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SparkyLinux 4.5 is out

There is an update of SparkyLinux 4.5 “Tyche” available now.

As before, Sparky “Home” editions provide fully featured operating system based on Debian ‘testing’ with desktops of your choice: LXDE, LXQt, KDE, MATE and Xfce.

Sparky MinimalGUI and MinimalCLI lets you install the base system with a minimal set of applications and your favorite desktop, via the Sparky Advanced Installer.

Changes between 4.4 and 4.5:
– full system upgrade as of November 29, 2016
– Linux kernel 4.8.7 as default (4.8.12-sparky available in Sparky ‘unstable’ repo)
– Firefox 45.5.0 ESR (Firefox 50.0.2 available in our repos)
– Icedove 45.4 (Thunderbird 45.5.1 available in our repos)
– LibreOffice 5.2.3-rc1
– libc6 2.24, systemd 232-6, python 2.7.12 + 3.5.2, gcc 5.4.1 + 6.2.0
– added 2 new desktops to be installed via the MinimalGUI/CLI and APTus: CDE (Common Desktop Environment), DDE (Deepin Desktop Environment); Pantheon desktop has been removed from the configuration
– all Sparky pages (blog, forums, wiki) are encrypted so they are available via the https protocol now; it did not make changes in Sparky repos
– Netsurf web browser replaced by Midori in MinimalGUI Edition – it does not work well with the https protocol
– added support for ‘exfat’ file system

Big thanks go to our community members, for their intensive help on Sparky forums and community portals.

Known issues:
– the live system does not work well inside VirtualBox (but works fine inside VMware Workstation, in BIOS and EFI mode)

ISO images of SparkyLinux can be downloaded from the download page.

 

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.

 

SparkyLinux 4.4 is out

New, updated live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 4.4 “Tyche” are available to download now.

As before, Sparky “Home” editions provide fully featured operating system based on the Debian ‘testing’, with desktops of your choice: LXDE, LXQt, KDE, MATE and Xfce.

Changes between versions 4.3 and 4.4:
– full system upgrade as of August 15, 2016
– Linux kernel 4.6.4 (4.7.1-sparky is available in Sparky repos, see howto)
– firefox 45.3.0.ESR (firefox 48 is available in Sparky repos)
– calamares is available (but not default yet) in our repos
– new default theme called ‘Numix-SX’
– added new desktops to MinimalISO and APTus: Lumina, Trinity and PekWM
– ‘tint2’ panel replaced by ‘fbpanel’ in the MinimalGUI iso images
– added ‘rootactions-servicemenu’ to the Dolphin file manager in the KDE edition
– added short key which runs a terminal emulator in the MinimalGUI edition (Super+t)
– added an option which lets you install a PDF viewer, to the ‘sparky-office’ tool
– Midori web browser replaced by NetSurf in the MinimalGUI edition
– the ‘sparky-firstrun’ which lets you fully upgrade the system and install missing language packages has been fixed
– the ‘sparkylinux-installer’ – a part of ‘sparky-backup-core’ tool refreshes package list itself and installs the latest desktop settings in the MinimalGUI and MinimalCLI editions
– added Vivaldi and NetSurf web browsers to Sparky repos
– improved Wiki pages

The Sparky Advanced Installer runs on MinimalGUI or MinimalCLI iso image lets you install the base system with a minimal set of applications and a desktop of your choice, such as: 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.

It also lets you choose a web browser to be installed: Chromium, Dillo, Epiphany, Firefox (esr or latest), Konqueror, Midori, NetSurf, QupZilla, SeaMonkey, TOR Browser, Vivaldi.

The installation of a desktop of your choice via the Advanced Installer is possible only if your network connection is on (online installation). Otherwise, the Advanced Installer installs the Live system as it is.

Read the MinimalISO how to https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/minimal

ISO images of SparkyLinux can be downloaded from the download page:
https://sparkylinux.org/download

Sparky ISO images verification how to: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/verify_iso

Known issues: login screen failed, see how to fix it.

 

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

 

SparkyLinux 4.3 is out

4 sparky 4.3 teraz

New, updated iso images of SparkyLinux 4.3 “Tyche” are available now.
As before, Sparky “Home” editions provide fully featured operating system based on the Debian ‘testing’, with desktops of your choice: LXDE, LXQt, KDE, MATE and Xfce.

Changes between version 4.2 and 4.3:
– full system upgrade as of April 24, 2016
– Linux kernel 4.5.1
– Iceweasel web browser replaced by Firefox
– Turpial microblogging client replaced by Corebird
– APTus 0.3.x with an option of installation a set of pre-configured desktops: https://sparkylinux.org/aptus-0-3-0/
– Ceni network manager changed by Network Manager in the CLI edition; the manual network configuration can be done via the ‘nmtui’ command
– openjdk and icedtea-plugin updated to version 8.x
– LibreOffice 5.1.2
– gstreamer0.10 completely removed, the system uses only gstreamer1.0 now
– Exaile audio player (based on gstreamer0.10) replaced by Audacious
– Gnome-Screenshot changed by Gscreenshot
– all the iso images are signed with the GPG key, check how to verify Sparky images:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/verify_iso

“Base Openbox” and “CLI” editions changed their names to: MinimalGUI and MinimalCLI. They feature upgraded Sparky Advanced Installer, which lets you install the base system with a minimal set of applications and a desktop of your choice, such as:
– awesome
– bspwm
– Budgie
– Cinnamon
– Enlightenment
– Fluxbox
– GNOME Flashback
– GNOME Shell
– i3
– IceWM
– JWM
– KDE Plasma 5
– LXDE
– LXQt
– MATE
– Openbox
– Pantheon
– Window Maker
– Xfce

Find screenshots of all available Sparky desktops at:
https://sparkylinux.org/4-3-minimaliso-screenshots/

The installation of a desktop of your choice via the Advanced Installer is possible only if your network connection is on (online installation). Otherwise, the Advanced Installer installs the Live system as it is.

* Make sure that the Sparky Advanced Installer lets you install a desktop of your choice using the MinimaGUI or MinimalCLI iso images only. Using the Advanced Installer in the Home editions will install the Live system as it is.

ISO images of SparkyLinux can be downloaded from the download page:
https://sparkylinux.org/download

Known issues:
* The Pantheon desktop needs to be chosen in the LightDM window instead of the default session at first login.

 

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

 

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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