Frequently Asked Questions
From The Chakra Project
These are questions about Chakra that are often expressed in the Forums, IRC and conversations with reviewers. To learn more about Chakra, see the About page.
Why does Chakra want to be GTK free?
Three reasons for Chakra focusing on being as pure a KDE distro as possible:
- True belief in the power of KDE. Like some distros believe in simply providing "foss" packages, Chakra believes it is time to provide as clean as possible, fully KDE focused environment. This means virtually no GTK-depended applications in the official repositories. Chakra recognizes there are quite a few "must have" GTK applications, which are provided in the [extra] repository.
- Many of those "must have" GTK applications depend on a good part of a complete GNOME desktop; examples are apps such as GIMP or Filezilla. Why install 50-60 GNOME dependencies for only one or two apps?
- KDE uses the /usr directory almost exclusively to install applications. This makes for a very transparent system. Many GTK apps are installed in quite a few different directories.
Can I use GTK applications in Chakra?
Yes. To preserve the KDE/Qt purity of Chakra you can download and run many popular applications from the [extra] repository. If there isn't your favorite application, you can install from the CCR, our community repository. Note that the CCR is open to any application and does not prohibit the installation of GTK or other dependancies.
What is the CCR?
The Chakra Community Repository, or CCR, is an unofficial but community-driven repository for Chakra users. It was created to organize and share build packages from the community for packages not available through the official repositories and includes both GTK and non-GTK packages. Using a voting system, popular packages are periodically moved into the official repositories. Voting is encouraged for all users.
Is Chakra a good distro for users new to Linux?
The target audience for Chakra is officially "KISS-minded users who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty." Although Chakra is very stable and easy to use, it occasionally requires a certain level of competency and does not shy away from the command-line. That being said, the simpleness and clarity in code and system architecture makes Chakra a great distro for users who want to learn the ins-and-outs of Linux. If you are a beginner and don't mind reading wiki's and forums and putting in a little effort, Chakra and its community is a great place to start!
What type of release model does Chakra use?
Chakra uses a half-rolling release model. User applications are very up-to-date, while the base system is thoroughly tested for stability before being released. All updates are available to existing users simply by updating through Pacman (
sudo pacman -Syu).
You can typically expect a newly branded ISO shortly after every major KDE release. There is no other set time-frame for releases. Occasional intermediate builds will be released on an as-needed basis for the benefit of new installations.
Will I need to reinstall Chakra whenever a new Chakra image is released?
No. Chakra follows a half-rolling release model. New Chakra images will only improve the system installation. If you already have it installed, you can upgrade all your software through Pacman (
sudo pacman -Syu).
Isn't Chakra just Arch Linux + KDEmod?
No. While that was the origin of the project, Chakra has matured into an independent distribution of its own. Chakra is still heavily influenced by the virtues of simplicity and elegance learned while with Arch but the underlying architecture is no longer compatible.
On installation, I get a message that "Tribe should be good to your hamster...but it has its limitations." What does that mean?
Chakra itself is very stable. The warning refers only to Tribe, our installation program. It is a great program and in most cases works just fine. It is, however, recommended that you use an external program for more advanced drive partitioning and preparation before launching Tribe.
Can I create a Chakra Live-USB?
Yes. Information about creating a USB live media can be found here.
Can I install Chakra into a USB device?
Yes. Information on how to do this can be found here.
Can I install Chakra on a Mac (Apple computer)?
It has been done successfully, but is not officially supported. Some information can be found in the forums.
What does Chakra use for package management and installation?
See Installing Packages in the wiki. Pacman is being borrowed from Arch for the time being, but doesn't quite fit our needs. It will eventually be replaced by a new custom built package manager Akabei that is currently in development. Shaman is expected to be the GUI "front-end" when Akabei is finished.
Why will Pacman be replaced with a new package manager?
There's nothing wrong with Pacman, or any other package manager (like APT, etc.). Each distribution uses the package manager which is the best option to suit its needs. And Pacman lacks some features Chakra needs.
When will Akabei be released?
Best answer is "when its done." This is a highly anticipated program and important to the future of Chakra but there is no rush to take shortcuts. For a rough estimation of progress, see the Akabei Feature Plan in the wiki.
Why does Chakra not start certain services (like cups or a firewall for example) by default? Printer packages are available in the DVD ISO version, but cups has to be started, isn't that a wrong approach?
If a user feels, the distro should make all/most decisions for them, then yes, this would be wrong. But Chakra still adheres to the KISS principle, keep the system clean and simple, let the user decide what services should run at any time. Chakra wants to provide full hardware support for graphics, sound, keyboard, mouse and network, all further services are up to the user to decide. Cups for example can be started manually only when needed (sudo systemctl start cups.service) or can be added to services to run at every start-up (sudo systemctl enable cups.sevice).
Does Chakra use PKGBUILD?
Yes, but Chakra has it's own AUR, called the Chakra Community Repository (or CCR).
Can I use an AUR package in Chakra?
No. Chakra users are referred to the Chakra Community Repository. If your package is not there, you may want to read the wiki article on How to upload a package to CCR when it exists on Arch or Aur or use the tool aur2ccr, which was developed by a few members of the community to "automagically convert packages from AUR to CCR source packages."
Does Chakra have GUI applications for system administration?
Yes. They are made by the KDE project, but Chakra has GUI applications to install other applications. Bundles can be managed through the program Cinstall, however, the command-line tool Pacman is currently the preferred tool for package management until Akabei is released. At that time, Shaman is expected to become the GUI interfaces and unite package, bundle and CCR management.
Does Chakra use the Arch repositories?
No. Mixing Arch and Chakra repos will eventually break your system, because of the different, more conservative approach of half-rolling versus fully rolling. Chakra's base is working on different versions of applications then Arch.
All repositories are retrieved every time I do
pacman -Syu. Is that right?
You can also edit your mirrors' file (/etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist) manually and add any of the mirrors listed here.
Can I mix Chakra and Arch Linux KDE SC packages?
No. Since Chakra uses it's own repositories, they are no longer compatible with those of Arch Linux. Arch Linux uses an entirely different update cycle for their base packages. Chakra is much more conservative in updating the core packages, only updating those when needed, and proven upstream to not bring regressions. Since all of KDE SC packages rely heavily on core packages, you can understand mixing in packages from Arch will eventually break your system. Further information about Chakra's repositories can be found here. If you'd like, aur2ccr is a tool available to "automagically convert packages from AUR to CCR source packages."
Can I change from Arch Linux to Chakra just by changing pacman.conf?
No. Since Chakra uses it's own repositories, it is no longer possible to change an Arch Linux installation to a Chakra installation.
Just delete (or rename) the following file to change to the original KDE menu icon: /usr/share/icons/oxygen/scalable/places/start-here-branding.svg.
KDM starts up slowly. Can I speed it up a bit?
Try to switch to the "-light" variant of the default KDM theme.
HELPING OUT AND THE COMMUNITY
Who is responsible for Chakra?
We all are. Chakra has attracted a great community stretching all over the globe. Users are encouraged to get involved and the core development team are often found participating in the forums and IRC channels.
How do I request addition of a KDE application to the Apps or Platform repository?
Add it to the CCR and request it on this forum topic.
How do I build a package that is not in the repository?
Use PKGBUILD or do it using the Chakra Buildsystem (it's cleaner). If it is available in AUR than you can use aur2ccr, which was developed by a few members of the community to "automagically convert packages from AUR to CCR source packages."
Yes. Chakra has an active presence on social media. For a current list, see here.
|Frequently Encountered Problems|
Here you will find a list of the most usual problems users have with Chakra, and how to solve them.