Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish


Syndicate content
Updated: 1 hour 19 min ago


Friday 15th of March 2019 04:47:08 PM

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: mkusb

What is mkusb?

The mkusb tool was developed to make it simpler and safer to create boot drives with the method to flash or clone an iso image or a compressed image file. It is using dd under the hood.The target is a mass storage device, often but not always a USB drive, sometimes an internal drive or an eSATA drive.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install mkusb
or via APTus (+ sparky-aptus-extra 0.2.15).

The mkusb Launchpad repo:


Sparky 5.7 Special Editions

Wednesday 13th of March 2019 12:15:54 PM

New live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 5.7 “Nibiru” special editions: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue are available to download. Sparky 5 follows rolling release model and is based on Debian testing “Buster”.

The latest iso images follow changes implemented at the Sparky 5.7, and offer additional small changes, such as:
– system updated from Debian testing repos as of March 11, 2019
– a password strength in Calamares installer changed from 8 to 6 signs (minimum)
– torrent files use the DistroWatch tracker as default now (thank’s a lot), but can be found at LinuxTracker service too, as before

System reinstallation is not required. If you have Sparky 5.x installed, simply make full system upgrade to be working in the latest version.

New iso images can be downloaded from download/rolling page.

Sparky 5.7

Wednesday 6th of March 2019 02:11:58 PM

There are new live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 5.7 “Nibiru” available to download. This is the 1st this year iso image releasing of the rolling line, which is based on Debian testing “Buster”.

– system updated from Debian testing repos as of March 4, 2019
– Linux kernel 4.19.16 (5.0 & 4.20.14 available at Sparky “unstable” repos)
– the Calamares installer updated up to version 3.2.4
– user’s folders such as: Documents, Music, Download, etc. are automatically created now in your home dir in Openbox and other, small window managers
– Yad reinstalled to the default Debian’s version + removed old libs (html mode doesn’t work now)
– Linux kernel has been reverted to Debian’s version from testing repos (amd64 / 686 non-pae) as default
– added very small and very simply Sparky Player to MinimalGUI edition; it lets you open almost all known multimedia formats, from a context menu
– the system identifies itself with a release number 5.7 now instead of a line number 5
– APTus enlarged off two new sections of applications: AudioTool & VideoTool
– a few small fixes

Additional, small changes at the main, LXQt edition:
– Yarock audio player changed by a lightweight QMMP player with a simply QSUI interface as default
– Xarchiver changed by LXQt-archiver
– Simple Scan changed by SkanLite

System reinstallation is not required.
If you have Sparky 5.x installed, simply make full system upgrade.
New iso images can be downloaded from download/rolling page.

Known issues
Installation Sparky via Calamares (Sparky Installer):
– the full disk encryption in autopartitioning mode is temporary disabled, due to a problem with generating a cryptkey
– encrypting other dirs than root, such as: home, data, etc. in manual mode is possible.

Linux kernel 5.0

Monday 4th of March 2019 02:19:35 PM


The first release of Linux kernel of the new 5.0 line just landed in Sparky “unstable” repository.

Build status:
– amd64 – build and installed OK -> uploaded
– 686-pae – build and installed OK -> uploaded

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:

Follow the Wiki page: to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

Then reboot your machine to take effects.

To quick remove older version of the Linux kernel, simply run APTus-> System-> Uninstall Old Kernel tool.


February 2019 donation report

Friday 1st of March 2019 03:21:17 PM

Many thanks to all of you for supporting Sparky!
Your donations help keeping Sparky project alive.

Don’t forget to send a small tip in the February too, please

Sparky news 2019/02

Thursday 28th of February 2019 01:37:58 PM

The 2nd monthly report of 2019 of the Sparky project:

• CDE Desktop has been rebuild on Buster so it works back on Sparky 5 (no changes on Stretch/Sparky 4)
• added to repos: Sparky Play MP3 and Sparky Player
• ‘brave’ package changed its name to ‘brave-browser’
• Sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to version 4.20.13 & 5.0-rc8
• new addition at git repos: Sparky online – a script + cron job which lets you check is your web site online or not
• Lumina desktop removed from Advanced Installer and APTus-> Desktop module; due to incompatibility with Qt greater than 5.9, it does not work on Debian Buster/Sparky 5
• Jade desktop removed from APTus, still can be installed via the package manager; it does not start from a login manager, but can be launched from Menu-> Accessories
• Sparky USB Formatter received a new option to use your USB disk label (thank’s to Elton)
• APTus updated to version 0.4.16 which includes:
— Audio & Video modules renamed to AudioPlayer & VideoPlayer; added a few more apps
— Codecs module updated; removed 3 old items, added one new
— Security module merged with Tools module
— Added 2 new modules and apps: AudioTool & VideoTool
• Moved a few old libs from Debian stable to Sparky core repos to let you install Sparky’s Yad version with html support; the Sparky’s Yad debs are placed at Sparky Sourceforge files/dev/ subdirectory


Sparky Online

Sunday 17th of February 2019 12:10:27 PM

There is a new, small tool available for Sparkers: Sparky Online.

