back to article Linux Mint Debian Edition 5 is here

The Linux Mint project has announced version 5 of its Debian edition, code-named Elsie. Linux Mint is one of the longest-running and most polished distros downstream of Ubuntu, and really took off after Ubuntu switched to the controversial Unity desktop with 11.04. Around that time, Mint 12 retained a Windows-like look and …

  1. steelpillow Silver badge

    quis procurat ipsos procurates?

    tar.gz, deb, rpm, ROX, pkg.tar.zst, snap, appimage, flatpack...

    What we really need is a universal package format which can be downloaded and installed on any Linux disto. You could call the install tool a package manager...

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      Forgetting that there are two entirely difference concepts at play.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

        Well that's 4 people that don't know the difference between a package and a snap/flatpack.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      I'm sure Mr Poettering could knock one up, and bolt it onto the side of That Which Should Not Be Named.

    3. DJV Silver badge

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      Ah yes, one standard package manager. What could possibly go wrong...

    4. JasonT

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      What we really need is a new package manager integrated with systemd.

      1. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

        Shhhh... he might hear you...

      2. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

        Yes, and a new package format with the .sysd file extension to go with it.

        I feel ill.

        1. Psmo

          Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

          I think .vd would be a better choice, no?

          1. ShadowSystems

            At Psmo, re: *.VD files...

            If you got a virus from a *.VD file, would that make it an *.STD instead?

            *Ducks & runs away*

      3. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

        Perhaps a Joke icon would have fewer downvotes than the Coat? >>====>

    5. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      I agree and disagree at the same time.

      Just look at Microsoft Windows setup.exe as an example.

      Convenient, just run as admin, install and run it. Easy. no trouble or fuss.

      .... but you have just effectively spammed your PC with shite that you can never truly clean up again. Especially the crap in the registry!

      So the OCD in me prefers package managers but the lazyness (and old and tired) in me prefers the setup.exe approach (even though Windows is unusably sleazy for me these days).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

        Where does your setup.exe come from? Which setup.exe is it? Did your setup.exe include a few dlls you may have already got from elsewhere just in case you didn't? If so how do you keep track of the different ones? You're dealing with a multi-step rpocess - first find your setup.exe. Download it. Keep it separate from all your other setup.exes so you know what's what. Then run it. That's not the easy way.

        For sheer laziness apt install some-package wins hands down, especially if there are other dependencies which are needed.

        1. Charles 9

          Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

          But then you have to trust the package maintainers, which has issues in itself, especially if you're working on the bleeding edge or have to work on esoteric configurations. It's also a matter of trust, since it means you have to trust that the package maintainers are doing their job and doing it right. Recall all those malicious Android apps that still somehow get into the Play Store. It's a tradeoff, thus why we can never agree on a standard; to each his own.

          1. Adair Silver badge

            Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

            And you also have to get out of bed in the morning and trust that your autonomic system will allow you to breath without having to think about it, etc.

            Seriously, 'package maintainers' supplying software through mainstream distro repositories are probably about as safe as we are ever likely to get in this broken, fucked up world, full of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

            I'd certainly rather trust my shirt to a reputable distro repo over some random 'setup.exe', but then it takes all sorts, so pick your poison and learn to live with it.

            May we never live in a 'perfect' world, but may we learn to live creatively with reality.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

        Just two days ago my wife's PC suddenly started taking forever to boot, and upon inspection with resource manager, I saw there a dozen or more Adobe related processes running. A couple of year she had installed "Dreamweaver" for a class, but cancelled her web subscription when it was finished, and hasn't touched it since. The processes re-spawned upon being killed, and the software would not uninstall. Yes - Microsoft allows that apps have the right to not be uninstalled. Finally, after searching the web I found I had to download ANOTHER Adobe executable - Adobe Uninstaller. After running for around 5 minutes, it finally completed. I checked - the Adobe software was still there! However, each of the remaining 5 Adobe applications could then be uninstalled, one minute each. Of course, not in parallel. Duh.

