SparkyLinux 7.4 'Orion Belt' update rolls out: Here’s what's new

The much-anticipated update to Sparky 7, dubbed "Orion Belt," is officially here with its 7.4 version, and it's packed with updates and tweaks.

For those who might not know, Sparky 7 is built on the stable backbone of Debian 12 "Bookworm," ensuring a seamless and reliable experience for its users. This latest update, rolled out as a part of its regular quarterly cycle, brings us up to speed with the freshest developments from both Debian and Sparky’s own repositories.

So, what’s new in Sparky 7.4? A lot, actually. We're talking about a range of kernel updates with multiple options for different needs. For the PC crowd, you have the Linux kernel PC at 6.1.90 LTS. And if you're on ARM, Sparky has you covered with the 6.6.31 LTS kernel.

But that's just the start. The update brings with it the latest LibreOffice 7.4.7 suite for all your productivity needs, alongside KDE Plasma 5.27.5 for those who crave a cutting-edge yet stable desktop environment. Not a KDE fan? Not a problem. Sparky 7.4 also features updates to LXQt 1.2.0, MATE 1.26, Xfce 4.18, and Openbox 3.6.1, ensuring there's something for everyone.

The update also includes Firefox 115.11.0esr and Thunderbird 115.11.0. These ensure that you’re working with tools that are secure, stable, and loaded with the latest features.

For those looking to install different versions of the Linux kernel easily, Sparky 7.4 has added a new feature in APTus to install Debian backports kernels -- choices range from 64bit to various real-time options.

Sparky 7.4 “Orion Belt” comes in several flavors to accommodate a variety of setups, from traditional amd64 systems with BIOS/UEFI+Secure Boot to i686 non-pae setups. And for the minimalist or those running on ARM hardware, there are streamlined Openbox and CLI versions too.

Oh, and a little heads up for Xfce and MATE users: due to a last-minute hiccup, the initial ISOs for these environments were reconfigured, resulting in the new 7.4.1 versions. So, make sure you grab the latest version here for a smooth installation.

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