Newbie - advice please

Thanks for the info, I think I’m going to start with Mint 13

Good choice :slight_smile:

Mint 13 is based on Ubuntu 12.04 anyway … so should be good to go for another 4.5 years too.

@ Tanya

Linux Mint 13 is a good choice. :smiley:

I did read on another forum....US based I think....that it may be better to keep windows on until I decide which distro to use.
If you are planning to get rid of windows altogether, then you might as well make a clean break now. My advice would be to install Mint 13 and see how you get on with it. Get some experience with Linux and then stretch your wings. There is nothing stopping you from trying other distributions whilst still running Mint as your base system.

You will find that the Long Term Support means critical FIXES and security updates.
Stable Releases don’t see their apps gain new features. They get stuck on their dot releases.
The LTS version makes sense if you are using the server edition (as I am).

Due to the faster (than Windows) pace of the development in the Linux environment, the desktop user will soon start to crave for the new and shiney.
Obviously there are ways to keep up-to date with the various applications (packages) but it means that you have to jump through hoops to get them.
This kinda will negate the longtermness of it in the first place.

One option is to go with a semi-rolling distribution like Linux Mint Debian Edition.
Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is a rolling distribution based on Debian Testing, which gets regular update packs every few months.
These packs will bring in all the latest OS and third party applications. So theoretically you will never need to re- install you distro.

This seems the best of both worlds, stability and longevity coupled with up-todate software (well, most of the time). :slight_smile:

I wasn’t necessarily suggesting 12.04 for it’s LTS status… more NOT to get 12.10 as it may have issues with her older hardware due to it requiring a card with 3D acceleration (at least that’s what I’ve read).

Though I haven’t tried Mint Debian for some time … when I last tested it, I wouldn’t have recommended it for a beginner, indeed Mint themselves didn’t/don’t.

The reason I recommend Ubuntu/Mint (Cinnamon) is the plethora of online tutorials, PPA’s and other resources … a lot of which won’t apply to Mint Debian Edition.

I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with Mint Debian Edition, hell it’s Debian so it’s a solid contender … but IMHO a new user may find it slightly harder going that the main edition.

I just think old hands tend to forget how handy it is to be able to Google -

Ubuntu PPA
Ubuntu wireless

and be pretty guaranteed to get a hit

or looking through the comment sections of Amazon or Ebuyer to see if anyones tested that prospective wireless card purchase, and finding references to Ubuntu, but not other distros (if it works in Ubuntu it will work in Ubuntu derivatives such as Mint Cinnamon).

then there’s all the tutorials from all the Ubuntu satellite sites

99.9% of which will directly translate to Mint (Cinnamon) but not Mint (Debian Edition) … So if you don’t get a hit from Googling “Mint ”, you can Google “Ubuntu ” and the answers will nearly always work with Mint (Cinnamon) too.

If you’re starting from scratch, no distro is necessarily better, or easier than the others … it’s simply an issue of how easy help/info is to find, and there’s no denying that currently there’s MUCH more of it for Ubuntu (and therefore its derivatives).

As I’m going to remove Windows, can I install straight to my laptop? Or do I still have to use LiveUSB? I ask this because I thought I had a 4gb usb and I’ve just found out my son took it with him when he moved out! So I’ll have to wait.

I have Googled some of the distros. I think that it will probably be easier when I’m actually looking at it on the screen. Hence choosing Mint.

However, I have just watched a video on YouTube on how to install Mint Debian and I admit it was a bit ‘over my head’ when sorting the partitions :slight_smile: so I’m going to be following the video very closely when I install!

As I'm going to remove Windows, can I install straight to my laptop? Or do I still have to use LiveUSB?

You will have to have a Live media (cdrom, dvd or usb) to install Linux onto your hard disk.
If you need instructions for burning the LiveCD just ask.

No there’s no need for a LiveUSB, if you’re planning on installing to the hard drive a LiveCD/LiveDVD will do.

Have you got any blank CD’s or DVD’s ?

If you’re going with Mint (Cinnamon) and are going to erase Windows … the partitioning will be done for you … all you’ll have to do is select “use whole drive”

Answer my question about CD/DVD’s and I’ll find a walkthrough of the installation with screenshots … it will be for Ubuntu, but the Mint installer is the same, just with the word Ubuntu replaced with Mint :wink:

The Mint 13 (cinnamon) installation will go like this:

Really, it couldn’t be easier :slight_smile:

See the picture in step 4 … if you select the “Replace Windows with Mint” option, all the partitioning will be done for you :slight_smile:

I can’t guarantee the Mint (Debian Edition) installer will be exactly the same (I can’t remember), but it should be similar

If on the other hand you’re planning on a dual-boot setup, that is more complex, and may require a bit of preparatory work … so let us know.

Do not use Mint Debian Edition.
It’s based on Debian Testing and is not recommended for anyone not used to sorting out problems. This would be a terrible idea for a new user. Stick to Mint, it’s about as perfect a distro for a new user as you can get.

I’d have to second that :slight_smile:

For ease of setup/use and compatibility, I’d have to say get the 32bit Mint 13 Maya (Cinnamon edition with codecs) from here:
or direct dowload link here:

That will require a DVD or at least a 1GB USB stick … it will NOT fit on a CD

Strange, I have been using it since first came out and apart from when they switched to gnome3 there was not a single incident where intervention was required. Rock solid. The update pack system buffers all the instability of Debian testing.
You should try it. :wink:

I tried it. Several times. Each time the same - install ok, reboot to useable desktop, install updates, reboot to blank desktop, no tty’s, no keyboard.

Mint themselves say that it’s not for beginners and is rough around the edges … or at least they used to.

Interesting, I have it installed on 2 desktops and my daughters laptop and did not experience anything like that.
In fact I have replaced my daughters Mint (Ubuntu based) with LMDE and found no difference in appearance, usability nor stability.
Perhaps it is just me being lucky. :slight_smile:

Last time I tried it it was clunky as hell, but that was quite some time ago … I’ve been meaning to give it another go, but if Mint themselves say don’t use it unless you have the skills to dig yourself out of a hole … you have to listen to them.

That used to be the case right up to the point when they have introduced the update pack system.

The above quote is directly from the LMDE download page:


Yeah, have seen that, but that page has not changed since day one, when they first announced it. Well apart from the actual download link.
I was referring to the post update pack. Since they introduced it last July (2011) there was 5 update packs. Therefore it is not a true rolling release.
Mint holds the Debian testing packages and then release them when they consider them safe to update.

If Mint haven’t changed that quote, it’s a safe bet Mr Lefebvre still considers it true … and I’d tend agree with him.


Debian’s for hippies. (he said with hair halfway down his back)