Chakra 2018.12 "Hawking" RC1 released


(Luca Giambonini) #1

Also available in Simplified Chinese.

Before you ask - yes, we know, only one release this year. We promised ourself to prepare more releases during the year, we even created an infrastructure for a CI ISO build (continuous integration) to build an ISO by pressing a single button, but that was not enough. Can we change it in the future? I hope so.

This time the name chosen is “Hawking”, in honour of Stephen Hawking who passed away in March this year.

What’s new?
We closed a lot of bugs from our latest release, the latest tagged for Hawking are here. The overall boot process is the same, calamares is used as installer and the latest version is available in the ISO. Plasma and apps are up to date with the latest version available.

For this release we introduced a new wallpaper (chakra-wallpapers-giau) and a new desktop layout.
Since latte dock is a mature project and is now under the KDE umbrella, we believed it was right moment to showcase the beauty of Plasma with a different layout than the one proposed as default by upstream.

Heritage also got some updates - the lock screen is now cleaner and include a special effect to fade/blur the background. When the screen is locked the clock overlay is applied…

…and then, when the mouse is moved or any key is pressed, the password field is shown automatically with a nice transition effect, like so:

Download & Test
The testing version does not contain the final release name, but is tagged by the commit tag and date.
Here is the link to download it:


See How to create a live media for instructions on how to create a bootable flash drive. The sha512sum is a3d5862f92ab1b098035d95a77d5e83163ea8957a1f37f159ae62131d29baa7d6e4fd491fd06bcff5c08200316ace887dea03c981b60aa54c161da3b6bd00124

Please report any issue you might discover, either here in this topic or in the issue tracker.

Known Issues

  • slow startup in Live mode
  • slow start of calamares (around 1min the first run, caused by fc-cache)

Depending on the feedback, we may need to rebuild and release another ISO. If everything goes well, we hope to release it before Christmas.

Chakra 2019.01 "Hawking" RC2 released
Chakra 2018.12 "Hawking" RC1 现已发布
(tom) #2

with the netinstall feature?
a propos netinstall aka arch-install-scrips: i suggest meta packages for this purpose because last time i used arch-install-scripts to install chakra it consumes a lot of time to pass all necessary package names to arch-install-scripts

(Bobby Rong) #3

Probably? :grinning:

(tom) #4

with a live system the worst experience ever!

first experience is for some minutes a black screen with the mouse pointer.
second …it looks like xfce. i know many people like xfce but i am not because i don’t like a top panel and the dock at the bottom.

i think the unusual layout with the dock is the reason for this long delay.
journal.txt (191.7 KB)

…and 2gb are fat 100mb fatter then goedel and this was imho unhealthy fat :wink:

(Bobby Rong) #5

In fact, I also prefer the traditional layout… :rofl:But the new wallpaper really looks great.:grinning:

Planning to have a try this weekend.
As I don 't have anything important on my PC, I even want to see if calamares works well…

(Glyn Burgess) #6

I agree about the layout. If I wanted something looking like this of which there are plenty I’d already be using it. Now I have to spend time removing stuff I don’t want and re-configuring what’s left. To be honest I can’t be bothered so I’ll move on to something bold enough to keep it’s own identity and not copy something else.

(Fred Talmadge) #7

I’m kind of stuck in a rut with my layout, so I like seeing something different. Maybe it will prod me out of my rut. Ran it live from a DVD and I thought it was pretty responsive considering. The only issue I had is an old one with opening my Android phone in Dolphin. I had this problem awhile back Otherwise it looks pretty good.

Current status of the testing repository [2019-02-07 - 2019-02-14]
(Luca Giambonini) #8

unfortunately not, is in our schedule to implement it, will come in the next releases.

I agree, there is something that prevent a snap boot, I’m working on it. On the other side,
when installed is fast as usual. Is a know issue btw. :slight_smile:

no is not, just lack of time from the developers. Seems easy to put together an ISO, but to create one that works for everybody is not. Small details, here and there, slow down enormously the work.


We are a kde distribution, we want to showcase what plasma and the kde sw can do. This is an example.
plenty using it? with kde? please show me some of them!

If you mean the kde identity I agree, the current desktop layout does not represent the default kde desktop. “copy something else” maybe yes, but do you know why Win10 and the default plasma layout look so similar?
Chakra does not prevent you to modify the layout, is open, is free and you can change what you want. And I don’t think you install Linux/Chakra every week :smile: , it requires 2min to setup you preferred desktop.

I think is fixed with the current packages, isn’t it?

(Glyn Burgess) #10

I’m in a rut too, but it’s a rut that provides my income so I object to forced changes that cost me time and potentially money. Maybe this is fine for hobbyist Linux users and maybe I’m in a minority but consistency is what earns me money and consistency is what I expect from my operating system.

Regarding KDE distros already adopting this layout - Bluestar is one.

(tom) #11

such a showcase is a very important thing but users will ask “what is better then the usual? what is the benefit?”
the reason why and the benefit must be communicated.

i would prefer panel/dock on the screen side because it fits better notbook screens imo

(Fred Talmadge) #12

No it’s not. It broke awhile back so I reverted back. I’m surprised tho that I’m the only one who has this problem. Everyone else using KDE Connect or what?

