Chakra (operating system)
Chakra with Neda theme and some default applications
|Source model||Free and open source software|
|Latest stable release||Fritz 2013.09 / September 22, 2013|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux)|
|Default user interface||KDE Plasma Desktop|
Chakra is a Linux distribution originally based on Arch Linux and focused on the latest KDE software, intending to provide a pure KDE/Qt environment free of Gtk. It has been well received by critics and as of June 2013 ranks among the 30 most popular Linux distributions in DistroWatch
The team's original project KDEmod, modular KDE software packages for Arch Linux, was phased out in January 2011.
Chakra was initiated by KDEmod developers who decided to create a live CD based on Arch Linux. The objective of Chakra was to provide a desktop operating system easy to use but which maintains all the features, clarity, power and responsiveness of Arch Linux.
On August 30, 2010 the Chakra team released their first independent version, called Chakra 0.2. It is no longer a preconfigured Arch Linux live CD.
Chakra includes both free and proprietary software, though the latter may be disabled during installation. It is only available for the x86_64 architecture, with support for i686 having been dropped in August 2012. It is based on KDE Software Compilation. Chakra does not schedule releases for specific dates but uses a "Half-Rolling release" system. This means that the core packages of Chakra (graphics, audio, etc.) are frozen and only updated to fix any security problems. These packages are updated after the latest versions have been thoroughly tested before being moved to permanent repository (about every six months). This allows stable base to ensure stability to the rest of the programs. The other applications (web browsers, games, media players, office suites, etc.) are updated following the rolling release model and are generally available immediately after their release.
The Chakra website supplies ISO images that can be run from CD, DVD or USB. The ISO images provide two versions, full edition and minimal edition. The graphical Chakra installation program is called "Tribe".
Currently, the following main repositories exist:
- core, which contains all the packages needed to set up a base system
- platform, which contains packages of KDE Software Compilation dependencies.
- desktop, which contains KDE Software Compilation packages and Chakra tools.
- apps, which contains additional KDE/Qt applications.
- games, which contains games software.
- lib32, a centralized repository for x86_64 users to more readily support 32-bit applications in a 64-bit environment.
- extra, which contains those well-known GTK applications.
And, testing repositories that include package candidates for other repositories. Currently, the following testing repositories exist:
- testing, with packages for stable repositorie.
- lib32-testing, with packages for lib32.
In addition, there also exist unstable repositories that include applications that are still considered to be unstable. There are also packages built right from the git, not waiting for an official release. Currently, the following unstable repositories exist:
- unstable, which contains development versions of general packages.
- kernel-unstable, which contains development versions of the Linux kernel and related packages.
- kde-unstable, which contains development versions of KDE Software Compilation packages.
Chakra community repository
In addition to the repositories, the Chakra community repository provides user-made PKGBUILD scripts for packages not included in the repositories. The PKGBUILD scripts simplify building from source by explicitly listing and checking for dependencies and configuring the install to match the Chakra architecture. The Chakra community repository helper programs can further streamline the downloading and building process. However, such tools that search, download and run PKGBUILD scripts automatically will never be included in the official repositories because of potential security risks.
PKGBUILDs for any software can be contributed by ordinary users and any PKGBUILD that is not confined to the Chakra community repository for policy reasons can be voted into the official repositories.
Chakra intends to be a pure KDE/Qt environment free of Gtk. However, in order to provide important Gtk apps (such as GIMP), Chakra provides bundles of them. Chakra bundles are half way between the Mac OS X concept of bundles and the package-dependency concept. This is, bundles are one-click applications, auto mountable file systems which contain all the needed files to run an application which is not in the repositories and automates the installation of dependencies in the repositories if needed. Also, Chakra bundles stores bundle-related user configuration files in the bundle, which assures the user a clean home directory. After May 4, 2013, The BundleSystem got replaced by the extra repository.
- "Chakra-2013.09-Fritz ISO released". Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- Distrowatch (November 2010). "Chakra GNU/Linux". Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "Chakra Linux - Distro Review". Retrieved 2010-11-24.
- "The Chakra Project - Innovating on KDE and Arch Linux". Retrieved 2010-11-24.
- "Linux Distributions – Facts and Figures". DistroWatch. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- "Goodbye KDEmod !". Retrieved 2010-11-24.
- "Distribution Release: Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.0". August 30, 2010.
- "The BundleSystem got replaced by the [extra] repository". Chakra Project Team. 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2013-05-04.