        So what was the uninstaller doing for 5 minutes? Shudder.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

          Building a list of all your Adobe (and affiliates) software on your computer, checking with the mothership if your subscription was paid in full, backing up (in the cloud, of course) your specific configuration in case there was an error when uninstalling....

    6. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      .deb is as close as you realistically gonna get to that.

    7. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      I think we need at least 5 more, each with ever more obscure names, with dozens of command line options. That is the Linux way of doing things.

    8. DrXym

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      You'd think so, but if you invented that thing then you could add it to the list above. Because if there is one thing Open Source is good at, it's in giving you choice where sometimes less choice is better.

    9. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

      [Author here]

      You might enjoy:

  2. DJV Silver badge

    I'd like to see a version based on Devuan

    For obvious reasons...

    1. Zolko Silver badge

      Re: I'd like to see a version based on Devuan

      Try MX-Linux :

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: I'd like to see a version based on Devuan

        [Author here]

        I have tried it, and it has some virtues, but it doesn't have the cleanness and single vision that it badly needs.

        I'd like to see BunsenLabs (the more conservative successor of Crunchbang) move to Devuan.

        For general-purpose, non-lightweight desktops, though, sadly this battle is over, I think.

  3. Kev99 Silver badge

    I'd like to see a package that worked out of the box.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      You should run Linux then. Lots & lots of packages run out of the box. It's too late at night to even bother trying to think of one that didn't.

  4. Terry 6 Silver badge


    Mint that's Debian, Mint that's Ubuntu, upstream, downstream, Gnome, Cinnamon, Flatpack,Snap.

    So tell me again how this is a mature OS ready for mainstream users; that it's the Year of Linux on the desktop...

    [Sits back, sighs, waits for the torrent of whataboutery and avalanche of downvotes]

    1. LionelB Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      "So tell me again how this is a mature OS ready for mainstream users; "

      Because modern distros like Mint work out of the box, are intuitive, it's easy to find software, and you can update your entire system with one click?

      FWIW it's never the "Year of <some OS> on <some platform>" until manufacturers bundle it with the hardware and market it (y'know, like Windows, or macOS, or Android, or iOS, or your fridge) - because "mainstream users" don't want to futz around with installing OSes (why would they, if it works?)

      But what do I care? Linux on the desktop works for me better than the alternatives. If something else works better for you, use that.

      (Upvoted out of spite. I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but hey.)

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Mint that's Debian is where it is at these days. Ubuntu is so passe' now besides, some of Canonical's decisions don't play well with the rest of the Linux community.

      Gnome V3 and V4 are dead men walking as far as many long time Linux users are concerned but at least we have a choice unlike the monstrosity that Windows has become.

      I'm pleased that Flatpack has been adopted. The more nails in the snap coffin the better as far as I'm concerned but my opinion is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        Agreed up to the point of Flatpack. Yes, bay all means put nails in Snaps coffin. Then build another one for Flatpack.

    3. JassMan

      Re: Hmm

      Mint, ANY Mint, is just so much better than Ubuntu these days. I think the use of Snap for everything is what has put the nail in the coffin. It is just turning the entire OS into Bloatware. And we know where Bloatware™ came from.

      While RPM has some merits, it is a shame that all distributions can't just settle on Apt/Synaptic. I can see that Flatpak has its uses for software which has a low number of users but software always runs faster when it is not containerised in any way.

      A couple of months ago, I thought I might try XUbuntu on a rebuild since my normal use-case is XFCE on Mint. It lasted almost a day before I decided it just wasn't worth the downgrade. Yes there were some packages that were one increment newer than the downstream ones on Mint but since the ran from Snap, it felt like I was running Windows again from 12 years ago. Call me pampered but when I run any program I expect it to load virtually instantantly, unless it is LibreOffice and even that loads on Mint is less than 1.2 secs on my lappy.

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Hmm

        "While RPM has some merits, it is a shame that all distributions can't just settle on Apt/Synaptic. "

        Then you might want to try PCLinuxOS.

        Texstar took APT and modified it so that it works with RPM. It's a treat to use and in the 25 years I've been using Linux it is the easiest way I have found of keeping my systems up to date. And as PCLOS is a rolling release a very good and necessary innovation.

