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Sparky 6.0 “Po Tolo”

Sparky 6.0 “Po Tolo” has been released. It is based on and fully compatible with Debian 11 “Bullseye”.

Highlights:
– based on Debian stable 11 “Bullseye”
– all packages updated from Debian “Bullseye” & Sparky “Po Tolo” repos as of August 16, 2021
– Firefox 78.13.0ESR instead of Firefox (latest)
– Thunderbird 78.13.0
– VLC 3.0.16
– LibreOffice 7.0.4
– Calamares 3.2.41.1
– Linux kernel 5.10.46 LTS as default
– desktop fonts set to 11
– exfatprogs replaced exfat-fuse & exfat-utils to manage exFAT partitions
– installed ipp-usb to allow a USB device to be treated as a network device
– MinimalGUI: PCManFM replaces DoubleCMD-GTK; Firefox-ESR replaces Epiphany browser
– MinimalCLI: removed multilingual from boot settings and cli installer

Sparky APTus is no loger under development and has been replaced by Sparky APTus AppCenter, introduced over a year ago. It lets you:
– install, reinstall & remove over 2300 popular applications, including over 20 pre-configured desktops

APTus AppCenter main window

– use all tools from the old APTus

APTus AppCenter tools

– install and remove Linux kernels:
* Debian default, RealTime, (Backports & Backports RealTime when ready)
* Liquorix
* XanMod
* Sparky

APTus AppCenter kernel section

Having in mind security and anonymity whilst surfing the net, all Sparky 6 iso images have RiseupVPN application preinstalled. It is not loaded as default, but can be started from your application’s Internet menu.

RiseupVPN

Sparky FirstRun app has been removed and replaced by Sparky Welcome.

Sparky Welcome

Package “sparky-artwork-nature” features 12 new, beautiful nature wallpapers created by:
– Pavbaranow: sparky-nature 36-38
– Aneta: sparky-nature 39-43
– Dana: sparky-nature: 44-47

There is no need to reinstall your Sparky installation, if you have Sparky rolling (Po Tolo) installed – simply keep Sparky up to date. Sparky 6 “Po Tolo” has been moved from rolling to stable automatically.

If you want to keep Sparky rolling, based on the testing branch – wait a few days to new repos will be created. It will be posted separately, so stay tuned.

Sparky 6 “Po Tolo” is avialable in the following flavours:
amd64: Xfce & KDE Plasma
amd64 & i686: LXQt, MinimaGUI (Openbox) & MinimalCLI (text mode)

Note 1: Sparky 6 still supports old machines x86 (32bit).

Note 2: Sparky 6 amd64 can be installed on BIOS or UEFI machines using Sparky Installer (Calamares) or Sparky Advanced Installer (with Yad GUI or cli) as well. Sparky 6 i686 works on BIOS machines only.

Note 3: Installation of Sparky 6 on UEFI machines can be done with Secure Boot off. After installing, the Secure Boot can be turned on back, all required libs is installed during the system installation process.

Note 4: There are 3 repo mirrors located in Germany and USA, feel free to switch to a one:
wiki.sparkylinux.org/doku.php/mirrors
If you would like to provide a new one – simply send out a message.

Note 5: If you would like to upgrade Sparky 5 to the present stable Sparky 6 – follow the Wiki page: wiki.sparkylinux.org/doku.php/upgrade_5_to_6

Note 6: ARM images are not ready, stay tuned.

Send a small tip if you like SparkyLinux.

Sparky 6 Xfce

New iso images of Sparky 6 “Po Tolo” can be downloaded from the download/stable page

Many thanks to all community members for supporting and helping Sparky project.

Informacja o wydaniu w języku polskim: https://linuxiarze.pl/sparky-6-0-po-tolo/

Sparky 2021.06

Sparky 2021.06, the semi-rolling release which is based on Debian testing “Bullseye” is out.
Debian Bullseye is hard frozen now, and is going to Full Freeze soon, so it is perfect time to give Sparky 6 a try before become stable.

Changelog:
– all packages updated from Debian and Sparky testing repos as of June 22
– Linux kernel 5.10.40 LTS (5.12.13 & 5.13-rc7 in Sparky unstable repos)
– added RiseupVPN to all iso images, which helps you protect your privacy using all networking applications
– fonts set to size 11
– a new application Sparky Welcome which replaced Sparky First Run
– small improvements
– MinimalGUI: changed Thunar to a two panels DoubleCMD-Gtk

System re-installation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui tool or a command:

sparky-upgrade

or:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New rolling iso images can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

 

