Debian-based SparkyLinux released version 6.5, including updated bundled applications and minor improvements.
Sparky is a lightweight, fully customizable OS built on Debian that offers a few versions for different users and tasks. One of the distribution’s distinguishing features is that it provides versions based on both the stable (SparkyLinux Stable) and test (SparkyLinux Semi-Rolling) branches of Debian.
Three months after the previous 6.4 release, the SparkyLinux team announced the general availability of the latest stable SparkyLinux 6.5, the fifth refresh in the 6.x “Po Tolo” series based on the Debian stable branch.
What’s New in SparkyLinux 6.5
Powered by the Linux kernel 5.10 as in its previous release, Sparky 6.5 comes with updated packages from the Debian 11 “Bullseye” and Sparky stable repos as of November 13, 2022, so you are supposed to get a lot of improvements.
And while we’re still on the Linux kernels subject, let’s mention that 5.10 is a Long Term Supported (LTS) version. In other words, the kernel developers have plans to maintain it up to 2026. On top of that, the SparkyLinux unstable repositories also offer the Linux Kernel versions 4.9.333-ESR49, 5.15.78-ESR, and 6.0.6.
Firefox is still the default browser, and in the new Sparky 6.5 release, it has been bumped to version 102.5.0esr. In addition, you can also install the most recent Firefox 107.0 Mozilla build, as it is under the “firefox-sparky” package name.
Moreover, with the latest release, you can also find updated application packages that include the following:
- LXQt 0.16.0
- KDE Plasma 5.20.5
- Xfce 4.16
- Openbox 3.6.1
- Thunderbird 102.4
- VLC 3.0.16
- LibreOffice 7.0.4
I know the software versions may not seem to be cutting-edge, but remember that this Sparky release is entirely based on the Debian Stable branch, which is known for its conservative approach to the software it uses.
In addition, the developers say that a few minor changes have also been made to this release, but unfortunately, there is no further information on what they are.
Of course, system reinstallation is not required if you’re already using Sparky’s stable 6.x series. You can upgrade to the latest 6.5 release via the System Upgrade tool or using the command shown below:
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade
Please refer to the official announcement for detailed information about all changes in SparkyLinux 6.5.
SparkyLinux 6.5 is available in the following flavors:
- amd64: LXQt, KDE Plasma, Xfce, MinimalGUI (Openbox), and MinimalCLI (text mode)
- i686: LXQt, MinimalGUI (Openbox), and MinimalCLI (text mode)
- armhf: Openbox and CLI (text mode)
The new ISO images are available for download from the project website for SparkyLinux users who want to perform a fresh install.