        1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          [Author here]

          I did cover that recently:

          To be fair, APT4RPM is not Texstar's work. I used it on SUSE Linux 9 nearly 20y ago. I felt (and I think I wrote somewhere at the time) that SUSE should standardise on this; instead, they invented Zypper.

          Ah well.

          It still works and it was pleasantly familiar after urpmi and dnf in the others.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All groan up.

      Linux is the mainstream OS for mature users - i.e., software developers. :)

    5. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Hmm

      Two issues involved. The OS is a shorthand for the software ecosystem available for the it. Most are familiar with Bloatware as a Disservice and the fruity ecosystems. Linux not so much. Here inertia rules, most will go with something that has familiar software available. The other is relatively little hardware comes with Linux preinstalled. You can find gear with Linux on Amazon but it takes some deliberate searching. So for most it is install Linux on a computer. A task that is not terribly difficult but scares non-technical users. Here again inertia rules.

    6. Amentheist
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hmm

      I switched to the 5.16 kernel (not that I had to), still had the latest fully working nvidia drivers work fine for my 3070 and got equivalent performance in Black Mesa for instance. It wasn't more hassle than Windoze (which I do run on the same hardware too)

    7. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Who cares if it's "the year of Linux on the desktop", these days most people's primary computer is their phone, and the majority of those are running Android.

  5. MultiMedia

    Will docker now work in this debian based mint?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      The part that confused me is that apt install docker installs some other program with the same name. apt install is what you want.

      Unless you want an up-to-date version, in which case you're going to have to jump through the 'add new repo' hoops and the package is now called docker-ce.

      Ok, maybe you're right, it is all a bit of a faff.

  6. demon driver

    LMDE is an interesting project, but there are restrictions

    There's one major drawback to LMDE compared to Ubuntu-based Mint—it doesn't have the full wealth of Ubuntu's apt-based software package sources, and because of their dependencies being linked to specific Ubuntu versions (but not to Debian versions) many of them won't become available anytime soon, either. Like the PPAs on

    If someone is happy with the existing software situation for Debian itself, LMDE would of course be an option, too.

    1. Lon24
      Thumb Up

      Re: LMDE is an interesting project, but there are restrictions

      But for 32 bit systems Ubuntu is not an option post 19.x.

      Debian & LinuxMint are the good guys in continuing to support ancient, but still viable, hardware that Ubuntu & Microsoft forgot. Hardware delivered with Windows XP that Redmond threatened with landfill after as little as four years life.

      Nice to have a choice. I run Debian/KDE on them. Like Debian/Cinammon it's a noticeably less polished version of the desktop compared to, say, Kubuntu's version on 64 bit so LMDE5 may be a better option for those not yet committed to dumping their old net-tops.

      Hence the icon.

      1. demon driver

        Re: LMDE is an interesting project, but there are restrictions

        I'd generally agree, but while Ubuntu-based 64-bit-only Linux Mint gives us the choice of Cinnamon, MATE or Xfce flavours, 32/64-bit LMDE only comes with the Cinnamon DE as of now, which is a bit too heavy for the 32-bit hardware I still own...

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: LMDE is an interesting project, but there are restrictions

      [Author here]

      Yes, true, and that is what I meant when I wrote:


      There are advantages to being close to a widely used desktop distro. For instance, sometimes desktop users need third-party drivers, such as for graphics cards or printers. Ubuntu has first-rate driver support.


      Ubuntu itself is moving away from PPAs towards Snaps now, though. PPAs are very easy but they can also break your OS, and they tend to be fragile over time.

      On 2 of my oldest machines, I've had to go through, track down all the PPA and additional repos, remove them, and either replace them with new ones, or rip them out and replace the apps with Snap versions.

      If it's a DEB repo you add in the normal way (e.g. Ubuntuzilla) then you can do that on Debian in exactly the same way, as I described here:

  7. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

    Imagine how much time is wasted...

    with all these stupid incompatibilities between the different Linux versions. Sometimes more choice does not lead to a better end product, it just leads to hundreds or thousands of percent of duplication.

