the best!

  93. marwan Says:

    Great job Clem, this is why LM is the best, solving real users problem :D

  94. Miguel Duarte Says:

    I use the main edition precisely because it is stable. I really don’t care if I have to wait 6 months for an update, but I care if I lose time trying to fix things. This new concept seems interesting to me, but, I am not sure if the resulting product will be stable enough. ;)

    Maybe you could also have something like “ultra stable” editions on a periodic base?

  95. Aljoriz Dublin Says:

    Stupid Question: If and When the respin of the iso comes out must I do a complete re-install?

    (I have just did a complete re-install pointed the Mint Debian Incoming Repo, downloaded MU-debian and use it to update the system)

  96. Craig Says:

    @tdockery97: Regarding your comment about the possible return of people who got fed up with breakages in LMDE thanks this new Mint Based Repo snapshot update option….You described me to a “t” (LOL)….and yes i am sure there are many others like me that would consider going back…

    I will definitely check out the new ISO when Clem has it ready…though i sincerely hope (as i previously mentioned) that when he makes the installer improvements that he is able to add some auto install options like main edition has…that would also encourage more of us less technically oriented “mint lovers” (lol) to give it a go!!!

  97. valmar Says:

    Look forward to testing this…thanks so much! As xfce is based around debian, its much the same, but much quicker than zfce in ubuntu-based editions! You guys rock! :D :D

  98. Felix Albrecht Says:

    Just a quick hint: In one of the screen shots you advise users to do “rm -rf ~/.mozilla/firefox”. I would rather advise them to do something like “mv ~/.mozilla/firefox{,_backup}”…

  99. viking777 Says:

    Maybe as usual I am missing something here, but are you saying that if you track the Debian Latest repo that your system will ONLY be updated once a month?

    What about if you track Debian Incoming? Do you get updates at the same frequency as from Debian Testing or is that too ONLY updated once a month?

    What happens if someone identifies a critical security flaw? Are you going to leave it unpatched for up to a month?

    Another thing is that a lot of this seems to depend on the new Mintupdate. I use debdelta due to bandwidth shortage, and have no intention of changing that so I don’t even start Mintupdate any more as it (in common with all gui package managers) does not run debdelta. Do these new repos going to include delta packages?

    A lot of people like daily updates, indeed if I were about to install a new distro and was told that it would only be updated once a month, I wouldn’t install it. I know that isn’t the case here because I can always stay on Debian Testing but I would like some clarification on these points.

  100. @go Says:

    Great job!! I like it very much!! Using incoming repo now.

  101. Clem Says:

    @viking777: Both Latest and Incoming get updated rougly once a month… Incoming just gets updated first. You’re still receiving updates from the security, multimedia and linux mint repos as they arrive, so if there’s something patched there, you get it immediately. As for mintupdate, it only provides you with more information, these are standard APT repositories so you can use apt-get instead and whatever you can do with the Debian repos you can do with these too.

    @Felix: Thanks, I’ll change this right now.

  102. DB Says:

    Clem,
    I was wondering if you could use zsync in your update manager (http://zsync.moria.org.uk/): since you will create monthly packs, with zsync we could download only the necessary patches and patch our pack.

    This would require less bandwidth for you and get an higher speed for us.
    What do you think?

  103. Naguib Says:

    I think I will be giving LMDE another go!

    A big thankyou to all the Team.

  104. viking777 Says:

    Clem

    Thanks for the clarification

    viking777

  105. Ikey Doherty Says:

    Clem its a good concept, highly similar
    to my idea for my project. The
    implementation concerns me though.
    Email me if you wish to discuss it.

  106. David Sugar Says:

    This way of managing testing will I think become particularly effective once things like btrfs snapshots can be used, where one could then in theory make a bootable snapshot of the rootfs before applying an upgrade “pack” or set, and also easily manage and remove older snapshots.

  107. Prometheus Says:

    I’m glad you can still point to Debian Testing if one desires to. I’m building a new computer and once that’s done, I’m going to migrate from Windows to LMDE. It’ll be my first time using Linux, but I’ve been playing with the LMDE Live DVD for 2 months now. I like the edge of Debian and the style of Mint. I don’t mind breaking things because I learn best that way. So I guess I’m going to a guinea pig then.

