SparkyLinux 2024.01: A Fresh Start for the Year

Sparky 2024.01 semi-rolling brings Linux kernel 6.6, Debian 'Trixie' base, PipeWire as default, latest desktop environments, and more.

SparkyLinux, a versatile Linux distribution based on Debian, is popular for its lightweight nature, making it an excellent choice for new and old hardware.

The Sparky team recently announced updated ISO images for its desktop-focused semi-rolling variant (not to be confused with the stable Sparky point-release edition). Let’s look at what’s new.

What’s New in Sparky 2024.01?

Sparky 2024.01 LXQt
Sparky 2024.01 LXQt

The Sparky 2024.01 update brings a host of improvements and new features, ensuring that users have access to the latest and greatest software. Key highlights include:

  • Updated Packages: All packages have been upgraded from Debian’s ‘Trixie’ and Sparky’s ‘sisters’ repos as of January 17, 2024.
  • Linux Kernel: The update includes Linux kernel 6.6.11, with additional versions like 6.7.0, 6.1.73-LTS, and 5.15.147-LTS available in Sparky repositories.
  • Desktop Environments and Window Managers: This release offers LXQt 1.4.0, KDE Plasma 5.27.10, MATE 1.26, Xfce 4.18, and Openbox 3.6.1-11.
  • Audio Server: PipeWire 1.0.1 replaces PulseAudio, marking a significant change in the audio management system.
  • Utilities and Applications: The update includes a new sparky-usb-imager tool, Firefox 115.6.0esr, Thunderbird 115.6.0, LibreOffice 7.6.4, and VLC 3.0.20.
  • Sparky CLI Desktop’s Installer: Features an addition of the MLVWM (Macintosh-Like Virtual Window Manager) and various web browsers like Iron, Librewolf, and Opera Stable.

Other Notable Changes

The Sparky CLI Installer has seen improvements, including added progress output during file copying and removal of installation support for the Btrfs file system on BIOS machines. Users looking to switch from PulseAudio to PipeWire can easily do so by downloading and running the sparky-pipewire script.

wget https://sparkylinux.org/files/sparky-pipewire
chmod +x sparky-pipewire
./sparky-pipewire

Refer to the release announcement for detailed information.

Download & Upgrade

Because Sparky semi-rolling is, well, a rolling distro, there is no need to reinstall it if you already have it on your computer. Instead, you may easily upgrade via the command line, executing “sudo sparky-upgrade,” which runs Nala on top of APT.

Sparky 2024.1 upgrade.

For those opting for a fresh install, Sparky 2024.01 semi-rolling is available in various versions, including LXQt, KDE Plasma, MATE, Xfce, MinimalGUI (Openbox), and MinimalCLI (text mode), available from the project’s download page.

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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