When I review a distribution, I am always looking at it from the perspective of a new user, one not intimately familiar with Linux and how its various graphical interfaces work. So I tend to rate them based on how easy they make it easy for that new user to use the system without needing to consult a documentation.
And that is because I firmly believe that nobody should be compelled to read a man page or a wiki just to use a computer to surf the Web or perform any other mundane computing task. That was why Pardus, when it was still active (hope somebody restarts its development), was one of my favorite distributions. Its developers were doing the right thing(s); developing simple and very easy to use graphical interfaces for it.
One of those utilities, Kaptan, was one I suggested long ago that every distribution should have. Kaptan’s main purpose was to offer users a means of customizing their installation of Pardus. It was not perfect, but it is better than any similar tool on any other distribution. Actually before Black Panther OS and now Chakra, I have not come across a graphical tool like Kaptan on any other distribution.
The first port of Kaptan appeared on Black Panther OS, a distribution based on Mandriva. And that was after I introduced it to that distribution’s developer. A while back, I think sometime last year, I brought it to the attention of Chakra’s developers. They welcomed the idea of having a Kaptan-like utility for their distribution, but I did not know what direction they would take it.
So I was very pleasantly surprised when I read in the Release Notes of Chakra 2012.08, code-named Claire, that “Claire-2012.08 is bringing some exciting new features, like the port of the excellent Pardus tool Kaptan to Chakra named Kapudan.” See screen shots from a test installation of Claire.
Kapudan is actually an enhanced port of Kaptan, with a few customization options not available in Kaptan. It is a fun and very useful utility, one that I think every distribution should have. If you like this tool, bring it to the attention of your distribution’s developer. And it you are a distro developer, consider porting Kaptan or Kapudan. By the way, Kaptan is Turkish for Captain. What does Kapudan mean?
The rest of this article show most of the desktop features customization from Kapudan. Shown below is the welcome screen. Kapudan is run at first boot, and can be run at any other time, not just at first boot.
Kapudan allows you to choose from four menu styles for your Chakra installation.
Choose what folders you want to create in your home directory.