partitionmanager

Chakra is a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It evolved from a hobby project to what is now, from my initial assessment, a very solid desktop distribution with features not yet available on established Linux distributions. The developers warn that, “This is alpha software, it could eat your hamsters.” It did not eat my hamster, but the time I spent installing and reinstalling it on multiple machines and in a virtual environment was very eventful.

For this review, the first for Chakra on this website, I will let the screenshots do most of the “talking.” I like this approach better because, as they say, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. A screenshot with one or two paragraphs conveys more than a dozen paragraphs of colorful descriptions.

The version of Chakra that is the subject of this review is Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.04, code-named Aida. It was released on April 27, 2011.

Installer and Installation Process: Installation of Chakra on 32- or 64-bit platforms is via a CD or DVD ISO image. A system installed using a CD ISO image contains very little useful software, so if you are going to give Chakra a try, use a DVD ISO image. Both images are Live images, so you can try before you install. The image below shows that 11 languages are supported. The second on the list is “Argentinian,” But is that really a language?
bootMenu

After the language selection step, you are presented with several other options. If you are not a Free Software purist, the third option is the way to go. If you look carefully, there is a missing closing parenthesis on that line. This may seem trivial, but developers tend to welcome this type of feedback. Nitpicking? Nope!
bootMenu2

Related Post:  Chakra Linux 2013.02-Benz preview

If you are installing from a DVD ISO image, you get a choice of using a “standard kernel” or an “lts-kernel.” In this release, Chakra 2011 04, the former is Kernel 2.6.38, while the latter is Kernel 2.6.35. The interesting thing is that when I chose the first option during a test installation, the boot loader still presented an lts-kernel-based system as default, with the standard kernel-based system as optional.
DVDbootMenu

After the boot options, the main page of Tribe, Chakra’s installation program, reveals a well-designed application. It has its quirks, but overall, the design is beautiful. It crashed a few times, but given the cautionary line in red, I was not surprised or annoyed. If it had the reboot-just-the-installer feature of YALI, the installation program of Pardus, it would have saved me a lot of time.
Install

This step has some resemblance to the same step on YALI. By default, automatic login is in effect, and sudo will be used. The automatic login option and the option below it are only revealed if you click on a button to the right (not visible in the image below). My opinion on automatic login is it should never be on by default because it is a negative security event waiting to happen.
Install2

If you uncheck or unselect the sudo option (“Use this password as the Administrator password”), you can then type in a traditional root user account password. I prefer a distribution that uses the traditional root user account system.
Install3

Related Post:  PC-BSD 10.1 review

This is what the disk setup step looks like. You can only specify that a partition be formatted, and a mount point and a file system for the partition. Disk partitioning itself is done by a helper application which you can access by clicking on the Advanced… button. The helper application is KDE Partition Manager. Ext3 is the default file system, but ext4, xfs, jfs and reiserfs are supported. NTFS, FAT16 and FAT32 are also supported. Disk encryption is not supported. Do you notice the number of primary partitions in the image?

That is the result of a GPT-based partitioning scheme, which is the default on Chakra. Unlike the MS-Dos or MBR-based partitioning scheme, which can only support four primary partitions, GPT (GUID Partition Table) allows for upto 128 (primary) partitions. On the test installation from which the image below was taken, each major file system directory – /boot, /, /usr, /var, /tmp, /home and /opt, was on a separate primary partition. More than just giving you the ability to configure more primary partitions than the MBR maximum of four, GPT supports partition sizes larger than 2 TB, the limit for MBR. Read more about the benefits of GPT here.
Install8

Have a question about GPT-based disk partitioning on Chakra 2011.04? Post it on the Q & A section of LinuxBSDos.com.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Hola! Did you notice that LinuxBSDos.com no longer runs network ads?  Yep, no more ads from the usual suspects that track you across the Internet.  But since  I still need to pay to keep the site running, feel free to make a small donation by PayPal.

Subscribe for updates. Trust me, no spam!

Mailchimp Signup Form

Sponsored links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event for 2020.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.

17 Responses

  1. Does it have WUBI? i am a linuxmint user since isadora kde was release, so i am still new with linux. i put linuxmint besides windows using WUBI and i think it is a nice thing for me. now i want to try LMDE and i wannna know if it has WUBI so that i can install it also inside windows.. thanks a lot. linux is great. God bless

  2. I really loved Linux Mint, but wanted a “rolling release”, so I wouldn’t have to reinstall every six months. I was really stoked about LMDE, and have been loving it every since. It does take a little more to configure – for things like Compiz, Nvidia cards, etc, but if you aren’t an absolute n00b, that isn’t a problem.

    Although it installs with Gnome, you can easily install whatever desktop you want – it uses the Debian repositories, after all. I put LXDE on an old, OLD computer, and it’s fast as lightening now. I would never have believed it could run like that, it certainly didn’t when it was new, and had Microsoft Windows.

    Also, the article mentions that some software isn’t the latest release, that’s because it installs setup for Debian’s “testing” repositories. It’s very simple to change that to “stable” or “unstable”, depending on whether you are more conservative, or more daring and wanting the latest releases. Don’t let the “unstable” moniker fool you, though, it is still more stable than most distributions’ final releases. Bleeding edge developmental level software is now kept in the “experimental” repository, not “unstable.”

