Why Sparky?
SparkyLinux is a GNU/Linux distribution based on the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

Sparky is a fast, lightweight and fully customizable operating system which offers several versions for different use cases, such as:

* a fully featured standard desktop version with a lightweight desktop environment. It works out of the box on almost any hardware and delivers a curated selection of software for home users.
* the frugal MinimalGUI version with the Openbox window manager. It contains only the bare necessities and is intended for users who want full flexibility when creating their own desktop, using only the packages they desire.
* the even more frugal MinimalCLI version without a graphical desktop. For advanced users who want to create their own desktop from the ground up or don’t need a GUI.
* Three special versions:
– GameOver for computer gaming
– Multimedia for audio and video enthusiasts and/or web-developers
– Rescue, a system rescue toolbox (uses Openbox as a window manager)

Sparky supports about 20 desktop environments and window managers giving you freedom of choice, having in mind that your computer is made for working, having fun, entertainment, keeping in touch with friends, and many, many other things.

Sparky “stable flavor” is the best choice to change your existing, other operating system and try a GNU/Linux distribution without need of installation and changing your computer partition table.

Sparky “rolling (testing) flavor” is targeted to more advanced users, whose don’t afraid of a little less stable version of applications, and want to work with/on latest version of offered the software.

If you like Sparky, simply install it side to side or over your present OS.

Main features of Sparky
– Debian based
– stable or (semi-)rolling release
– lightweight, fast & simple
– your favorite desktops to choose
– special editions: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue
– CLI Edition (no X) for building customized desktop
– most wireless and mobile network cards supported
– set of selected applications, multimedia codecs and plugins
– own repository with a large set of additional applications
– easy hard drive / USB installation

In general, Sparky is not targeted to Linux beginners, rather to users with some amount of Linux knowledge.
Anyway, the Linux beginners are welcome too – our forums is open for any question.

Is Sparky free?
Yes, Sparky was, is and always will be free of charge for end users.
Simply grab Sparky iso image, burn it to a blank CD/DVD disk or copy to a flash USB disk and use it to launch your computer.

Does Sparky need your support?
Yes, we don’t sell Sparky, so we don’t earn money.
Your support, tip, donation can keep Sparky alive.


54 thoughts on “About”

  1. I’m having issues downloading Sparkylinux because it keeps asking for password and I don’t remember having to sign in and use a password and when I’ve by-passed that and went to aptus and downloaded the software and thought I had it all set up then later I shut it down and when I booted it again I lost google chrome and the rest of the browser’s I had downloaded. Again I don’t have a password to log back in. I really like this OS and would appreciate knowing how to login.

  2. Best debian based distro IMHO… For really really “oooold” machines, the choice of LXQT over XFCE for desktop makes it feel much more efficient and modern when compared to MX-Linux.
    A wide (wild!) range of software is available… It is very difficult to find ventoy, motionbox, qmplay2, avidemux all on the same distro; maybe sparky is the only distro that does that.

    I instantly felt something lacking with the default openbox window manager provided by sparky… the compositor! I tried some compositors with openbox and it was not much different. So then I moved on to discard openbox and tried out KWIN. KWIN takes a lot more work and I was not fully satisfied with the end result I could achieve.
    Accidentally I stumbled upon an old gem called “metacity” and it worked like a charm. It is absolutely straight forward to work with. Just install and it is ready to use with whatever default LXQT desktop configuration you have. If preferred, set window placement to ‘always center’ and add ‘minimize’ button to the application windows.
    The desktop now looks much more modern and works a lot better to my liking.

    Of-course there maybe features of openbox that are not available/configurable with metacity or KWIN. Similarly, both metacity and KWIN come with a lot of functionality that will probably never be configurable for the LXQT desktop.
    But I guess I hardly needed any of it ever.

    Two thumbs up for the sparky team! Keep up the good work!!
    If you have not already, request you to evaluate if the move from openbox to metacity/kwin makes sense.

  3. Thanks for your hard work, I think Sparky is a nice distro that makes installing a lean but full-featured Debian system less of a hassle. One little thing: There are several spelling and grammatical mistakes in this about page in particular. It happens, no critique, but it might give curious Linuxers a bad first impression. I’m not a native speaker, but an ESL teacher, so I’d be happy to help you there, if you want.

