I'm currently running LMDE 2 and will upgrade to something newer in the next couple of days.

When I first switched to Mint from pure Debian, the main reason for it was that I hated Gnome 3 and wanted MATE. Now the situation is reversed: LMDE does not offer a MATE installer, while Debian does.

Assume that

  1. I am sacrilegious---willing and able to install codecs and some drivers from the Debian non-free repo;
  2. I do nearly all configuration from a terminal; and
  3. I do all updating and backup from a terminal,

is there any reason at all to go with LMDE over plain Debian?


Edit. I suppose, for others who may have a similar question, that I should mention that I did hint at a couple of features that the Mint version offers (easy proprietary codecs, the Update Manager, and backup and recovery tools; some of these things might be in the current version of Debian---I'm not sure).

Edit 2. The default sources for LMDE 3 are as follows:

deb http://packages.linuxmint.com cindy main upstream import backport

deb https://deb.debian.org/debian stretch main contrib non-free
deb https://deb.debian.org/debian stretch-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org stretch/updates main contrib non-free

deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org stretch main non-free

closed as primarily opinion-based by Stephen Harris, Michael Homer, Christopher, Archemar, RalfFriedl Jan 2 at 17:32

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • What are the sources for LMDE? (I mean /etc/apt/sources*). PS consider trying XFCE – Xen2050 Dec 29 '18 at 5:23
  • @Xen2050 I've posted the sources as Edit 2 in the question. I'm not really sure how much of the LMDE stuff comes from the first, or the connection between the last and the official Debian repositories. The middle three are all obviously from the Debian project itself. I've fiddled around a little in XFCE, and I use LXDE on my backup file server. MATE seems to combine flexibility, intuitiveness, and performance in a way that I generally like, though some more experience with XFCE probably wouldn't be a bad thing. – TCF Dec 29 '18 at 7:08

The sources look basically identical to Debian stable, plus Mint's Cindy packages. So you should have available everything that Debian does, plus whatever's in Mint's repository. (I'm not too sure about deb-multimedia, MX-Linux uses it too + Debian stable packages, so I suspect it can be used with any plain old Debian...).

The Mint Cindy repository is evidently browseable here (just going to the URL in the sources list works too).

I tried looking up some of Mint's packages in Debian's repository (in case they have newer versions of some) but I'm not finding any blueberry or calamares, and I'm sure the ones named "mint..." aren't in Debian either (nothing starts with "mint-").

  • Firefox looks like it's only in Debian as firefox-esr with versions 52.9 & 60.4, wile Mint's Cindy has 60.3.0esr.

lots of linux distributions such as LMDE, Ubuntu and others use same package sources as distribution which they based on.

The features, they are represent:

  • pre installed often used packages list based on some statistics (you don't need to search program for each case)

  • unique desktop design and appearance (that is nice sometimes)

  • latest soft and new bugs features from test brunch of base distribution (it may be interesting or cognitively)

If you have enough skills - you may build operating system for your own from base distribution (or any) with only packages you need..

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