Installed Applications: Chakra Edn 2011.12 ships with a reasonable set of applications that most users would need. Note that the DVD installation image is loaded with the right set of applications, while the CD installation image is almost bare-bones. So if you do not want to spend times hunting for applications to install, best to use the DVD image. The following is a list of some of the installed applications on my test system:
Bangarang (“a Jamaican word for noise, chaos and disorder”) is a music and movie player that is integrated with the Nepomuk indexing service. Courtesy of this integration with Nepomuk, Bangarang “has access to indexed media information and automatically shares its own media information, rating, tags and usage statistics with other KDE powered applications.” If you are not using Chakra, Bangarang is likely included in the repository of your distribution. I know that it is available in Ubuntu.
Calibre is an e-book management application with the following features: Library management; ability to “convert from a huge number of formats to a huge number of formats” or more simply, can convert many e-book formats; a modular device driver with support for many e-book readers; can auto-fetch and convert news from websites and RSS feeds to e-books; built-in e-book viewer; comes with a built-in Web server that essentially allows you to run a private e-book server.
QupZilla is a Qt WebKit (Web) browser installed by default. It is also listed as installable in the Bundle Manager, which, by definition, makes it a GTK application, which is kinda confusing, unless there is some thing abut QupZilla and bundles that I am yet to grasp. In any case, QupZilla feels very fast, much faster than rekonq, the default Web browser.
Q4Wine is a graphical application that makes it easy to “manage wine prefixes and installed applications.” That is another way of saying that it makes it easy to run Microsoft applications in Linux. It is one of four graphical interfaces for
WINE available in Linux that makes it possible to run Windows games and other Windows applications in Linux (see how to play windows games in Linux).
SpiderOak is a commercial cloud backup service that claims to offer secure storage for your data. It is similar to Wuala from LaCie (see is the Wuala cloud storage service truly private?).
Tomahawk is a “socially-connected” music player “optimized … to play, discover and share music.” The main interface is shown below.
Many more applications are available for installation via AppSet-Qt, the graphical package manager, or as bundles using the Bundle Manager.
Final Thoughts: While I do not currently use Chakra on my personal computers (aside from my test machines), it is one of my favorite KDE-based distributions. Most of the pieces that could make it a perfect desktop distribution are in place, but they need to be made available users out of the box. For the next edition of Chakra, which should be released early next year, here are the features I would like to see made a part of the default installation, that is, installed or activated out of the box:
- Create all those folders in user’s home directory that we see on other distributions
- Have the firewall activated
- Might not be a bad idea to activate Tomoyo too
- CUPS should be activated, and the system configured to auto-configure connected printers
- Replace the Kickoff menu with the Takeoff Launcher, and add the Stackfolder widget to the panel. These two features will give the default desktop a very modern, user-friendly appearance. They are 2 cool reasons to use the K Desktop Environment
Those, of course, are just suggestions.
Resources: Chakra is a semi-rolling distribution, so if you are already running an installation of Chakra, you do not need to download this latest edition. Just apply all available updates and you will be good to go. The rest may download a 32- or 64-bit installation image from here. All interested may read the release announcement and post support questions here and on Questions & Answers. You may read all articles that has been published on this website on Chakra here.
Screen Shots: More screen shots from test installations of Chakra Edn 2011.12.
The same desktop, but with Takeoff menu. (See Takeoff with the K Desktop Environment’s best menu style.)