Debian Edition to come as an ALPHA

The Debian Edition experiment will be released in the days to come as an ALPHA. Why as an ALPHA? Because it is not intended to be used as your main desktop but to give an overview of what a Debian base would provide for the Linux Mint distribution.

The release will be targeted at IT enthusiasts only, in the form of a liveCD without an installer.  The reason why there will be no installer is simply because it would require efforts and time to write one and it wouldn’t actually add much to the experimentation. The dev-team also wanted to focus on two other experimentations (a Fedora based ISO and a 64bit edition) and developing a liveCD installer seemed unreasonable at this stage.

The absence of the installer also means this edition can not be considered stable, or even beta, since some of its functionality is missing. A single ALPHA release is planned in the days to come and should be followed by the stable release of Daryna KDE Community Edition.


  1. Why would you think that this necessary? I like Debian, but are there Stacks that would come out of the Box to run more than with Mint?

    Most of us are very happy with Mint, gave UBUNTU a pass, but going to a a Debian edition seems kind of strange.

    Basically, Mint, and Ubuntu are Debian based.

    I’m confused here as to what would be new.



  2. Wouldn’t Mint lose it’s focus with those releases? Or are you in some aspect unhappy with Ubuntu? I don’t understand. I’m confused as JJMacey.

    I want to congratulate the team. It seems Linux Mint is this moment the best distribution I have used.

  3. Ummm,Does this mean there might be more emphasis put on the fedora edition from reading between the lines.

    I can understand why perhaps we need a debian edition,it would have been nice to have an installer and let the version run with all of the updates and see how it got on…

    I cant see really by releasing the cd as a live cd only how this would benefit mint development.

    I have a sneaky feeling we might see an installer with the fedora edition though 🙂


  4. Which version of Fedora are you going to use? Are you going to use some of the existing repositories like Livna or FreshRPMs as a base?

  5. Adler: Again, this is just an experiment. We’re not planning on switching to Debian, we just want to see what would Debian give us if we were to do so. What I can already tell is that a Debian base provides huge performance gains, the desktop seems twice faster compared to the Main Edition.

    Adrian: It depends. If we find a way to use Anaconda without much efforts, then yes.. the Fedora edition will come with an installer. The live Debian CD can be looked at in 6 months or 1 year time and updates can be applied to it the same way we would with an installed system, so it’s very satisfactory from an experimentation point of view.

    Likkered Up: Hopefully Fedora 8 with LIVNA. It’s a bit soon to be sure though.

  6. D4LTON: We’re not losing focus. We gave ourselves time between two releases and slowed down our release cycle so we could give invest a bit of time in R&D and so that’s what we’re doing now.. putting little efforst in looking at Debian and Fedora. As soon as this is done we’ll be back to implementing Mint 5.0.

  7. sounds never hurts to test out new things.i test almost every distro out there,why? because i learn how they all act and what they do diff then others.

  8. I’ve very excited about this Debian version, I would to use this version on (very) old machines, but LiveCD only, without an installer, isn’t any good for me 🙁

  9. My testing of the Ubuntu edition has not convinced me to switch to Mint, but I would be very interested in a Debian release. Very curious to see where Mint heads. The tools (from DreamLinux, and other distros) you listed in a previous post would make for an awesome distro…80% of the time I would be running in RAM loaded off a USB key since companies/institutions often enforce windows on laptops – it would be great if I could checkpoint certain sessions and persist them to the key, install an extraction of my key image to another key or a hard drive using profiles e.g. that specify RAM only w/ no desktop (NAS-web server), or distribute the full 3D desktop extraction (for my students) that already includes the packages we find useful

    My current best is to use the methods listed here, which is simple and works better than anything I’ve tried, but it does not have the polish of where Mint seems to be headed:

    my experiments with other reccomended ‘persistent live usb’ installs were a disaster – and I question whether anyone really has this working despite forums/wikis/blogs claiming this use – huge waste of time

    anyway, will keep watching your blog in the interim – thanks for the efforts Clem, I look forward to your future releases

  10. A simple question – if the performance gains from using Debian are so dramatic, and we all already know about the stability differences, then why are we not seriously contemplating just switching the project to, say, something “Lenny” or “Sid” based? It seems basing on Ubuntu purposefully cripples this distro 🙁

  11. sundayrefugee: You outlined the pros but didn’t mention the cons. It’s faster and it gives a continuous flow, these are the pros. But as far as Debian Testing goes it’s not as stable as Ubuntu (for instance, as we speak, Xchat-Gnome, Tomboy and a few other packages simply don’t compile…) and it seriously lacks polish in some areas. Going back to Debian also means doing without all the bugfixes, innovations and improvements made by the Ubuntu devs, and trust me there are a lot of these. The Debian ISO will be released on the 2nd of January 2008 and the best is for you to have a look at it and appreciate the differences with the Main Edition. It sure is faster and feels cleaner overall but there are also inconveniences in moving away from Ubuntu.

  12. I look forward to testing the debian dist – any hints on what now beaks that Ubuntu normally fixes?

    ubuntu’s bloat is unusable for me

    my understanding is that most of the good bits of Ubuntu find their way into debian anyway – albeit at a slower rate – or, do I misunderstand? not a guru – just what my coworker told me

  13. I do believe you, and trust you, Clem. That’s why I use Mint 😉 You’ve forgotten more about these things than I’ll ever know 😉

    Thanks for the response – it’s a very educational answer to what must be a typical question 🙂

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