Chakra is a desktop Linux distribution forked from Arch Linux. It is a “pure” KDE-based distribution, with a facility to run GTK applications through a Bundle System. The latest edition is Chakra Archimedes, and being a semi-rolling or half-rolling release distribution, Chakra does not need to be reinstalled when new updates become available.
(Chakra) Archimedes was first released in February (2012), with KDE 4.8.0. A new ISO update came in April, with KDE 4.8.2.
Unlike other Linux distributions that feature a graphical package manager, Chakra’s tend to have issues handling major updates, so a decision was made not to ship a graphical package in the April ISO image. Which meant that installing and updating applications (and the system) on a default installation of Chakra Archimedes 2012.04, which was reviewed here, could only be accomplished from the command line.
I have not run Chakra for more than a few months at a time on real hardware, but I have a long-running installation in a virtual environment that I keep updated. Updating a Chakra installation is a very easy task, once you know what command to issue, but installing an individual application entails, of course, knowing the name of the application or how to search for it using the package manager, pacman.
With a new update pushed to the Stable repository and publicly announced yesterday, here is an opportunity to show on this site how easy it is to update Chakra from the command line. The new update comes with KDE 4.8.3 and other application and system updates. So, here is how updating the system unfolded.
This screen shot shows what happened after I issued pacman -Syu, the system update command.
The system failed to “lock database” probably because I had aborted the installation of an application shortly before issuing the pacman -Syu command. After removing the recommended file and reissuing pacman -Syu, the update proceeded and completed successfully. Now the system is running KDE 4.8.3, up from KDE 4.8.2.
That is how easy it is to update a running installation of Chakra. Even when a new ISO image is released, that is all that is required to update the system. No need downloading the ISO image, burning it to a DVD and updating from the DVD. That is what a rolling-release distribution brings to the table.