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Chakra GNU/Linux review

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Final Thoughts and Suggestions: I am very impressed by this distribution. A lot has been done, but a lot more still needs to be done. For one, Tribe, especially at the disk setup step, needs a rethink. I will like to see support for disk encryption, and for that, I will suggest that the developers look to Anaconda, the Fedora installation program, for inspiration. (See how Fedora protects you data with full disk encryption.) Another place to look for inspiration is on SysInstall, the PC-BSD installation program. It has, I think, one of the best disk partitioning setups. Like Chakra, PC-BSD supports GPT-based partitioning, with automated disk partitioning options.

If you have not used Chakra, I think you should give it a try. Though still considered alpha by its developers, it is one of the better KDE-based distributions I have used. The only reason I will not use it on my personal computer is because it does not support disk encryption. For me, that is always a show-stopper.

Resources: The Chakra Project makes available 32- and 64-bit, Live CD and Live DVD installation images for download here. With respect to installed applications, the CD image is sparse. Best option is to download a DVD installation image.

Screenshots: Here are even more screenshots from a test installation of Aida.

Search and Launch page on a new installation of Chakra showing the application categories.
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LibreOffice and related applications on a new installation of Chakra.
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Default graphics applications on Chakra.
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Internet applications on a new installation of Chakra.
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The Chakra login window.
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29 Comments

  1. Josh says:

    To answer your question, no “Argentinian” is not a language; it should be written “Argentinian Spanish” just like it says “American English.” Argentina, along with a few other Latin American countries, uses the pronoun “vos” in place of “tú.” This is accompanied by a change in the conjugation and placement of accent in the second person singular. Argentina is one of the few countries where the “Voseo” is used in written Spanish.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voseo

  2. Bran says:

    Chakra is actually a distro I’ve been searching for. I wanted a system that kept up on the lastest software without needing to reinstall the OS every 6 months (ala major distros). I like arch, but I find the semi-rolling to fit with how I think an OS should work. I have some issues with KDE, like when I need a random gtk app, I have to use the CCR, which has that bug you mentioned in your article. I would like to use btrfs on Chakra, but I guess I’ll have to wait a while before that is supported

  3. Ivar F says:

    “The image below shows that 11 languages are supported.”

    It seems odd that if 11 languages are supported, all of them are within the four first letters of the alphabet… Could it be that the reviewer didn’t bother to press the down-button enough to see if it was possible to scroll down to other languages?

  4. Pawlo says:

    This is something I was looking for. An excellent KDE distribution and half rolling system rulez!

  5. Adriannho says:

    I wiil bother to reply. You said that Chackra is a pure QT distro. Well it seems to me that the devs are only trying to ditch away GTK and no other toolkits. LibreOffice is not Qt, so Chackra is no pure QT/Kde. If they were, they had would have used Koffice or Caligra. I win again.

  6. virilio says:

    crap distro:

    couldn’t install due to bug, but couldn’t register on forum to post bug report because of the “human test” that requires a linux commandline… Catch-22?!

    WTF is wrong with just uing a captcha image?

    Also, installer is a throwback to 5+ years ago, no encryption available or using existing /home partitions.

    • finid says:

      Out of curiosity, what was the “bug?” What type of PC and what ISO image – 32- or 64-bit – did you use?

      • virilio says:

        some bug with the x64 installer, tribe. The install seemed to work fine but after the reboot no operating system was found.

        I think a distro’s community is the most important factor in using that distro, and not being able to even register for their forum is a stupid UI error, that may or may not reflect on the the distro’s attitude and ease of use.

        I going to take the recommendation in the comments from this article to try Linux Mint/KDE.

        Oh, also, I just learned that the Chakra sobs killed kdemod, that’s a good enough reason to hate them as any… kdemod was a beautiful thing that didn’t have to die, but they wanted their own sweet distro, I guess.

        • wammes says:

          KDEmod was not killed, Chakra’s implantation IS KDEmod, just the name is no longer used (since it is no longer based on Arch, no need to seperate Arch KDE form KDEmod).

