Linux Mint Debian (x86) released

 The Linux Mint developers have announced the arrival of a Debian edition of their Linux Mint operating system, replacing the distribution's standard Ubuntu base with Debian's testing branch. Discussing the announcement, the developers say that, "Today is very important for Linux Mint. It’s one day to remember in the history of our project as we’re about to maintain a new distribution, a rolling one, which promises to be faster, more responsive and on which we’re less reliant on upstream components."

Work on the Debian-based edition of Linux Mint began approximately three years ago and, following the release of Linux Mint 9 LTS earlier this year, the development team decided to set aside more time for the LMDE project, which they consider to be an experiment. While other versions and variants, such as the KDE, LXDE or Xfce editions, of Linux Mint are usually based on the latest version of Canonical's Ubuntu operating system, Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is based on the latest Debian testing branch and includes a brand new installer.

The rolling-release edition of Linux Mint features a GNOME desktop environment and the typical standard packages, including Mozilla's Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird email client, Pidgin IM application and the Rhythmbox music player. The project's goal is to keep the LMDE release as identical as possible to the main edition and to provide the same overall functionality, while being fully compatible with Debian.

In some aspects, LMDE is a bit rougher around the edges and not nearly as user-friendly as the other standard editions, but the team have faith that it will rapidly improve with future releases. The developers also note that, due to the differences in the code base between other editions of Linux Mint, a full re-install is the "only viable option to switch to the Debian edition".

More details about the Linux Mint Debian release can be found in the release notes and on the What's new page. Linux Mint Debian 201009 is available to download as a 32-bit DVD ISO image from one of the project's mirrors and a user guide is provided.

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