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SparkyLinux 2021.03 Release Introduces a KDE Plasma Edition, Xfce 4.16 Update, and More Upgrades

SparkyLinux is a Debian-based operating system that aims to provide a fast, lightweight and fully customizable experience to the user. Out of the box, the user has the option to choose from four different desktop environments that will be provided with a set of pre-installed open-source software.

The developers behind Sparky Linux have announced the release of “SparkyLinux 2021.03” which is based on the “Bullseye” testing branch of Debian and is a rolling release distribution.

This new release features many updates and new desktop environments. Let’s have a look at what is on offer.

KDE Plasma Edition

The most important addition to SparkyLinux with the new release is the addition of a KDE Plasma edition.

It runs the KDE Plasma 5.20.5 desktop environment and is being offered with KDE Frameworks 5.78 and KDE Applications 20.12.2.

Xfce 4.16

With the release of SparkyLinux 2021.03, Xfce has been updated to 4.16 and is being offered with a few extra keyboard shortcuts.

The Xfce desktop environment is meant for those who prefer a very minimal and lightweight experience.

LXQt 0.16.0

The LXQt desktop environment has also been updated to version 0.16.0.

It features a few extra keyboard shortcuts and a host of new applications that include, Clementine instead of Exaile as the default audio player, Kopete instead of Pidgin for instant messaging, Konversation instead of HexChat and Webcamoid instead of Cheese as the webcam application.

MATE 1.24.1

The MATE desktop environment has been updated to version 1.24.1 without any specific changes as seen with the other desktop environments.

Sparky APTus AppCenter 20210302

The Sparky APTus AppCenter is a GUI tool that makes it easy to install new applications with a single click.

In its current form one might think it is a bit primitive but new updates are being pushed to it regularly and with Sparky Linux 2021.03, version 20210302 of Sparky APTus AppCenter is being offered.

Other Improvements

Sparky Linux 2021.03 features Linux Kernel 5.10.13 with the option to get 5.11.3 or 5.12-rc2 through the unstable repositories of Sparky.

Other than that many applications have been updated that include:

  • Mozilla Firefox 86.0
  • Mozilla Thunderbird 78.8.0
  • LibreOffice
  • Openbox 3.6.1
  • VLC 3.0.12
  • Calamares 3.2.37
  • kpmcore 20.12.3

For more information you can also read the official announcement.

Get SparkyLinux 2021.03

Existing users can either update their system through the “Sparky Upgrade” tool or run the following commands to update their system.

A user can directly execute the following command by typing or pasting it in the terminal:



Open the terminal and type or paste the following command to get the update package:

sudo apt update

Then type or paste the following command into the terminal to update SparkyLinux:

sudo apt full-upgrade

If you are a new user, then you can go to the official downloads page for getting the suitable ISO image.

Six different ISO images are available for download that include four different desktop environments, LXQt, MATE, Xfce, and KDE. You will also find two other additions as a minimal GUI edition and a Command-Line edition.

For information regarding SparkyLinux or installation instructions, you can head to the official wiki.

Have you tried SparkyLinux 2021.03 yet? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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