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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Alien packages (deb, rpm, txz)

4MLinux (even in its basic version) is able to open huge amount of various archives (gzip, bzip2, xz, 7z, arc, zip, rar, ISO, ...). You can also view/open/install "alien" (i.e. not 4MLinux native) packages from Debian, Fedora, RH, Ubuntu, and Slackware (this feature is provided by a set of small scripts developed by 4MLinux). I will try to show this taking a Debian package as an example.

The procedure described below works in the exact same way for deb, rpm, and txz  packages.

1) Terminal. Execute 'mc' to open Midnight Commander, and double click on the file, which you want to open:

2) PathFinder. This is the default file manger in the basic version of 4MLinux. Just double click on the file, which you want to open:


3) X File Explorer. This is the default file manger in the full version of 4MLinux. Let's double click again:

In all the above examples you can see the same script in action (it chooses the best method to open the package by checking what applications are installed in your system).

4) It is also possible to install the package using your right mouse button:

4MLinux does not check any dependencies, meaning that it will install the package even if it leads to errors, so use this feature with caution.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Very strange update procedure

As it was honestly stated here, 4MLinux does many things in its very special way. For example, you can force update of some applications by.... removing their executables from your system. Let's take SMPlayer as an example.

1) I am removing SMPlayer executable in Terminal:

2) Now I am selecting SMPlayer from the Multimedia Menu:

3) Fully automatic update process will be started:

The newest SMPlayer is now up and running!

The following applications can be updated in the way described above: 
/usr/bin/clamscan (Clam Antivirus)
/usr/bin/qupzilla (4MLinux QtPack)
/usr/bin/smplayer (4MLinux QtPack)
/usr/bin/smtube (4MLinux QtPack)
/usr/bin/wpagui (4MLinux QtPack)
/usr/bin/ooffice (Libre Office)
/usr/bin/pw (Partition Wizard)
/usr/sbin/cupsd (4MLinux Printing Suite)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Data recovery from partitions with bad blocks

4MLinux Rescue Edition (or 4MLinux Allinone Edition) can help you to recover data from partitions with read errors (bad blocks).

1. Choose Partition Wizard from the Maintenance Menu:

2. 4MLinux will download and install Partition Wizard for you:

3. Now you can check your partition with Partition Wizard (Surface Test):

4) If bad blocks are found, you can try to recover your data by choosing Partimage from the Maintenance Menu:

5) GNU ddrescue has been designed to recover data from partitions with read errors (bad blocks). You must be really patient, because the recovery process may last very long:


Good luck :-)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The KISS principle in 4MLinux Server

Mini Server (both in 4MLinux and TheSSS) tries to follow the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. I will try to show this taking the HTTP server in 4MLinux 7.0 Server Edition as an example.

The guide on how to start and configure the HTTP server (with additional services) is as follows: execute the "httpd start" command in terminal. And that's it!

Q: How to enable PHP support?
A: It's already enabled.

Q: How can I start MySQL (MariaDB)?
A: It's already running. You've started it with the "httpd start" command.

Q: How can I perform post-install configuration of MySQL?
A: You've already done it with the "httpd start" command. Have a look at http://localhost/adminer.php

Q: But I need to generate root password for my MariaDB !
A: You've already done it with the "httpd start" command. You will find a randomly generated root password in /root/.mysql_passwd.

Q: I would like use the "https" protocol. How to start Stunnel ?
A: You've already started it with the "httpd start" command. Just try to open https://localhost in your browser.

Q: How to enable virtual hosts support?
A: It's already enabled.


The above FAQ shows that 4MLinux Server is designed to enable a reasonable set of features out of the box without needing to configure them manually. On the other hand, you can change these default settings anytime. Execute the "server" command to open a general help file (more help-related commands: "server firewall", "server httpd", "server mysql", and "server proxy").

Have fun :-)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ripping of audio CDs

This post describes the way of ripping of audio CDs in 4MLinux Media Edition (or 4MLinux Allinone Edition). Insert your audio CD please ;-)

1) Select Ripper Script from the Multimedia Menu:

2) You're going to rip your audio CD, so you should choose 1, and press Enter:

3) Choose the output format (e.g. mp3):

4) Now you have to wait patiently:

5) You will find your files in the rip_output directory:

6) You can also edit your mp3 with Audacity:


Enjoy your new mp3 collection!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

4MLinux Releases

4MLinux has its unique software development schema. I will try to explain this, taking 4MLinux 6.1 as an example.