  108. @go Says:

    I noticed Update manager has not been localized, it’s in english instead of italian. It’s a bug or there are not localized versions yet?

  109. Craig Says:

    Sorry to be a “pain” Clem (lol)…but any chance you might get some auto-install options in for the re-spin iso?

  110. Pavel/Ukraine Says:

    good idea! genius in its simplicity! the main thing that you have the strength and patience.

  111. Steve Says:

    I’m a disenfranchised, 5 year Ubuntu veteran who has been frantically searching for a new home. I can’t stand Unity or the direction that Ubuntu is heading. Fedora and Suse are not my cup of tea. Kubuntu was usable, but I really prefer classic Gnome. Arch wasn’t bad, but their rolling model is too unstable for my taste…

    I’ve just found my new distro of choice! I’ve installed and been playing non-stop, and I love this development. Something tells me that I’m not the only expatriated Ubuntu user who will end up finding LMDE to be an irresistable draw.

    Thank you so much for my new home!

  112. AdmV0rl0n Says:

    Hi Clem and Team,

    I firstly want to say what a great job you do and have done. I don’t want this feedback to change that view at all. But I just felt that I wanted to say something. I’ve used Mint since Version 3. And time and time again, you guys have found a way to produce a polished end user Linux distro that usually is and stays at the end of User distributions. I don’t believe any Linux distro has stayed there, or delivered what you guys have focused on (At least from where I sit and each time I install the system you guys have crafted) – as much as Mint has managed to.
    You do not get as much credit as you deserve for the path you’ve taken in delivering this time and time again. Its often not a place people in linux want to work on or deliver, and you’ve delivered over and over. (Kudos for you and the team on this.)

    I run both standard Mint, and the Debian version. And I wanted to let you have some feedback. Don’t take this the wrong way. I hope you can take it as constructive.

    The standard Mint build has reached a fine level of maturity. But its also a little stale. 9,10,11 seem to have been cases of steady as she goes. And there_is_nothing wrong with that.

    Debian seems to be something that so far for me, is just as stable as the standard version. But the feeling I get (and you can say if I am wrong of course) is that you guys have an itch, and Debian is the thing you are scratching.

    But given the changes, my gut feel here, is that you could break the way you do things now. You could keep the older base level, and make it a LTS support model. This way, users get a stable, solid, end user release. And your debian release should perhaps be something that is the bleeding edge, changable area. But I think its a mistake to try and align these two things and keep them like that. I suspect it will entail multiple compromises on both sides of the coin. You’ve got to where you are by your rock solid stable end user releases. Your deb side isn’t and probably can’t be like that, and I’d hate for Mint to end up with compromises that run against the core of your successful model up to now.

    I think you should think along something like Redhat’s line, with Redhat being solid old faithful (Mint) and Fedora (Your debian release model fits here?).

    Perhaps its time to choose a differing distro name or choose something different in spirit and operation – , Mint Extreme perhaps?

    This might also allow you guys more latitude in your ideas, plans, or coding/testing, and not lock you too heavily into trying to make deb hold the line – or be in line with older mint.

    Anyway, its all good. Both versions are great, and remain enjoyable things you guys have made. Thanks as always

  113. prabhu Says:

    //Though Software Manager and Package Manager do similar things, I think these could stand to be renamed along the lines of “Software Manager (basic)” and “Software Manager (advanced)” to make the distinction more apparent.//

    saw this in distrowatch

  114. Maruel Says:

    Hi, I really like seeing LMDE taking progress =)

    I wanted to be part of the testing, so I just finished installing a fresh Mint Xfce Edition, changing the sources.list to INCOMING and performing a full dist-upgrade (every time I got asked about overwriting some conf file, I said no).

    The result was a loose of the default Xfce configuration that I got from the fresh install (not the wallpaper that I had changed already, but the panel and the menu configs were lost, like if it was a fresh Xfce install).

    I’m not complaining, just reporting a “bug” =P

    Regards from Argentina!

