There is a new tool available for Sparkers: mkusb

What is mkusb?

The mkusb tool was developed to make it simpler and safer to create boot drives with the method to flash or clone an iso image or a compressed image file. It is using dd under the hood.The target is a mass storage device, often but not always a USB drive, sometimes an internal drive or an eSATA drive.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install mkusb

or via APTus (+ sparky-aptus-extra 0.2.15).


The mkusb Launchpad repo:


Sparky Backup Core 20180719

Sparky Backup Core has been upgraded up to version 20180719.

Sparky Backup Core/Sys tool lets you create a hybrid ISO image from your SparkyLinux installation, and then install it on a new machine or different hard/USB disk or a different partition.

– added Indonesian locale
– added support of btrfs and xfs file systems to the Advanced Installer.

The most notable change is added the btrfs file system to the installer.

From Wikipedia:

Btrfs is a file system based on the copy-on-write (COW) principle, initially designed at Oracle Corporation for use in Linux. The development of Btrfs began in 2007, and since August 2014 the file system’s on-disk format has been marked as stable.

Btrfs is intended to address the lack of pooling, snapshots, checksums, and integral multi-device spanning in Linux file systems. Chris Mason, the principal Btrfs author, has stated that its goal was “to let Linux scale for the storage that will be available. Scaling is not just about addressing the storage but also means being able to administer and to manage it with a clean interface that lets people see what’s being used and makes it more reliable”.

The new feature lets you install Sparky’s root file system (via Advanced Installer) on a subvolume “root”, and if you choose a separtate partition for your home directory, it will set your home dir on a subvolume “home” as well.

It means, your “root” and “home” subvolumes can be backed up straight via the btrfs feature or via the Timeshift application which is available in Sparky repository too.

Advanced Installer

btrfs file system


Sparky Backup Sys 20180607

Sparky Backup System has been updated up to version 2080607 and has gotten a few changes such as:
• skel option has been separated off the dist (former: ISO) option; so have to run the option first, before ‘dist’ if you would like to make your present desktop settings as default of the new live user
• option ‘clean’ pernamently removes a working dir now, instead of its content
• all options have the same names of gui and cli modes now; all of them are available in both modes now

CLI mode works with the command: sparkybackup OPTION or shorter: spb OPTION; available options are:
• info – displays informations about Sparky Backup System
• efi – displays informations about adding support for UEFI machines
• skel – copies your desktop basic settings to make default in the live system
• dist – makes a distributable hybrid livecd/dvd of your system
• edit – edits the tool configuration file
• installer – edits the sparky advanced installer configuration file
• clean – cleans up files of sparkybackup working directory
• cache – cleans up apt cache (via apt and aptitude if installed)
• log – displays log file of the last ISO building

A question of sync of all the options between GUI and CLI tools has been suggested by our community member armakolas.


CLI tool only:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-backup-core

GUI tool:
sudo apt install sparky-backup-sys

Sparky Backup Core


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.


Sparky Backup System 20160808


The default Sparky’s backup tool ‘Sparky Backup System’ has been upgraded up to version 20160808 (‘sparky-backup-core’ and ‘sparky-backup-sys’).

Sparky Backup System is a tool which lets you backup your installed version of Sparky, including all installed applications, desktops and desktop settings into a single iso image file. But it doesn’t backup your personal files from /home/user/ directory.

– removed ‘backup’ option from the ‘sparkybackup’ script and the ‘sparkybackup-gui’; the gui uses ‘ISO’ option to create a backup iso image now; the command line works with ‘sparkybackup dist’ command as before; the ‘backup’ option user name made conflict with a new ‘live’ user name generated via the live scripts and used by both ‘Live-Installer’ and ‘Sparky Advanced Installer’;
– improved copping of all installed desktops/window managers (for the new backup iso user) to avoid some output issues during the copping process;
– added a few more desktops/window managers to the copping script;

The present version has been tested on both Debian stable and testing installations successfully.
Sparky and Debian testing/Sid works with present versions of all the tools fine.

Debian stable installation needs older versions of two packages to be installed/downgraded:
– ‘live-installer’ 20151009 (optionally)
– ‘yad’ 0.26 to display gui of the ‘Sparky Backup System’ and ‘Sparky Advanced Installer’
Both older version of the tools can be downloaded from the sourceforge host:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sparky-backup-sys

Sparky Backup System on Debian stable Jessie



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.


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


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

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:

Sparky + bspwm


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
– KDE Plasma 5
– LXQt
– 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

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/


SparkyLinux 3.6-dev3 LXQt


A new testing version of SparkyLinux 3.6-dev3 LXQt is out.

New iso image provides some bugs fixing and new features which make deep changes in the system. Most of them will be implemented to the next Sparky live/install images.
Please, test the live system, the installation process and the system installed on a hard drive as well.

Sparky 3.6-dev3 LXQt main keys:
– packages updated from Debian testing repository as of 2015/03/01
– LXQt 0.9
– two windows managers: Openbox (default) and Kwin
– fully system’s rebranding
– improved windows look of sparky and other applications which work with root privileges
– fixed issues with x-terminal-emulator used in sparky apps, on some desktops
– updated live-installer

If you find any problem – report it on SparkyLinux forums
If you’d like to rebrand your current Sparky installation – read the quick guide.
Testing iso images can be downloaded from the download/development page


SparkyLinux 3.6 LXQt


Sparky Backup System 20150119


Sparky Backup System tool has been updated up to version 20150119.
It lets you rebuild your present installation of Sparky and make a backup/remix which can be installed on a different partition/disk/machine.

– added support for EFI – lets you build new remix which can be working on machines with BIOS or EFI motherboard
– added support for lxqt, gnome and cinnamon desktops (settings auto copy)
– added option to auto create a package-list.txt file
– sparkylinux-installer (old) – fixed minnor problem with formatting partitions
– many small improvements and bug fixing

This tool can be used with Yad based GUI or via command line:
sudo sparkybackup /option/

It provides support for auto copy settings of the following desktops/window managers:
– afterstep
– cinnamon
– enlightenment
– fluxbox
– fvmw
– gnome
– icewm
– jwm
– kde
– lxde
– lxqt
– mate
– openbox
– pekwm
– razor-qt
– xfce

I haven’t built a new remix on a machine with EFI motherboard, so if you can just do it and let me know about the results.
If you find any problem, bug, etc. or have a suggestion simply let us know about that on our forums.

Installing/upgrading the present version of the ‘sparky-backup-sys-20150119’ can remove ‘systemd-sysv’ package.
Install it back before rebooting your system.
Without that you will probably not be able to boot the system.

Sparky Backup System