What is Sparky Online?
Sparky Online checks your web site to tell you does it online and display a pop up message on your dekstop.

It is not moved to Sparky repos, but can be installed manually from Sparky’s GitHub repo.

1. Install dependencies:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install cron iputils-ping wget yad
2. Download ‘sparky-online’ and ‘sparky-online-cron’ files from the GitHub repo:
3. Modify ‘sparky-online’ – place your web site address to WEB section, then:
sudo cp sparky-online /usr/bin/
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/sparky-online
4. Modify ‘sparky-online-cron’ – it is set to check a web site every 1 hour, so change the valvue to your (in hours), and ‘pavroo’ to your user name, then:
sudo cp sparky-online-cron /etc/cron.d/
sudo chown root:root /etc/cron.d/sparky-online-cron
sudo systemctl restart cron

Sparky Play & Sparky Player

Sunday 10th of February 2019 09:03:30 PM

There are two new, small tools available for Sparkers: Sparky Play MP3 and Sparky Player.

What is Sparky Play MP3?
It is a simply, small, Yad based tool which lets you search directories and play mp3 audio files.

The tool lets you:
– choose a directory to be searched using a keyword (singer, song name, etc, whatever is used in a name of a mp3 file) or
– use * to find all mp3 files in a chosen directory
– display all mp3 files been found in a drop down menu
– play your mp3 files

sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-play

The Sparky Play MP3 project page:
The tool is created by Elton, partly based on a work of Raimundo Portela, with my small improvements.


The second tool is Sparky Player.
What is Sparky Player?
It is a simply and very small tool which lets play any audio or video file, which…
– it is available from a context menu only
– it doesn’t provide a standard’s desktop menu entry
– it doesn’t provide any button and other graphical features
– it calls and uses ‘ffplay’ to play all audio and video files
– it supports all audio and video files which are supported by ‘ffplay’ via ‘libavcodecs’

sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-player

Just mark your audio or video file and choose ‘Sparky Player’ to let it play, or set ‘Sparky Player’ as a default player for a chosen multimedia file.

Anyway, it lets you manage a playing audio or video file in a player window via your keyboard, for example:
– pause = space bar
– quit = q or Esc
– full screen = f
– right arrow = forward
– left arrow = back

The Sparky Player project page:

Please test both tools and report whatever you find.

Sparky 5.7~dev20190203

Sunday 3rd of February 2019 11:00:41 PM

There are development live/install media of Sparky 5.7 20190203 of the rolling line available for testing.

The new iso images features improved Advanced Installed which provides a bug fixing around wrong detecting partitions.

If a number of partitions you have is bigger than 9, and if you choose the first partition as the first choice (swap partition on Bios machines; UEFI partition on machines with UEFI motherboard), sda1 for expample, the installer cut out from a next window all of existing partition with the number starting you already choosen (sda1 – sda10, sda11, sda12, etc.).

So they are not visible in Installer window and can not be used for installing Sparky.

‘sparky-backup-core’ 20190203 features a fix for that issue so your existing iso image can be used anyway, if you update the package in the live system.

The second change is about the Linux kernel – the present iso images are shipped with Debian Linux kernel back as default.

Please test the new images and report whatever you find.

The issue has been found by guy under ‘The Operating System World’ nick name – thank’s a lot!

New development iso images can be found at download/development page.

January 2019 donation report

Friday 1st of February 2019 06:46:29 PM

Many thanks to all of you for supporting Sparky!
Your donations help keeping Sparky alive.

Don’t forget to send a small tip in the February too

Sparky news 2019/01

Thursday 31st of January 2019 04:33:57 PM

The 1st this year monthly report of the Sparky project:

• Sparky 5.6.1 Special Editions released
• iso images of stable and rolling line updated again: 4.9.2 & 5.6.2
• added to repos: Franz, MultibootUSB, Rambox, GitKraken, Sparky Tube (downloads videos and converts to audio or video files, thank’s to Elton), WPS Mui (a part of Sparky Office, which installs WPS locale packs; thank’s to Elton)
• Sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to version 4.20.6
• the new app APTus AppCenter is still active under development, so be patient
• the Sparky SB Server is also under active development, together with Daniel


Sparky Tube

Tuesday 29th of January 2019 08:23:32 PM

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: Sparky Tube

What is Sparky Tube?

