Sparky 4.6.1 in Komputer Świat

I am happy to let you know that our baby SparkyLinux 4.6.1 “Tyche” has been published in Komputer Świat 11/2017.

The Komputer Świat is a Polish magazine about computing, and it is 19th anniversary of the magazine.
They released two DVD media, one of them is with:

Polish operating system SparkyLinux (polski system operacyjny SparkyLinux)

Iso images of Sparky can be also downloaded from the download page: Download Sparky.

Komputer Świat


Pantheon desktop changes

The Pantheon Desktop Environment packages are installed in Sparky from a 3rd party repositories.

The latest upgrade has broken the desktop on Sparky 5.x based on Debian testing “Buster”.
The desktop packages are targeted to Debian Stretch and still work fine on Sparky 4.x.

So, I removed Pantheon desktop installation from MinimalGUI/CLI iso images, and blocked installation via APTus on Sparky 5.

Also added Slim display manager which (temporary ?) replaces Lightdm in the default installation.

Make sure, that a 3rd party packages are not built by Debian devs or me.

Installation of the Pantheon desktop can be done on Sparky 4.x via ‘sparky-aptus’ => 0.3.x with the latest version of ‘sparky-desktop’ => 20170902.


Sparky 4.6.1 STB

There is an update of SparkyLinux stable line 4.6.1-STB “Tyche”.
This is Sparky edition based on Debian stable 9 “Stretch”.

New live/install media features fixes of 3 issues found in the 4.6 release:
1. system installed via Calamares sets wrong chmod 777 of the root directory “/”, (should be 755); it is NOT Calamares related issue, but happens using Calamares. The issue has been reported by lesio – thank’s a lot.
2. Wrong UUID Resume number, copied from the base system – it sets wrong configuration to GRUB bootloader
3. Calamares 3.1 features weak salt. In cryptography, a salt is random data that is used as an additional input to a one-way function that “hashes” a password or passphrase. Systems installed by Calamares up to and including Calamares 3.1 have a weaker password salt than they should. This weakness is important if an attacker has a way to obtain the password hash. The new 4.6.1 iso images are shipped with Calamares 3.1.1.

NO re-installation is required.

If you have Sparky 4.6 installed on your hard drive, you can manually fix the issues.

1. Wrong chmod can be fixed by the command:
sudo chmod 755 /

2. Wrong UUID Resume number.

Check your swap UUID:
sudo lsblk -f | grep swap

Check resume UUID:
cat /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume

If they are different, change (by a text editor, as root) resume UUID to the first one, has gotten by ‘lsblk’ command, and then update ram disk and grub:
sudo update-initramfs -u -t -k all
sudo update-grub

3. Weak password salt can be fixed by creating new password, via the command:

If you have separated root password, change it in the same way:

New iso image can be download from the download/stable page.

Sparky 4.6 STB

There are new live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 4.6-STB “Tyche” available to download.

This is the first Sparky edition based on Debian stable line 9 codename “Stretch”.

Sparky “Home” edition provides fully featured operating system with two lightweight desktops: LXDE and Xfce.

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

Changes between version 4.5 and 4.6-STB:
– full system upgrade from Debian 9 stable repos as of June 19, 2017
– Linux kernel 4.9.30 as default (4.10.x and 4.11.x available in Sparky ‘unstable’ repo)
– added new repo (not active):
– deep cleaning from old packages and files of older releases
– email client Icedove replaced by Thunderbird
– changed http to https protocol of all Sparky services, including repository; updating the ‘sparky-apt’ package fixes it automatically
– new theme “Sparky5” which fixes look of gtk+ based applications
– added two new live system boot options:
1. toram – lets you load the whole live system into RAM memory (if you have enough);
2. text mode – if any problem with normal or failsafe boot, this option runs sparky in text mode and lets you install it using the advanced installer
– new tool for checking and displaying notification on your desktop about available updates
– Calamares 3.1 as default installer

Sparky edition based on the Openbox window manager (MinimalGUI) has gotten 3 key shortcuts:
– Super+t (terminal) -> terminal emulator
– Super+r (run) -> gexec
– Super+q (quit) -> logout window

You can transform your existing installation of Sparky 4.x based on Debian testing “Stretch” to based on Debian stable “Stretch”, see ho to: switch-sparky-testing-to-stable

To make fresh installation of Sparky 4.6 based on Debian stable “Stretch” use new iso images with the “STB” in the name: download/stable

If you have and prefer Sparky based on Debian “testing” line – simply keep it up to date.

Donate Sparky or buy an entry in our Web Dir (for only 5 Euros) to help keeping it alive.


Sparky 4.6-RC STB

There is a development release of Sparky 4.6 RC STB ready for testing.

It’s a final test before releasing the stable version of 4.6 STB.

Sparky 4.6-RC STB is based on Debian (still) testing “Stretch” and pre-configured to use upcoming Debian stable Stretch base.

• upcoming Debian stable Stretch ready
• Calamares installer with LUKS disabled; instead of the previous Live Installer (Advanced installer is still available)
• updated all packages from Debian Stretch and Sparky repositories
• many small improvements and bugs fixing
• deep cleaning to reduce iso images size

The “STB” means ‘stable’ line of Sparky and Debian; iso images features the ‘stb’ in their names to avoid misunderstanding.

The RC iso images of Xfce, MinimalGUI (Openbox) and MinimaCLI (text based) STB editions can be downloaded from the download/development page.


Switch Sparky testing to stable

This short tutorial shows you how to switch Sparky based on Debian testing “Stretch” to upcoming Debian stable “Stretch”.

It’s for users whose prefer rock solid stability of Debian stable over never packages provide be Debian testing. So, you do not have to do that, if you stay on testing branch.