  115. Maruel Says:

    Oh, I forgot, under Menu>Network I now have duplicates (both point to the same program):
    - Web Browser
    - Firefox Web Browser
    and
    - Mail Reader
    - Mozilla Thunderbird Mail/News

  116. Ian Says:

    I use a Samsung Q210 laptop with Intel GMA X4500 integrated and NVIDIA GeForce 9200M graphics. This works perfectly in Mint9 with the internal 1280×800 and two external 1600×1080 monitors one on D-SUB(VGA) & HDMI, all three working together. So I know that the setup is easy and works well.

    In LMDE I followed the instructions above: I set up repos as advised and installed
    mintupdate-debian
    The update went fine after a few attempts which finally met all dependencies. It took a couple of hours, I think. I used 2.6.32-22-generic-pae.

    I use a Samsung Q210 laptop with Intel GMA X4500 integrated and NVIDIA GeForce 9200M graphics. This works perfectly in Mint9 with the internal 1280×800 and two external 1600×1080 monitors one on D-SUB(VGA) & HDMI, all three working together. So I know that the setup is easy and works well.

    I got system going with graphics driver for Intel GMA X4500 using two monitors 1280×800 on laptop and external 1600×1080. Both worked but when I tried to switch off the laptop screen and use only external both screens went blank. I waited for graphics set up to return to previous as it does in MintLinux9 but the system hung. After a reboot all was well again. The same behaviour happened with a different external monitor. This setup works find in Mint9.

    I tried to install drivers for GMA X4500 but could not find useful information on this.

    My laptop has a NVIDIA GeForce 9200M graphics adapter for which I can install a driver in Mint9 easily and which works well with the setups described above.

    I could find no easy way to install NVIDIA drivers like there is in Mint9 so I followed advice in this link
    http://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers#Libraries

    The following commands worked fine:
    # apt-get install module-assistant nvidia-kernel-common
    # m-a auto-install nvidia-kernel${VERSION}-source

    However, when I came to the following there was an unmet depenency (a one line message that I have lost).
    # apt-get install nvidia-glx${VERSION}

    I did not know what to do at this point and decided to reboot the system using the 2.6.32-22-generic-pae entry but it just hung and I had to reboot. I could boot using the recovery mode but had no idea how to correct what had happened and I could find no backup of the original kernel which had worked. Also tried same kernel without the pae but that did not work.I had to reinstall an image of the root partition to get LMDE going again.

    It seems that a simple method of installing NVIDIA and other hardware which works perfectly in Mint9 & later is needed. Without this the system was unuseable for me because I could find no reliable way to install the drivers without breaking the system. I understand why Debian shies away from non-free drivers, but it makes MintDebian useless for me as it is.

    A rolling version like LMDE is just what is needed and I think the new update system looks good. I hope the above gives some pointers as to how to make the system really work for us all. Many thanks for all your efforts.

    Ian

  117. jonathan183 Says:

    I suggest you provide an option to select stable repositories during the install process (actually better to have this as the default), then novice users would have a rock solid Mint. They can switch to testing when they gain more experience.
    That will save you lots of effort trying to arrange mini-releases of debian testing.
    Running squeeze repositories works fine for me, with few updates. The only thing I had to drop so far is firefox (just switched to iceweasel).

  118. Clem Says:

    @go: It doesn’t have any translations yet (it acts as a new app, new sets of translations).

  119. Steven Winikoff Says:

    I think update packs are a really great idea, and as I result I expect to evaluate LMDE seriously as soon as the new respin is available.

    I’d like to suggest one refinement, though, with apologies if this has already been considered, but: my personal concept of an ideal situation would be a mix of pure rolling release with update packs. Specifically, any package that has nothing depending on it would be pushed as an update as soon as it becomes available (assuming its own dependencies are already satisfied, of course), while everything else would be part of the regular update pack cycle.

    This way applications which are leaves in the dependency tree can be made available as soon as possible, since by definition upgrading them won’t break anything else.

