Linux Mint Debian - Perils of Rolling Distributions
I am a big fan of the Linux Mint Debian distributions, both the "original" Gnome version and the newer Xfce version. I have had LMDE loaded on several of my laptops and netbooks since it was first released at the end of last year, and it has been the distribution that I use most often for six months or so now. But there is another key factor about it, and my use of it - I have kept it updated since I first installed it. I have recently wanted to install or re-install it on a couple of other netbooks, and the experience has been disappointing.
The advantage of "rolling distributions" is that they send out updates frequently, both major and minor updates to the operating system itself and to the packages installed on it. That means no waiting around for the next periodic distribution cycle to get a new version of the Linux kernel, or Firefox, or whatever. The disadvantage is that these updates accumulate pretty rapidly, so before long you end up in a situation where doing a fresh installation actually requires a lot of updates. Add to that the fact that rolling distributions often don't update their base all that often, and the total number of updates required after doing a fresh installation can be quite large.
Now, Linux Mint Debian has added another disadvantage to the mix.