[conspire] Linux distributions, and variations thereon

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jun 24 09:52:37 PDT 2011

Quoting Mark Weisler (mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us):

> Rick, I always look forward to reading your essays describing the distros
> you have chosen to burn for the next CABAL. They are a juicy blend of
> opinion and fact.

Yr. very welcome.  Most recent addition, downloaded as of this morning 
and soon to be burned to a pair of DVDs in time for Saturday:

o  Linux Mint Debian Edition 201104 Xfce (2011-04-01) for i386 and x86_64

This LMDE image uses the XFCE4 desktop as opposed to the better-known
LMDE installable live CD's GNOME 2.30.2 desktop.  Both are rolling
distributions closely based on Debian Testing, which is an excellent way
to remain continuously close to, but not quite at, the bleeding edge
without ever needing to wipe and reinstall.  Distrowatch recently noted
this appreciation of LMDE, which in turn reminded me of the XFCE4
variant's existence:

  Since the release of the Linux Mint Debian Edition distribution last
  December, and then the Linux Mint Xfce distribution which is also based
  on Debian rather than Ubuntu, I have found myself moving more and more
  toward using these Debian-based distributions rather than the
  Ubuntu-based Mint 11. In a lot of ways these Mint distributions seem to
  offer a good combination of a solid Debian base, with a choice between
  the standard 2.6.32 kernel (which is in the current Debian stable
  distribution) and the latest 2.6.38 kernel (which is in the current Mint
  11 distribution), plus all of the excellent Mint utilities (such as
  MintMenu and MintUpdate), and the excellent software, application and
  utility selection that are included on all of the Mint distributions. I
  can't put my finger on any specific thing that makes me prefer these
  Debian based distributions to the standard Mint 11, but it is a sort of
  general feel, consistency and reliability.

  Over the past week or so there have been a lot of significant updates
  made to the Linux Mint Debian and Linux Mint Xfce distributions. These
  are "rolling distributions" which are intended to be continuously
  updated rather than having periodic major releases, but with all of the
  activity associated with the recent release of Ubuntu 11.04 and then
  Linux Mint 11, they appeared to have fallen a bit behind, so these
  updates are very welcome.  [...]


As always, updated listing of the collection is at
http://linuxmafia.com/cabal/installfest/#distros .

> I plan to bring this beast to CABAL Saturday and people can experience it
> for themselves if they wish. I like the functionality and what appears to be
> the thoughtfulness around putting the distro together. Now if I could just
> get some German/Apple UI engineers to tone down the style a bit it would an
> even more useful distro.

Yeah, it's the 'just out of college engineer' effect.  Back at VA Linux
Systems, Mandrake and Rasterman's Enlightenment window manager always 
seemed to look like something right out of a video game, too.  

When I try to find a tasteful screenshot of Window Maker at xwinman.org
to show people, all I see is garish adolescent paintjobs of that, too.

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