  4. Hi Sparky community,

    By surprise I stumbled upon FinalCrypt being present in Sparky’s package repository which very much surprised and pleased me (being FinalCrypt’s author) having asked Debian in the past if they were interested in adding One Time Pad unbreakable encryption software to the Debian repository I got rather unfriendly responses like how dare I claim unbreakable, being stupid and an an amature etc. etc. and I thought that’s not howto make friends with someone that spent years developing the only serious (opensource) OTP software for the public as governments make sure serious OTP software will not become a public security standard keeping this kind of military grade encryption software from the public and Sparky recently decided to add FinalCrypt to its repository, which to my opinion is the opposite token of appreciation to my work on FinalCrypt for which I’m very grateful. This caused me to become interested in Sparky Linux and gave it a test run and installed it in in a VirtualBox VM which even more surprised me of how smooth the installation went, how up2date the OS is and how nicely ordered and layed out everything was with an overwhelming choice of desktops environments to menu structures and configuration and how easy and smooth multimedia ran and rendered. Sparky seems to be a very righteous and user friendly Linux distribution which if you’d ask me brings in a philosophical approach to human desktop experience and priorities. Overall I’m very pleased with my first Sparky Linux experience. Having said that the world’s computer hardware industry is changing from Intel’s crumbling dominance towards arm64 looking at record holding energy efficient computing power of Apple’s M2, the mobile ARM64 industry further supplemented by Raspberry Pi’s unbeaten affordability ARM64 seems to becoming the new winning standard pushing Intel slowly of the market. What I’m trying to say is I would love to see the young fresh Sparky Linux move ahead beating the sleeping Debian based Linux giants including Debian itself offering the latest Debian based Operating System for ARM64/AARCH64. Intel’s CISC architecture physically simply can’t come up with an answer to ARM’s energy efficient RISC architecture which makes shifting to ARM64 a safe bet. Sparky seems to have the intelligence and balls for it, so go for it, take the lead, please. Tiny Server (another project of mine) would love to choose an ARM64 distro like Sparky as it’s main future OS for Tiny Server on Raspberry Pi 3/4/400 😉

    Thank you very much for all your hard work (and adding FinalCrypt to your repo) and perhaps we’ll meet again 😉

    Ron de Jong

    Tiny Server

  5. Hi Pavroo,

    Thanks for a fabulous work with Sparky Linux. I am using it since back 10 or more years ago, specially with low powered computers and it is just fine! I recommend it to my family and friends, they have used it and their experience is also very good.

    Thank you again. Really I do not find the words to express how grateful I am for an excellent work. Today is very rare to find out a distro that has a good balance between responsiveness and usefulness (and of course also stability thanks to Debian).

    Please keep up the good work. Cheers!!

  6. Hi Pavroo,

    An update on torrents. Transmission does not seem to work at all, for any torrent, and I’m running it on Debian stable!

    Completely unrelated, but have you ever considered releasing SparkyLinux as IMG files, because these are apparently naturally persistent when run from a live usb drive?

  7. Hello Sparky developers,

    i have found a problem with your torrent files.
    Since minimum the last 3 or 4 releases of all your torrents for all Sparky builds works not with the Transmission Bittorrent Client. I am use atm v3.00 with all updates.
    Then i try qBittorrent latest updatet versions and all works fine.
    But i use only Transmission and i mean alot others also becouze low power. low memory and more, with maximum resulsts and more.
    So i did look in the torrent file itself and think the problem is the torrent builder u use?! i mean the qbittorrent has dont some changes in building torrents and here is the result, that transmission-bt cant use this files correct!
    1 only file has mostly worked but the rest of all wont work alltimes…, so plz test it urself with ALL your torrent files.

    Thx for your releases, time to test out and hopefully understanding my words…

    • Due to a problem with my default torrent app, I changed it a few months ago, and, in fact, torrents can not be use in Transmission, sorry. Anyway, torrents of a next release will be created with my default app back, so should be working back with Transmission.

  8. A great operating system for reusing low-resource computers. I have installed it on several computers with good results. I recommend and support it.

  9. SparkyLinux 5.16 (Nibiru) currently works at my IBM T42 (Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.70GHz, 2GB RAM) with current kernel 4.19.0-20-686. Excellent, didn’t expect to find an up-to-date OS for this oldtimer PC (born around 2005 🙂

  10. Installed it on my 8 year old HP 2000 laptop. 16GB RAM (Expanded from original 4GB), 500GB SSD (replaced original HDD). Inter core i3. Runs like a dream…

  11. Hi

    just installed Sparky on an old eeepc (=32b, 12 y old, 2gb Ram … ) alongside Lubuntu. Very happy with it: lightweight, wifi-hardware is well supported.

    For a beginner on “normal” hardware, I would recommend “normal” ubuntu.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Hello
      I just installed Linux on my old computer with OpenBox.
      It’s perfect! Light and easy to set up.
      A superb distribution.
      Congratulations to the team for this very good work.

  12. Ken it sounds like you are new to Linux, Sparky might not be a good choice for a first Linux OS in your case, why not have a look at Ubuntu Mate as your first experience as it is windows like in looks and very easy to install. And they have a great community with lots of advice on the web on how to solve issues.

  13. When I was about to download, I was faced with some very confusing Sparky choices that were NEVER explained. It said I could download:
    1. LXQt or
    2. Xfce or
    3. Mate
    What the hell does any of that mumbo jumbo even mean? What’s the difference? Which one is the media one and which one is the gaming one? I decided to say screw it and stick with windows until I know what that Sparky terminology means.

    • Those are 3 different Desktop environments. If you want more info, do what I did, google them. Personally I like Cinnamon. Its very comfortable like Windows 7, but is a bit different, in a nice way. Also, the gaming addition is just lower on the page, but you could start with any, then just install what you like through APTus. It’s an awesome tool. any more questions, leave MS & go to the forum.

    • These things LXQt, Xfce, Mate are different versions of DE= desktop environments.
      Choice and customization are one of the great things about open source operating systems, such as Gnu/Linux.

    • Ken it sounds like you are new to Linux, Sparky might not be a good choice for a first Linux OS in your case, why not have a look at Ubuntu Mate as your first experience as it is windows like in looks and very easy to install. And they have a great community with lots of advice on the web on how to solve issues.


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