March 2, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat’s the MLED project about?

MLED stands for “Microlinux Enterprise Desktop”. Its ambition is to provide a full-blown, lightweight, rock-solid and mature Linux desktop for professional users, or more generally folks who use their computer as an efficient tool to get their work done.

 

Why are there two different Microlinux websites?

The MLED project is funded and developed by my company Microlinux. While the former is aimed at tech-savvy Linux users around the world, the latter is based in South France and only of interest to professional (read “non-geek”) clients.

 

Isn’t that Elementary OS?

No, MLED is firmly based on Slackware Linux and Xfce. I gave Elementary OS a spin once and did like a few components like their application launcher or the great artwork, so I decided to integrate these elements into MLED.

 

Where can I download the MLED installation ISO?

MLED doesn’t ship on its own installation ISO. All you need is a vanilla Slackware installation disc and a working internet connection. Once the base Slackware system is installed, all you have to do is fetching the packages using slackpkg.

 

Why don’t you provide a separate ISO?

MLED doesn’t aim to be Yet Another Linux Distribution. Its ambition is to be an add-on to Slackware Linux and to provide those packages that are missing for a complete out-of-the-box desktop experience.

The Linux world has a sad history of reinventing the wheel and duplicating efforts, and I don’t want to contribute to that. Besides, a separate installation ISO would be a huge waste of bandwidth. All this to save you from typing a handful of commands?

 

Why isn’t MLED listed on Distrowatch?

According to Distrowatch maintainer Jesse Smith, “the reason MLED is not included in our database, despite its technical merits, is it does not qualify as a distribution by our definition. MLED appears to act as a series of add-on packages for Slackware, which is nice, but it is not a stand-alone distribution. The user needs to install another distribution to run the MLED software, which disqualifies the project from being listed on Distrowatch.” While I can follow the argument in theory, in practice this means that an Ubuntu respin slapped together with a different default wallpaper does qualify as a stand-alone distribution, whereas MLED – with currently more than 1.500 extra packages in its repositories – does not and is thus doomed to fly under Distrowatch’s radar.

 

Why is MLED based on Slackware and not on $DISTRO?

Over the years, there have been various attempts to base MLED on other Linux distributions like CentOS, Debian, Elementary OS or Ubuntu LTS. The choice of Slackware is explained in detail here.

 

Why is MLED based on Xfce and not on $DESKTOP?

There have been quite some attempts and iterations to support multiple desktop environments like KDE or MATE, but unfortunately this is not viable in the long run. So I decided to focus on one single desktop environment and concentrate on quality rather than quantity.

 

Why is the installation procedure so complicated?

While MLED is extremely user-friendly once it’s installed, the installation procedure itself requires a bit of Linux knowledge. MLED is based on Slackware, which has never been a hold-your-hand distribution. Think of MLED as “Linux From Slack“, or more precisely “Beyond Linux From Slack“. If you can’t be bothered with reading Slackware’s and MLED’s detailed documentation, you might be better off using a different distribution like openSUSE or Ubuntu.

 

How intrusive is MLED?

Please take note that “intrusive” means “replacing base Slackware components” and certainly not “shamelessly spying on you like Microsoft Windows”.

Unlike projects like Dropline GNOME, MLED doesn’t replace core components of your base Slackware installation. This being said, a handful of packages like audacious-plugins, MPlayer or tumbler have been rebuilt for enhanced multimedia capabilities. Freetype has been patched to offer smooth Mac OS X-like font rendering. MLED 14.1 replaces the stock Xfce 4.10 desktop with Xfce 4.12 and offers an upgraded hplip package to support last-generation HP printers.

 

Why do some of Xfce’s context menu entries show up in French?

Check out the section on setting system locales in the MLED Installation Guide. If you’re an english-speaking user, your LANG and LC_COLLATE environment variables should be set to something like en_US.utf8. If some of your context menu entries show up in French, then there’s a chance your LANG and LC_COLLATE were set to fr_FR.utf8 while you created your user.

 

How do I configure my audio (wifi, printer, scanner, webcam)?

MLED is essentially Slackware under the hood, so you might want to check out the Slackware Documentation Project and head over to the Slackware forum.

 

How can I turn a stock Slackware installation into MLED?

While a clean installation from scratch is the recommended method to install MLED, some users wish to migrate their existing Slackware installation without wiping everything. This is not exactly a trivial task, but if you’re feeling mildly adventurous, the following documents show how it can be done:

 

I like your project. How can I support it?

MLED development is happening in my spare time and is currently only funded by my own company Microlinux. If you want to support the project, read more on this page.

 

Can I do an offline installation?

Yes, you can. First, use a PC connected to the Internet and grab all packages and scripts corresponding to your MLED version and architecture. You can use wget to do this. Take a peek at man wget for the options, and beware of trailing slashes:

$ wget -c -r -np -nH --cut-dirs=1 \
http://www.microlinux.fr/microlinux/desktop-14.2-32bit/

Or:

$ wget -c -r -np -nH --cut-dirs=1 \
http://www.microlinux.fr/microlinux/desktop-14.2-64bit/

Put all that stuff on a USB disk or burn it to a CD-Rom or a DVD. Once your base Slackware system is in place, you can install the MLED package collection using the following command:

# upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new *.t?z