There is a new application available for Sparkers: Timeshift.

What is Timeshift?

System restore tool for Linux. Creates filesystem snapshots using rsync+hardlinks, or BTRFS snapshots. Supports scheduled snapshots, multiple backup levels, and exclude filters. Snapshots can be restored while system is running or from Live CD/USB.

apt update
apt install timeshift


Timeshift developer is Tony George.
The project page:


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 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



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…



System upgrade 2015-07-21


The last system upgrade makes some changes in the system so be careful.
It wants to remove some packages:
Packages to be removed:
audacity avidemux avidemux-plugins avidemux-qt browser-plugin-vlc dvd95
gnome-control-center gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad
gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly kadu libasound2-plugins:i386 libcheese-gtk23
libcheese7 libopencv-calib3d2.4 libopencv-contrib2.4 libopencv-features2d2.4
libopencv-highgui2.4 libopencv-legacy2.4 libopencv-objdetect2.4 mencoder
minitube ogmrip phonon phonon-backend-vlc skype:i386 twolame vlc vlc-nox
New packages to be installed:
libavresample-ffmpeg2 libavresample-ffmpeg2:i386 libavutil-ffmpeg54
libavutil-ffmpeg54:i386 libswresample-ffmpeg1 libswscale-ffmpeg3
Hold packages:
Packages to be upgraded:
libopencv-core2.4 libopencv-flann2.4 libopencv-imgproc2.4 libopencv-ml2.4

To fix that, remove ‘libasound2-plugins’ package before upgrading.
sudo apt-get remove libasound2-plugins
sudo apt-get autoremove

If you have ‘libasound2-plugins:i386’ package installed on 64bit system – remove it too.
sudo apt-get remove libasound2-plugins:i386
sudo apt-get autoremove

Then perform standard full upgrade:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The operations can remove ‘pulseaudio’, ‘pavucontrol’ and ‘skype’ packages so install them back after.

Looks like ‘skype’ can’t be installed back – it depends on ‘libasound2-plugins’ which can’t be installed – broken dependencies.


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


How To SparkyLinux CLI 3.4 and above


SparkyLinux CLI started from version 3.4 features only:
– core system of Debian testing
– network manager wicd-cli
– file manager, text editor and ftp client Midnight Commander
– web browser eLinks
– the old installer (sparkylinux-installer)
– set of wifi cards drivers
– unzip, unrar, p7zip-full, ntfs-3g, nano, ufw

How to make internet connection?
You can do it in 3 ways:

1. wicd-cli
Find available networks:
wicd-cli -y -l
Make connection:
wicd-cli --wireless -n [network-name] -m [ESSID] -c

Get more info:
wicd-cli --help
man wicd-cli


2. Manual way
Scan available devices:
iwlist scan
Edit ‘interfaces’ file:
nano /etc/natwork/interfaces
Wired device ‘eth0’ and dynamic IP:
auto eth0
allow-hotplug eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

Wired device ‘eth0’ and dynamic IPv6:
auto eth0
allow-hotplug eth0
iface eth0 inet6 dhcp

Wired device ‘eth0’ and static IP (sample):
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Wired device ‘eth0’ and static IPv6 (sample):
iface eth0 inet6 static
address 2001:db8::c0ca:1eaf
netmask 64
gateway 2001:db8::1ead:ed:beef

Start the network:
ifup eth0

Wireless device ‘wlan0’ and dynamic IP:
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp

Wireless device ‘wlan0’ and static IP:
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp

Start the network:
ifup wlan0

Get more info:
ifdown --help
ifup --help

3. Wicd-curses
Started from Sparky 3.6, there is preinstalled ‘wicd-curses’ – a curses client for Wicd.

It needs something to add.

Back to -> FAQ main page

Theme changing problem


Changing the default theme on Sparky LXDE, Ultra and Razor-Qt can make a problem.
To do that I used to use Lxappearance.
It saves new settings in 3 files:

If Lxappearance changes the first two files well, it does not change the last one “desktop.conf”.
So edit the “desktop.conf” file with a text editor and change the line from:


and save the file.
Back to -> FAQ main page

How to SparkyLinux CLI


For Sparky CLI 3.4 and above go to the newer guide.



