Debian-based SparkyLinux 7.2 'Orion Belt' is the Windows 11 alternative of your dreams

SparkyLinux, a well-known Debian-based distribution, has just released its latest update -- version 7.2. Code-named "Orion Belt," this update offers a variety of enhancements and new features.

As a quarterly updated point release of Sparky 7 “Orion Belt”, Sparky 7.2 maintains full compatibility with Debian 12 “Bookworm,” ensuring a seamless experience for users who rely on the solid foundation of Debian. This update brings a comprehensive package refresh, with all packages updated from both Debian and Sparky stable repositories as of December 5, 2023.

Significant changes in this release include an update to the Linux kernel for PC to version 6.1.55, with additional Sparky-specific versions (6.6.4-sparky and 5.15.141-LTS-sparky) available in the Sparky repositories. For ARM devices, the Linux kernel has been updated to version 6.1.58.

In terms of applications, users can look forward to the latest versions of key software. This includes LibreOffice 7.4.7, offering the latest in productivity; Calamares 3.2.61 for streamlined installations; and updates to various desktop environments like KDE Plasma 5.27.5, LXQt 1.2.0, MATE 1.26, Xfce 4.18, and Openbox 3.6.1.

For web and media needs, Firefox is updated to 115.5.0esr (with a 120.0.1-sparky version in the Sparky repos), Thunderbird to 115.5.0 for email, VLC 3.0.20 for media playback, and Exaile 4.1.3 for music management. Additionally, Sparky 7.2 provides updated ARMHF and ARM64 images, expanding the distribution's reach to a wider range of hardware.

Sparky 7.2 offers varied versions to cater to different user needs and hardware configurations. For amd64 systems with BIOS/UEFI+Secure Boot, options include Xfce, LXQt, MATE, KDE Plasma, MinimalGUI (Openbox), and MinimalCLI (text mode). For older i686 non-pae BIOS/UEFI (Legacy) systems, users can choose between MinimalGUI (Openbox) and MinimalCLI (text mode). ARMHF and ARM64 users have access to Openbox and CLI versions.

Ultimately, Sparky 7.2 "Orion Belt" presents a compelling option for both current Linux enthusiasts and users considering a switch from other operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows 11. With its robust Debian base, updated package selection, and a variety of desktop environments, it offers a refreshing and customizable computing experience.

For those interested in exploring this latest release, Sparky 7.2 is readily available for download from the SparkyLinux website here. This update could be the perfect opportunity to dive into a Linux distribution that combines stability with cutting-edge features.

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