Install number one: LMDE 201303. Â I was hoping for the best of both worlds, but I got driver issues instead. Â LMDE has known ATI proprietary driver install issues. Â I followed the Mint instructions and got it working, then got a blank screen after too much tinkering. Â I was surprised that LMDE had this problem since Debian doesnâ€™t, and LMDE should be a more polished version of LMDE. Â This wasnâ€™t a big deal, but I decided to give Debian a chance.
Install number two: debian stable (7.3). Â The debian website has a convoluted maze of installation links, but itâ€™s still fairly easy to find an ISO for the stable version you need. Â I installed from the live ISO using a USB key. Â The installation and ATI driver update went smoothly, and I thought all was well at first. Â I soon realized that about 50% of reboots failed; the audio driver was the culprit. Â I installed the latest driver from Realtec/ALSA and it sort of worked, but I was still getting some crap from # dmesg and the audio would crackle with some files.
LMDE. Â I live booted LMDE to see if the same issue existed there and it did.
Time for Mint 16. Â As expected everything worked. Â Man I really wish Ubuntu hadnâ€™t chosen the dark side – their OS is really good. Â All of these distros use ALSA audio drivers, so why is Ubuntu the only one that works? Â Â Kernel versions:
debian stable (7.3):
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.24.
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version k3.11.0-12-generic.
One more thing to check. Â What kernel version is the real debian testing â€œjessieâ€ using:
LMDE 201303 = 3.2
debian stable 7.3 = 3.2
Mint 16 = 3.11
debian testing â€œjessie - Jan 2014â€ = 3.12!
I determined to try debian testing before settling for Mint. Â I tried a netinstall from USB key which killed my PC and grub bootloader. Â The debian stable live iso usb key decided to stop working as well. Â Â I finally got a real DVD debian stable install to work, changed the repositories to point to â€œjessieâ€ and upgraded. Â I was very surprised to see this worked! Â Â Iâ€™m having some problems with bash, but all of my day to day software is up and running. Â Nice.
TL;DR: LMDE was using an old kernel so I needed the real debian testing (jessie) to solve my driver problems.