Chakra GNU/Linux: A Review With Screenshots

6:22 AM

According to Distrowatch, Chakra GNU/Linux is a Live CD distribution aimed at ease of use and originally forked from Arch Linux. Some of its features include a graphical installer, automatic hardware detection and configuration, the latest KDE desktop, and a variety of tools and "extras".

 

The Chakra GNU/Linux website claims it strives to keep to the principles of KISS and bring a bundle system that is known to well support GTK applications.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The Live CD starts with a nice verbose screen that lets you know how the various processes are doing on startup. This used to be a very common default among Linux distributions but in recent years has stopped. I like it; it lets me know exactly what is going on as the system starts up.

 

Followed by this is the trademark beautiful Chakra startup screen. I would include a screenshot of this but there are so many I will instead refer you to the many screenshots of it available in Google images.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The default desktop for Chakra GNU/Linux is simply beautiful. In fact I have not seen such an attractive and clean KDE default desktop in a long time. The desktop folder includes links to some of the applications a new user may need immediate access to, such as the bug reporting tool, forums, and documentation.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The favorites menu provides links to the most commonly used applications, such as the browser Konqueror, installation program, text editor Kate, and package manager AppSet QT.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The System menu provides shortcuts to backup tools, the KDE Info Center, the file manager Dolphin, and the rest of KDE's standard system tools.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The Development menu in Chakra GNU/Linux provides several development tools, including QT Assistant, Interface Designer, and Linguist.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The Graphics menu is very bare, only providing GPS applications, a screenshot application, and an image viewer.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The Internet menu includes QT applications for Bluetooth, an IRC client, a network folder wizard, and the browser Konqueror.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

The Multimedia menu is also bare, with only the Bangarang media player and Kmix sound mixer.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

I don't know why the Settings menu is bare. Perhaps if I installed the system it would have filled out. However since I was running this in a virtual machine I was unable to make it past the time/date settings, which featured a globe that required more advanced graphics than I was able to share with the virtual machine. However, I do think that if this menu is normally bare it should be removed from the system.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The utilities menu features all your standard KDE utilities. There's the Kate text editor, Ark archiving tool, Klipper clipboard tool, and more.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The Chakra menu provides links to several useful webpages, such as a link to the bug reporting tool, to download the source code, documentation, and forums.

 

Conclusion

 

Chakra GNU/Linux is a very beautiful and clean installation of the KDE Plasma desktop. It keeps default applications to a minimum, allowing the user to create their own system. In this way it is a little reminiscent of Bodhi Linux, only it doesn't take things quite so far as to expect the user to build the desktop as well. Easily seen links to bug reporting tools, forums, and documentation along with a graphical installer would make this a system I would definitely recommend to a new user, especially one accustomed to Microsoft Windows since the interface is very similar to Windows (but much prettier :D). Users with low spec systems should be warned, however - this system is not meant for slow machines. Overall though I like what Chakra GNU/Linux has done - they have created a completely free open source desktop with minimal default applications, a beautiful interface, and easy to access, highly visible tools for new users. Congratulations to the Chakra GNU/Linux team for pulling off such a beautiful and easy to use distribution.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!



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9 comments

  1. Nice overview. I may try Chakra soon.

    Regarding your website, the body text is too light. It's almost unreadable. Take a look here http://www.contrastrebellion.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did high contrast for a while, but honestly it hurts my eyes. What I have found is no matter how much contrast you have someone is always going to complain. So I just go with the format I find the most readable for me.

    Thanks for commenting. Yes, Chakra is pretty awesome. I love how barebones it is for a KDE desktop distribution. Very user friendly, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. [...] Chakra GNU/Linux: A Review With Screenshots According to Distrowatch, Chakra GNU/Linux is a Live CD distribution aimed at ease of use and originally forked from Arch Linux. Some of its features include a graphical installer, automatic hardware detection and configuration, the latest KDE desktop, and a variety of tools and “extras”. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree about the contrast, make the text black. or not, it is your site, but i wouldn't think you are your primary reader.

    The review was lacking, it only seemed to cover what was in the menu. How fast did the system feel? Did it install your video drivers? FLOSS or closed? Did your sound work? Were the effects put to good use or distracting? Good CLI tools available? Was the Network setting app able to do VPN? WPA-Enterprise wifi? Being in a VM and without an actual install really limits the review as well.

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  5. I stated in the review that this was a system meant for fast machines. I also stated that it was all free software. If some piece of hardware didn't work I would have stated so. CLI tools were standard. I don't do VPN. WPA was available.

    I should note that there is an option during boot up that gives you the option of loading non-free drivers. This was not an issue for me as I don't require them.

    If you really want to know that much about the system, read the documentation. This was simply meant to be an overview, nothing more, nothing less.

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  6. Look, here's the facts. This was done on a 10 inch screen by someone with less than 20/20 vision (me). There's a separate site for small screens that takes contrast in to account. If *I* can read it, there's no reason why you can't.

    I don't do this for you. If this was all about you I wouldn't pay for the hosting. This is something I do in my free time because I enjoy it. I will make the site look however I like it to look. I don't make you come here. I don't make you read it. So leave me alone.

    BTW, I'm having a bad day so please excuse the tone.

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  7. And FTR, 10 years ago there was a movement against high contrast layouts. So I really don't care what the current trend is. In 10 more years it'll change again.

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  8. I think the contrast is fine. It doesn't strain my vision like a lot of other sites. Keep up the good work!!!! thanks

    ReplyDelete