    Do you know why there are FlatPaks and Snaps? It's because the built-in mind bogglers that some people have the impertinence to refer to as 'package managers' are worthy of inclusion in the Cryptic Crosswords books from The Telegraph. They are not straightforward or simple, and definitely not suitable for your grandmother. I would use a nasty word to describe them, but I don't enjoy reading swear words from other people so I won't inflict my own either. Instead I will say that RPM/YUM/DEB/Pacman/CrackPipeToke are all essentially a great big stinky pile of nastiness.

    Just go and Google 'Linux Package Managers'. One of the results is '22 Best Linux package managers as of 2022'. Twenty Frickin' Two of the best! I imagine there are probably at least 50 of the worst somewhere. Back to my point: imagine how much time has been wasted producing all these stupidly incompatible piles of junk.

    I have seen software which only installs on RedHat. So great bolshy yarblockos to all the Linux penguins who insist that a program built for RedHat will 100% run on Debian, or CrackPipe Linux or whatever single-digit user distro they run in their potholes.

    In the post about Gnome 42 the other day, there was mention of a new Text Editor. One of its useful new features was autosave. For crying out loud... I had that 25 years ago. But because there is a new text editor on Linux it's supposedly worthy of mention. Hint: it's not.

    1. steelpillow Silver badge

      great bolshy yarblockos

      Well, well, welly well. Welcome to El Reg my little droogie.

      Tell me, is your package manager perchance named ATDT (Angel Trumpets and Devil Trombones)?

      Or are all our oranges quartz crystal these days?

      1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

        Re: great bolshy yarblockos

        I have the impression that some of these people who think they are 'contributing to Linux' by writing yet another package manager, have spent too long at the Korova milk bar drinking neat synthemesc or drencom.

        1. steelpillow Silver badge

          Re: great bolshy yarblockos

          Truly, you have peeted too many knives in one evening, O my brothers!

        2. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

          Re: great bolshy yarblockos

          One of the Sophistos' from the TV studios likely...

      2. ICL1900-G3

        Re: great bolshy yarblockos

        Ah, Clockwork Orange! Suddenly I'm young again.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

      The strength and weakness (imao more the latter than the former) of open source software is the freedom to go off and roll your own if you don't like the current version(s).

      The weaknesses are that; A) A person who is motivated (and able) to go off and rewrite a chunk of code isn't in any way representative of the users, B) having written the new fork of this programme they tend to become very defensive of it and resistant to any kind of suggestion for improvement or expression of concern about it. It's at that point that we see them write "If you don't like it you're free to write your own fork", but even technically skilled users are mostly far from being able to take on such a task. They are, however, perhaps able to take an objective view of the project and C) Being motivated to fork a piece of software is very different from having an overview of where the software needs to go and how best to engage a wider public with its use, or indeed caring about whether anyone else wants to use it. D) having more versions of a piece of software is not any guarantee of having the most useful version. On the contrary, if every version has a different selection of arbitrary alternatives there is no way for any potential mainstream users to select which version to use. At best, every choice means a sacrifice. At worst there is no way to make the choice.

      In other words, having a very small number of defined alternatives, written for a wide general use is a far better way to make something mainstream than an endless stream of slightly different, and often incompatible, versions.. Open source software often seems to be striving for each developer's personal definition of perfect, without ever meeting the criterion of "good enough".

      Which is fine if all you want is a niche or vanity project. Bloody useless if you want to break Microsoft's monopoly or free computing for the masses,or some such aim..

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

        "The strength and weakness (imao more the latter than the former) of open source software is the freedom to go off and roll your own if you don't like the current version(s)."

        Most people don't. When they do it's usually because someone has screwed up really badly. The exemplar of that would be OpenOffice suffering from the influence of Oracle. Even there is was mostly the OpenOffice devs who went off to found LibreOffice. Strength or weakness? Entirely the latter, I think.

        Perhaps you could give us an example of your A>B>C>D process which actually turned out to be a in real life.

        In the meantime, enjoy your adverts in your file manager - you're not going to be able to fork it.

