When i try to download some applications like VLC, it shows in download options, various Operating systems which includes Linux mint, Ubuntu etc. Though Linux mint's kernel is from Ubuntu, still they have compiled the application for both the distros. The case is same with some other Distros.

I know that there will be KABI incompatability, for example, if i compile an application in RedHat and try to run it in OpenSUSE, there will be kernel ABI Issues. But, when it comes to Ubuntu and Linux Mint, though the base kernel is same, why is there a need for recompilation?

Are there any Userspace dependency problems? If yes, could someone explain in detail?

  • Have you tried ldd on a executable yet? What does it show? – ott-- Apr 17 '15 at 19:54

I expect library symbols will be different, even if you've got what appear to be the same versions in-place. As a half-measure, look for statically-built binaries; then you only have to worry about getting a myriad file locations all correct so the app stops complaining.

In many, many cases, if not all, it's simpler to rebuild the app for the environment in which it will live. You'll get a better build, it'll run better, and you won't have a huge risk of surprise.

I work exclusively in the enterprise space, but even for home it just makes sense to build it for the right environment. It's fun to tinker, but this is actually less tinkering than it is Mad Science (a la Frankenstein).


Linux Mint comes in two flavors.

  1. Ubuntu based
  2. Debian based (LMDE)

The Ubuntu based version (the default one) is guaranteed to work with Ubuntu packages and the LMDE is guaranteed to be compatible with packages from the Debian repository.

Even though most debs of Debian works in Ubuntu it still some non-compatible packages due to File system hierarchy changes between Debian and Ubuntu or some specialized libraries.

For that you find two different debs for mint and Ubuntu to ensure that no problem will face u if u use the LMDE mint.

  • Other than file system hierarchy, could there be any problems? Like dependency issues, library issues – Nanda Kishore Ch Apr 18 '15 at 22:16
  • There shouldn't be any problems; in fact the Ubuntu-based edition of Mint pulls in packages straight from Ubuntu (from the Ubuntu repositories), so they're exactly the same. – Stephen Kitt Apr 19 '15 at 21:19

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