Not beating around the bush here, so let me say it straight away: Mint’s problem is a person. A person to point our fingers on, a person with a name. And that name is Clement Levebvre. Yes, the famous Clem, clan leader and one-man genius powerhouse, Clem.
We all know that Mint is a super duper Linux distro, full of amenities and little luxuries we lovingly know as “The Minty Goodness”. Mint isn’t flashy, not at all. Its 3 desktops are all made for ease of use and productivity, not for showy bling. As long as one of them is the still developing but old-looking Mate desktop I’m happy. Coz that’s my desktop, which I prefer over all the others. For my own egoistic little reasons.
And that segue brings us right to the heart of the problem. LMDE. The infamous Linux Mint Debian Edition, and Clem’s refusal to treat it better. Quite to the contrary, he even decided some versions ago to only release LMDE with the (homegrown) Cinnamon desktop environment, taking Mate and Xfce and KDE out of the equation. 😐
While I love people standing their ground, and being stubborn about their decision to some extent, I fail to see Clem’s stubbornness in this case as a positive trait of his Mint distro. Come on, man, many – maybe even most – of long-term Mint users would love to switch from your standard Ubuntu-based Mint over to LMDE … if you just gave them a little bit more of incentive, a stimulus of sorts. And since Mint is all about customer care and ease of use most of us would love to see you invest as much love into LMDE as into the Ubuntu branch.
Listen, Clem, you won’t give interviews, you won’t make public announcements, and neither does your team. Heck, I don’t even think I know a single name of any of your compadres. Or how many there are. That’s ok and good and fine. Keep quiet, don’t make a fuzz, don’t spin the big wheel. We can live with those quirks, they make Mint what it is.
What many of us can’t and won’t live with, tho, is your refusal to do the right thing! 😐
You know, Clem, you have any idea how easy it is to lift Mint to the next level? To make it the Linux distro Numero Uno of the planet? For a man and a team of your calibre I guess it’d be vewwy vewwy easy! It’d only take a handful steps:
- Lift LMDE up to the same status your normal releases have.
- Maybe make it even your top priority, your prime direction.
- This includes making LMDE available with various desktop environments. At least reintroduce Mate and XFCE and if at all possible add a KDE version to the list. If I’m not mistaken you once had Mint KDE until you choose not to develop it anymore.
- Seeing how many users are KDE Plasma fans, many of them hardcore, it is pure and utter stupidity not to have your most important edition, LMDE, only coming out in the nifty but oldfashioned Cinnamon taste.
- Stop, please stop holding yourself and your distro back; denying yourself the success you’ve worked so hard for.
I’m not including a wish for Mint to stop the development of Ubuntu-based releases. Although I secretly want it, I guess that’s a step too far. And me, as an outsider, who am I denying all the users who love the Ubuntu releases of Mint their beloved toy? But please, at least lift LMDE from it’s unloved step daughter status up to be the favourite princess it should have been all along. A Mint Debian with all the desktops and goodnesses of a normal Mint release. Wouldn’t that be great? Not only for the users but for you and your crew as well!
All distro daughters are princesses and secretly yearn for a Disney ballgown and a crown. Or at least a tiara. Clem, finally grant LMDE hers!
Here, readers, watch this old old old video by Joe Collins, he made back when he was still active on YouTube. It doesn’t suit my case completely but touches many of my points and concerns. As you can see Mint had this problem back in 2019 … and it still needlessly suffers from the same problem: