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SparkyLinux 4.5-dev20161106

 

There is a development iso image of Sparky 4.5-dev20161106 MinimalGUI ready for testing.

The new dev iso image features:
• Linux kernel 4.7 + the latest updates from Debian ‘testing’ repos
• the Calamares installer 2.4.4 with added support of installation on 32 and 64 bit UEFI machines.
• Sparky Advanced Installer which provides support for two more desktops to be installed straight from the live media: CDE (Common Desktop Environment) and DDE (Deepin Desktop Environment)

We (MoroS and me) been working yesterday to make the installer working with UEFI both 32 and 64bit machines, so it can be tested via the latest development iso images already.

MoroS sent his bootloader patch to the Calamares devs, so we have a small part of our help to the Calamares project now 🙂

The development iso images for i686 and x86_64 machines are placed on the download/development page.
Please test it and report whatever you find.

Calamares on SparkyLinux

Known issues:
1. The iso features Linux kernel 4.7, so the VirtualBox needs to have I/O APIC option enabled.
The live systems starts the X server in failsafe mode inside VirtualBox (UEFI mode); BIOS mode – starts, but with problems. To test the iso image in BIOS mode use VMware Workstation, for example, or run it on a “normal” machine.
2. Installing Sparky via the Sparky Advanced Installer with Pantheon desktop – the ‘wingpanel’ doesn’t start due to newer version of GNOME libs.

 

Sparky news 08/2016

 

A few lines should let you know what is going on inside Sparky.

If everything goes fine, new live/install iso images of Sparky 4.4 should be ready on the end of the next week.

The ‘Calameres’ installer is available in our repository, but is not configured to install the system on UEFI machines yet.

An issue in the ‘live-installer’ has been fixed so it is still our default installer, as well as the Advanced Installer is provided as a backup to the main one.

The ‘Advanced Installer’ used on Sparky MinimalGUI or MinimalCLI iso image lets you install one of the 22 desktop environments/window managers now (awesome, bspwm, Budgie, Cinnamon, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME Flashback, GNOME Shell, i3, IceWM, JWM, KDE Plasma 5, Lumina, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox, Pantheon, PekWM, Trinity, Window Maker, Xfce) and one of a web browser (Chromium, Dillo, Epiphany, Firefox, Konqueror, Midori, NetSurf, QupZilla, SeaMonkey, TOR Browser, Vivaldi).

Vivaldi web browser has been added to Sparky repos (can be installed via APT, Synaptic or Sparky APTus Extra).
A lightweight NetSurf web browser has been moved from Debian Sid repos to ours.
BlueGriffon – a WYSIWYG content editor for the World Wide Web has been upgraded up to the latest version 2.2.1.
The latest stable version of Firefox landed in Sparky repos.

The ‘sparky-backup-core’ package has been split into two packages: ‘sparky-backup-core’ and ‘sparky-backup-desktop’. It lets the Advanced Installer upgrade desktops number and settings (itself) to be installed via the Minimal iso image.

Sparky Office tool lets you install an Office suite and a PDF (and other documents) viewer now.

Sparky Wiki has been improved, adding new pages.

Feel free to ask a question or leave your feedback on our forums, or just send out donation to keep Sparky alive.

 

PekWM

 

PekWM is a window manager that once upon a time was based on the aewm++ window manager, but it has evolved enough that it no longer resembles aewm++ at all. It has a much expanded feature-set, including window grouping (similar to ion, pwm, or fluxbox), autoproperties, xinerama, keygrabber that supports keychains, and much more.

PekWM is pre-configured (with Sparky touch) and available to install in two ways:

1. An existing Sparky installation, via the APTus -> Desktop tab.
Make sure your package list is up to date:
sudo apt-get update
and you have installed the lates versions of 3 packages:
sudo apt-get install sparky-aptus sparky-desktop sparky-desktop-data
or just make full system upgrade:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then run APTus -> Desktop -> and choose PekWM to be installed.

APTus

2. Fresh system installation.

Run Sparky 4.3 or 4.4-dev MinimalGUI or MinimalCLI iso image and upgrade 3 packages in the live system:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sparky-backup-core sparky-backup-desktop sparky-desktop-data

Then run Sparky (Advanced) Installer from the system’s menu and install PekWM from the desktops list.

Sparky + PekWM

 

SparkyLinux 4.4-dev20160617

 

There is testing iso image of Sparky 4.4-dev20160617 MinimalGUI ready to go.

The dev iso image features:
• Linux kernel 4.6 + the latest updates from Debian ‘testing’ repos
• the Calamares installer which replaced the Live Installer. Calamares is available in the desktop’s Menu-> System-> Sparky Installer (the same name as the Live Installer before), or via ‘sudo calamares’ command. It works on BIOS machines well, but still doesn’t with UEFI, see more details
• new theme ‘Numix-SX’. The ‘numix-theme’ package provides 3 themes of your choice: Numix-SX-Dark (default), Numix-SX-DarkFull and Numix-SX-Light. It offers GTK+ 3.20 support as well.
• Sparky Advanced Installer provides support for one more desktop to be installed straight from the live media: Trinity (TDE), and fixed small issue with i3 desktop configuration file.

The development iso images for i686 and x86_64 machines are placed on the download/development page.
Please test it and report whatever you find.

Calamares on SparkyLinux

 

Calamares

 

Calamares – “a distribution-independent system installer, with an advanced partitioning feature for both manual and automated partitioning operations” just landed in Sparky repos.

Does the Calamares replace the present “Live Installer”?
Yes, I’d like to, as soon as possible.

Does the Calamares replace the “Sparky Advanced Installer”?
No, the Advanced Installer is still in use, because:
1. It provides a backup for the main installer (Live Installer or Calamares), in some cases.
2. It provides an installation option of 20 desktops (about)
3. UEFI machines…

Does the Calamares work on UEFI machnes well?
There is still some problems with a GRUB-EFI installation on Sparky. It needs to be fixed, but it works fine on BIOS based machines.

How can I test the Calamares on Sparky?
The best way is: download the latest Sparky ISO image with preinstalled Calamares. It will be available soon, very soon…

Calamares

 

Sparky 4.3-dev3 MinimalISO

 

This is the 3th and probably the last development version of SparkyLinux 4.3-dev3 MinimalISO.

Changes between Sparky 4.3-dev2 and dev3:

1. Improved the Sparky Advanced Installer:
– added 4 more desktops: bspwm, i3, Pantheon and Window Maker
– added more options to be saved in the log file; if any problem with the advanced installer, provide /var/log/sparkylinux-installer.log file
– Iceweasel changed back to Firefox (is in Debian testing repository), so the Advanced Installer offers you Firefox-esr instead of Iceweasel now
– many small fixes

2. Sparky APTus got an option of desktop installation, so you can install any desktop configured for Sparky as the same desktops provided via Sparky Advanced Installer

3. Added bspwm window manager to Sparky repository.

It can be installed via the package manager, but has to be configured by you.
It also can be installed via the Advanced Installer or APTus with Sparky’s configuration.

4. Small improvements for home grilled desktops: Enlightenment, Budgie and bspwm to be runable as a default session via Lightdm or a different login manager.

5. Linux kernel 4.4.6

The live user name is: live
The live user password is: live
The system’s root (admin) user password is empty.

To run the text based installer (called: Sparky (Advanced) Installer) in the CLI edition, do:
1. Log in to the live user account.
2. Re-log in to the root account:
sudo su
sparkylinux-installer

or run the installer as a super user:
sudo sparkylinux-installer

If you are connected to the network via wireless (wifi) device only, run the Ceni to configure the connection before running the installer:
sudo ceni
Some of wifi devices need an exact kernel module to be loaded before running the Ceni.

The testing ISO images can be found at the page:
https://sparkylinux.org/download/development

Sparky + bspwm

 

Multi Desktop Installer

 

Sparky Advanced Installer (previously: Sparky Old Installer) is an additional installer which I still keep in the live system as a backup to the default Live Installer (forked from LMDE installer), and for some guys with very old machines.

The old installer is based on Yad (GUI mode) or Dialog (text mode) and is quite lightweight so can be used on old machines. Adding support of installation on machines with UEFI motherboards made it more flexible and can be used on new machines as well.

According to discussion started by The Black Pig on our forums about a Sparky minimal iso image, and a few emails asking me about other desktops, I started improving the old installer about month ago.

All the changes in the Advanced (old) Installer are done now, and the installer lets you install 17 desktops now, with minimal configuration and minimal set of applications too.

