Sparky news 2018/05

The 5th monthly report of 2018 of Sparky project:
• added new applications to repos: nicotine-plus, yarock, iridium-browser
• APTus enlarged and updated up to version 0.4.1
• released Sparky 4.8 as LXDE, Openbox, CLI images for x86 and x86_64; and Openbox and CLI for ARM machines
• updated Sparky’s Linux kernel up to version 4.16.13
• added new desktop to repos: Jade
• added a new small tool to display all installed applications in a full screen Yad window: Sparky Dashboard
• small update of Sparky 4.8.1 LXDE & MinimalGUI iso images, of the stable line
• removed from repos: midori and netsurt; the packages are still available for Sparky 4, from Debian stable repos
• due to Midori been not upgraded for 3 years about, it has been removed from the MinimalGUI iso and replaced by a small and fast (but still RC) Otter browser


Sparky news 2018/04

The 4rd monthly report of 2018 of Sparky project:
– new iso images gotten localization to be chosen from boot list
– implemented full disk encryption to upcoming Sparky 4.8 of the stable line
– APTus 0.4.0 reconfigured and enlarged of new options of installing some popular application
– sparky-xterm 0.2.0 uses now transparency tilda (on sparky 5) or xterm as before for all sparky tools
– sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to version 4.16.6
– Sparky 4.8 RC iso images (MinialGUI only) released

Sparky 4.8 should be out in the middle of May.

APTus 0.4.1 is still under development with more new features to easy Sparky configuration.


Future direction of Sparky

It took really long, but finelly I made my mind about the future of Sparky.
Don’t think it showed up suddenly, yesterday or so, not really.

To make this decision, I spoke with our community members via community sites, forums, made a few polls, and individual talks as well. I made many, many tests, chacking different configurations and settings many times too. So nothing happend just like that, couse I woke up today morning having a new idea. Not really…

The fact is, I spend much time building and testing Sparky iso images, but the number of iso is too big and doesn’t let me focus on all of them as I want.
At the other hand, the work around Sparky takes much, and much time every next week and every next month. Much time I also spend building/rebuilding new versions of offered via repository packages and creating new ones or implementing new features.

The idea of creating Sparky was quite simple: it has to be lightweight, fast, powerfull and fully customizable. It means no heavy desktops, no fireworks, no useless things.

To do so, I have to cut the iso number down and focus on a one, main point of Sparky view/core. The point was and still is Openbox.

So, to conclude and make it clean and straight:
1. From now, only one main, Openbox based desktop: LXQt (rolling) or LXDE (stable)
2. MinimalGUI (Openbox)/MinimalCLI (text based) lets you install your favorite desktop with a small set of apps, as before.
3. Special Editions with no changes (so far) with Openbox, as before.

It lets me to find a little much time to make and focus on new Sparky releases better than before.


Sparky news 2018/03

The 3rd monthly report of 2018:
– added new packages to repos: bleachbit, notepadqq, webmin, falkon
– sparky 5.3 & 5.3 Special Editions been released
– added German locales to 8 sparky tools, thank’s to Detlef
– changes in the sparky advanced installer:
∘ changed the first window to let you quit and update the installer
∘ cut off efi and swap partitions from the partition list, after choosing them already
∘ fixed locales configuration in gui mode
∘ added ‘users’ group to the target user
– aptus locale installer: added installation of lxtq language related packages
– improved sparky-polkit to be used on all desktops and window managers, specially if you have installed more than one
– improved sparky-remsu to be using pkexec instead of gksu/lxqt-sudo/kdesudo
– sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to version 4.15.14
– localized sparky-backup-core, sparky-backup-desktop & sparky-backup-sys – please translate

Happy Easter to all of you from Aneta & Paweł


Sparky news 2018/02

This is the second monthly report of 2018:

• added new packages to repos: Min web browser, Debian kernel installer (a part of APTus), Sparky CA, RSS Guard
• sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to version 4.15.7
• built and installed the Graphene Desktop; it is not compatible with Sparky4/Debian Stretch, but is compatible with Sparky 5/Debian Buster/Sid; even I built and installed it, it doesn’t work for me, so not uploaded to repos; mayby a next build
• aptus locale installer: added installation of: kde task, gnome task, aspell and myspell dictionaries
• calamares 3.1.12 has been rebuilt to be working with libkpmcore7 (sparky 5 only)

New 5.3 live/install iso images are planned in March, so if everything goes well, they should be out in the weekend of 10-11.

As I posted before about donations we really need, I start publishing donation reports to make it transparent for all of you. Let me know if I miss somebody or made a mistake (hope not).


