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"SparkyLinux 3.4 'Annagerman' MATE, Xfce and Base (Openbox) is out. As usually, the new ISO images of SparkyLinux provide tons of updates, some changes and system improvements, such as: Linux kernel 3.14; all packages upgraded from Debian's 'Testing' repository as of 2014-06-23; MATE 1.8; Openbox 3.5.2; Xfce 4.10; support for installation on machines with EFI; systemd is the default init system now; menu of Openbox (Base edition) has got a few extra scripts; added new package - hardinfo; teamviewer has been updated up to version 9. New application in SparkyLinux repository: sparky-live-usb-creator Ė a tool for creating bootable live USB disks, it's a GUI front-end for the 'dd' command."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Sparky is a rolling release distro, based on Debian testing. The default desktop LXDE, but I tested the 32-bit version with Xfce. I had trouble downloading from one server, but the other was fine. The installer is run from the live session, and listed in the menu under System. Itís simple to use, but it doesnít offer encryption and it will hang if you choose any filing system other than ext4. Both the installation and the installed system would be fine with 512MB.
Xfce is well implemented and set up with top panel, bottom dock, and Conky. Software includes Icedove, Iceweasel, Pidgin, Xchat, Liferea, LibreOffice, Gimp, VLC, Exaile, Gnome-mplayer, and a bundle of games. Flash, media codecs, and spell-checking are installed. All programs worked, with a few warnings when run from the CLI. Like most Debian distros, other than Mint, Sparky had no tool capable of making my USB speakers the default, so I could only get sound with media software, not with Iceweasel. I also had what seem to be the usual Debian problems doing an update, which were not helped by Sparky getting the name of a mirror wrong.
If you want a rolling-release derivative of Debian, the alternatives are Mintís Debian Edition, Semplice, or SolydXK. The choice will depend on which GUI you prefer, although Mint is marginally better.