Comparing to the last week’s Sparky 4.3-dev2 iso images which feature a week older version of the Advanced Installer, the present one (v20160317) offers also:
1. Pantheon desktop (the elementary OS default desktop)
2. Window Maker window manager

Sparky Pantheon    Sparky Window Maker

3. A web browser installer (chooser)

Web browser installer

It means, no web browser is installed as default now – I removed Iceweasel from ‘sparky-desktop-name’ meta packages dependencies. The installer lets you choose one of the web browsers during installation process:
– Chromium
– Dillo
– Epiphany
– Iceweasel
– Konqueror
– Midori
– QupZilla

And this is a full list of desktops available via the Advanced Installer:
– awesome
– Budgie
– Cinnamon
– Enlightenment
– Fluxbox
– GNOME Flashback
– GNOME Shell
– IceWM
– JWM
– KDE Plasma 5
– LXDE
– LXQt
– MATE
– Openbox
– Pantheon
– Window Maker
– Xfce

There is no new iso images now (maybe next week), simply use the latest one of Sparky 4.3-dev2:
download/development
and upgrade ‘sparky-backup-core’ package to the latest version, in the live session:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sparky-backup-core

Test it, report any issue on our forums and leave your feedback, please.

 

Sparky 4.3-dev2 MinimalISO

 

There is the second development version of SparkyLinux 4.3-dev2 MinimalISO available for testing.

Sparky 4.3-dev2 MinimalISO lets you install the base system with one of the 15 desktops of your choice, with as small configuration as possible:
– awesome
– Budgie
– Cinnamon
– Enlightenment
– Fluxbox
– GNOME Flashback
– GNOME Shell
– IceWM
– JWM
– KDE Plasma 5
– LXDE
– LXQt
– MATE
– Openbox
– Xfce

Sparky MinimalISO is available in two editions:
– MinimalGUI (Openbox) ~ 900 MB ISO
– MinimalCLI (text mode) ~ 500 MB ISO

The live user name is: live
The live user password is: live
The system’s root (admin) user password is empty.

To run the text based installer (called: Sparky (Advanced) Installer) in the CLI edition, do:
1. Log in to the live user account.
2. Re-log in to the root account:
sudo su
sparkylinux-installer

or run the installer as a super user:
sudo sparkylinux-installer

If you are connected to the network via wireless (wifi) device only, run the Ceni to configure the connection before running the installer:
sudo ceni
Some of wifi devices need an exact kernel module to be loaded before running the Ceni.

Starting with this release, all Sparky iso images are signed with the gpg key.
Find out how to verify the iso image with the gpg key: wiki/doku.php/verify_iso
The testing ISO images can be found at the page: download/development

Sparky Advanced Installer

The screenshot’s page of the Sparky MinimalISO desktops has been improved, adding new desktop screenshots: 4-3-minimaliso-screenshots/

 

Another 3 desktops

 

Another week gone and next 3 desktops are ready to install using the Sparky Advanced Installer from the MinimaISO images:
– GNOME Flashback
– IceWM
– KDE

The ‘Sparky Advanced Installer’ lets you install one of the 12 desktops now: Budgie, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME Flashback, IceWM, JWM, KDE, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox & Xfce with a very small set of applications.

A problem with loading the Sparky wallpaper and theme in the Budgie Edition after the first run from a hard drive has been fixed.

There is no new iso image, so if you’d like to test the new added desktops, simply use the existing Sparky 4.3-dev1 iso images: download/development/

Don’t forget to upgrade the ‘sparky-backup-core’ tool to the latest version (20160229 or above), in the live system, before running the Sparky Advanced Installer:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sparky-backup-core

Then run the Sparky Advanced Installer normally and install and test new desktops.

Sparky Advanced Installer

There is a new screenshot’s page of Sparky MinimalISO desktops: 4-3-minimaliso-screenshots/

 

3 more desktops

 

Keep working with the minimal installation tool, I have added 3 more desktops to the 6 existing ones:
– Fluxbox
– MATE
– Xfce

So the ‘Sparky Advanced Installer’ lets you install 9 desktops now: Budgie, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, JWM, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox & Xfce with a very small set of applications.

There is no a new iso image, so if you’d like to test the new added desktops, simply use the existing Sparky 4.3-dev1 iso images: download/development/

Install the latest version of the ‘sparky-backup-core’ tool (version 20160225 or above), in the live system:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sparky-backup-core

Then run the Sparky Advenced Installer normally and test new desktops.

Sparky + Fluxbox

 

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