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Updated: 17 hours 39 min ago


Wednesday 17th of April 2019 12:59:37 PM

There is a new tool available for Sparkers: qt-fsarchiver

What is qt-fsarchiver?

Back up and restore partitions for Debian,Ubuntu, Linux-Mint, Suse and Fedora. qt-fsarchiver a program with a Qt based graphical interface for easy operation the archiving program fsarchiver. qt-fsarchiver has been split into a program with a graphical user interface and a terminal program.

If you have a deb package of qt-fsarchive downloaded from the project page and installed – uninstall it before installing a new one from Sparky repos:
sudo apt purge qt-fsarchiver qt4-fsarchiver qt5-fsarchiver
sudo apt update
sudo apt install qt-fsarchiver
or via the latest version of Sparky APTus 0.4.18.
The tool is available for Sparky 4/Debian Stretch and Sparky 5/Debian Buster 32 and 64 bit.
Let me know if you find any problem with installation or using the new tool, please.

The qt-fsarchiver project page:
Copyright (C) 2008-2018 Francois Dupoux and Dieter Baum; it is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0


Sparky 5.7.1

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019 06:22:08 PM

New live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 5.7.1 “Nibiru” are available to download.

This is a minor update of live images of Sparky 5 based on Debian testing “Buster”.

This update provides:
– full disk encrypting via the Calamares installer back
– Linux kernel 4.19.28 as default
– all packages updated from Debian testing repos as of April 02, 2019
– added qCamera and removed Camorama (LXQt iso)
– added qCalculator and removed Galculator (LXQt iso)
– and uGet download manager replaced by Persopolis (LXQt iso)

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.

March 2019 donation report

Monday 1st of April 2019 06:37:41 PM

Many thanks to all of you for supporting our open-source projects!
Your donations help keeping them alive.

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

Sparky news 2019/03

Sunday 31st of March 2019 11:13:47 AM

The 3rd monthly report of 2019 of the Sparky project:
• Sparky Tube received a few improvements
• Advanced Installed has a new option which lets you choose autologin without password (suggested by Elton)
• Sparky 5.7 released (LXQt, MinimalGUI/Openbox, MinimalCLI)
• Sparky 5.7 Special Editions released (GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue)
• Linux kernel updated up to version 5.0.5 & 4.20.17 (EOL) & 5.1-rc2
• Added to repos: mkusb, qCalculator, qCamera, Sway, tbsm, mako, bemenu
• Updated sddm-theme-sparky: replaced existing theme by a new one, which doesn’t need plasma as a dependency any more; added another sddm theme to a new ‘sddm-theme1-sparky’ package



Sunday 24th of March 2019 04:55:36 PM

There is a new, small desktop available for Sparkers: Sway

What is Sway?

Sway (SirCmpwn’s Wayland compositor) is a tiling Wayland compositor and a drop-in replacement for the i3 window manager for X11. It works with your existing i3 configuration and supports most of i3’s features, plus a few extras. This means it is a minimalist, tiling window manager.

Sway is available for users of Sparky 5/Debian Buster amd64 only (in this moment).

Make sure you have Sparky Unstable repo enabled, then:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install sway
To launch Sway in Wayland session, you need GDM3, SDDM or tbsm to be installed and set as default display manager.
If you don’t want to install gdm3 (and gnome-shell), you can use other display managers, such as LightDM, LXDM, XDM, etc., but they can run Sway in Xorg session with Xwayland (xwayland package has to be installed).

The Sway project page:



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 March 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.


More in Tux Machines

Programming Leftovers

Devices: Radiant Software, ASRock and Microsoft

  • Radiant 1.1 Lattice FPGA Design Tools Release Accelerates Design Reuse
    In addition to supporting Windows, Radiant Software 1.1 adds support for the popular Ubuntu LTS 16.4 distribution of Linux. Radiant Software 1.1 is now available for download from Lattices website and currently can be used with a free license.
  • ASRock spins Whiskey Lake-U in thin Mini-ITX, 3.5-inch, and NUC formats
    ASRock announced four products based on Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U: a thin Mini-ITX “IMB-1216” board, a 3.5-inch “SBC-350,” and a NUC 4×4 form-factor “iBox-8365U” mini-PC and NUC-8365U mainboard. ASRock Industrial has been busy lately tapping the latest embedded-oriented x86 chips in products such as the Intel 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U based iBox-8265U mini-PC, as well as the iBox-R1000 industrial PC and NUC-R1000 mainboard built around the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000. Now it has announced four more Whiskey Lake-U products aimed at the embedded market.
  • Making Sense of Microsoft’s Acquisition of Express Logic [Ed: Windows is worthless, so Microsoft is buying the competition. Microsoft also bought Danger, Sidekick etc. and it never ended well. Anything Microsoft touches turns to dust. When it bought Skype it was (back then) near-monopoly, but not anymore. Microsoft sometimes announces financial losses.]
    Even the Linux Foundation, home of the Linux kernel, hosts a project called Zephyr, which is an RTOS designed for use-cases, beyond the reach of Linux.

Events: Richard Stallman in Zurich (Switzerland), OpenStack Summit, Linux Fest Northwest

  • Richard Stallman - "Free Software and Your Freedom" (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • SUSE CaaS Platform at Open Infrastructure Summit
    If you’re attending Open Infrastructure Summit this year and have in previous years as well, you might be noticing something a bit different; this year it’s not called OpenStack Summit. While we expect much of the talk will still be about OpenStack, we thought it might be a good idea to include other related technologies as well, like SUSE CaaS Platform, SUSE Cloud Application Platform – the two offerings that combine to form SUSE’s Application Delivery solution – and SUSE Enterprise Storage
  • Gearing Up for Linux Fest Northwest 2019!
    This next weekend (April 26-28th, 2019) I will be in Bellingham at Bellingham Technical College for Linux Fest Northwest to help at the Ubuntu table! I will be demonstrating Ubuntu Studio and my au…
  • Ubuntu Studio at Linux Fest Northwest 2019
    Council Chair Erich Eickmeyer will be in Bellingham, WA, USA this weekend for Linux Fest Northwest 2019, and will be bringing his audio setup to demonstrate Ubuntu Studio at the Ubuntu table. Check out the post on his personal blog!

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