SparkyLinux developers have announced the release of the first rolling update of 2024. Dubbed “Sparky 2024.01,” this latest version is particularly noteworthy for integrating the Linux kernel 6.6 as its default, a move that sets a new standard in the distribution’s performance and compatibility. Accompanying this kernel upgrade is a suite of updated packages sourced from both Debian ‘trixie’ and Sparky’s ‘sisters’ testing repositories.

One of the most notable changes in this release is the replacement of the PulseAudio server with Pipewire audio server. This transition signifies a major shift in how audio is managed, promising improved audio handling and system integration. For users interested in switching from PulseAudio to Pipewire, Sparky Linux provides a simple script available on their website, facilitating an easy transition.

The update also brings a refresh to various desktop environments. Users can now enjoy the latest versions of LXQt, KDE Plasma, MATE, Xfce, and Openbox, each bringing its unique set of features and improvements. Alongside these desktop updates, the release includes updated versions of essential applications like Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and VLC, ensuring users have access to the latest features and security enhancements.

Additionally, SparkyLinux rolling has streamlined its toolkit by introducing sparky-usb-imager, a unified tool that replaces sparky-usb-formatter and sparky-live-usb-creator, reflecting a commitment to efficiency and user convenience.

The Sparky CLI Desktop’s Installer has also seen improvements. It now includes the mlvwm window manager and offers a broader selection of web browsers, catering to diverse user preferences. These additions demonstrate Sparky’s commitment to providing a versatile and customizable experience for its users.

Also, the Sparky CLI Installer has been refined, now featuring a progress output for file copying to a hard drive. In a move towards simplifying the installation process, support for installation on btrfs file systems on bios machines and xfs file system has been removed.

Available in various versions including LXQt, KDE Plasma, MATE, Xfce, MinimalGUI (Openbox), and MinimalCLI (text mode), Sparky 2024.01 amd64 caters to a wide range of user preferences and needs. For existing Sparky rolling users, there’s no need for a fresh installation – keeping the system updated is sufficient to enjoy these new features.

Ultimately, SparkyLinux 2024.01 emerges as an increasingly compelling alternative for users considering a switch from mainstream operating systems like Windows 11. With its latest kernel update, a range of desktop environments, and enhanced application support, it provides a robust, user-friendly experience that appeals to both seasoned Linux users and newcomers alike.

The transition from Windows 11 to SparkyLinux rolling could be a refreshing change for those seeking a more customizable, open-source environment, backed by the stability and innovation that Sparky 2024.01 has to offer. An ISO can be downloaded here.


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