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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

4MLinux Legacy Installer

Legacy Installer (included in 4MLinux 13.1 and later) makes it possible to install 4MLinux on older computers (128 MB of RAM should be enough).

Before starting Legacy Installer, you must make sure that 4MLinux live CD (or live USB) is the only installation medium attached to your computer. 

1) Choose "Legacy Installer" from the Boot Menu.

2) The 4MLinux installation script will be started for you.

Refer to this guide to learn in details how to run this script.

3) If needed, it is possible to reboot/restart Legacy Installer by executing the "exit" command.

4) When the installation is over, you can boot 4MLinux from your hard disk drive.

Read this post, if you do not know how to log in into your new 4MLinux.

5) After logging in, you can execute "startx" to try to enter the X Window System:

6) Let's have a look at Conky. 4MLinux is now running happily on the machine with 117 MB of RAM in total.

The Linux kernel in 4MLinux has PAE support enabled by default, meaning that you must have at least Pentium PRO (introduced 20 years ago!) or newer CPU.
Keep in mind that 4MLinux can be successfully installed on modern machines offering them full 3D support for the newest video cards. Additionally, PAE support is also important for those who want to setup the 4MLinux LAMP Server.

Have fun :-)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The 4MLinux Desktop

The 4MLinux Desktop is a unique, highly customized mixture of JWM (Joe's Window Manager), feh and PCManFM.

This post describes the features, which are available in 4MLinux 17.0 and later.

1) This is the screen, which you can see when you start 4MLinux for the first time:

It is very important for you to setup your language now. Otherwise 4MLinux will be "speaking" English only. This also means that it will be downloading/installing an English version of all optional software (Chromium, Firefox, LibreOffice, ...).

2) It is also a good idea to setup your keyboard layout and local time now:

Follow this guide if you need to configure your Internet connection.

3) This is how the 4MLinux Desktop may look like:

JWM is the default window manager in 4MLinux, but the background image is controlled by the feh utility (image viewer).

4) You can change your wallpaper in two clicks:

You can use your own JPG image as a wallpaper. Just rename the image to bg.jpg, place it in the root directory, and restart JWM. 

5) Let's totally change the way in which the 4MLinux Desktop works. We can do it just in one click (on the IdeskON/OFF icon):

Idesk (Home) icon has been removed and PCManFM has been started, taking over the control of the wallpaper and the desktop icons. 

6) Are you going to watch high quality videos and/or play video games? If so, you should enable dedicated display drivers:

Read this post to learn how to modify advanced X.Org settings in 4MLinux. Alternatively, you can install AMD and NVIDIA proprietary drivers. They can be downloaded from the 4MLinux website.

7) 4MLinux will warn you if some additional drivers are needed to start a program. You can use the zk command (the 4MLinux package manager) to install the missing item:

8) And finally, customize 4MLinux to meet your needs. A huge collection of so called downloadable extensions is available from the Extensions Menu:

Have fun :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2015


4MRescueKit provides its users with software for antivirus protection, data backup, disk partitioning, and data recovery. It is distributed in the form of a multiboot CD, which includes four (extremely small) operating systems. Each of the systems tries to follow the UNIX philosophy (Small is beautiful. Make each program do one thing well).

1) Antivirus Live CD is a 4MLinux fork including the ClamAV scanner. Both Ethernet (including Wi-Fi) and dial-up (including fast USB modems) Internet connections are supported to enable automatic updates of the virus signature database. All partitions are mounted automatically during boot so that they can be scanned by ClamAV.

Detailed description of Antivirus Live CD can be found here.

2) BakAndImgCD is a very small (about 20 MB in size) 4MLinux fork, which has been designed to perform the following two tasks: data backup (via 4MLinux Backup Scripts) and disk imaging (using Partimage, Partclone and GNU ddrescue). The output files (archives and images) can be optionally compressed and sent to a remote FTP/SFTP sever.

Detailed description of BakAndImgCD is available in this post.

3) 4MParted includes GNOME Partition Editor (aka GParted), which in turn is a GTK+ front-end to GNU Parted.  The supported filesystems are: btrfs, ext2, ext3, ext4, f2fs, fat16, fat32, hfs, hfs+, jfs, linux-swap, lvm2 pv, nilfs2, ntfs, reiser4, reiserfs, and xfs.

If GParted cannot read/modify a newly created partition, just close this application. Then 4MLinux will try to force the Linux kernel to re-read partition table, and next it will restart GParted for you. 

4) 4MRecover includes TestDisk and PhotoRec, which are powerful recovery utilities. PhotoRec (the tool to recover lost files) is started automatically. Just close PhotoRec, and Midnight Commander will be opened so that you can manage your files. You can also execute "testdisk" (in Midnight Commander's shell prompt) if you are going to try to recover lost partitions.

Despite its name, PhotoRec is able to recover many file formats (not only images).
All operating systems described in this post can be safely closed by pressing the power-off button (acpi daemon will start a script to cleanly shutdown your computer).