I am Bruce (obviously) and I have been working on a Gnome spin of Sparky for quite some time now. I started with the minimalCLI version of Sparky and build up from there. I spoke with pavroo and he has been so kind as to give me the OK to share it with you guys and gals. I apologize for the lack of screenshots. This is a quick post/write up before I am off to work this morning. I will try to get some up soon.
There have been many many modifications and changes to the software packages to suit my needs...as well as many tweaks and adjustments. I have put a LOT of love into this distro and not only merely built it but also use it on a daily basis. This was the best way to find and crush any bugs/errors with the packages. There are also applications here you will not find in the repo's such as SimpleScreenRecorder and I do believe this is the only distro to date that includes Retroarch.
Here are some of the highlights (although there are more):
Gnome 3.20.2 and kernel 188.8.131.52
Many tweaks to the Gnome interface to make it much more usable
Google Chrome Beta as default browser
PCManFM as default file manager with added custom actions (open as root, etc)
Engrampa as default archive manager
Retroarch v1.3.4 with all assets and cores....emulator build from source on Sparky
Other emulation goodies (Mame, Vice, Frotz, Atari800, FS-UAE, Dolphin, PCSX2)
WPS Office as default office application
SMPlayer as default video player
Quod Libet for your music collection!
Many multimedia tools (Kodi, Handbrake, Openshot, Audacity, etc)
Wine (both development and stable versions), Playonlinux, Steam, Dropbox, Tor Browser
Vast collection of screensavers via Xscreensaver (including the "Really Slick" screensaver package activated in xscreensaver)
Lots of under the hood stuff so that you will never run into a situation (or hopefully never) where you can't get the job done without downloading something. Great for offline use too!
i386 arch enabled in the 64-bit environment and libs necessary for gaming (Steam, GOG) pre-installed. Just install your game and play!
And much much more...
I wanted to do things a little differently (using different applications that in my opinion perform better than the mainstream apps) and wanted to have everything I ever use (office-wise, multimedia, gaming, etc etc) so I would be ready to rock and roll right from a live disk.
Well, if you would like to try it, it is 64-bit only and will work for Legacy and UEFI systems depending on how it is written to the flash drive. It weighs in at just under 4GB. It was created using Systemback, so the installer is different but pretty straight forward. Please be aware that this is an unofficial Sparky spin which is NOT made by SparkyLinux 'dev' team members. Please run this on real hardware (not a virtual machine) as I personally have had no luck running this or many other Gnome 3 based distros in virtualbox or vmplayer. An incredible amount of work went in to this to make it as full featured as possible for people like me that enjoy a fully functional OS and also love emulation and gaming...while also making it fast and light on resources. Let me know what you think:
Retroarch will not launch if not using a proprietary driver or open source driver with some type of hardware acceleration.
Steam gets two errors and asks to install some dependencies when first launched. Ignore it/close both windows and steam works as expected.