Guys, I have to say: I'm sorry, but I gave up with Sparky shortly after my last comment here... I want to make my short experience with it as productive as possible, so if any of you want to keep reading, I'll put my 2 cents on trying to convey the problems I faced with Sparky in an attempt to draw some attention to some places that could get some improvements... I will also take the liberty to describe some of the problems I faced with my previous distro (Ubuntu), my current distro (Lubuntu) and with Linux in general.
See, I'm a graphic designer, I use several graphic applications and 95% of what I use is Blender ( www.blender.org
). I consider myself a professional 3D artist (in case you are curious about my work)
, so, as you can imagine, I need a system that is highly responsive, VERY light on resources, non intrusive and last but not least, friendly enough and easy to set up... Plus, I'm 31, but I use computers since I was about 10, so I've grown a list of preferences in software that helps me work faster and more comfortable. So, being able to accommodate the OS' Graphical Interface and easily install the software I decide is rather critical.
I got some bad experiences with Ubuntu with the heavy graphical interface that is Unity, and I wasn't very happy with the idea of major (and to some extend), risky updates to the system every 6 months (or face being left behind with the new stuff)... I started my journey from Windows to Linux in August last year with 14.04 (Trusty Tahr), then, upgraded the system to 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), but had some minor problems after updating and when it came in last April 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) and the system refused to upgrade throwing some problems... I looked for another distro to try and found Sparky, which seemed the perfect fit for me... Debian based, rolling distro, and a lot of light desktop environments to try...
About sparky... I installed it and I was immediately happy with how fast that was! In about 15 minutes the system was ready and booting!... I tried LXQt, 'cause it was the lightest flavor at the time (base editions weren't out last week... I was interested in JWM). I was still delighted by how clean, beautiful, fast and light on resources LXQt was... Then, the nightmare begun when I updated/upgraded the system...
During the whole day and a half I was trying to get the system working, I reinstalled Sparky from scratch at least 2 more times and got to use and test a couple of things... The first weird problem/hiccup I encountered was with my other hard drive. Sometimes it mounted correctly, some other times, it refused to mount!... I don't know what was going on there, I didn't use enough Sparky to know what was going on, but it was a major pain 'cause in that drive I have all my stuff, so those times the drive refused to mount, I was left in the desert with a barely working computer...
Next, I'm the first to admit that I'm being plain stupid here, but I thought that Sparky (and for that matter, any Debian-based distro) was compatible with Ubuntu's PPA system the exact same way it is with Ubuntu... Is just after this experience that I find that PPA system is exclusive to Ubuntu... Although doing some minor search, it seems that with Debian 7 (wheezy) and later, you can use almost the same command to add PPAs... So, if my little research is right, that's cool then. (If not, I can't imagine why a distro wouldn't include support for such a great thing for users like PPAs).
Now, I'll just assume a couple of things in this paragraph, but I couldn't find anywhere how to easily install graphic drivers in Sparky... I mean, with *buntu is as easy as Preferences > Additional Drivers... And that's it, It shows me a list of available Nvidia drivers to install, from the Nuveau to the proprietary ones... Is absolutely essential for me to install these, 'cause I use my video cards GPUs to do 3D rendering though Nvidia's CUDA... I can only imagine the technical pain it would be to get this working on Sparky... Maybe, some additions to Sparky APTus system to modify video drivers would be perfect!
Finally, my experience with Linux in general it has been mixed... One of the best things I've found in Linux is that PPA system, that's pure gold for us, the users; another thing is of course the variety of options to try and the general lighter-on-system-resources-than-Windows thing. I was an advanced user with Windows and I almost never had problems with viruses or crapware, but with Linux, I truly forgot about it and my system is always free of crap!... Now, the bad stuff... I can deal with the fewer options in software, I can deal with occasional, short commands on the Terminal, but I cannot deal with the ridiculous lack of graphical interfaces for the most mundane things!... Yesterday I had to deal for 2 hours to get my 4 button mouse working correctly (let's blame Microsoft for not releasing it's mouse's drivers to Linux)... But I also had to dig for one hour on Internet trying to find how to add custom application launchers on LXDE's Application Launch Bar, how to change a default OS keyboard shortcut that was interfering with Blender and in both cases, I had to change some freaking .conf files buried somewhere in the system... COME ON, Linux! COME ON!... And sadly, Sparky is a victim of all these problems too.
It's absolutely unacceptable to lose +3 hours in one Sunday (the only day I can rest a little) to deal with such mundane things in a system that should be accessible through simple GUI tools!
It was getting too frustrating to get the Sparky system going and I was just starting with it... It wasn't even that I did something wrong, it was just that this distro is not working for me, at least at this point. I'd still love to use it in the future, maybe in a year, with another iteration of improvements and usability, usability, USABILITY tools... I admit that I'm not an average user, I'm a bad mix of not-very-linux-savvy, and my needs as an user are rather demanding/advanced... But users like me exist! and believe me, I'd LOVE to recommend Linux/Sparky to my friends if at least these problems I mentioned were solved... but right now, I'm the only one of my +100 friends and acquaintances that uses Linux.
Lastly, I reiterate my will to try Sparky in the mid future... Maybe by the end of the year, even!... I just would like to see some of these annoyances solved somehow...
Again, thank you for your time and will to help.
P.S.: I'll keep an eye here in case this opens up to a discussion/conversation and I'll keep visiting Sparky forums to see the evolution and improvements achieved until my next try!