  3. All:

    Remember that this is the second release of this edition. It is, in a sense, still in pre-release status. Knowing how the developers operate, I’m sure it will soon match the Ubuntu-based edition in quality and ease of use.

  4. I found LMDE to be sorely lacking in one important area – hardware detection. I was left with no wireless connectivity and no simple way to pull in drivers for my nvidia graphics card. Where is the “hardware wizard” thingie? I couldn’t find it, but I’m no genius. I went back to regular Mint where everything is easy enough for even I.

    1. You’ve gotta use Synaptic to install an outdated Nvidia driver and then go into a terminal and type a command and then restart the system. It’s better than some distros but it’s still a royal pain in the butt, IMO.

      I agree, the hardware drivers utility that the Ubuntu-based distros use is the only way to fly, aside from those distros that come with proprietary drivers already installed.

  5. Quick clarification: There’s a lot on a running system that sets LMDE apart from the Mint main release. For starters, the Gnome desktop that comes with LMDE is NOT the same as the Gnome desktop that comes with the Mint main release. It looks the same but looks aren’t everything. The main release desktop uses Ubuntu as a starting point and Ubuntu is developed independently from Debian. The Debian version of Gnome is more quirky and less polished and the whole desktop environment requires certain types of programs to be installed at ALL times. If you remove Firefox, Thunderbird, Totem, Pidgin and Rhythmbox, Mint Update will reinstall similar programs (Totem and Epiphany for sure) to satisfy the idiotic dependencies that the Debian-based desktop needs. (even if you install Chromium, it still keeps putting Epiphany back on there) The normal Ubuntu-based desktop doesn’t have such idiotic dependencies, so Mint update won’t reinstall anything you remove. Also, Compiz works smoothly in the main release, it’s a pain in the butt in the LMDE release. Also, the whole desktop works like a well oiled machine in Mint 10, you have to do a LOT of customization work yourself in LMDE, like you do straight Debian.

    As for other desktops, I installed KDE 4.4.5 (the latest version in the Debian testing repos) and it actually ran better than the default Gnome desktop. Though, I still didn’t like it as well as Linux Mint KDE.

    So, all in all, it’s a very quirky version of Mint. If you want a more user friendly version of Debian, get this one, it’s much more user friendly than straight Debian. If you want something that just works without a lot of customization and fiddling, you might want to stick with the Mint main release. (new users definitely will want to go with the main release)

    1. Thanks for the insight. You definitely know your stuff! While I have tried almost every distro out there, (aside from Gentoo and Arch), I found LMDE to be rather pedestrian. Sure, I can make Debian work… I have squeeze and Aptosid both (over 30 distros on 2 hard drives)… and working with wireless and nvidia drivers. But Mint should just plain work. LMDE needs to be better than this to fully disentangle itself from the mess that Ubuntu may soon become. I have faith in Clem though… it’ll all be ok.

  6. @ lefty.crupps: I would bet you can install KDE and XFCE via synaptic or apt, just like lenny (debian5) or Mint9. Give it a try. I’d like to find out what rev. KDE it installs. With Debian, you’ll get the latest, eventually.

  7. Sounds nice but I am sooo looking forward to a KDE version, more to install for others than for myself (I am quite happy with Debian’s KDE already; Mint just makes things easier for newbies (and others I suppose)).

  8. I installed it this morning. Its smooth. What worries me is the low fps in glxgears even though direct rendering is enabled. yes I have a ati hd 2400 graphics card which has always been a problem with debian. Whether it will remain on the desktop due to this is for fortune tellers – I watch tv through a tv card and mplayer and whether the words will go out of sync with the picture (due to it low fps) will determine whether it remains.

    Works ok on my laptop though. This has a intel graphics chip which works better than ati – you wouldnt figure would you!!

  9. Just minor irritant … though overall system fonts have improved fonts in openoffice and somewhat in firefox are not as polished as we find in Ubuntu or regular Linux Mint edition.

  10. Compizfusion will work under LMDE, but you will have to open the Settings Manager and configure it yourself for basic functionality. Nothing has been enabled by default. Once I enabled gnome compatibility, window decoration, window resize, window move and static switcher, as well as my preferred effects, I had the same functionality as under Linux Mint.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest

On social media
Via my newsletter
Mailchimp Signup Form

Partner links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event for 2021.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.
Hacking, pentesting distributions

Linux Distributions for Hacking

Experts use these Linux distributions for hacking, digital forensics, and pentesting.

Categories
Archives

The authors of these books are confirmed to speak during

Algorithm Conference

T-minus AI

Author was the first chairperson of AI for the U.S. Air Force.

The case for killer robots

Author is the Director of the Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

Why greatness cannot be planned

Author works on AI safety as a Senior Research Scientist at Uber AI Labs.

Anastasia Marchenkova

An invitation from Anastasia Marchenkova

Hya, after stints as a quantum researcher at Georgia Tech Quantum Optics & Quantum Telecom Lab, and the University of Maryland Joint Quantum Institute, I’m now working on superconducting qubit quantum processors at Bleximo. I’ll be speaking during Algorithm Conference in Austin, Texas, July 16 – 18, 2020. Meet me there and let’s chat about progress and hype in quantum computing.