Microlinux Enterprise Desktop

Microlinux Enterprise Desktop

The Microlinux Enterprise Desktop is a full-blown production desktop based on Slackware Linux and the Xfce desktop environment with many enhancements. It aims to provide a fully functional and reliable working environment that will perform well even on low-spec hardware. It is currently used by various small town halls, public libraries, schools and local radio stations in South France.

MLED is not some derivative Linux distribution. It consists of a collection of currently 170 custom packages installed on top of an unaltered Slackware base system. It sports a complete choice of neatly integrated applications, one per task:

  • Internet: Mozilla Firefox ESR web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird ESR mail client, Pidgin chat client, GFTP FTP client, Transmission BitTorrent client, AMule P2P client
  • Office: Apache Open Office suite, Evince Document Viewer, MuPDF browser plugin
  • Graphics: GIMP image manipulation, Inkscape vector graphics, GThumb image viewer, Simple Scan image scanning software, Gcolor2 color selector, Gtkcdlabel CD cover application, Xfce4 screenshooter
  • Multimedia: enhanced Audacious audio player, enhanced SMPlayer video player, Audacity audio editor, Openshot video editor, Asunder audio extractor, DVD::Rip video extractor, Easytag ID3 tagger
  • Utilities: Leafpad text editor, enhanced Xarchiver archiving application, Brasero burning application, Catfish file search tool, Thunar bulk renaming plugin, Gnote note-taking application, Conky system monitor, Poedit translation tool
  • Extra applications available from the MLED repos: Open Office language packs, VirtualBox, Filezilla

One application per task

Some more features:

  • Elegant and sober artwork fit for use in a corporate environment is included.
  • Codecs, plugins and fonts provide a seamless desktop experience.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly default settings and menu entries are provided.
  • Desktop effects included though not activated in the default configuration.
  • Slackware branding for geek factor enhancement.
  • Themed login manager.

The Microlinux Enterprise Desktop is a full-featured desktop that can be easily configured to your specific needs. Here's an example of the dual-monitor MLED workstation I'm using to edit these pages:

Microlinux Enterprise Desktop

Target audience

As far as the installation itself is concerned, MLED's main audience are users with a bit of Linux & 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.

Hardware requirements

The Microlinux Enterprise Desktop runs reasonably fast on ten-year-old hardware. A battered first-generation Pentium-IV with 512 MB RAM and a 10 GB hard disk will be sufficient for the job.

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 14.0, MLED is following the Slackware support cycle of roughly five years per release. Hence the E in MLED :o)

Support

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 fat chance your questions will be answered. By the way, I'm user kikinovak on LQ.

Credits

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 :

  • Matteo Rossini, who has made my life so much easier with slackpkg+ ;
  • Robby Workman for his excellent work on Xfce ;
  • Eric Hameleers for his impossible SlackBuild scripts ;
  • Daniel de Kok, who worked on the initial scripts of what we called Slick Linux back in 2006 ;
  • All the crew from SlackBuilds.org for their really precious work ;
  • Chess Griffin for his nifty little sbopkg tool ;
  • George Vlahavas from the Salix distribution, a fine Slackware spin-off ;
  • And of course, Patrick Volkerding for creating the Finest Linux Anywhere.

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 files for the latest developments. Work in progress and final releases are tagged as such in the directory listings.

Background information

The Slack World has published a detailed interview about the MLED project.