Monday, April 4, 2011

Update Debian Squeeze to Mint ~ a.k.a Mintify your Debian

I've been willing to install a new linux for a while, more precisely a Linux Mint distrib for various reasons. Call me lazy i didn't wanted to download and burn a full DVD. So the came the idea to use a Debian install as a base (since there is a version called LMDE base on Debian instead of Ubuntu.

At the time of this post, Debian has recently updated Squeeze to stable, so that the freshly baked Linux Mint isn't too far away (LMDE is supposed to be based on the current testing debian).

If you want to follow the same steps as me, this post assumes a couple of things:

  1. You can and will use command line without fear
  2. You know what debian is and can read log messages or use test installer
  3. You computer is already connected to internet

Some thanks to those two posts which i used as a base and mix together with my own twist:
HOWTO: Create a custom, minimal LMDE install
Mintifying Debian

Enough talk, let's get down to it. First you'll need to download a ISO of Debian, i used the businesscard version. You can find other version fitting to your need / architecture here:

1) Download it, burn it or put it on a USB key, which ever you prefer and install debian.

Once the install is completed, and you've added yourself as a sudoer ,you can proceed.

2) Then you may want to add the contrib and non-free Debian repositories by editing the file /etc/apt/sources.list and adding “contrib non-free” without quotes right at the end of each line ending with “main”.

4) Next you add the Debian Multimedia and the Mint repositories. You can for instance create a file within /etc/apt/sources.list.d called “lmde.list” and add these two lines into it:

deb debian main upstream import
deb squeeze main non-free

5) Updates :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring
wget -c
sudo dpkg -i debian-multimedia-keyring_2010.12.26_all.deb
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Now the trick start here. Apparently when Squeeze went from testing to stable a particular package called "gstreamer0.10-pitfdll" has been removed from Debian repo cause the all meta package mint-meta-debian to fall to pieces. With some error message that look like:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
mint-meta-debian : Depends: mint-meta-codecs but it is not going to be installed

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
mint-meta-codecs : Depends: gstreamer0.10-pitfdll but it is not installable
E: Broken packages

But fear not, here's the solution:
wget -c
dpkg -i gstreamer0.10-pitfdll_0.9.1.1+cvs20080215-1_i386.deb

Now you can safely proceeed to the Mintifying of your debian:
apt-get install mint-meta-debian