Review: Chakra 2012.02

This release is the first to incorporate a minimal CD image, and that is the one I have installed and will be reviewing. Note that this minimal image is not meant for beginners, but I would still recommend it to anyone interested in building a taylor-made KDE desktop. It’s also good for anyone interested in learning more about KDE, the packages that comprise its modules, etc.

Aside from the features I have already listed above, this release of Chakra comes with new artwork, which includes everything from the splash and login screens to the wallpaper and plasma theme. This new artwork has been dubbed “Ronak”. It looks interesting, certainly setting Chakra appart from other KDE distros out there. Personally, I love the fact that the Chakra developers have made an effort to provide something different and stylish, but I am no fan of dark desktops. I love the splash and login screens, but the wallpaper and plasma themes are a bit too dark and intense for my taste.

Click on image to enlarge


Leaving the features specific to this release aside, Chakra is quite an experience from the get go. The installation is handled by Tribe, Chakra’s very own install wizard. The project developers clearly state Tribe is still under development, lacking some important features, but it is surely one of the best looking installers in Linux, one with its own personality, plus it already works well. One thing I have noticed, though, is that Tribe doesn´t seem to handle installation of locale and language settings very well. In my case, during the installation I chose Madrid as the city I live in, but specified I wanted the installation language to be US English. Every distro I have tried so far always managed this successfully, but in the case of Chakra, I get some quirky results when installing applications or managing system tools… For they appear in Spanish! (see pacman output below)

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