  7. awakatanka says:

    I think it can do a bit better on polishing the tribe installer. It looks good but partition part needs to be better. The installed system is very stable and the half rolling release makes it for me a bit better then arch where i need to go to console sometimes to fix some problems.

  8. Roland says:

    Why is the installer full-screen? I had a network problem during install, which caused the install to hang, and there was no way I could diagnose or do anything about it. Give users control over their machine at all times. Don’t take control away, it frustrates.

  9. Adriannho says:

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again, useless piece of crap. Lost all of arch’s power, far from Suse’s professionalism, nowhere near Fedora’s innovation, light years from Ubuntu’s polish. Stop blogging nonsense.

    • awakatanka says:

      Easy to say without giving examples why you think that. What is useless crap is this kind of reply’s. Stop replying nonsense.

      • Adriannho says:

        Already gave the reasons. Everybody thinks he/she has the perfect idea for a distribution. But when you really look at those efforts you realize that the work put on packaging, creating installer tools,etc is in vain. Whose needs are they trying to address? Wouldn’t those effort be better distributed in other areas, like improving overall Linux desktop experience? Must we always start over again. What does Chackra have uniques? NOTHING!!! Where does it stand apart from other distros? NOWHERE. So, does it worth the effort of creating a distro for 100 people?

        It hurts, but in this way will never stand a chance against Apple and Microsoft. Is’t this the thing Linus referred by “mental masturbation”?

        • finid says:

          I get your point, but this is one of the side effects of freedom. Btw, you could have said the same thing regarding Ubuntu, but, despite how I feel about it (Ubuntu), look at how it has fared vis-à-vis Debian.

        • Awakatanka says:

          It fits my needs, there isn’t any good almost clean kde distro. Arch is to much work sometimes where chakra gives me less. Later on they move away more and more from arch. Ubuntu doesn’t give a good kde experince. Suse and redhat are to slow and give to much i don’t need. If no one thinks they can do better there will be no inventions of new things. The brought kdemod on arch, if they didn’t do that then arch kde was still the same. I don’t search a one fits al linux i search a linux that fits my needs our comes close to it.

        • Awakatanka says:

          It fits my needs, there isn’t any good almost clean kde distro. Arch is to much work sometimes where chakra gives me less. Later on they move away more and more from arch. Ubuntu doesn’t give a good kde experince. Suse and redhat are to slow and give to much i don’t need. If no one thinks they can do better there will be no inventions of new things. The brought kdemod on arch, if they didn’t do that then arch kde was still the same. I don’t search a one fits al linux i search a linux that fits my needs our comes close to it..

        • Pyruzan says:

          “What does Chackra have uniques?”

          Being PURE KDE/Qt, Bundle System, An Optimized and gorgeous KDE, Tribe, being half rolling release and …

          “Where does it stand apart from other distros?”

          Read what I wrote one more time.

          You are just a mindless blind troll, so STFU and keep your crap to yourself please.

          • Adriannho says:

            Pure KDE/QT…LibreOffice? Optimized and gorgeos KDE…please list the important patches Chackra applies to kde to make it so optimized. Then compare the look of Chackra with the latest MintKde…is Chackra so gorgeous? Half rolling release…nice, but always true innovations are made in the kernel area, Mesa, X, etc. Plus, whay did they really need to rewrite AUR??? That is the thing it pissed me of, do we really have to rewrite everything always when inspiration strikes us?…Oh and…Pyruzan…you are mentally incapable of understanding what trolling means, so stop using it please!

          • Pyruzan says:

            @ Adriannho

            “LibreOffice?”

            http://chakra-project.org/news/index.php?/archives/175-LibreOffice-available-for-testing-Be-free.html

            “We managed to compile LibreOffice without Gtk dependencies so you can now enjoy it installable as package alongside the extensions and language packs.”

            Since you are just what I said above I have no intention to argue with you, so don’t bother replying me.

  10. Agustin Kloster says:

    I´m from Argentina, and we speak spanish, so Argentinian probably refers to our variation of the language. It should say “Argentinian spanish”, just like it says “Brazilian portuguese” or “American english”.

  11. darkduck says:

    Great review of great system. Can’t wait to put my hands onto it for my own experience!

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