  120. Biswarup Says:

    Is it permitted, theoretically and practically, to skip a monthly update? (Someone please include Clem’s answer in the lmde FAQ)

  121. hopimet Says:

    Thanks a lot for this new update tool that works fine !

    Do you need some help for the translations ?
    Some people have also asked for it in the french forum. If needed I can help for the french translation.

  122. DB Says:

    Clem, can you please answer question #102 (DB Says) about zsync?
    Thanks. Regards.

  123. Brett Says:

    @LinuxTeam

    I’m liking the new repos. However, one question. You are mirroring the main repos, what about security.debian.org for updates and debian-multimedia.org (main non-free)? Mainly, I’m concerned about security.debian.org since that is where the updates are pushed from. Should this line just be commented out? Looking at your repo (debian.linuxmint.com) I’m not seeing the update repo there. Does this cause an issue as security updates are released, bypassing the main repo?

  124. Alex Noble Says:

    Wow, this is a brilliant idea! I’m very fond of Linux Mint Debian but I’m afraid of breakages, this is a great middle ground. What’s even better is that you’ve made all of this really easy for the end user by updating the update manager, you’ve really gone the extra mile.

    Proof if it was needed that Linux Mint is one of, if not the best distribution, and when LMDE takes off you’ll be able to free yourselves of Ubuntu and maybe even challenge it.

  125. Josh Mason Says:

    Absolutely no doubt in mind this is the BEST version of Linux Mint available. Mint debian offers a great deal of the best packages along with the same elegant look of Mint 11 GNOME. The fact that we’re constantly updating is the best advantage above all because we never need to re-install the OS and we recieve updates multiple times per week! You couldn’t ask for no better, thanks to the LMDE team my computing experience has exponentially gotten better.

  126. OneDragon Says:

    Great news, I am surely going to try it, wanted to switch to LMDE for quiet some time.

  127. Clem Says:

    @Biswarup: Of course. You can even skip many. Say you upgrade from pack 3 to pack 7… although you skip all that happened in between, when looking at the info, you want to read what’s written for packs 4, 5, 6 and 7. Some of it might not be an issue anymore… some of it might. By skipping an update the only problem you’re creating for yourself is the fact that the info isn’t “as” accurate, that’s all.

  128. Clem Says:

    DB: It looks interesting. I’d need to get a complete design on how this could benefit us in the scope of mintupdate to consider using it though.

  129. Clem Says:

    Brett: No, hopefully you should be able to leave the security and multimedia repos active and keep rolling on them.

  130. THeK3nger Says:

    This news is awesome! I totally love it!

    Now I can think about switch to LMDE also in my work PC.

  131. Chris Says:

    Will there be an updated ISO soon? Here, using Intel i5 and HD2000 graphics, I can’t install the current ISO with the graphical installer… (and I fail to do it terminal-wise)

    Please, would you upgrade the ISO to a newer Kernel version? :)

    Thanks

  132. kneekoo Says:

    This is excellent news! :) Many thanks to everyone involved! :)

    Big question: Are there any plans to push updated versions of Firefox, Thunderbird and *Office in Isadora? (maybe other software as well)

    I might change to LMDE on my laptop but not having the time to do for another month or two I would love to get these updates so I can browse the net faster and use the latest stable *Office – v3.3. I’m pretty much sure Isadora and LMDE are used in office environments as well so they will also benefit from these updates.

  133. Jolinar Says:

    @Clem
    I updated to the new mintUpdate update manager tonight after I followed the instructions as set out on the blog and I must say it worked like charm.

    It found the updates needed, it tells you want to do incase things go awry and last but not least, it’s working beautifully!

    I’m using LMDE 10, Kernel:2.6.38-2-amd64 & mintUpdate update manager

    Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. :D :D :D

    Thank you Clem & Chris

  134. Justin Says:

    This transition needs work:

    “…of reinstalling the operating system. When the updates are significant and ”

    It reads as if you are still referring to Linux Mint and not some other GNU/Linux distro.

