LMDE 6: A Dream Come True for Desktop Linux Users

Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 6 "Faye" released as the ultimate Linux desktop you've been waiting for. Here's all about it!

The Linux community has always been blessed with a plethora of choices when it comes to selecting a distribution that suits their needs.

Among the many desktop ones, Linux Mint is a name that needs no introduction whatsoever. The distribution has earned its place as one of the greatest (if not the best) Linux OS for desktop computing.

Aside from the flagship Mint edition based on Ubuntu, one other hidden diamond is unfairly less often tried by everyday users looking for a reliable Linux desktop system, namely Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE).

This alternative Mint version has always been built on a Debian base rather than the more common Ubuntu base. And now, more than three months after the release of the flagship edition, Linux Mint 21.1 “Victoria,” the brand new LMDE 6 “Faye” followed it, so without further ado, let’s see what it brings us.

A Look Inside LMDE 6: What Makes It an Ultimate Linux Desktop

With the release of Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 6, codenamed “Faye,” the Linux Mint team has once again pushed the boundaries of what a desktop Linux distribution can offer.

Powered by Linux kernel 6.1 LTS and based on the timeless benchmark for stability and reliability, Debian, especially its most recent 12.1 “Bookworm” release, LDME 6, has much to offer users.

Seamless Installation

LMDE 6 Installer
LMDE 6 Installer

The LMDE 6 installer is well-known for all Mint releases, offering a seamless installation process. With just 5-6 clicks, you get an operating system installed and ready to use, which shouldn’t be difficult even for novice Linux users.

Of course, as expected, the ability to optionally include multimedia codecs in the default installation allows you to play various media formats flawlessly.

Next, immediately after the reboot, you will be greeted by the Welcome application, which, with its user-friendly graphical interface, allows you to configure all of the essential settings of your new LMDE 6 system to suit your personal preferences with just a few clicks.

Welcome App
Welcome App

Cinnamon 5.8: A Familiar and Elegant Desktop Experience

Linux Mint has always excelled in providing a polished and user-friendly desktop experience, betting on its in-house developed Cinnamon desktop environment, and LMDE 6 is no exception.

LMDE 6 with Cinnamon 5.8.4 desktop environment.
LMDE 6 with Cinnamon 5.8.4 desktop environment.

Compared to the previous LMDE 5 “Elsie” release offering Cinnamon 5.6, the new one comes with the latest up-to-date version, Cinnamon 5.8.4, released over two months ago. Its standout feature is the built-in support for the touchpad and touchscreen gestures.

In other words, users can now easily control windows, virtual desktops, and multimedia playback by swiping, pinching, and performing other movements.

On top of that, Cinnamon 5.8 introduces a new concept called “styles.” In short, it is the ability to apply one of three global predefined modes – Mixed, Dark, or Light, to the selected style, as each can contain a color variant.

We continue by mentioning that the desktop environment now relies entirely on symbolic icons (those that change color dynamically) with excellent support in GTK4 instead of monochrome ones.

Finally, the tooltips have been completely revamped, leaving the old grey-framed rectangles in the past. They now use the chosen accent color, have a level of transparency, and are considerably more readable, giving the desktop environment a fresher look.

Better Hardware Support

As reported a year ago, the Debian project boldly includes non-free software by default in its installation to give better hardware support.

This was implemented in the Debian 12 “Bookworm” released in June this year and accordingly inherited in LMDE 6, which, as already mentioned, is based on it.

Software sources in LMDE 6.
Software sources in LMDE 6.

But what advantages does this bring? In a nutshell, Linux Mint Debian Edition 6 users can say goodbye to worries like “Will my Wi-Fi adapter work?”. With this release and the availability of Debian’s non-free and non-free-firmware repositories included in the default installation, you should have virtually no issues with the support of your computer’s hardware.

Updated Applications Base

With the Linux Mint Debian Edition 6 release, users have yet another reason to celebrate. This latest iteration comprises updated applications that enhance user experience and productivity.

Here is a list of the more important ones in the default installation.

  • Firefox 117 Web Browser
  • Thunderbird 102.15 Mail Client
  • Transmission 3.0 BitTorrent Client
  • LibreOffice 7.4.7 Office Suite
  • Xreader 3.8.2 Document Viewer
  • Celluloid 0.21 Video Player
  • Rhythmbox 3.4.6 Audio Player
  • Hypnotix 3.7 IPTV Streaming App
  • Drawing 1.0.2 Simple Image Editor
  • Warpinator 1.6.4 Files Transfer Tool
  • Gufw Firewall 22.04 UFW GUI
  • Timeshift 23.07 System Restore Utility

Other LMDE 6 Highlights

As we mentioned, LMDE 6 is powered by Linux kernel 6.1 LTS, which brings many improvements, most notably in hardware support. For reference, the latest version of Linux Mint, 21.2, comes with Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, so LMDE users definitely benefit here.

Furthermore, inherited from Debian 12, the PipeWire audio server and WirePlumber, a powerful session and policy manager for PipeWire, are available by default in LMDE 6, replacing PulseAudio.

Of course, Flatpak support, established as standard among Linux distributions as an additional distro-agnostic source of up-to-date software versions, comes out of the box here with a ready-to-use Flathub repo added.

You can use it by working directly from the command line or betting on its built-in integration into the LMDE’s Software Manager app for greater convenience.

Software Manager App
Software Manager App

Refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in Linux Mint Debian Edition 6 “Faye.”

You can immediately get your copy of the LMDE’s installation ISO from the Mint website’s download section. The system requirements are 2GB RAM (4GB recommended for comfortable usage) and 20GB of disk space (100GB recommended).

Lastly, if you are currently running LMDE 5 “Elsie,” upgrading to LMDE 6 “Faye” is simple and seamless. Here’s our comprehensive and easy-to-follow “How to Upgrade to LMDE 6 from LMDE 5: A Step-by-Step Guide” article on the subject.

Bottom Line

Linux Mint Debian Edition 6 (LMDE 6) stands out as one of the premier choices for a desktop Linux distribution, and its unique relationship with Debian 12 only enhances its appeal. This approach brings several advantages, making it one of the best options for users seeking a stable and reliable desktop experience.

Honestly, if I had to choose between Linux Mint 21.2 “Victoria” and LMDE 6 “Faye,” I would bet on LMDE without a second thought. There are several main reasons for this.

First and foremost, LMDE 6 inherits the rock-solid stability and security that Debian is renowned for. Relying on the source, in Debian’s case, rather than the derivatives, as in Mint’s Ubuntu-based release, is what I recommend.

Moreover, the close relationship with Debian ensures that LMDE 6 remains fully compatible with its vast ecosystem.

At the same time, you get the most recent version of the Cinnamon desktop environment, polished to a shine with attention to every detail.

In other words, you get the best of both worlds: uncompromisingly stable and reliable Debian paired with one of the best user experiences Linux Mint has proven to bring to its users over the years. All combined into one – LMDE 6.

So, what are you waiting for? Whether you seek a dependable workhorse or a versatile daily driver, LMDE 6’s Debian-based foundation makes it an outstanding option. Download your copy and enjoy one of the best desktop Linux releases of 2023 – Linux Mint Debian Edition 6.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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