Most of the graphical management applications that you would need for managing the system, are accessible from System Settings (Menu > Favorites > System Settings). A few are in Menu > Favorites, Menu > Applications > Utilities, and Menu > Applications > System. Most are the same management applications that you will find on any KDE desktop. The only one I will draw attention to here is not even installed. It is called rcconf-settings, and is the graphical interface to rc.conf, Chakra’s main configuration file. Though it is very easy to use for managing daemons, system locale and kernel modules, its main drawback is that after adding a service or kernel module, the system has to be rebooted before changes take effect.
So, for example, adding the cups or sshd service using this application entails restarting the machine. That is a major disadvantage. This is probably why it is not installed and not even mentioned anywhere in the official documentation page, except on a Live System 2011.04 feature plan. This screen shot shows a list of services or daemons in its Daemon tab.
Just to show the system message after making a change to the system using rcconf-settings. Besides Tribe, I think this is one application that needs some attention from the developers.
With regards to security, the Release Notes states that Tomoyo-tools, a security application similar to SELinux, is in the default install, which is true, but the notes on the Live CD/DVD desktop states that AppArmor is also in the default install, which is not true, because userland AppArmor utilities are not even in the repository. And in keeping with the projects policy of installing a graphical firewall application and leaving it to the “user how they prefer to have it set,” Kufw, a graphical interface for UFW, the UnComplicated Firewall, is installed but not configured. I made a good case for why this is not a good stance, in why your computer needs a firewall enabled.
The philosophical stance of some distro developers, tend to pose an unnecessary barrier to the distribution’s adoption. Because given a choice between using a distro that just works out of the box, and another that requires you to get your “hands dirty” before the most basic stuff works, I think many will opt for the former. But Chakra is not as bad as, say, Debian in this regard, because the steps you need to take to get it to how you want it to work, is not that difficult.
Resources:: There is a CD and a DVD ISO installation image of Chakra Linux 2012.02 for 32- and 64-bit platforms available for download here. A system installed using a DVD image comes with a lot more applications out of the box, so you are going to hit the ground running, if you download a DVD installation image.
Scree Shots:: More screen shots from test installations of Chakra Linux 2012.02 Archimedes
Like Sabayon, Chakra comes with XBMC, a media center application, installed by default. This screen shot shows the weather module of XBMC.