lunes, 17 de diciembre de 2012

Chakra Linux: What I learned from Claire

One of the plans I had during my vacation time was to try Chakra Linux.  This latest release was named "Claire" to honor the memory of Claire Lotion, a KDE developer whose untimely passing away made the KDE community grieve.

I finally had the opportunity today.  I really liked it.  I also learned certain things, too.

Let's see what happens when one boots the Chakra Live DVD.  A screen asking you to select your language greets you.  I had seen it before.  Back then, I thought that the language selection was rather scarce.

However, I discovered that, when you reach the last language and hit the down arrow, you get many more options. I selected "Spanish" for this particular test.
Then you see the Chakra splash screen. Simple and beautiful.
And, after a short while, voila, you are taken to a KDE desktop.
The wallpaper is nice, but I really liked the fact that Chakra does not hide any information from the user. The box on your desktop clearly tells you about Chakra, the goal of the project, and the unfinished state of certain components. 

For a user with little Linux experience, Pacman might be too complicated.  In addition, the warning about work-in-progress might be scary.

Nevertheless, I loved this blunt honesty; the developers are not fooling anyone to enlarge the distro's user base. Therefore, after reading and evaluating if I can risk using this distro despite my limited Linux knowledge, I decided to continue exploring. 

So, I looked for the browser and found rekonq.  Although my browser of choice is Firefox, rekonq is fine with me.  I browsed some pages and did not find any problem at all.

Then I gave the applications a quick glance. I found Marble and played a bit with it. Quite entertaining, actually.
I also found this cute Youtube client: Minitube. I tried it and liked the concept.
Minitube also lets you download the Youtube videos, something I achieve with an addon in Firefox.

Finally, I tried the Office section. If one is considering Chakra for daily use, then one must be willing to use the Calligra office suite. Although I am satisfied with LibreOffice, the simple layout of Words was very appealing to me.


Chakra is an honest project that implements the KDE desktop and KDE software efficiently.  However, despite the fact that Chakra facilitates certain aspects (such as providing non-free drivers or using Kapudan--Pardus' tool Kaptan during the installation-- to configure KDE), users new to Linux might find it complex (especially because of the software installing method).  The same can be said of those users of Linux who depend exclusively on graphical front ends for installing/upgrading packages.

In other words, Chakra sounds like a challenge.  Especially if you want to learn more because using it will imply adaptation to a new browser, a new office suite, and a new package manager. 

7 comentarios:

  1. Chakra looks like a very promising distro for those who want to learn a bit more. Did you happen to try the web page of your bank? If it works, Chakra will have a few extra points in favor.

  2. I did, but rekonq couldn't open the Java component. I also have the same problem in Mandriva 2010.2 with Opera, Chromium, and Konqueror, so it comes hardly as a surprise. The question is if there's a way to enable Java in Chakra.

    1. Just install OpenJDK from repo. Chakra doesn't have java preinstalled. It should work on all browsers, at least it works for me.

  3. I believe Chakra doesn't come with openjdk thats up to you to install.

    think is this one:

  4. Also take a look at what bundles are:*.cb

    Just download and click to use.

    You don't have to ay goodbye to firefox if you want ;)

    1. @Ismael VC,

      Thank you for your comments and very useful tips/links!

  5. Try installing the icedtea-web package