Sparky news 2018/01

The first monthly report of 2018:

• ddm and lightdm-manager removed from sparky repos
• aptus extra updated adding new apps which have been already added to sparky repos
• removed all deepin desktop related packages and repo
• added new packages to repos: Sayonara Player, Plasma wideo wallpaper module
• Sparky 5.2 Special editions released
• Sparky joined to Patreon – become a sponsor to support Sparky project
• there is a new French Wikipedia page of Sparky, which is available alongside to English, Polish, Hebrew, Italian, Arabic and Norwegian; it is created by Soner du
• sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to version 4.15.0


Sparky news 2017/11/30


Sparky monthly report of the November 2017:
– keep building missing packages for armhf arch
– re-built some sparky tools to be compatible with armhf arch
– enlightenment updated up to version 0.22.1 and efl up to 1.20.6, so they are available now for i386, amd64 & armhf archs
– lumina-desktop updated up to version 1.4.0-p1 and is available now for i386, amd64 & armhf
– Sparky 4.7 “Tyche” of the stable line has been released
– Sparky 5-dev20171120 with disk ecryption via the Calamares installer has been released
– Sparky 4-dev20171127 for RaspberryPi has been released
– the latest Linux kernel updated up to version 4.14.3

Having much, and much work to do around Sparky, I consider to cut down (only one less by now) the next coming live/install media of Sparky 5.2.

I also consider to remove dde repository and all the packages – the desktop doesn’t work on Buster as it should, so there is no reason and no enough time to keep it there any longer.

Sometimes the less means more.


Sparky news 2017/10/30


The last September was so busy for me so I forgotten to drop a few words then.

Anyway, a next month almost gone so I’m gonna make a line under the two months and say what happened:
– started building new line of Linux kernel 4.13; the present one is 4.13.10
– sparky tools source code git repository moved to GitHub service
– added new packages to Sparky repos: Qt5 config, Manokwari desktop, Exaile 4.0.0 beta2 audio player, Waterfox web browser
– Sparky 5.1 & 5.1 Special Editions have been released
– Sparky 4.6.1 & 5.0 (6 different versions) have been published as a dual layer DVD disk with a Polish IT magazine called “Komputer Świat”
– added support to armhf architecture, creating a new image of Sparky 4-dev (still under development) for a single board mini computer RaspberryPi
– started building missing packages for the armhf arch
– as every year I asked you to support Sparky and send some donations to pay for our VPS and to buy RaspberryPi; the RPI I already have, thank’s to our community member gom1, as well as the full amount to pay for the VPS, thank’s to all of you (but don’t stop supporting 🙂 )
– Calamares installer has been re-built separately on Stretch and Buster (different libs versions)
– sparkybackup command has gotten 3 shortcuts:
* sparkybackup dist -> spb
* sparkybackup clean -> spb clean
* nano /etc/sparkybackup/sparkybackup.conf (to edit the config file) -> spb edit
– Sparky is a candidate of a Project of the Month (December) on the – vote for Sparky now!


Sparky news 2017/08/30


The August almost finished so it’s time to make a thick line and say what happened:

– sparky-usb-formatter small issue fixed thank’s to gom1
– sparky-backup-desktop – a part of sparkylinux advanced installer:
• fixed yad window size
• fixed issue around a display manager installation reported by tomix86
– sparky-backup-core – fixed memtest86+ boot option in a new iso; the memtest86+ is copied now from installed package of your system
– all Deepin Desktop Environment related packages have been upgrade to their latest versions
– Sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to the latest version 4.12.9
– added new packages to the repos: Brave, Iron & Cyberfox web browsers; GZDoom; Indicator-cpufreq; Leo Editor;
– new, home brew app: Web Browser Installer
– updated EFL 1.20.2, Python-EFL 1.20.0, Enlightenment 0.21.9, Terminology 1.1.0 & Ephoto 1.5 – all built on Stretch, not current testing
– our community member ‘gom1’ gave me 2 used desktops (3 cores each) which I already changed with my friend to a one 2CPU’s x 4 cores (8 cores all together) workstation beast, what really speeded up my work; thank’s a lot!


Sparky news 2017/07/30


The July was very busy month for me and almost gone, so it’s time to drop a few lines.

What’s new?
– Sparky 4.6.1 STB with small changes has been released
– Sparky 5.0 “Nibiru” based on Debian testing “Buster” has been released
– added new packages to the repos: antimicro & lutris
– Sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to the latest version 4.12.4

New iso images of Sparky 5.0 special edition (GameOver, Multimedia and Rescue) based on Debian testing “Buster” are on the way; stay tuned.

There is a nice review of “SparkyLinux 5: Great All-Purpose Distro for Confident Linux Users” by Jack M. Germain