1) 4MLinux 6.1 Core. It has only the Linux kernel image, sysinit script, BusyBox, and glibc libraries required by BusyBox. No additional packages. No additional drivers. Therefore 4MLinux Core has a very limited support for devices, so it is recommended to run it in VrtualBox.

Official Freecode announcement:
This is a core system (about 5 MB in size) for the 4MLinux 6.1 series. The system includes: Linux 3.9.0, glibc 2.16, and Busybox 1.20.2. All 4MLinux 6.1 applications have been compiled under Fedora 18 (x86/32-bit/SMP) with GNU Compiler Collection 4.7.2.

2) 4MLinux 6.1. 4MLinux packages are called "addons". For example, 4MLinux package including version 2.1.0 of JWM is named addon_jwm-2.1.0.tar.xz. To cut a long story short, we can define 4MLinux 6.1 as follows:

 4MLinux 6.1 =  4MLinux 6.1 Core + main addons

Official Freecode announcement:
The main features in this release are maintenance (4MLinux Backup Scripts 6.1 and Clam AntiVirus 0.97.8), multimedia (MPlayer SVN-36169-4.7.2 and FFmpeg Git-2013-04-09), a mini server (FTP, HTTP, SSH, SFTP, and Telnet), and mystery (a collection of small Linux games). The X Window System is based on X.Org Server 1.14.0, Mesa 9.0.3, JWM 2.1.0, and the FOX toolkit 1.6.49. Both Ethernet (including WiFi) and dialup (including fast USB modems) networking are supported. The size of the ISO image is about 45 MB.

3) 4MLinux 6.1 Allinone Edition BETA. 4MLinux uses Wine to run win32 ("exe") applications under Linux. For example, addon_putty-wine-0.62.tar.xz includes a Windows version of PuTTY to run with Wine. We can define 4MLinux 6.1 Allinone BETA as follows:

 4MLinux 6.1 Allinone BETA =  4MLinux 6.1 + wine addons

Official Freecode announcement:
The development target for this release has been defined as follows: The relatively small operating system (ca 67 MB LiveCD) must include the newest stable Wine (i.e., 1.4.1), which should be able to open fullscreen flash videos (e.g., from YouTube) in the newest stable Firefox (i.e., 21.0). 4MLinux 6.1 Allinone Edition BETA passes this test for many Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD video cards. WinSCP 5.1.4, XChat 2.8.9, and 7-Zip 9.20 are also included.

4) 4MLinux 6.1 Rescue Edition. The first "M" in 4MLinux means "Maintenance" (disk partitioning, performing backups, and the like):

 4MLinux 6.1 Rescue Edition =  4MLinux 6.1 Allinone BETA + maintenance addons

Official Freecode announcement:
This is an updated version of 4MLinux 6.0 Rescue Edition using 4MLinux 6.1 as a core system. The main applications are: X File Explorer 1.34, Midnight Commander 4.8.8, 4MLinux Backup Scripts 6.1, Partimage 0.6.9, Partclone 0.2.58, TestDisk 6.13, GNU ddrescue 1.16, GNU Parted 3.1, Clam AntiVirus 0.97.8, 7-Zip 9.20, UNetbootin 584, and InfraRecorder 0.53. The supported filesystems are: btrfs, ext2, ext3, ext4, FAT, HFS, HFS+, jfs, Minix, NTFS, ReiserFS, and XFS.

5) 4MLinux 6.1 Media Edition. The second "M" in 4MLinux means "Multimedia" :

 4MLinux 6.1 Media Edition =  4MLinux 6.1 Allinone BETA + multimedia addons

Official Freecode announcement:
This is an updated version of 4MLinux 6.0 Media Edition, using 4MLinux 6.1 as a core system. It has a wide set of applications for playing (MPlayer SVN-36169-4.7.2, xine 1.2.3, TiMidity++ 2.14.0, MikMod 3.2.0), recording (Audacity 2.0.3, SoX 14.4.1), and ripping media (DVD Shrink, MEncoder SVN-36169-4.7.2, FFmpeg Git-2013-04-09). Xpdf 3.0.3 and XPaint are also included.

6) 4MLinux 6.1 Server Edition. The third "M" in 4MLinux means "Miniserver" :

 4MLinux 6.1 Server Edition =  4MLinux 6.1 Allinone BETA + server addons

Official Freecode announcement:
The servers controlled by the inetd daemon are now: FTP (vsftpd 3.0.2), HTTP (Busybox 1.20.2) with HTTPS (via Stunnel 3.22), SFTP (OpenSSH 6.2p1 ), SSH (Dropbear 2013.58), and Telnet. A proxy server (Polipo with Tor, WinSCP 5.1.4, rdesktop 1.7.1, and EchoVNC 2.40a are also available. The programming environment includes the thttpd build of PHP 5.5.0, the minimal version of Perl 5.16.3, and SQLite 3.7.17. The main security components are 4MLinux Firewall 6.1 (based on iptables and Clam AntiVirus 0.97.8. There is an online demo (, too.

