The other day I discovered that Linux Mint recently came out with a Debian edition with features that are still lacking in Ubuntu. One of the main features that caught my interest is the ability to install Linux Mint Debian on a PC with multiple hard disk drives. It has been my practice for a few years now to have the /home partition on a second hard disk, and to use the first hard disk for the OS on a 40 gigabyte first partition and the second partition as a backup of the /home directory on the second drive. Ubuntu’s installer still does not recognize more than one hard disk during installation.
Other features of Linux Mint Debian that interested me are said to be:
- Better sound support (addressing conflicts between Pulse Audio and Flash) — This is something Fedora still has a problem with. Sometimes the microphone for Skype works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
- Performance boost using cgroup, the notorious 4 lines of code better than 200 in user-space.
- The fact it is a “rolling distribution”, meaning there will be no major releases every 6 months, just one constant upgrade over time. This means I won’t have to do a clean re-install twice a year as I did with Fedora..
So far so good! The installation procedure is different than Fedora, but pretty straightforward and easy to follow. The PC didn’t boot after installation, but changing the BIOS settings of the primary boot drive fixed the problem.
I am now working in Debian for the very first time thanks to Linux Mint!
The good thing I’ve seen so far:
- All multimedia codecs seem to be already installed. MP3 and WMF files played with no further tweaks. I have to add a third party repository in Fedora to make most multimedia play.
- Skype was installable from the package manager.
- Flashplayer is part of the default installation. Youtube videos played at full screen even without having to install the device driver of my Nvidia card.
- Nvidia drivers were installable from the package manager without further tweaks. Fedora needs the RPM fusion repository for this.
- Fedora 14 used to hang during a certain point in booting. This happened after upgrading my CPU to a newer one. Pressing the Esc key would continue the process. I don’t have to do this now.
- Performance does seem to be better. Openoffice writer and Gimp load faster.
I read so far one negative user experience of an upgrade breaking Linux Mint Debian. He couldn’t fix it. Perhaps I’ll have a better experience.
I’ve been using Fedora since Fedora Core 3. So far Fedora has been the only Linux distro that has worked consistently well for me. Ubuntu live CDs have come in handy to fix certain Windows problems, but I never could quite get everything to my liking using a Ubuntu installation on my own PC. Fedora has had it’s own quirks from time to time, but I learned either how to fix them or they ironed out over time. Everything I need to do on a PC, Fedora and its friends have provided both the software and the know how. Will Linux Mint Debian be better overall for me? Will I eventually get sick of it and go back to Fedora? Will Linux Mint Debian eventually break so bad that I won’t be able to fix it? In a few weeks I’ll know for sure!