    This reads better:

    …of reinstalling the operating system. With other GNU/Linux distros, When the updates are significant and…

  135. Blue Knight Says:

    Look like more or less at what make Parsix… Not a bad idea but all these gesticulations show well it’s not the better idea to base a distro on this “kind of thing”. With it, you must obligatory wait you at breakages, crashes, regressions etc. Testing is not a real rolling release but all this fuss is a good example why rolling release is a broken model by design.

  136. DB Says:

    @128, Clem I don’t understand what you want, but you can see the benefits here: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/oneiric/alpha-2/
    See at the end of the page and look at the size of each .zsync file: that means that between the alpha1 and 2 there are roughly 2MB of data difference.
    It means that I can download that file and patch the alpha1 and “magically” get the alpha2 ! All this downloading 2MB of data!
    Afaik, the only problem that debian testing has is the great number of packages updated each day and the amount of megabytes to download: with this all problem would be solved, no?

  137. Benzin Says:

    First of all A HUGE TANKS for the mint team for all your efforts. I applaude your decision you focus your efforts on mint using “serious” upstream distros like debian, and to begin to stay a way from the USELES GARBAGE that ubuntu is becoming.

    However i do have a question / sugestion…

    This new update system sounds VERY Promissing!, but, wouldnt it be easier for you, and better for us users, to simply base LMDE on debian STABLE instead of testing????

    I have used debian in the past (stable, NEVER testing), and i find it to be the most stable and reliable distro in exsistance. The reason i dont use it, is because debian (as it is) is clearly a geek/expert oriented distro, very un-friendly to desktop users, that requires deep techincal skills to configure and use.
    But i can only dream and imagine, what it would be to have the STEEL SOLID stability of debian stable, PLUS all the wonderfull, beautiful, user friendly features we all love about mint.

    So why not change LMDE to debian stable instead of testing?
    Is it because it wouldnt be a rolling distribution? If this is it, my honest answer would be… WHO CARES!, debian stable releases take YEARS to come out, (not months as BUGbuntu), so im shure most of us wouldnt mind having.

    Having to reinstall (or do a full upgrade) of our systems would be a very small price to pay for having a system that is 10000% stable (like debian stable), and 1000000% user friendly and beautiful as mint.

    My 2 Cents

  138. DB Says:

    I want to add that it is not so easy: the zsync is similar to a “torrent” file.
    See here http://zsync.moria.org.uk/client at the bottom of the page: with a 79KB zsync file it had to download 100KB, so for a 2MB file it should download 3MB file…
    I didn’t test it myself, so maybe someone can express his/her experience on it.
    I discovered it looking at the ubuntu page and then going to the author site.

  139. Benzin Says:

    Just an adition to my previous sugestions…
    I realize some people like to have rolling distributions, after all not having to reinstall everything every few months or a year is good.

    But i think this could also de done with little effort (less effort than the proposed method of freezing updates from debian testing).

    howbout making LMDE having debian stable as its “main / stable” edition, this would be the main LMDE edition. and for the adventurous/experienced users, who want a rolling distribution, having the option to change the repositories to debian testing?

    If i may “dream” a little more… In a future, when ubuntu deteriorates to a point where is completely useless (and tbh, i think its allready there :) ), maybe mint “main” edition could stop being the ubuntu based mint, and become the debian stable based, and the rolling version of mint could be the one based on debian testing.

    Think about it, look at the forums and the ton of problems people are having with mint 11, and virtually 100% of those problems are “upstream” (aka ubuntu).
    Like i said in some thread in the mint forum. I love mint, and i would hate to see ubuntu dragg it down with them, If the “benefic dictator” (aka bill gates wannabe, aka mark shuttleworth) wants to destoy ubuntu, thats his business, but i would be really sad to see mint go down with them.

    Please forgive my strong remarks about ubuntu, but yes, i am VERY upset at them and their ever more microsoft-like policies.
    And i apologize if my comments sound harsh. Belive me i do not wish to troll or flame, i just get “emotional” about this because i ABSOLUTELY LOVE mint, and want the best for it.

  140. Guy Says:

    Is the next ISO of Mint Debian due soon ? I for one will be switching from the standard Ubuntu Edition

  141. Badevilcow Says:

    How about a Mint version of Arch. Arch & Pacman make a wonderful combo. Having the “First good” GUI based install/setup of Arch would introduce a whole new world to a first class distro. You did Ubuntu Right, have done Debian right. Now (much like Sabayon did with gentoo) you could do with Arch.