        Being able to fork something isn't only a menas of recovering from screw-ups, it's a disincentive to screw up in the first place.

      2. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

        "The strength and weakness (imao more the latter than the former) of open source software is the freedom to go off and roll your own if you don't like the current version(s)."

        I don't entirely disagree. But then what are the alternatives? De facto enforced corporate lock-in? The Fork Police?

        Alternatively, we embrace (or tolerate, depending on your point of view) a marketplace of ideas, and hope that the best ones gain traction and rise to the top - much as we might (or might not) do in other spheres of life, such as commerce, politics or the arts.

      3. Adair Silver badge

        Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

        But there's the difference between: 'Here's a sandbox—do whatever you like, even crap in it', and, 'Here's a bunch of plastic bricks—do whatever the plastic bricks allow you to do'.

        'Linux', or more realistically 'FLOSS' in general, is just a 'sandbox of principles'. There is no grand-scheme inherent it, except the freedom to do and to share and to get things done, regardless of whether there are pre-existing tools that may, or may not, kind of get the job done.

        What everybody else does with the fruit of the labours that produce the FLOSS 'solutions' is kind of irrelevant. Whether everybody else likes or dislikes those solutions is even more irrelevant.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

      "But because there is a new text editor on Linux it's supposedly worthy of mention"

      Wot? Linux is a kernel not a distro.

      Bear in mind, that when a Linux based box (or similar) is updated, then everything is updated and not just the OS. In my experience, a desktop or a server running a Linux distro will update within less than 10 minutes. I can't say the same for Windows based systems. I have little Apple experience so can't comment there.

      You can install RH software on Debian and vice versa - they both have a translation app. Even Gentoo has a lot of translators but in general you are better off grabbing the source and compiling it yourself.

      Not too sure what you are wittering on about with respect to a text editor having autosave. I've got more editors (text or otherwise) than you can shake a stick at. Tilde even has the same keybindings as notepad.

      Whatevs. You do your thing and I'll do mine. I look after quite a few Windows boxes across the world and a few other things and yet I still insist on running Arch (with a few off piste moments) on my laptop, desktop and the wife's laptop. Quite a lot of my customer machines boot a Linux kernel (or FreeBSD and a few others)

      Tools for the job mate.

      1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

        Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

        -> Wot? Linux is a kernel not a distro.

        Put the semantics aside, please. Nobody runs Linux. You can't even boot Linux without a boot loader. GRUB, the common boot loader, is not itself part of Linux. Linux without all the tools and programs and header files and libraries and so on is useless. We all know that Linux is just a kernel. Nobody apart from penguins who have had too much drencom care one groat. Hearing this one more time does not in any way enrich my life.

        What can your customers who 'boot a Linux kernel' do without applications that accompany or run on that kernel? I'll answer for you: nothing whatsoever.

      2. a_yank_lurker

        Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

        On my slow, elderly i-MAC full system updates take a couple of hours, best to run overnight. But they are run after permission is granted so you can decide when the update will not interfere with your work.

    4. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

      While different package managers can be a headache to work with it does create an interesting security side effect. To install malware, you have somehow get the correct package type to the user for their distro. And then convince someone to sideload an obscure package onto their system. It's not impossible but more tedious to do.

      In real life, most Linux users probably use 1 or 2 distros so they are very familiar with the package managers these distros use. So the existence or non-existence of the other package managers is irrelevant.

      1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

        Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

        -> In real life, most Linux users probably use 1 or 2 distros

        Please don't look down your nose at the other 49,998+ distros out there. And after you have tried them all and find something to dislike in each of them, you can always start your own!!!

        Back in the day there was Windows for Workgroups. I suggest a modern update: Linux for Knobheads. Out of the box, or rather straight from the ISO, it will be configured with ext4 for /, and btrfs for /home, and xfs for /bigfiles. It will have a new package manager called knobby, with packages called knobs. And it will use only gedit and not any new fangled text editors. And no systemd.