1. Change Debian repository from “testing” to “stretch” (use “stretch” not ‘stable”!):
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

2. Change Sparky repository from “testing”:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sparky-testing.list
deb testing main
deb-src testing main

to “stable” (in the “sparky-testing-list”!):
deb stable main
deb-src stable main

Do not create new “sparky-stable.list” manually!.

3. Change pinning:
sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/sparky
Package: *
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: *
Pin-Priority: -10

Package: *
Pin-Priority: 500

Package: *
Pin-Priority: 1001

4. Refresh package list:
sudo apt-get update

5. Upgrade/install ‘sparky-apt’ package (it has to come from Sparky ‘stable’ repos):
sudo apt-get install sparky-apt

This operation downgrades the ‘sparky-apt’ and ‘sparky-core’ packages to version 4~xxxxxxxx.

6. Refresh package list again:
sudo apt-get update

7. Upgrade the system:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

That’s all, your Sparky installation is ready for upcoming Debian stable “Stretch” now.


Sparky 4.5.4 MinimalGUI/CLI


There is a minor update of Sparky MinimalGUI and MinimalCLI 4.5.4.

Sparky “Full (Home)” editions are installed as they are, with no need of updating or installing extra packages from the repositories.

MinimalGUI and MinimalCLI editions are shipped with current versions of packages, but they are current when the iso images were built only. After a week, month, and so the base system is out of date. It is not a problem until you’d like to install different desktop via Sparky Advanced Installer.

The point is, sometimes, installing new versions of some packages on the top of older version of base system can make problems…

Our community member reported such issue installing Enlightenment via MinimalGUI iso. The older version of systemd did not want to run just installed connman service, so the internet connection couldn’t be done automatically.

I posted on our forums, how to fix it manually, but it is temporary solution:
So, looks like the Minimal iso images should be updated much often then the Full Editions, I think…

Anyway, the new iso images of Sparky 4.5.4 Minimal provide all packages updated as of February 22, 2017, Debian’s Linux kernel 4.9 (Sparky’s 4.10 is ready in our repos), and some small improvements.


SparkyLinux 4.5.2

New, updated iso images of SparkyLinux 4.5.2 “Tyche” are ready for download.

The new images provide a Virtualbox related bug fix, which has been solved via the latest updates from Debian testing repos.

If you have Sparky already installed – you do not need to reinstall your system, simply keep it up to date.

So, the updated iso images let you play, test and install Sparky inside the VirtualBox virtual machine, as before.

There are a few important updates landed in Sparky repos in meantime:
– Budgie Desktop 10.2.9
– CDE (Common Desktop Environment) 2.2.4-1 (some small issues fixed)
– Enlightenment 0.21.5 & EFL 1.18.4
– Firefox 50.1
– Linux kernel 4.8.15
– Lumina Desktop 1.1.0-p1 (own build)
– Palemoon 27.0.3
– SlimJet 12.0.12
– Vivaldi 1.6
– Skype Installer 0.1.10 (installs 4.x i386 on 32 bit/1.x Alpha amd64 on x86_64 bit systems now)
– TOR Browser 6.0.8

Sparky iso images can be downloaded from the download page as usually.


SparkyLinux 4.5 Special Editions


SparkyLinux special editions: GameOver, Rescue and Multimedia have been upgraded up to version 4.5. This release is based on SparkyLinux 4.5 and is fully compatible with Debian testing “Stretch”.

“GameOver” Edition features LXDE desktop, a very large number of preinstalled games and useful tools. It’s targeted to gamers.

SparkyLinux “Rescue” Edition is an operating system which works in live DVD/USB mode only. The Live system contains a large set of tools for scanning and fixing files, partitions and operating systems installed on hard drives.

SparkyLinux “Multimedia” Edition features a large set of tools for creating and editing graphics, audio, video and HTML pages.

Changes in all the editions:
– full system upgrade as of December 12, 2016
– Linux kernel 4.8.7
– the last update of ‘xserver-xorg-*’ packages fixed an issue around VirtualBox
– removed packages: virtualbox-guest-*
– added support for ‘exfat’ file system

Multimedia Edition:
– added packages: flowblade, pencil2d, tupi, fotoxx, opentoonz, lightzone, winetricks
– removed packages: krita, karbon

Rescue Edition:
– Netsurf web browser replaced by Midori – it does not work well with the https protocol
– fixed an issue with the ‘sparky-chrooter’ tool which doesn’t let to make connection with the internet inside the chrooted environment

GameOver Edition:
– added package: winetricks

Known issues:
– Multimedia Edition 32 bit: if the ‘live-installer’ close down itself, before finishing the installation process (installation with locales different than US English) – re-run the live system and run the installer again, from the command line:
sudo live-installer
or use the Advanced Installer.

Probably, they are the last iso images with ‘live-installer’ pre-installed; the next ones should use Calamares instead.

Multimedia Edition

ISO images of SparkyLinux can be downloaded from the download page


SparkyLinux 4.5.1 MinimalGUI

There is an update of Sparky 4.5.1 MinimalGUI available to download.

The Sparky Advanced Installer doesn’t work as it should in the MinimaGUI edition, if you are trying to install an additional desktop. The installer calls a ‘desktop-installer’, but it does not coming back to the main installer with right privileges after. It used to do before, but not any more.

You do not re-install your already installed Sparky.
You can also use existing Sparky 4.5 MinimalGUI iso images, but if you’d like to install a different desktop, run the Advanced Installer from the command line:
sudo sparkylinux-installer gui
sudo sparkylinux-installer

The updated MinimalGUI 4.5.1 iso images provide a fix of the small issue.

Live is crazy, anyway…