MLED - Microlinux Enterprise Desktop
The Microlinux Enterprise Desktop is a full-blown production desktop based on Slackware Linux, with many enhancements. It is currently used by various small town halls, public libraries, schools and local radio stations in South France.
MLED is shipping in two different flavours:
MLED is not some derivative Linux distribution. It aims to provide all the stuff that's commonly missing in Slackware - popular applications, multimedia codecs, plugins, fonts, translations - through a series of package repositories that can be easily managed through Slackware's package manager. These package sets are installed on top of a trimmed-down but otherwise mostly unaltered Slackware base system. A handful of stock Slackware packages have been rebuilt for enhanced functionality or visual consistency. Elegant and sober artwork fit for use in a corporate environment is included.
Despite the use of KDE, MLED tries to stay light on resources. The basic KDE desktop has been reduced to a functional minimum, while resource hogs like indexation or graphical effects are deactivated in the default user configuration. This allows MLED to run satisfyingly even on older hardware, consuming roughly 200 MB RAM with a loaded desktop on a 32-bit system.
Some KDE-specific applications like Konqueror, KMail, Calligra, KTorrent, Kopete or Amarok are replaced by more lightweight and/or intuitive counterparts like Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Transmission, Pidgin or Clementine. MLED follows a one-app-per-task policy and strives to find a good balance between stability and functionality. All non-KDE applications are visually integrated using the Oxygen-GTK theme.
MLED Light is the lightweight counterpart to the standard KDE-based MLED desktop. It is based on the Xfce desktop environment and targets users with modest hardware, or simply those who prefer working with Xfce.
Like the standard edition, MLED Light provides a full set of common applications, multimedia codecs, plugins, fonts and translations through easily manageable package repositories. The set of applications is slightly different in order to achieve better integration with the Xfce desktop. Last but not least, much thought has also been given to this lightweight version's look & feel.
As far as the installation itself is concerned, MLED's main audience are users with a bit of Linux and Slackware experience who want a rock-solid desktop with a full set of applications where everything works out of the box, so they can be immediately productive. Once MLED is installed, even Joe Sixpack or his french counterpart Madame Michu can use it without even giving it a second thought.
The Microlinux Enterprise Desktop runs reasonably fast even on relatively modest hardware. A battered first-generation Pentium-IV with 1 or 2 GB RAM and a 40 GB hard disk will be sufficient for the job. The lightweight version of MLED runs satisfyingly with 512 MB RAM.
Processor architectures and support cycles
MLED packages are available in binary form for both 32-bit and 64-bit
architectures. The package repositories also include a full set of sources and
build scripts. Starting with Slackware 14.1, MLED strives to follow the
Slackware support cycle of roughly five years per release. Hence the
MLED is basically Slackware, with a bunch of extra packages and a few minor configuration tweaks. The Slackware forum on LinuxQuestions.org is by far the best place to get help on Slackware. Folks on LQ are a nice and competent crowd. Just describe your ignorance, and there's a good chance your questions will be answered. By the way, I'm user kikinovak on LQ.
Update: there's a sticky thread on LinuxQuestions.org for all MLED-related questions.
Much of this work is based on great work that's been done before by some excellent folks, and here's the place to give them credit :
- Eric Hameleers for kindly mirroring the MLED project;
- All the crew from SlackBuilds.org for their really precious work;
- Daniel de Kok, who worked on what we called
Slick Linuxback in 2006;
- Matteo Rossini and Sébastien Ballet for the great slackpkg+ tool;
- Chess Griffin for the great sbopkg tool;
- And of course, Patrick Volkerding for creating the
Support MLED development
MLED is basically a one-man-project. If you want to support it, read more about it here.
Work in progress
Check out the ChangeLog.txt files at the root of each package repository for the latest developments.