        And after you have checked your log files and found one download, you can announce to the world that LfK is alive and well and you are looking for volunteers to help run it. You can have endless discussions about which forum software to use (php is easy to code insecurely, so that's not a good idea. Perl is, what is Perl these days? Does it still have the date += 1900 necessity? Maybe write a new one from scratch in Go. No Rust).

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

          As I keep saying, you can always tell someone who hasn't used Linux but you can't tell them much.

    5. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

      "Do you know why there are FlatPaks and Snaps?"

      Yes, it's because of a rather hard engineering problem to do with application A and application B both depending on application C, but each depending on a different version. This is outside the scope of package managers, which track dependencies but cannot resolve conflicts in them, because they don't make choices for the users. This problem exists on all platforms, and containers is the least efficient way around it.

      The traditional Unix solution is compiling from source, which (in theory) allows for static linking so applications A and B each get their own version of application C. Compiling from source also means stepping away from the package manager, with attendant problems around security updates and so on.

      Windows *does* make choices for the users. So they came up with a different solution in side-by-side assemblies. This also has its problems, but those problems tend to crop up in ways that are mysterious for the end user. Windows users are long accustomed to "spookiness" in the OS. Things that worked yesterday don't work today, but not to worry it will be fixed tomorrow.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

        "Yes, it's because of a rather hard engineering problem to do with application A and application B both depending on application C, but each depending on a different version."

        Not so much application C as library C.

        This can be a problem if B claims* it needs a bleeding edge version of C whilst A & C are rather conservative versions that came with the OS.

        The better solution is to have the non-distro version install in /opt together with any libraries its authors feel they might need to make a fuss about. For instance my /opt contains LibreOffice 7.2 (distro version is 7.0), Seamonkey, Signal & Zoom inter alia. It's a much more Unix-like way of doing things.

        * It might not. The providers of B should have a slap on the wrist for this.

        1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

          Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

          -> Not so much application C as library C.

          Yes! I have seen and read penguins laughing about 'Windows DLL hell'. Meanwhile there is shared object hell on Linux. Why did rpmfind come about? It's because of applications requiring certain versions of (not just certain) shared libraries.

          The Linux solution to this: let's not fix that, let's do something else. And if you don't like it, go and fork it and do your own thing.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Lorribot

    All that is good with Linux, Choice

    All that is wrong with Linux "they are very likely to work, at least so long as they don't depend on a specific desktop"

    Flatpack, Snaps or native?

    Linux needs to stop making this stuff so hard/complicated/convoluted/clear as mud if it really wants wider adoption for the end user.

    Apple has a completely closed ecosystem on the desktop, tablet and mobile, Android is more or less there and Windows just works on pretty much anything but each version is broadly the same. they all have one desktop (changed at the whim of the developer but there is only ever one for each version, except Android where Device manuafacturers/Carriers are free to make a pigs ear of things).

    A small amount of choice is a good thing, vast arrays of random whimsical choices are generally not good for adoption by the mass unwashed public. Pick any industry, it will always go through the same cycle of many small companies that come together to leave just one or two, occasionally another one will pop up but the OS market is beyond that. Linux will only ever be a niche on the desktop until there is one disto to rule them all, Red Hat and Unbuntu have flattered but ultimately faltered.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      I can see the value in a range of choices. As long as they are purposeful choices, clearly identifiable.. With a consistent desktop developed so that users can find what they want, arrange it in the way that they want and use it in the way that they want without needing any technical skills beyond their normal day job.

      Something along the lines of;

      Linux [name] for general/SOHO use and the one that most users would run .

      Linux [office] for corporate professional work use.

      Linux [technical] for engineering/development use.

      Maybe one or two others.-

    2. LionelB Silver badge

      All that is wrong with Linux "they are very likely to work, at least so long as they don't depend on a specific desktop"

      I'm slightly puzzled by this. I don't even run a "desktop", just a window manager (Fluxbox) and I don't recall having installed anything that didn't work on my system. Occasionally I might use XFCE or Cinnamon desktops, and everything still works. Then again, I avoid Flatpack and Snap - and will avoid any distribution which becomes reliant on them (as far as I'm concerned it wasn't broke and didn't need "fixing"). Hopefully others will vote with their feet on this one. (Hopefully, because, unfortunately, that didn't happen with systemd.)

