I Stress here that this is only my personal view based on what I did
For the purpose of this testing I used exactly the same hard ware, that is Samsung 860 Evo V-NAND SSD 500GB and 12GB of RAM on my laptop which has an Intel-Core i5 -4200U CPU 1.6Gz x2
To be as fair as possible I used the Calamares installer.
In Cindy you have to press the Windows key or Mint Button and search in All Applications to find it. In Tessa just clicking the Install Mint button will start the Installation off.
While the Tessa version of Calamares was easy. in Cindy it is quite different form the first screen onward and you have be careful with what you are doing. On the first screen you need to connect to the internet which will set your language, however be warned there are two small boxes at the bottom right hand corner which both need to be set in the language that you use. After that is is very easy to follow, providing you take your time to read each screen that comes up. Once the Cindy install starts, it is reasonably quick, it took me about 7 minutes with my set up. This compares favourably with Tessa which took about 5 minutes from start to end.
Note: when coming to restart, while Tessa is very clear if you have encrypted your drive about how to unlock it (with the password you had set) Cindy presents a black screen with wording telling you to unlock and when you use your password nothing is shown. Although I had been very careful with my setting up of the keyboard, I still found it did not unlock correctly when I used those settings and would only do so if I used the USA keystrokes. The only way I found around this was to restart and do the whole thing again without using any special symbols. This is actually fine as it gives a different password with both unlocking the encrypted part and your user part.
Once installed both have the same welcome screen with only slight differences in that Cindy has install media codecs which are not installed during the installation that you should install. Once you have done this, it disappears and the Welcome screens are the same on both.
Updating is another area where you will find a difference. In Tessa you will the Kernel are available to view, in Cindy they are not. While Tessa is using the 4.18 series Cindy is still using (after updates were completed) 4.0.9, because from what I am aware this is what Debian Stretch uses which is what Cindy is based upon.
I had no problems with installing software or using the terminal in Cindy, but then I am used to using them in Tessa. I also found that I was able to use, what I use after my install from https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/first-mint-cinnamon.html to round off things.
I did notice a slight lag in getting things done in Cindy compared to Tessa, nothing major, but still noticeable when you are used to using Tessa. Apart from that I really have no complaints about it at all.
So what do I think about the two?
Before I give my final thoughts I want to include these two important items for your attention:
The first from Mint themselves:
Its main goal is for the Linux Mint team to see how viable our distribution would be and how much work would be necessary if Ubuntu was ever to disappear. LMDE aims to be as similar as possible to Linux Mint, but without using Ubuntu. The package base is provided by Debian instead.
There are no point releases in LMDE. Other than bug fixes and security fixes Debian base packages stay the same, but Mint and desktop components are updated continuously. When ready, newly developed features get directly into LMDE, whereas they are staged for inclusion on the next upcoming Linux Mint point release.
The next from Easy Linux Tips :
Linux Mint Debian Edition: not for beginners and not for production machines
Mint also has an edition that’s not based on Ubuntu: Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE).
This side project has something special: LMDE is based on Debian Stable, unlike the main Mint edition which is based on Ubuntu LTS. Its goal is to offer roughly the same features as the main Mint edition, while offering 100 % compatibility with Debian.
In itself LMDE is a good product. But LMDE is less mainstream than Linux Mint, it has a much smaller user base, it’s not compatible with Launchpad PPAs, and it lacks a few features. That makes it somewhat harder to use and harder to find help for, so it’s not recommended for novice users.
Furthermore, the focus of the efforts of the Mint developers is of course on the main Mint edition. LMDE is therefore not advisable for machines that need to function well at all times. For those machines Mint’s main edition is more suitable.
All of the above is important information to take note of.
So my thoughts?
Well I do love Cindy, I don’t think you’ll learn anything about Debian using it, because she has the quality Mint stamp and that makes her so good. I certainly would agree with the opinion that she is not for beginners to use as even the Install is a lot harder and more complicated, particularly if you don’t use the Calamares installer. I loved her and with the extra experience I have now, know that she’d do everything I want and not cause me any problems that I couldn’t sort out.
Now Tessa is a sweet heart, she is everything you want from an OS from ease of install right the way through. She always behaves herself and doesn’t lose you or stop you from doing what you are doing and has never thrown a fit on me. No matter what your experience, she is so easy to love.
So my final words are yes, by all means give Cindy her time in your spotlight, but then remember Tessa is really the one for you.
I stress this is just my view, based on my experience and testing. I can not fault either and understand why some might choose one over another as we are all different. Having said that I would still stick to the advice given here, in that Tessa is probably the better of the two for the complete beginner.
Unless otherwise stated this in an original work done by me ©copyright 2019 merimaat