Sparky Tube downloads a video file from a web site and converts it to an audio or video output file.

– download a video from a web sites
– convert it to an audio format: acc, flac, mp3, m4a, opus, ogg vorbis, wav; or
– convert it to a video format: avi, mkv, mp4
– store the converted audio or video file on your local disk
– lets you play the converted file using your default audio or video player
– small and lightweight – uses Yad as its GUI

sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-tube

The Sparky Tube git repo:
The application is created by our community member Elton Fabricio Ferreira.



Wednesday 23rd of January 2019 07:51:05 PM

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: GitKraken

What is GitKraken?

GitKraken is a tool designed to manage GitHub repositories via a GUI interface. You can open, clone and create completely new repositories. To start working, you have to log in to GitHub or Bitbucket. However, you can avoid entering login details thanks to your SSH key.

The free version redistributed via Sparky repos is available for open source, early-stage startups and non-commercial use.

Installation (64bit only):
sudo apt update
sudo apt install gitkraken
or via the latest version of Sparky APTus.

The GitKraken project page:
The application is added thank’s to Daniel request.

There is a small addition to APTus Office module as well, provided by Elton, called MS Font Installer, which installs the Microsoft fonts for you.



Saturday 19th of January 2019 08:13:33 PM

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: Rambox Community Edition

What is Rambox?

Free and Open Source messaging and emailing app that combines common web applications into one.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install rambox
or via Sparky APTus + Sparky APTus Extra >= 0.2.11

The Rambox GitHub project page:



Monday 14th of January 2019 12:50:39 PM

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: MultiBootUSB.

What is MultiBootUSB?

MultiBootUSB is a software/utility to create multi boot live Linux on a removable USB disk. It is similar to UNetbootin but many distros can be installed, provided you have enough space on the disk. MultiBootUSB also provides an option to uninstall distro(s) at any time, if you wish.

MultiBootUSB allows you to do the following:
– Install multiple live Linux and other Operating Systems to a USB disk and make it bootable without erasing existing data.
– Ability to uninstall installed OS later.
– Write ISO image directly to a USB disk (you can think of GUI for Linux dd command).
– Boot ISO images directly without rebooting your system using QEMU option.
– Boot bootable USBs without rebooting your system using QEMU option.
– Boot USB on UEFI/EFI system through GRUB2 bootloader (limited support).

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3-multibootusb

The MultiBootUSB GitHub project page:
The project author is Sundar; and co-author is Ian Bruce.



Friday 11th of January 2019 10:40:34 AM

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: Franz.

What is Franz?

Franz is your messaging app / former Emperor of Austria and combines chat & messaging services into one application. Franz currently supports Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, HipChat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, GroupMe, Skype and many more. You can download Franz for free for Mac & Windows.

Installation (64bit only):
sudo apt update
sudo apt install franz
or via Sparky APTus (+ Sparky APTus Extra >= 0.2.9)

The Franz GitHub project page:
The project developer is Stefan Malzner.


Sparky 4.9.2 & 5.6.2

Monday 7th of January 2019 09:19:00 PM

Sparky iso images of both lines stable and rolling have been updated and rebuild again.

This is a minor but important update which provides fixed chown and chmod of /etc/shadow which makes some problems after installing Sparky on a hard drive; the wrong settings been made via sparkybackup tool during a new iso building process so it happens on both stable and rolling iso images.

No system reinstallation is required, to set it right simply run:
sudo chown root:shadow /etc/shadow
sudo chmod 640 /etc/shadow

The second issue is targeted to Sparky iso images of the rolling line only: slow starting of most desktops; installation of ‘haveged’ package should fix that problem.

Also, the Linux kernel 4.20.0 has been rebuild with a few (missing before) modules enabled.

Sparky 5.6.1 Special Editions

Friday 4th of January 2019 12:38:01 PM

There are new live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 5.6.1 “Nibiru” GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue available to download. Sparky 5 follows rolling release model and is based on Debian testing “Buster”.

GameOver Edition features a very large number of preinstalled games, useful tools and scripts. It’s targeted to gamers.

Multimedia Edition features a large set of tools for creating and editing graphics, audio, video and HTML pages.

The live system of Rescue Edition contains a large set of tools for scanning and fixing files, partitions and operating systems installed on hard drives.