      Re. choice, there might appear to be a bewildering and whimsical array of, say, desktops. But in practice, the vast majority of Linux users end up using one of a handful (those which ship with the most popular distributions), which represent a good and manageable selection of choices - in a way that the other OSes you mention don't.

      Re. the "mass unwashed public", as I contend in a previous post, mass adoption has virtually nothing at all to do with any of this, and everything to do with what OS happens to come installed on their hardware. The great unwashed are never going to dick about changing their OS - and why on earth should they, if what they get works? And why should Linux users actually give a toss about whether the world and her brother adopt Linux on the desktop, if it works for us?

  10. nobody who matters

    ".....And why should Linux users actually give a toss about whether the world and her brother adopt Linux on the desktop........"

    I have absolutely no idea, but it is pretty clear from the way that some of the dyed-in-the-wool linux fanatics constantly bang on about it, that they do give a very big toss indeed!

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      And it appears that many of the rest simply look down on us "the great unwashed" or knobheads as in "Back in the day there was Windows for Workgroups. I suggest a modern update: Linux for Knobheads. ". And so on.

      Maybe all 'Nux distros should be bundled up under one title and called "SociopathOS".

    2. Adair Silver badge

      There really don't seem to be many of that type around these days.

      Most people I know who run Linux/BSD, etc. do so either out of personal interest and/or because the OS in question gives them the freedom they need to 'get stuff done'.

      That's it, they really have no interest in what other people use. Use what works for you, and quit whining.

    3. LionelB Silver badge

      Is that right?

      Strange, because the only posts I seem to see these days even mentioning "The Year of Linux on the Desktop" are the ones which begin "It'll never be The Year of Linux on the Desktop until [some stuff last relevant circa 2002]".

      The rest of us just get on with it (and probably use other OSes too).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In VINO veritas

    How very predictable this all is. There seems to be more Borkzilla employees on here than ordinary commentards! Still, why let an opportunity to turn any positive comments into a staged 'fanboys arguing' PR stunt pass by without spam. I'd laugh if it wasn't so boring to keep reading the same thing over and over again every time there is a Linux distro review.

    In other news, Debian is a great OS and the Minty flavour is a good OS too. With a great deal of hard work and good direction, maybe the next version of Microsoft's version of Linux, CBL-Mariner, might come close to being as good as LMDE? Or maybe Microsoft will keep assimilating more and more Linux into their flagship/legacy Windows OS via the back door and we can look forward to reviewing the next version of Windows: Microsoft Windows Debian Edition.

  12. iced.lemonade

    Snap - is it that bad?

    I am not really sure why many people hate Snap to that magnitude other than it takes way more resource than a traditional apt-packed application... I feel the desktop is increasing powerful and the web is increasingly hostile and keep desktop app containerized keep your system clean... you know, one bad-behaving app ruins your setup... usually, other than a handy number of application which requires host access (for example, FileZilla) I feel it is safer to isolate each of the app I use.

    But, the utopia for me is each application is Jailed and packaged with extension .jailed (like firefox-1.2.3.jailed) so they at least cannot see or touch _data_ which they should not see or touch.

    1. Warm Braw

      Re: Snap - is it that bad?

      The objections are not so much about resources but about the control Canonical have over the store.

      My particular peeve is that it adds yet another layer of arcane management for permissions, mounts and services.

      It's basically just another form of containerisation, but, on top of the different package managers, different desktops and different init systems, I suppose it's only reasonable we should have dozens of them too.

      1. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: Snap - is it that bad?

        And then there's also:

        "Sorry, home directories outside of /home are not currently supported. See for insane workarounds that I cannot implement because I don't have permissions details."


    KDE on LMDE and I'll use it. Until then I'll stay with Debian Bullseye with KDE. Plasma has come a long, long way and I prefer it over cinnamon or mate.

    Yeah I know I could get LMDE to use KDE but is it really worth the trouble? I say no.

    Plus there have been some older computers that I just can't get LMDE to install well but Debian Bullseye installs fine.

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