Debian stable is now “Buster”

Congratulations to the Debian team on the release of the new “Stable” ie: “Buster”. It’s a tremendous accomplishment by one of the largest non-profit linux distribution on the planet.

So what does that mean for current MX users?

In short, your existing Stretch-based MX 18 will continue to receive updates from Debian and MX for at least 18 months. You don’t have to do anything. We have pointed our repository definitions to the distro name version of Debian’s repositories, so you don’t have to worry about “stable” changing. If you manually changed your repositories to point to “stable”, do not update and change them back. If you update from “stable” rather than “stretch”, your system will be hosed. Your only recourse in that event is to reinstall.

We are currently working on the next MX release, MX-19, based on Debian Buster and antiX 19. Part of our plan is to include the lastest Xfce 4.14, which is due to be released in August. So we hope to release MX-19 in late fall.

Right now we cannot guarantee that users will be able to do an in-place upgrade between MX-18 and MX-19. This is not a change from past policy. Even if its possible, it may not be recommended. More info on that as we continue development.

For those that want to know, the plan is right now that MX-19 will ship with sysVinit as the default init system, with systemd also installed for those that want to use it (good if you like snaps). In other words, pretty much just like MX-17 and 18. We are testing builds internally right now, but betas will be public. Stay tuned.

If you want a sneak peak at the antiX live system changes coming up in MX-19, check out the antiX 19 public betas at

27 thoughts on “Debian stable is now “Buster””

  1. Hi.
    Will mx have flickerfree boot. They did it in fedora and it looks really cool, almost windows like.
    I don’t get why linux needs to show me a bunch of text when I turn on my laptop that I can’t read nor understand.

  2. Hi dear developers, maintainers and all MX-Linux Gurus,
    It is told in the blog :
    What would then be the recommendations ? A new fresh install, but possibly with keeping the current home dir ???
    Kind regards,

  3. Yes when MX 19 is released a new install is the route to go. Since MX 17 and 18 were based on Debian Stretch and MX 19 on Debian Buster they are not compatible. This is the way it is with all distros based on Debian.

  4. I meant to say do not keep your home directory. Make a new one and just move the files over that you need.

  5. The old *nix philosophy of separate storage units for different parts of the system remains genius to this day. I keep “home” on partition so when I need to nuke the system (as I did coming to MX from .. A.N. Other Distro) I can do that and very little changes. There are minor breakages with “.” files but that’s mild in comparison to moving 10s of gigabytes of por… I mean data around my hard drives.

    If I was really smart I’d have the lot on a remote disk on the network which is backed up to a separate drive on a RAID array. Even software RAID is better than nothing at all.

    Since the Raspberry PI made maker boards so popular this is a real prospect now. We should all start making miniature Sama servers and while they will never be as good as dedicated boxes running FreeNAS with ZFS and 16+ GB of RAM… (let’s be honest most of our workstations would still like that much) they’re better than a hard drive that could get knocked off the desk, lost or (god forbid) stolen!

  6. I have really enjoyed using MX. Great little distro. Maybe team MX would consider using UpstartD init along with systemD. It was that way with Linux Mint until v18. Upstart is fast. My Mint box boots in 14 seconds flat with no tweaks! Why do you think Google uses it and everyone is blown away by how fast it is on boot. Upstart keeps things inline with “doing one thing well”.

  7. I am looking forwards to the future with MX 19,it’s like having an extra birthday. Thanks for all the hard work you all do and roll on the next version.

  8. I have a question, for much longer will MX 18.3 be supported when MX 19 is released? I rather Like MX 18.3 as it is now. XD

  9. Very glad to support MX Linux and hope others will consider doing so. Even the cost of a coffee or two every month from a small group of us would help the developers a lot.

    [Not affiliated with MX Linux other than being a happy user for over a year.]

  10. Hello people, i want to use MX Linux as my future OS!
    I hope and wish that you will keep doing your best!
    Waiting to see when that day will come…

  11. I believe a piece of junk like systemd shouldn’t be included. However it seems since Linux is becoming so centralized people are finding it easier to move to systemd (even if that means less security and more bugs).

  12. I’m ready when every you get MX-19 ready. Even if I can’t upgrade to MX-19 from MX-18, it doesn’t matter. I just reinstall the newer version to my secondary internal SSD. Moving to MX-19 after a stable version will be a cinch. I like cleaning house, so if I have to move from MX-18 to MX-19 and can’t upgrade no big deal.

  13. Kind of impressed with MX but have one continuing problem: typing text is like driving on an icy road. That is, I have to type VERY slowly or the cursor will ‘lose traction’ and slip off to another place entirely. Words and sentences get split into pieces, every time I try accelerating/shifting up from first gear. ANNOYING especially with such an otherwise-intriguing distro. Is there a fix?

  14. Thanks, making a real difference so far…typing seems problem-free now. Don’t want to ‘jinx’ things by saying following the suggestion fixed it completely but sure is looking that way. What I did based on the advice comment was Settings–Mouse & Touchpad–Touchpad and then selected Disable while typing. Thanks again–go MX!

  15. > Duane G Canaday

    > Yes when MX 19 is released a new install is the route to go. Since MX 17 and 18 were based on Debian Stretch and MX 19 on Debian Buster they are not compatible. This is the way it is with all distros based on Debian.

    That’s bullshit,
    Chapter 4. Upgrades from Debian 9 (stretch)

    Upgrade Ubuntu desktop

    and so on. I don’t see any Debian based distribution asking to reinstall the system!

    • It would be nice if it were that easy… Take a look at the Users Manual Section 1 on why that is not possible for us–we are not just “a Debian distribution.”

  16. The reason for my post was to rectify the assumption from Duane, that we need to reinstall a debian based system every time a new stable version of Debian is available because that’s completely wrong.

    Then, I did not dig within the forum about why using debian stable with backports programs, instead of using debian testing (same as ubuntu)?

    xfce 4.14 is for instance, available with debian bullseye.

    • Please read this:

      MX Linux combines packages from Debian Stable and antiX with MX packages in a dedicated repo that can be browsed on the Community Repository page.

      Debian Stable is a wonderful solid distribution that can be upgraded in place from version to version automatically as long as the Debian Stable repos are used exclusively. MX uses Debian Stable as a base, but updates a lot of the userland programs & libraries, and backports newer programs from testing by building them against the Stable base. That gives a better user experience but interferes with Debian’s dist-upgrade path. Our current choice is to stick with sysvinit instead of going to full systemd.

      So it’s a trade-off: better desktop user experience at the expense of having to do a quick fresh install (which lets you save /home if desired) when the Debian base changes, typically every 2-3 years.

      Since MX19 is based on Debian Buster Stable, Debian Testing and Ubuntu are not relevant to this discussion. If you enabled Debian Testing repos with MX19’s own Buster-based repos in order to install XFCE 4.14 from there, you would get a FrankenDebian system that would break. Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

      It’s already pretty easy using MX’s installer to do a fresh install but preserve /home, even if /home is NOT in a separate partition. That saves all your app configurations and settings. Then you just need to reinstall your apps that were not default on MX19.


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