    Just random late night thoughts.

  142. Badevilcow Says:

    (I’ve installed Arch on multiple machines, it’s second nature now. That being said….I’d take a “set it and forget it” MintArch and install it on every friends computer)

  143. Badevilcow Says:

    (Wish I could edit my posts)

    Arch is often 6th out of 100, and has never dropped out of the top ten.

    If you consider Ubuntu/Mint/Debian all of the same branch, Arch is now the third most used Linux Distro. Making a Mint Arch distro would be a power grab for the Mint brand. Just saying. ;) ;)

  144. Maruel Says:

    @Badevilcow

    Things like that have already been discussed many times, and as you can read on the Arch Wiki, it doesn’t make too much sense as it goes against The Arch Way. Furthermore, pacman doesn’t work the same way apt does, making it more difficult for users coming from Ubuntu (for example), and it repositories are not as big as Debian’s (remember AUR is officially unsupported), etc.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m an Arch user and I love it, but I don’t think that Linux Mint will ever be Arch based.

  145. Badevilcow Says:

    @Maruel

    I’ve seen the discussions. The Arch way is that you roll your own distro. I love this. I also love how Mint looks, and tend to roll my Arch distro to look/behave much like Mint.

    The magic would be, if MintUpdate used Pacman for the system, and Yaourt for the AUR. Combined into one interface. The GUI tools already exist for Arch, but I doubt anyone uses them. ;)

    I also don’t think Debian/Ubuntu users would have any difficulty with such a transition. Especially is the GUI was the familiar Mint setup.

    I just feel, if anyone could make a fully ‘OOTB’ Arch, it would be the Mint team.

    (I love Arch just as she is, just sharing thought.)

    ***That being said, i’m really digging the direction of LMDE, and applaud their damn fine work***

    Cheers,
    -Badevilcow

  146. Badevilcow Says:

    Linux Mint 10 Theme and Mint Menu (outofdate)….For Arch Linux.. this is what got me thinking a little

    Cheers!
    -Badevilcow

    ***https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=42042***

    **https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=26266***

  147. aj700 Says:

    Hello mint,
    any plans on releasing a latest snapshot of lmde with gnome soon? Know that you all are extremely busy with many stuffs.
    the grub on current one doesnt support my wireless keyboard. So I install xfce edition with the grub which support the device and have to install gnome upon that. May block some enthusiasts from giving a try itself with gnome version.
    /Aj

  148. helmsdeeper Says:

    Great work on the Update Manager/update packs, LMDE keeps getting better!

    Also, on DB’s recommendation of zsync, if zsync were incorporated into the manager it would greatly reduce bandwidth. I used to use (the now defunct) Klikit Linux which offered zsync as an updating option, very efficient. It may be something to consider, even on an experimental level or as an opt-in for the user.

    Best regards!

  149. Adi Says:

    I love it!

  150. manny Says:

    This is a good concept. Waiting for Boo to release LMDE KDE11 and try it. I believe Linux Mint is going into the right direction. Congratulations!

  151. Ramon Says:

    Well i am using LXDE 10 , but would like to try LMDE,but i am really new to linux, any tutorials for me?

    And which one is faster LXDE or LMDE?

  152. Saverio Brancaccio Says:

    Great idea and great way to solve the problem!

    In my opinion, when this new ‘safe’ way to handle the debian testing repository will be in place,
    Linux Mint will became the most diffused linux distro in the world! :)

  153. StoneHawk Says:

    I think this is a great idea. I think it is what debian needed. I think it is the best of both worlds.

    I will be swtiching over to LMDE for both my desktop and netbook this week. I think you guys are great.

  154. Stijn Verwaaijen Says:

    The wave of the future! ;)

    Patiently waiting for the respins…

  155. borgio3 Says:

    Yesterday i performed an update with Incoming repositories, and all worked very well. No issues, no problem.
    This is a very milestone in LMDE project.

