I am aiming for Linux Mint Cinnamon as my daily driver. I am slowly migrating from macOS on a macMini that now is so old that it does not make it to latest macOS release. My main Linux Mint Cinnamon machine is a Lenovo ThinkPad T460p.

Linux Mint "standard edition", which comes with the choice of Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce desktop environment, is based on Ubuntu. And Ubuntu is based on Debian. According to Wikipedia; "Ubuntu packages are based on packages from Debian's unstable branch, which are synchronised every six months."

In parallel with the standard edition, the Linux Mint team also has the LMDE; Linux Mint Debian Edition. LMDE only comes with Cinnamon desktop. Again according to Wikipedia, "The Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) uses Debian Stable as the software source base rather than Ubuntu."

I have been looking into LMDE earlier. It seems to have done some major improvements and is becoming more mature and more on pair with the standard edition.

Therefore, yesterday on my older Lenovo ThinkPad T430s I replaced my installation of elementary with LMDE 5. On the same drive I also have Debian 11 Xfce and Mint 21.1 Cinnamon, and on a separate drive (in the CD bay) Windows 10. I managed to do the installation without messing up anything else on the machine!

I want to explore, to get a feeling, how LMDE 5 is compared to Linux Mint 21.1 (i.e. the latest releases of both at the time of writing this article).

  • I intend to install same software on LMDE as I will use on my daily driver as one comparison.
  • Furthermore I wonder if more of Flatpak will be needed (especially when up to date software releases are desirable).
  • And not at least if it is more difficult, what is different, in managing LMDE from my end user perspective.

I will do this comparison from my ordinary user perspective, not from an expert perspective (easy deciosion as I am not at all, not at all, an expert). May LMDE be a relevant alternative for me to standard Linux Mint edition as my daily driver?

The first note after installation is that on the surface, Linux Mint 21.1 Cinnamon and LMDE 5 Cinnamon cannot be distinguished from each other.

I hope I’ll be back with findings!

Henrik Hemrin

15 January 2023