7) 4MLinux 6.1 Game Edition. The fourth "M" in 4MLinux means "Mystery"  (Linux games) :

 4MLinux 6.1 Game Edition =  4MLinux 6.1 Allinone BETA + game addons

Official Freecode announcement:
This is an updated version of 4MLinux 6.0 Game Edition, using 4MLinux 6.1 as the core system. The 4MLinux collection includes, among other things, the following items: classic "shoot'em up" games (Abuse, Doom, Heretic, Hexen, and Quake), Liero (a realtime "Worms-like" game), Lincity (a construction and management simulation game), space shooters (XGalaga, Kobo Deluxe), and DOSBox 0.74 with some Freeware DOS games. Michael Speck's LGames and ec64 (a Commodore C64 emulator) are also available.

 8) 4MLinux 6.1 Allinone Edition FINAL. Lets mix all the above items together!

Official Freecode announcement:
This is the final (stable) release of 4MLinux 6.1. It has all the features included in 4MLinux 6.1 Rescue Edition, 4MLinux 6.1 Media Edition, 4MLinux 6.1 Server Edition, and 4MLinux 6.1 Game Edition.

Starting from 4MLinux 6.1, it is possible to download and update your system without needing to reinstall it from scratch. This should be done in the following two steps:
  • updating the current system ("4mlinuX get4mlinux"), 
  • installing a new system ("zk update"). 
These two commands will install the latest stable version, which is now 4MLinux 10.1 Allinone Edition.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The FOX Toolkit

The basic version of 4MLinux is less than 45 MB in size. This is possible because 4MLinux Desktop is based on a very light window manager (JWM) with a set of relatively small applications from  The FOX Toolkit. These programs are tiny but powerful (e.g. they are able to handle JPG, PNG, and TIFF graphics; 3D support via Mesa drivers is also compiled-in). 

This post describes The FOX Toolkit in 4MLinux 6.1. Other versions may differ a bit.

1) Applications:
File Manager

Text Editor


Screen Shooter

2) The Fox Toolkit includes Control Panel, which makes it very easy to customize and apply your own settings:

3) The full version of 4MLinux has X File Explorer as its default file manager (which is also based on the the FOX library):

Note: you can change the default file manager by editing the /etc/fm/fm.conf file.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Abuse, Doom, Quake...

4MLinux Game Edition includes ready-to-use pieces of software (game ports) needed to play Doom and other classic "shoot'em up" games, but so called wads (or their equivalents) must be downloaded separately.
Note: it is a good idea to enable 3D drivers when you are going to play video games (this was described here). 2D drivers can also be used, but they will give you lower graphics quality (e.g. smaller screen resolutions).

1) Select Doom from the Mystery Menu:

2) You must confirm your download by choosing 'y' and pressing Enter:


3) Now 4MLinux will download and install shareware data (the doom1.wad file):

Note: wad files (or their equivalents) for all the other games (listed below) can be installed in the exact same way as for Doom.

 4) You will be able to play the following games:

Have I mentioned that 4MLinux loves TUI? All the games can be played both with and without X. Just close your X Window System, and execute the "doom" command (or: abuse, freedoom, heretic, hexen, quake).

Have fun :-)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mobile Broadband Modems

Are you using your mobile phone or USB  modem to connect to the Internet? Let's try to configure it now!

1) Attach your mobile phone or USB modem (these pictures were taken in my kitchen :-)

2) Select Configure from the Internet Menu:

3) A terminal window will be opened. You are configuring a dial-up connection, so you should choose '3' and press Enter:

4) Now you must insert the data required by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), for example:

'phone number' is obligatory, while 'username' and 'password' are not required by many network operators (if so, you can skip them by pressing Enter).

5) It's time to connect to the the Internet. Your modem will be configured and initialized automatically:

You can close the 'MODEM' window now.

Additional info:
1) If 4MLinux is unable to detect your modem, then re-attach this modem, wait a few seconds, execute the 'udev' command (in terminal), and try to connect again.
2) Location of configuration files in 4MLinux: the default network interface is defined in
the /etc/interface file. All other networking settings are stored in the /etc/net directory.