SparkyLinux 6 is here and brings the packages from Debian 11 “Bullseye”, which released a while back. Let’s take a look at what’s new.
Sparky is a fast, lightweight, and fully customizable OS built on Debian that offers a few versions for different users and tasks. It is one of the few distributions which offers two versions, based on the Debian stable and testing branches.
The SparkyLinux 6 ‘Stable’ version features ISOs with different desktop environments such as LXQt, Xfce and KDE. It also offer a ‘Semi-Rolling’ version which is based on Debian’s testing branch and features more up to date packages. The ‘Semi-Rolling’ version comes with the same desktop environments as their ‘Stable’ version plus MATE desktop environment added.
Sparky aims to be easy on system resources and can breathe new life into aging computers. It uses the Calamares installer, which means that installation is smooth, easy, and uneventful, and it works on UEFI firmware and Legacy Boot (MBR) systems.
What’s New in SparkyLinux 6
Above all, SparkyLinux 6 is based on and fully compatible with Debian 11 “Bullseye”.
Sparky includes their own application store called the Sparky APTus AppCenter. It is a lightweight front-end for
dpkg tools and can be used for upgrading, installing, removing packages and cleaning up the system.
Sparky APTus is no longer under development and has been replaced by Sparky APTus AppCenter, introduced over a year ago. It lets you install, reinstall & remove over 2300 popular applications, including over 20 pre-configured desktops. In addition, you can use all tools from the old APTus.
Here you can browse through categories and search for specific applications. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for and clicked install it will pop open a terminal window and run the commands to install the necessary packages.
Having in mind security and anonymity whilst surfing the net, all SparkyLinux 6 ISO images have RiseupVPN application preinstalled. It is not loaded as default, but can be started from your application’s Internet menu.
Sparky FirstRun app has been removed and replaced by Sparky Welcome. It runs automatically when you boot the installed system.
Here are the following significant updates in SparkyLinux 6.
- Linux kernel 5.10.46 LTS
- Firefox 78.13.0 ESR
- Thunderbird 78.13.0
- VLC 3.0.16
- LibreOffice 7.0.4
- Calamares 3.2.41
- Desktop fonts set to 11
- exfatprogs replaced exfat-fuse & exfat-utils to manage exFAT partitions
- installed ipp-usb to allow a USB device to be treated as a network device
- MinimalGUI: PCManFM replaces DoubleCMD-GTK
In addition to the above mentioned, package “sparky-artwork-nature” now features 12 new nature wallpapers.
Download Sparky 6
Sparky 6 is available in the following flavors:
- amd64: Xfce & KDE Plasma
- amd64 & i686: LXQt, MinimaGUI (Openbox) & MinimalCLI (text mode)
SparkyLinux 6 amd64 can be installed on BIOS or UEFI machines. Sparky 6 i686 works on BIOS machines only. Installation on UEFI machines can be done with Secure Boot off. After installing, the Secure Boot can be turned on back.
New ISO images of SparkyLinux 6 “Po Tolo” can be downloaded from the project’s webste.
There is no need to reinstall your Sparky installation, if you have Sparky rolling (Po Tolo) installed – simply keep Sparky up to date. Sparky 6 “Po Tolo” has been moved from rolling to stable automatically.