The SparkyLinux developers are announcing the release and general availability of the SparkyLinux 4.4 GNU/Linux operating system for personal computers as the latest stable and most advanced version of the project.
SparkyLinux 4.4 has been in development for the past four months, since the April 29 release of SparkyLinux 4.3, also dubbed "Tyche" and based on the same Debian Testing software repositories. This major update comes with the usual "Home" editions, distributed with the KDE, Xfce, MATE, LXDE, and LXQt desktop environments.
"New, updated live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 4.4 “Tyche” are available to download now," reads the release announcement . "As before, Sparky “Home” editions provide fully featured operating system based on the Debian ‘testing’, with desktops of your choice: LXDE, LXQt, KDE, MATE and Xfce."
Here's what's new in SparkyLinux 4.4
Fully synchronized with the Debian Testing software repos as of August 15, 2016, SparkyLinux 4.4 includes the latest security and software updates released upstream, and it looks like it's now powered by Linux kernel 4.6.4, which reached end of life starting with the Linux kernel 4.6.7 maintenance update announced earlier in the week.
However, kernels from the latest stable and most advanced Linux 4.7 kernel series are available for installation in the Sparky repos, so it is advised that you upgrade immediately after installing the OS. Other changes include a new default system theme called Numix-SX and the addition of new desktops, namely Trinity, Lumina and PekWM.
There's also a new ‘rootactions-servicemenu’ added to the Dolphin file manager in the KDE edition to allow users to access various common system tasks as root (system administrator), an option to let you install a PDF viewer tool, and a keyboard shortcut (Super+T) for quick opening of a terminal emulator in the MinimalGUI edition.
The list of changes continues with the availability of the Mozilla Firefox 45.3.0 ESR (Extended Support Release) web browser in the SparkyLinux repos, along with the newest Calamares graphical installer framework. Also, it looks like the tint2 panel has been replaced with fbpanel in the MinimalGUI edition.
Last but not least, the ‘sparkylinux-installer’ tool was updated to automatically refresh the package list and installs the latest desktop settings for the MinimalCLI and MinimalGUI editions, and the NetSurf (replaces Midori in the MinimalGUI edition) and Vivaldi web browsers were added to the SparkyLinux repositories.
The ‘sparky-firstrun’ tool was updated as well, and it now allows users to fully upgrade their SparkyLinux operating system and installs missing language packs. SparkyLinux KDE 4.4 , SparkyLinux Xfce 4.4 , SparkyLinux MATE 4.4 , SparkyLinux LXDE 4.4 , SparkyLinux LXQt 4.4 , and SparkyLinux MinimalGUI/Minimal CLI 4.4 editions are now available for download via our website.