    Thanks a lot :-)

  156. Gabriel L. Oliveira Says:

    I can only say: Awesome! This represents great news for the Debian side of the project, and make me want it even more. Congratulations for this awesome new task.

  157. George Borusiewich Says:

    Suggestion to #139. Try Kanotix, a linux operating system based on Debian Stable (no excuses for broken packages) and KDE desktop.

  158. Bimal Rekhadiya Says:

    I have tried LMDE when it’s first released. It was great experiance but I think that there is no reason to replace Ubuntu with LMDE.

    But now I have reason. The major reason is Unity DE as default.

    Also I am tired to install new Linux every 6 month. I need a stable but not too old system to work. I think that LMDE can fulfill my requirements.

  159. Pierre Says:

    WOW!
    I mean that as I say it: WOW!
    This is a change I already had in my mind for months now because I was somewhat unhappy with breaking my system from time to time. Or having some issues as I encountered one in LMDE Xfce in the latest update, that I had to completely reconfigure my Menu.
    These are problems that could be avoided by doing right what the Mint Teams is doing now!
    Thanks for that! I’m really looking forward to the respins of the ISOs. I’d love to use the Debian based Linux Mint KDE on my desktop and a respin of Linux Mint Xfce featuring the announced new repositories on my notebook right away. At the moment I’m using Linux Mint Xfce on my desktop and Debian Squeeze on my notebook because especially on my notebook I need a tested and stable system for day to day work that simply is working rock solid even after system updates what unfortunately was not the case with LMDE in the near past.

    You are really winning a real fan in me with the way Linux Mint is evolving and realizing all the things I’m thinking of being a great new step to combine up-to-date software with a rock solid rolling release system!

    Really:
    THANKS A LOT FOR THESE GREAT NEWS!

    Keep up that fantastic work!

    Pierre from Germany

  160. Pierre Says:

    @ 141. Badevilcow

    What you are mentioning is a very nice idea, but there is already a project that, at least considering a system featuring KDE, has already done a respin of Arch that delivers an Arch-like system with graphical installer and graphical front end to pacman:

    Chakra

    Have a look, it’s really beautiful. But I like to stay with Debian based Mint. ^^

  161. Keivan Says:

    please do not mark all pachages in the update list when you don’t know if they are stable or not.

    Please return to the leveling system of mint updates.

  162. Karl Roberts Says:

    This is great news and does that means that I can use the “official” Firefox or Thunderbird on Mint Debian?

  163. Steve Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t it be easier to configure the update manager to do all this? (i.e., have it select only those updates that were released before the end of the previous month)

  164. Chris Says:

    Re comment 44
    I am having difficulty with the update address should there be a space between / (and) debian
    ie: presently
    deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import

    I am finding this fails to load, ie nothing happens in however input without the space as
    deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/debian main upstream import

    this then loads and displays attempts to get packages but returns failed as a 404 error.

    Is the address without the space after / correct ?

    Thank You / Chris

  165. Pierre Says:

    @ 164. Chris
    I’m having problems with figuring out, what your problems come from. If you are using LMDE, the Linux Mint Package repository that is delivering for example newer Firefox and Thunderbird versions than the official Debian repositories should already be configured correctly.
    If you mean this repo the correct address in your sources.list in /etc/apt/ should look like this:
    deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import
    This is what I have by default in my sources.list and it’s working great for me.

    If your trying to get the new update mechanisms to work, these repos should replace the
    deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
    repository in your sources.list:

    deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest testing main contrib non-free
    should be the correct repository for Latest

    or

    deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming testing main contrib non-free
    should be the correct repository for Incoming.

    Greetings

  166. Martin Larsen Says:

    What is the status of the update packs for user (not testers). Should we still wait a bit as written in the blog post?

  167. ScottK Says:

    I’m in Thailand (upcountry a bit, not in Bangkok) and the “latest” repository makes for painfully and impractically slow downloads (sometimes broken downloads). I had to switch back to a local Debian-testing mirror. I look forward to having the “latest” repository mirrored closer to me. (I use the JAIST mirror for Mint stuff with no problems).


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