– system updated from Debian testing repos as of January 2, 2019
– Linux kernel 4.20.0
– the Calamares installer 3.2.1
– added Sparky new repos configuration
– /etc/shadow has right owner and chmod in live session and after installing Sparky on a hard drive now
– added packages: xfce4-notifyd, xfce4-power-manager, sparky-fileopen
– thunar daemon is enabled as default
– many other small fixes

32 bit iso images are shipped with Linux kernel i686-pae.

System reinstallation is not required. If you have Sparky 5.x installed, simply install the latest version of ‘sparky-apt’ package, then make full system upgrade to be working in the latest version.

New iso images can be downloaded from download/rolling page.

December 2018 donation report

Tuesday 1st of January 2019 04:39:02 PM

Many thanks to all of you for supporting Sparky!
Your donations help keeping Sparky alive.

Don’t forget to send a small tip in the January too

Sparky news 2018/12

Monday 31st of December 2018 03:42:57 PM

The 12th and the last in this year monthly report of the Sparky project:
• added to repos: Midori 7.0, Lightdm-Settings
• Sparky’s Linux kernel updated up to version 4.20.0
• Sparky 5.6 released
• the new app APTus AppCenter is still under development, so it takes time to even make a first beta
• Sparky repos changed so upgrade ‘sparky-apt’ package as first and refresh package list after, and before upgrading whole the system
• small update of iso images of stable 4.9.1 and rolling 5.6.1 lines
• the latest Linux kernel has been rebuild which features many missing options enabled now, so upgrade it to version 4.20.0-2

Happy 2019 year Sparkers !

More in Tux Machines

New Release of GNU Parallel and New FSF-Endorsed Products From ThinkPenguin

  • GNU Parallel 20190322 ('FridayforFuture') released
    GNU Parallel 20190322 ('FridayforFuture') has been released. It is available for download at: The change in signalling makes this release experimental for users that send SIGTERM to GNU Parallel.
  • Seven new devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc. now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom
    Thursday, March 21st, 2019 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to seven devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc.: The Penguin Wireless G USB Adapter (TPE-G54USB2), the Penguin USB Desktop Microphone for GNU / Linux (TPE-USBMIC), the Penguin Wireless N Dual-Band PCIe Card (TPE-N300PCIED2), the PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Card Dual Port (TPE-1000MPCIE), the PCI Gigabit Ethernet Card (TPE-1000MPCI), the Penguin 10/100 USB Ethernet Network Adapter v1 (TPE-100NET1), and the Penguin 10/100 USB Ethernet Network Adapter v2 (TPE-100NET2). The RYF certification mark means that these products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy. [...] "I've always believed that the biggest difficulty for users in the free software world has been in obtaining compatible hardware, and so I'm glad to be participating in the expansion of the RYF program" said Christopher Waid, founder and CEO of ThinkPenguin. ThinkPenguin, Inc. was one of the first companies to receive RYF certification, gaining their first and second certifications in 2013, and adding several more over the years since. "ThinkPenguin has excelled for years in providing users with the tools they need to control their own computing. We are excited by these new additions today, and look forward to what they have in store for the future," said the FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.
  • FSF Certifies A USB Microphone For Respecting Your Freedom Plus Some Network Adapters
    The Free Software Foundation has announced the latest batch of hardware it has certified for "Respecting Your Freedom" as part of its RYF program. Seven more devices from Linux-focused e-tailer Think Penguin have been certified for respecting your freedoms and privacy in that no binary blobs are required for use nor any other restrictions on the hardware's use or comprising the user's privacy.

Events: Red Hat Summit 2019, SUSECON Featuring Microsoft, and LibrePlanet About to Start