(kepszlok) #13

Woah, i almost mised this release!

Test under Virtualbox 6.0 (generic linux x64 machnie, on w10 x64 host):
-in free mode: live iso fails to load the gui
-in non-free mode: live iso works, installation works. Installed system failes to load the gui.
Calameres’s hungarian translation did contain more than a year old typoos and outdated text.

My opinion:
-that dock is strange. I did not like that, it feels totlay like XFCE…
-crucial packages are missing from the installed system These are:

*midnight commander. It’s tiny but absolutly necessary. Please include it in the final iso.

*vdpau, vaapi related packages. Many desktops distros fails to provide these basic packages by default, withouth any real reason. These packages are required for hw accelerated video playback. Most people did not know how these things works on Linux but that’s normal because these things are just simply works withouth user interaction, if the needed packages are installed.

Saddly, both vdpauinfo and vainfo package are only present in ccr. They shoud be part of the core packages…

*mesa-demos package. It contains the glxinfo and glxgears utils. Essential things to have.

(Bobby Rong) #14

I tried the latest ISO and did a installation. It works better than expected. Fcitx finally works out of the box. :tada:
After doing some configuration on the latte dock and the top panel, the layout suits my need now! (smaller icons, shorter react time, moving the app menu to the top panel) :grinning:

Some problems/suggestions:

  • Slide show in calamares should be updated as many default apps changes (eg the video player). (Also, please show us that which program is removed/added in the final release note of this release)
  • The Beginners Guide button should link to the correct url.
  • Consider using elisa as the default music player?
  • After entering the passwd in SDDM, it takes a long time to load the plasma desktop. Solved after enabled the testing repo and did an upgrade.
  • Not everyone loves latte dock (including me at first). Although it is easy to switch back to the traditional layout (by disabling its autostart), a guide should be provided in a conspicuous place (I will write one tomorrow if possible Done)

(Void) #15

I’m glad there’s a new release.
In the internet era, everyone updates just after installation, but a new release shows to new potential users, that this distro is alive and kicking,

(Neofytos Kolokotronis) #16

Oh it’s good to see already such comprehensive feedback!

Here’s my experience on the Live ISO, as unfortunately I did not find the time yet to test an actual installation. I booted the ISO on 2 rather old systems with no major showstopper:

  1. 2011 intel+nvidia (hybrid) laptop
  2. 2009 intel+nvidia laptop


  • Slow boot and slow Calamares launch (known)
  • I got the screen display pop up for some reason (where you choose the screen setup), maybe because of the hybrid graphics?
  • Beginners Guide link is broken as @bobby285271 pointed out , I would update it with this one: How to install Chakra


  • The traditional menu (application launcher) seems a bit weird with the new dock, is there an alternative we could consider?
  • Switching Dragon player with VLC if possible, as a more powerful video player.

It’s true that we need a new solid music app, but is elisa mature enough to replace clementine (which appears to not be actively developed)?

Oh and I love the new lock screen, great work! :clap: :slight_smile:

(kepszlok) #17

@tetris4 VLC had strange playback issues this year. I recommend SMPlayer instead of VLC.

(Bobby Rong) #18

Maybe move it to the top panel?

Or… Juk? The one in the kdemultimedia package group?

(totte) #20

See this issue:

The Welcome topic is its new equivalent, and the starting point in a series of tutorials put together to give a basic understanding of Chakra. The former MediaWiki installation is no more.

I updated some of the text in the plasmoid to reflect the changes over the past few years, see the following commits:

(HJ) #21

looks nice, however still to bloated for my taste.

It would be better if there would be a minimal release containing only plasma, octopie and a webbrowser.

Everything else is installed(if needed) in seconds with the package manager. Not to mention that this is a rolling release distro with only a few releases each year so the first thing you do after an install is a complete system update.

PS: e2fsck is outdated so im unable to resize my existing devuan partition(e2fsck 1.42.13 (17-May-2015) /dev/sda6 has unsupported feature(s): metadata_csum e2fsck: Get a newer version of e2fsck!)

(Luca Giambonini) #22

legit questions!
One of the main reason to propose this layout is to use the “global menu” at the top left of the screen. With this menu we can use simplified windows without compromising the functionality. In the past we used to hide the menu entirely, but this approach is a bit more transparent for the user.
Therefore, to complete that we need a new bottom panel, a simple one that autohide when not used and Latte does the work perfectly (an other things also :slight_smile: ).

ok, let’s continue the discussion here:

hmm… on virtualbox I never had problem, but I will check if all modules are loaded correctly.

please open a bug report here with more details. Thank you!

I agree that can be very powerful, but is absolutely necessary for you not for all. A pacman -S mc should be enough :slight_smile:

Seem a bit more complicated,
Are you sure that installing all this packages (and the ccr one) is enough and they don’t conflicts each other?

Good thanks for your feedback. I agree with you that the “application launcher” in the dock is a bit weird, I will try to move it in the top as you did.
I will open some issues in gitlab with your advices.
Thank you for the guide!

I will move it at the top as per bobby285271’s suggestion. Other suggestions are welcome.

A network installer was planned to provide a minimal release, but so far we haven0t the time to prepare it, sorry. Is in our todo list though.

done in [testing]

Current status of the testing repository [2019-02-07 - 2019-02-14]