Sparky 2021.03

Sparky 2021.03 of the (semi-)rolling line is out. It is the first snapshot in 2021 of Sparky which is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
– packages upgraded from Debian testing repos as of March 5, 2021
– Linux kernel 5.10.13 (5.11.3 & 5.12-rc2 in Sparky unstable repos)
– Firefox 86.0
– Thunderbird 78.8.0
– LibreOffice 7.0.4.2
– LXQt 0.16.0
– MATE 1.24.1
– Xfce 4.16
– Openbox 3.6.1
– New edition with KDE Plasma 5.20.5
– VLC 3.0.12
– Exaile 4.1.0
– Calamares 3.2.37 + kpmcore 20.12.3
– Sparky APTus AppCenter 20210302
– added extra keyboard shortcuts to Xfce, LXQt and Openbox: https://wiki.sparkylinux.org/doku.php/custom_shortcuts
– removed packages: sparky-xdf, bleachbit

LXQt:
– audio player: Exaile replaced by Clementine
– IM: Pidgin replaced by Kopete; HexChat replaced by Konversation
– Web: Cheese replaced by Webcamoid

System re-installation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui tool or a command:

sparky-upgrade

or:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New rolling iso images can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

Known issues:
– can not open terminal emulator via right click in Thunar in all non Xfce desktops and window managers; it requires xfce4-settings to be installed

 

Sparky 2020.12 Special Editions

Special editions of Sparky 2020.12 GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
• packages updated from Debian testing repos as of December 17, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.9.11 (5.10.1 in Sparky unstable repos)
• Calamares 3.2.34 + kpmcore 4.2.0
• APTus replaced by APTus AppCenter RC1
• added ‘sparky-www’ – it is a small package, which provides a custom Sparky’s start page, powered by DuckDuckGo, to your favorite web browser; the start page is located at /opt/sparky/index.html and has to be loaded manually to a web browser, after installing the package
• Firefox 84.0
• Thunderbird 78.5.1
• LibreOffice 7.0.3
• VLC 3.0.11
• Exaile 4.1.0 beta1
• Python 3.9 is the default one, and libpython3.8 is still installed
• python2.x & libpython2.x removed

GameOver edition:
• removed packages: snowballz, xblast-tnt

Multimedia edition:
• removed packages: jack, jack-mixer, volti, k3d, lilypond

Rescue edition:
• added packages: iotop, rescuezilla
• removed packages: disk-manager, system-config-lvm

According to all the applications which can be installed via the the Sparky APTus AppCenter, the System Kernel section lets you install/reinstall Linux kernels of Debian, Liquorix, XanMod and Sparky. If you looking for a RealTime Linux kernel, simply install XanMod RT Stable or RT Edge (latest) kernel.

System reinstallation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui or a text based tool:
sparky-upgrade

or via apt:
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New iso images of the special editions can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

Sparky 2020.12

The December snapshot of Sparky 2020.12 of the (semi-)rolling line is out.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
• packages updated from Debian testing repos as of December 3, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.9.11 (5.9.12 & 5.10-rc6 in Sparky unstable repos)
• Calamares 3.2.34 + kpmcore 4.2.0
• APTus replaced by APTus AppCenter 20201203-RC1; it is still under development but it is enough stable to let you test and work on it https://sparkylinux.org/sparky-aptus-appcenter/
• added ‘sparky-www’ – it is a small package, which provides a custom Sparky’s start page, powered by DuckDuckGo, to your favorite web browser; the start page is located at /opt/sparky/index.html and has to be loaded manually to a web browser, after installing the package https://wiki.sparkylinux.org/doku.php/sparky_www
• Firefox 83.0
• Thunderbird 78.5.0
• LibreOffice 7.0.3
• VLC 3.0.11
• Exaile 4.1.0 beta1
• libpython3.9 is installed, but Python 3.8 is still the default one
• python2.x & libpython2.x removed
• GCC 10.2.0 as the default compiler
• added RSS feed clients: QuiteRSS to LXQt and Liferea to MATE and Xfce iso images

System re-installation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui tool or a command:

sparky-upgrade

or via APT:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New rolling iso images can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

 

Sparky 2020.08 Special Editions

Special editions of Sparky 2020.08 GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
• packages updated from Debian testing repos as of August 24, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.7.10 (5.8.3 & 5.9-rc2 in Sparky unstable repos)
• added Memory Test and Hardware Detection to the live config
• installed qt5ct + added qt5ct config to Openbox & Xfce desktops
• GCC 9 removed; the default compiler is GCC 10 now
• Xfce 4.14
• Firefox 79.0
• LibreOffice 7.0.1~rc1
• VLC 3.0.11
• Calamares 3.2.24
• removed packages from GameOver iso: balder2d, crrcsim, flare, frozen-bubble
• added new packages to GameOver iso: gamemode
• small improvements

