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First impressions of Sparky Xfce

Started by xfrank, July 25, 2016, 05:06:35 PM

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I installed yesterday Sparky on an old atom mini-PC. Here is my Inxi output:
xfrank@test-mini-pc:~$ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: test-mini-pc Kernel: 4.6.0-1-686 i686 (32 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 (Gtk 2.24.28) Distro: SparkyLinux Tyche
Machine:   Mobo: Intel model: D510MO v: AAE76523-400
           Bios: Intel v: MOPNV10J.86A.0148.2009.1102.2315 date: 11/02/2009
CPU:       Dual core Intel Atom D510 (-HT-MCP-) cache: 512 KB
           flags: (lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3) bmips: 6667
           clock speeds: max: 1666 MHz 1: 1666 MHz 2: 1666 MHz 3: 1666 MHz
           4: 1666 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Atom Processor D4xx/D5xx/N4xx/N5xx Integrated Graphics Controller
           bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Pineview x86/MMX/SSE2
           GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 11.2.2 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.6.0-1-686
Network:   Card-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: 1000 bus-ID: 01:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel WiFi Link 5100 driver: iwlwifi bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 250.1GB (3.2% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: FUJITSU_MHZ2250B size: 250.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 228G used: 5.7G (3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.13GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 7.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 172 Uptime: 5 min Memory: 294.6/2004.0MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.461) inxi: 2.3.0

I'm a medium skilled linux user and generally I have Linux Mint Cinnamon or Xfce in my computers. My first impressions of Sparky:

a - on the positive side: this Distro is reasonably fast, easy, intuitive, complete, and good looking out-of-the-box. I'ts light on resources (slightly more heavy than Lubuntu, but lighter than Xubuntu and Linux Mint Xfce). Responsiveness in a weak and old machine is excellent. Hardware was full recognized correctly and maintenance seems straightforward. Appearance is very good, and font rendering is OK (this is very important to me). Well done, developers!

b - on the negative side: installation was OK but Grub was not installed correctly (I installed it in sda1, probably the correct path was just sda, but there wasn't any warning), so I had to run a repair disk to fix the bootloader. Keyboard is not recognized on boot, there is an option to turn on it in LightDM settings (why? this is really strange). Wifi was recognized and all the networks shown, but the password input was not recorded, I had to digit it in the "edit" connection options. Conky was not installed, I had to find and install it from "Aptus Extra". Inxi also was not installed, I installed it from the terminal (Inxi is very useful, should be installed by default). The default font, Sans, is not great, there are better fonts like Droid Sans and Source Sans Pro (I prefer this one), but for the terminal Monospace is OK. Firefox is not the standard version but an ESR version, that is older. The first System Upgrade was incredibly slow, took about 4 hours via ethernet cable, usually a fast connection (are the Sparky repos intrinsically slow?). Moreover, there are some minor glitches related to Debian (I'm accustomed to Ubuntu derivatives or LMDE or Manjaro), like not finding some packages in Synaptic.

In the end, this is a very good distro, suitable for different kind of computers but specially for low end and old pcs. Very fast and smooth, I would reccomend it.  :)


Yes, conky and inxi are two things I install very soon.  I have 50% of your memory and a single core atom with LXQT, it runs o.k. 

Sorry about the slow upgrade - the bulk of them will be from Debian mirror repositories.   If running a rolling release (as Debian testing is) is your idea of fun - then I am sure that you will like Debian based Sparky much more than Ubuntu's betas and rc's.  Enjoy.  peace out
Search forum for "More info easier via inxi"    If requested -  no inxi, no help for you by  me.


Yeah! I guess I will enjoy Sparky as a good derivative of Debian Testing.  8) I'm enough experienced and skilled to resolve most of the issues, for the rest there is the forum. By the way, this is my current desktop:

I added the default Sparky Conky (not bad but a bit spartan) and changed the icons and fonts: icons are the gorgeous Faenza Cupertino (blue) and the system font is Source Sans Pro (imho superior to Sans).  ;)

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