Android Messages Desktop

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: Android Messages™ Desktop

What is Android Messages™ Desktop?

Android Messages as a Cross-platform Desktop App

– System notifications when a text comes in
– Notification badges on macOS
– Spellchecking in ~50 languages
– Run in background on Windows / Linux / macOS
– Minimize to tray on Windows / Linux
– Menu bar support on macOS
– TBD…

Installation (amd64 only):
sudo apt update
sudo apt install android-messages-desktop

or via APTus-> IM.

Android Messages Desktop

The project page at GitHub:
The project founder is Chris Knepper.


Draco Desktop

There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: Draco

What is Draco?

Draco is a simple and lightweight desktop environment. While small still features XDG integration, freedesktop services and integration, power and storage management, desktop, panels, multi-monitor support and much more. Draco does not include any user applications.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install draco-desktop

The package is built and tested on Sparky 5/Debian Buster 64 and 32 bit only.

Make sure this is the first build of Draco on Sparky so let me know if you find any problem, please.

Draco Desktop

The Draco GitHub page:
The project developer is Ole-André; it is licensed under the BSD-3, LGPL-2.1 and GPL-2.


Sparky Desktop 20180815.1

There is a new version of Sparky Desktop 20180815.1 package in our repository.

The ‘sparky-desktop’ is a module of APTus which lets you install, reinstall or remove a desktop.

Due to problems with uninstalling all desktops, new configuration has been implemented to make sure that a chosen desktop is properly removed from your system.

The latest package of ‘sparky-desktop’ has been uploaded to the Sparky “testing” repo, so the “stable” repo still offers an older version.

Users of Sparky 5 can upgrade the package and test the tool, and then report if any problem can be found, please.

Jade Desktop

There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: Jade Desktop.

The Jade Desktop developer is Vitor Lopes and the source code is available at GitHub:

JADE is a Linux desktop built with html5, css, javascript and python…
…Is a serveless Linux Desktop Environment, built with Python and web technologies on top of Webkit2 using the Gtk toolkit, the front end is built using HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. JADE is under the GPLv2 license, background images are under Creative Commons Zero license…
…JADE is a modern DE. Jade does not try to hide things away from the user, and reduces nested clicking for a modern workflow. Jade is not meant to be a full blown DE, and is meant to be complemented by 3rd party applications.

The Jade desktop uses the Jade Application Kit:

JAK is built in Python GTK3 toolkit and Webkit2 Browser engine. It is dependent on Python Gobject introspection module and Webkit2Gtk…
…Create native web wrappers or write hybrid Web and Desktop applications on Linux using a webview, including but not limited to DOCKS, Widgets, or any other sort of apps.

Installation option 1:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install jadesktop

Then run it from menu-> Accessories-> Jade Desktop

Installation option 2:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-desktop-jade

The Sparky meta package provides additional tools to be installed and a startup script which starts a few services. The desktop can be launched from your login/session manager, choosing the “Jade Desktop”.

The desktop is still under development, means it is not a stable release yet.

It should work itself, but it doesn’t start without a “normal” window manager. Installing it on the top of any desktop or window manager lets you run it from a menu.

Installing it via the Sparky meta package provides the Blackbox window manager, which starts just one second before Jade Desktop starts.

Jade Dashboard


Sparky Desktop 20171214

There is an update of Sparky Desktop 20171214 available in our repository.
Sparky Desktop can be used via Sparky APTus-> Install tab-> Desktop

– Removed “–yes” option of apt command when installing packages – it shows all packages to be downloaded, the amount of all of them, and needs your confirmation
– Added separate window for arm arch – it displays desktops which can be installed on RaspberryPi only to avoid misunderstanding
– Got separated all desktops to 3 different sub-windows depends of repository source: Debian, Sparky and Others

All desktops available via the tool are installed using sparky’s desktop meta packages.
Desktop packages from the “Debian” tab are installed from Debian repository.
Desktop packages from the “Sparky” tab are installed from Sparky repos and they are built by me (pavroo).
Desktop packages from “Others” tab are installed using sparky meta package, but the installation script configures 3rd party repository, installs its public key and installs packages from the 3rd party repos, which are maintained and built by the project’s developers.

Hope it’s clear now, but if you have any question, place it at our forums.

Desktop Installer


Manokwari Desktop

There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: Manokwari.

Manokwari is a desktop shell for GNOME 3 with Gtk+ and HTML5 frontend. Manokwari is used by BlankOn Linux distribution.

Recommended way to install Manokwari Desktop on Sparky host:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-desktop-manokwari

or via APTus 0.3.x with ‘sparky-desktop’ >= 20170918

Successfully installed and tested on Sparky 4 and 5.

Manokwari with menu
Manokwari desktop on Sparky with system’s menu.

Manokwari with system panel
Manokwari desktop on Sparky with system’s config panel.

Used: Bromo theme, Ultra-flat-icons and Sparky’s default wallpaper.

Known issues:
– the desktop doesn’t start in a virtual machine, only on a physical one;

Have fun !


Deepin desktop changes

The latest update has broken deepin desktop, so I updated all deepin related packages after.
No luck anyway.

The desktop is no longer compatible with Stretch, can be installed on Debian testing or Sid.

All changes, tests and fight takes too much time so I decided to remove an installation option of deepin desktop from MinimalGUI/CLI iso images.
I also removed (temporary ?) the desktop installation and remove options from APTus.

Anyway, all packages are updated now and still can be installed via APT or Synaptic, if you would like to give it a try.

Hope I will find more time in the future to play with that again.


Pantheon desktop changes

The Pantheon Desktop Environment packages are installed in Sparky from a 3rd party repositories.

The latest upgrade has broken the desktop on Sparky 5.x based on Debian testing “Buster”.
The desktop packages are targeted to Debian Stretch and still work fine on Sparky 4.x.

So, I removed Pantheon desktop installation from MinimalGUI/CLI iso images, and blocked installation via APTus on Sparky 5.

Also added Slim display manager which (temporary ?) replaces Lightdm in the default installation.

Make sure, that a 3rd party packages are not built by Debian devs or me.

Installation of the Pantheon desktop can be done on Sparky 4.x via ‘sparky-aptus’ => 0.3.x with the latest version of ‘sparky-desktop’ => 20170902.


DDE updated up to 15.4.1

The deepin desktop environment related packages have been updated up to the latest versions and moved to a separated repository.

Due to a few dependency problems, all dde related packages have been moved to new sparky’s “dde” repository:
deb dde main
deb-src dde main

stored in:
The new repos will be set via the latest version of ‘sparky-apt’ package.

Updating existing sparky’s dde installation as follow:

Easy way:
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade --no-install-recommends

Then run APTus-> Install-> Desktop-> Deepin

Manual way:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-apt

then edit & enable new dde repos in the file:
and upgrade all packages:
sudo apt full-upgrade --no-install-recommends

Make sure everything is ok:
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
sudo dpkg --configure -a
sudo apt -install -f

Due to temporary problems with lightdm + ddm (fresh installation only), slim is installed and set as default, instead of lightdm. If your lightdm has no problem to log in to the ddm desktop, simply remove or disable slim:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

Sparky 5 deepin