System reinstallation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui or a text based tool:

sparky-upgrade

or via apt:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New iso images of the special editions can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

Sparky 2020.08

The August snapshot of Sparky 2020.08 of the (semi-)rolling line is out.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
• packages updated from Debian testing repos as of August 14, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.7.10 (5.8.1 & 5.9-rc1 in Sparky unstable repos)
• added Memory Test and Hardware Detection to the live config
• installed qt5ct + added qt5ct config to non Qt based desktops: Openbox, MATE & Xfce
• GCC 9 removed; the default compiler is GCC 10 now
• LXQt 0.14.1
• MATE 1.24.1
• Xfce 4.14
• Firefox 79.0
• Thunderbird 68.11.0
• LibreOffice 7.0.0-rc2 (7.0.1~rc1 in Debian testing repos now)
• VLC 3.0.11
• Calamares 3.2.24
• small improvements

System re-installation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui or a text based tool:

sparky-upgrade

or via apt:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New rolling iso images can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

 

Sparky 2020.06

The June snapshot of Sparky 2020.06 of the (semi-)rolling line is out.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
• system upgrade from Debian testing repos as of June 5, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.6.14 (5.7.0 in Sparky unstable repos)
• Firefox 77.0
• Thunderbird 68.8.1
• LibreOffice 6.4.4.2
• debi-tool’ replaced by ‘gdebi’
• added ‘spterm’ (Sparky Terminal) to be used by Sparky tools
• Otter Browser replaced by Epiphany Browser (MinimalGUI)
• added RadioStation – a fork of RadioTray-Lite (and Radiotray)
• added Openbox Noir to the desktop list to be installed as a choice (via MinimalGUI & MinimalCLI and APTus too)
• added disk autopartitioning, encrypting and lvm support to the Advanced Installer DEV (still experimental)
• Calamares updated up to 3.2.24; changed password strength to a minimum number of digits as possible in Calamares, as requested a few times by our users (can be used 1 digit, but I recommend to use strong password); thanks to lami07
• added lxappearance to MinimalGUI iso (Openbox)

System re-installation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui or a text based tool:

sparky-upgrade

or via apt:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New rolling iso images can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

 

Sparky 2020.05

The May snapshot of Sparky 2020.05 of the (semi-)rolling line is out.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
• upgrade from Debian testing repos as of May 5, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.6.7 (5.6.10 & 5.7-rc4 in Sparky unstable repos)
• Calamares 3.2.23
• added additional support of Sparky installation on UEFI machines with Secure Boot: the live system should be launched with Secure Boot off as before; but after installation the Secure Boot can be turned on; both installers: Calamares and Sparky’s Advanced provides support of such installation
• disabled package list updating, during installing Sparky via Calamares; even you install Sparky with active internet connection, the Debian or Sparky server can be temporary off, so it could stop the installation
• Openbox: replaced ‘obmenu’ by ‘jgmenu’: https://sparkylinux.org/jgmenu/
• added new packages to all iso images: ‘pulseaudio-module-bluetooth’ and ‘fuse3’ insead of ‘fuse’; thanks to Richard
• Xfce: fixed an issue of not displaying a wallpaper on the desktop, and not visible Sparky wallpapers at Desktop Settings; thanks to lami07
• replaced ‘ktsuss’ by ‘sparky-su’ which is used by ‘sparky-aptus-upgrade-checker’: https://sparkylinux.org/sparky-su-0-1-11/
• Xfce: enabled fonts anti-aliasing with slight hinting
• LibreOffice 6.4.1.2
• Firefox 75.0
• Thunderbird 68.7.0
• Python 3.8

System re-installation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui or a text based tool:

sparky-upgrade

or via apt:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New rolling iso images can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.

Thanks go to:
• Richard and MoroS for testing Sparky dev iso images on real machines with Secure Boot
• lami07 for helping with the wallpaper issue in Xfce

 

Sparky 2020.04~dev0

Call for testers!

It is a development release of Sparky which is based on Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Goals:
• added support of installation Sparky on UEFI machines with Secure Boot; the live system should be booted with Secure Boot off; after installation the Secure Boot can be turned on
• both installers: Calamares and Sparky’s Advanced provides support of such installation
• Calamares updated up to version 3.2.22
• disabled updating package list by Calamares; if you install Sparky with active Internet connection, Debian or Sparky server can be temporary off or they are not reachable, it breaks/stops the installation, but not any more now

Important!
I do not have a machine with UEFI motherboard and Secure Boot. All tests I performed on a virtual machine using QEMU/KVM so please test it and report whatever you get.

The development iso images of Sparky MinimalGUI & MinimalCLI x86_64 can be downloaded from download/development page

 

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