Sparky Linux 7.3 Released, Here’s What’s New

The latest Sparky 7.3 brings the Debian 12.5 package base, Linux kernel 6.1 LTS, LibreOffice 7.4.7, KDE Plasma 5.27.5, and more.

Sparky 7.3, the latest update to the Sparky 7 “Orion Belt” stable line, has been officially released three months after the previous stable 7.2 release. This update marks the third in a series for Sparky 7, a distribution that prides itself on being based on and fully compatible with Debian 12 “Bookworm.”

New to Sparky? In short, the distro is designed to be lightweight, fast, and user-friendly. It aims to provide a reliable, easy-to-use desktop environment while offering various software packages.

Sparky Linux 7.3 Highlights

The update ships with some not-so-big-but-important changes, including a refresh of all packages from Debian and Sparky stable repositories as of March 13, 2024.

Notably, the Linux kernel has seen updates across the board, with the PC version moving to 6.1.67 LTS with 6.8.0, 6.6.21-LTS, and 5.15.151-LTS available in the repos. The kernel has been updated to 6.6.20 LTS for those exploring Sparky on ARM devices.

Sparky 7.3 also brings updated versions of popular desktop environments and applications such as LibreOffice 7.4.7, KDE Plasma 5.27.5, LXQt 1.2.0, MATE 1.26, Xfce 4.18, and Openbox 3.6.1.

Sparky Linux 7.3 LXQt Dekstop

Firefox and Thunderbird have been updated to versions 115.8.0esr and 115.8.0, respectively, for browsing and email needs. Media and music enthusiasts will appreciate the latest VLC 3.0.20 and Exaile 4.1.3 versions.

A notable addition to the software lineup in this update is Noi, a new application (available only for amd64) that serves as a chatbot GUI application supporting a wide range of platforms, including ChatGPT, Claude, Bard, Poe, Perplexity, Copilot, HuggingChat, Pi, Coze, and YOU.

Sparky 7.3 “Orion Belt” is available in several versions to cater to various hardware and user preferences. For amd64 machines, options include BIOS/UEFI+Secure Boot configurations with desktop environments like Xfce, LXQt, MATE, and KDE Plasma, as well as MinimalGUI (Openbox) & MinimalCLI (text mode).

For older hardware, i686 non-pae BIOS/UEFI (Legacy) versions are available, and ARM users can choose between Openbox & CLI versions.

One important note for users regards the ‘os-prober.’ By default, it will not be executed to detect other bootable partitions, although Sparky does provide a GRUB option to detect other OSes if needed. However, a subsequent update of GRUB packages might override this option.

For those already running Sparky 7, there’s no need to reinstall; simply keeping your system up to date will incorporate these changes. New users or those looking to download Sparky 7 “Orion Belt” can find the ISO images on the download/stable page, ready for a fresh installation.

Refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in Sparky 7.3.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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