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.


What’s up Sparky?


The next release of Sparky 4.0 is coming soon so it’s good time to make some explanations.

The new Sparky 4.x iso images will be based on and compatible with Debian (9) ‘testing’ code name ‘Stretch’. As Sparky uses rolling model, the existing users don’t need to grab new iso images and make fresh installations. Simply keep your copy of Sparky up to date and install suggested packages if you’d like (it’s recommended).

As you probably know, Razor-Qt has been merged with LXDE giving new LXQt desktop. Due to the changes, Sparky Razor-Qt has been dropped.

Sparky 4.0 will be released in May (don’t know the date yet) as follow.

“Full” editions with multimedia codecs and plugins and set of applications for every purpose:
– Xfce

“Base” editions feature minimal set of apps with no codecs or plugins:
– Enlightenment
– Openbox

“CLI” edition which features the core system, text based installer and a few apps.

I released two another Sparky spins with Budgie and LXQt desktops. They are still under development and I don’t think they will be ready soon.

I also been playing with KDE spin.
I know I said no KDE, GNOME, Cinnamon and Unity.
The only one reason I said that is hungry or RAM of the desktops.

It’s nothing wrong with that if you have quite new computer. If not you have to count every MB of RAM used by the desktop and applications. Many of my friends and family members (not only) have old machines with 1.5Ghz CPU and 1 GB of RAM or so. That’s why I personally prefer lightweight desktop/window managers instead of the “big” ones. That’s also why Sparky is targeted to old machines (32 bit) as well as to 64 bit machines.

So my top limit for 32 bit system is 300 MB of RAM to be used with launched desktop and default services.

I said before no KDE, but I have to make another explanation.
I was a (big) fan of GNOME 2 and KDE 3.
The GNOME 2 desktop can be found as MATE now (as its successor).
I tried KDE 4 many times but no luck.
This time I have spare time so I’ve been playing with KDE 4 for a while.
All the things go fine and my 32 bit installation consumes about 290-330 MB of RAM so it makes me happy.
I know about finishing my KDE tests nothing yet, but I’ll let you know whatever happens.

Remembering the time and power has been used to create and develop Sparky, please consider to make donation to keep Sparky alive.