  • More keynotes hitting the stage at Red Hat Summit 2019
    Red Hat Summit 2019 is the industry’s premier enterprise open source technology conference. A place to come together to share ideas, collaborate with peers, learn from the work of others and celebrate advancements in open source. This year, we encourage you to think beyond your normal day-to-day, beyond the limitations and challenges you face, expand your possibilities to think about AND. No longer about having to choose, what if you could scale your technology AND culture to meet your needs to help you not just survive, but thrive in a changing business landscape? Think Linux AND containers. Think public AND private cloud. That’s what you’ll find at Red Hat Summit.
  • Red Hat Summit 2019 session highlights: Hybrid cloud infrastructure
    Cloud computing should not be a world that is dominated by public clouds or on-premises datacenters; instead, it should be a blend of technologies that create the concept of hybrid cloud. The Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook for 2019 further details this point, with only six percent of respondents planning a pure public cloud strategy, while 30 percent have a hybrid cloud strategy. So what exactly is the hybrid cloud mix? And how can you handle multiple public clouds plus on-premises resources? What about Kubernetes and containers? How is anyone REALLY doing this? At Red Hat Summit 2019, May 7-9 in Boston, Red Hat aims to address these questions and more around hybrid cloud infrastructure and strategies. From Kubernetes and Linux containers to hybrid cloud storage and functions-as-a-service (FaaS), presenters at Red Hat Summit will break these concepts down using real world examples to highlight the power, scale and innovation of hybrid cloud infrastructure in modern computing environments.
  • SUSECON 2019 Sponsors, Keynotes and Breakout Sessions Announced! [Ed: Microsoft a sponsor and thus keynote talk]
    At SUSECON 2019, we will be collaborating with our partners to showcase open source business technologies that transform.
  • LibrePlanet is coming in two days! Here's how you can participate
    It's almost time for LibrePlanet -- the Free Software Foundation annual conference and associate members' meeting -- and we couldn't be more excited! There is so much going on at the conference, great events in the evenings, a raffle, an exhibit hall, and an amazing collection of free software enthusiasts from around the world. We hope to see you there! Registration may be closed, but you can still register for the conference on-site, space permitting. In the event you can't make it to LibrePlanet, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, there are ways to get involved! We have three ways to enable remote participation: IRC, mumble, and, of course, the livestream. We provide these resources, along with video streaming, so that free software supporters who are unable to travel to the US for economic and/or political reasons are still able to participate.

Release of HardenedBSD 1200058.4 and BSD Now 290

Announcing CrossOver 18.5.0 and Games for GNU/Linux

  • Announcing CrossOver 18.5.0
    CrossOver 18.5 includes the FAudio library to provide superior audio support for games. FAudio is a reimplementation of XAudio2, a low-level audio library for Windows. This improvement broadens CrossOver’s game compatibility and resolves a wide variety of audio bugs on both macOS and Linux. CrossOver 18.5 resolves several Office 2010 bugs related to activation and licensing. The first involves a change which disrupted the activation status of Office 2010 bottles upgraded from CrossOver 17.x and earlier to CrossOver 18.x. Users who experienced persistent activation requests on earlier releases of CrossOver 18 should be able to successfully activate Office 2010 on CrossOver 18.5. We have also resolved a bug which caused Office 2010 to attempt and fail configuration on every launch for some users. On Linux, CrossOver 18.5 supports the very latest release of Office 365 and resolves a sign-in bug impacting Office 365 Home users. Finally, CrossOver 18.5 includes preliminary support for OneNote 2016 on Linux.
  • CrossOver 18.5 Released - Based On Wine 4.0 While Pulling In FAudio
    CodeWeavers, the main sponsor/contributor to the Wine project, announced the release today of their commercial CrossOver 18.5 software for more easily running Windows games and applications on Linux and macOS.
  • The GOG Spring Sale is now live, tons of titles discounted with flash deals each day
    Someone please lock away my wallet, as the GOG Spring Sale is live and it's full of discounted Linux games. For this huge sale, GOG are also doing Flash Deals so every 24 hours a couple of games will get a higher than usual discount so you will need to keep going back for the best.
  • Valve show off their new Steam Library design and a new Events page
    At GDC today, Valve did their presentation and they finally showed off the new design coming for the Library page and more. For those with a growing backlog of games, the Steam Library as it is right now is so basic it's just incredibly unhelpful. Going by what they've shown off, it's actually looking a serious amount better. Firstly, it has a home page for your Steam Library, to go over some recent games and recently updated titles, as well as show a slice of your friends list. That's a pretty handy feature, especially if you have a game you play regularly enough it will probably be quicker and easier to get going the next time.
  • You can now try XCOM 2 free until March 25th, also on a big sale
    Firaxis Games have put their strategy game XCOM 2 up to play for free between now and March 25th, so if you've been on the fence this is a great opportunity. It's quite easily my absolute favourite strategy game on Linux, much more interesting than the first of the newer XCOM games (although that's still damn fun too). It does have a few niggles and some performance issues here and there but that's not down to Feral Interactive's port as it's not much different on Windows.
  • Humble Store are giving away Tacoma during their Indie Mega Week sale
    Humble Store has another free game from you to grab with Tacoma, along with their Indie Mega Week sale now live. I enjoyed my Tacoma play-through, done in a single sitting and I think it's worth grabbing and actually playing. You can see my previous thoughts here. You can grab your free copy here, which requires subbing to their newsletter.