This quick quide will let you know about SparkyLinux CLI up to version 3.2.
All the applications presented above have been preinstalled in SparkyLinux up to version 3.2.
I. What does the CLI mean?
Command Line Interface is an interface which works with no a graphic interface.
All the work has to be managed in two ways:
1. having a command
2. using an additional interface working in text mode as well (but much easier)

II. What is the SparkyLinux CLI?
SparkyLinux CLI works as a Live CD/USB distro and features Debian “testing” branch base system with a few tools.
It has a set of drivers for wireless network devices, the same as rest of the SparkyLinux editions have.
Sparky CLI is designed to be used in two cases:
1. to make an installation of Debian testing base and to build own desktop based on it
2. to be used on machines which can’t run the graphics server

Sparky CLI can be used as Live CD/USB system or can be installed on a hard or USB drive.
Live edition of Sparky CLI needs CD media or 1 GB of flash drive.
It requires 2 GB of a hard or USB drive to make full system installation.

III. What does the SparkyLinux CLI have?
1. The base system of Debian testing
2. Set of drivers for wireless network devices (Wifi)
3. Sparky Live Installer, which can be run with command:
sudo sparkylinux-installer
4. Cfdisk – partitioning tool.


5. Networking tools:
a. Ceni – network manager, can be run with command:
sudo ceni


Some of wireless cards needs an exact module to be loaded. It has to be done if Ceni will not find your network device. Check your card type with command:

Load the module (for example: my wifi card works on “zydas” chipset):
modprobe -r zd1211rw

If the command will not display any problem, just load it:

modprobe zd1211rw
Then start Ceni again.

b. Ping
This tool let you check has the connection with internet been done well (any address):

ping -c 2
c. ELinks – web browser.


d. CenterIM – instant messenger, it supports the protocols: Gadu-Gadu, Jabber, ICQ, Yahoo!, AOL, IRC and MSN.


e. UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall) lets you configure the firewall in easy way.
The firewall activation (all the commands as root):
ufw enable
To disable it:
ufw disable
The firewall status check in:
ufw status
f.  Wget – download manager, can be run:
wget file-address

g. Midnight Commander – FTP (& SFTP) file transfer. “Left” or “Right” tab -> ftp (sftp) link.
Connect to a server with command:
Then type your password.


h. rTorrent – BitTorrent client, start downloading with command:
rtorrent file.torrent


6. Multimedia
a. Alsamixer – the sound mixer – lets you configure sound devices.
Run it with command:
– upper cursor – makes the sound louder
– bottom cursor – makes the sound quieter
– left and right cursor – changing between sound devices
– the “m” key switch on/turn off sound device, “MM” – a device is on, “OO” – a device is off.


b. MOC (Music on Console) – music player, works with “ncurses” interface.
Run it with command:


c. VLC (VideoLAN Client) – multimedia player, it supports many popular audio and video file formats and streaming. VLC can be run in two ways:
cvlc /patch-to-local-or-network-file
or using “ncurses” interface (recommended) – lets you browse local disks and partitions:
vlc -I ncurses
Press “Shift” + “b” to browse files and directories.


7. Others
a. Midnight Commander – file manager and text editor, can be run with command:
b. Nano – text editor, can be run with command:
c. Htop – an interactive system-monitor process-viewer:
d. Fbi – graphics viewer:
fbi /patch-to-file
e. DF – lets you check how much space a file system is using (%), the file system type, which partition it is on, and its mount point:
With “h” option – in MB:
df -h
f. Mount – lets you mount partitions, disk and removable storage devices.
Checking all devices:
fdisk -l
Mounting a partition:
mount -t file_system_type /dev/partition_number /mounting_point
for example.:
mount -t vfat /dev/sda8 /mnt
Type exact file system type (“ext2”, “ext3”, “ext4”, “ntfs-3g”, etc.) instead of “vfat”.
Unmounting partitions:
umount /dev/partition_number
for example.:
umount /dev/sda8

Back to -> FAQ main page