I have installed LMDE-2-201503 on the computer that I call my "test computer". LMDE-2 is the latest release of Linux Mint Debian Edition that uses Debian as its package base instead of Ubuntu which is the data base for Linux Mint 17.1.

I have chosen the MATE desktop pronounced (MA TAY) which is a continuation of GNOME2. There are two versions of MATE (32 bit and 64 bit) as well as two versions of the newer Cinnamon desktop. For those that like eye candy Cinnamon will be your choice. In LMDE components are updated continuously. New features are available in package updates as soon as they are developed. This is different from Linux Mint which holds this type update until a 17.x point release. it also makes LMDE a more risky environment. I find it more exciting to know that I am always using the latest software packages available in Debian. However, the Linux Mint community recommends that the Linux novice stick with Linux Mint 17.1 because there is a smaller user base in LMDE which makes technical help harder to find.

I have been using LMDE on three computers for over a year. One of them is a four year old dual-core laptop. I've had no installation issues on any of the three. I do read on the forums that others have not been so lucky.

Benefits of choosing LMDE-2 over Linux Mint 17.1 are speed and the idea that you are always using the latest software.

I also installed a SSD in my test computer just before I installed LMDE-2. Boot time went from 57 sec to 22 sec.