Sparky is a lightweight, fast, and simple Debian-based Linux distro that offers a few editions 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) Debian branches.
Less than three months after the previous 6.5 release, the dev team announced the general availability of the latest stable SparkyLinux 6.6, the sixth refresh in the 6.x “Po Tolo” series based on the Debian stable branch.
SparkyLinux 6.6 Highlights
Powered by the Linux kernel 5.10 as in its previous release, Sparky 6.6 comes with updated packages from the Debian 11 “Bullseye” and Sparky stable repos as of February 4, 2023, 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. On top of that, the SparkyLinux unstable repositories also offer the Linux kernel versions 5.15.92-ESR and the most recent 6.1.10 release.
Firefox is the default browser, and in the new Sparky 6.6, it has been bumped to version 102.7.0esr. But if you prefer to be on the bleeding edge, you can install the latest Firefox 109.0.1 Mozilla build from Sparky’s repos, as the package is named “firefox-sparky.”
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 102.6
- VLC 3.0.18
- 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.
So we get to the essential feature of this release: the ability to run Sparky as a live distribution from a USB stick. Of course, this capability existed previously, but the developers have added a new feature – the ability to persist data. This is due to their extra effort into the in-house built tool “Sparky Live USB Creator.”
This means you may boot the Sparky live system from a USB device and save your work, newly installed applications, and so on to the same USB disk. So they’ll be there the next time you boot Sparky from it. The functionality is similar to another distro, fully designed to run from a USB stick, Slax, which recently released two new editions.
Please refer to the official announcement for detailed information about all changes in SparkyLinux 6.6.
Remember that system reinstallation is unnecessary if you already use Sparky’s stable 6.x series. You can upgrade to the latest 6.6 release via the System Upgrade tool or using the command shown below:
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade
SparkyLinux 6.6 is available in the following flavors:
- amd64 (64-bit): LXQt, KDE Plasma, Xfce, MinimalGUI (Openbox), and MinimalCLI (text mode)
- i686 (32-bit): 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 users who want to perform a fresh install.