- A continuously updated Plasma desktop environment.
- The opportunity to enjoy the latest versions of your favorite Applications, on top of a periodically updated system core of Frameworks and Qt, which provides stability.
- A system that is ideal for desktops and laptops. Our user base includes casual users, enthusiasts, developers, gamers, small businesses, and school labs.
- A one-time installation, as you only have to setup your system once and then you will receive all the latest changes by keeping it updated.
Learn more about our focus on Qt and Frameworks, Plasma, and Applications by KDE
Chakra is built by a @team that adores the power and elegance of KDE software and the Qt framework but also adhere to principles of simplicity. As a more focused Linux distribution, Chakra is modular and easily customizable.
Simplicity goes beyond the easy installation process and nice user interface. It is about being organized, uncluttered and efficient in all aspects. Simplicity in structure and code enhances stability, power, speed and ease of use. It involves a transparency of the system, allowing users to clearly understand what is going on behind the scenes. Often this will include graphical user interfaces - but Chakra is not afraid of the command line and may favor its use at times.
The heart and soul of Chakra is its sleek live media which provides a solid foundation upon which a user can “build up” to meet all their needs without the bulk inherent to large “do-everything-for-everyone” distributions.
Learn more about our stance on GTK+
Our core focus intentionally excludes some packages from the live media and official repositories that require GNOME and other GTK+ dependencies. However, many are still available in the [gtk] repository or through the CCR to provide users with some flexibility to get the few packages for which there is no suitable replacement.
Learn more about our goals
The Chakra community is dedicated to providing a pure KDE and Qt desktop operating system that is simple and transparent. The live media is an important tool and key to our users’ first impression, while the #half-rolling release model ensures cutting edge features with solid system stability and long life.
To support the @team, the Chakra community has grown into a great collection of ideas and talent from all over the world. Contributions and input from everyone is encouraged and has lead to many great improvements and features.
Chakra along with its software is free software which we are proud to develop because it makes a difference. To us, “free software” is more than just about price, it’s about liberty, and is more closely related to “Free Speech". However, to offer users the smoothest possible experience we occasionally bend the rules and include proprietary drivers and software if no viable free alternative is available. For those who choose, switching between this proprietary software can always be done at system start-up (for drivers) or once logged in (for everything else).
We also express freedom by offering choice to the user. Our live media provides a customizable base that is powerful and stable. From there, a system can be purpose built without having to undo choices that have been made at the whim of the @team (e.g. uninstall unneeded packages or reorganize the user home directory). Although our core focus excludes some applications from the official repositories, many can be added through the CCR.
Learn more about our history
In June 2006, the #kdemod packaging project was brought to life because of the limits of the standard KDE Software Compilation build within Arch Linux. Meeting in a small corner of the Freenode network, the @team produced a lightweight and modular version of the #kde-sc exclusively for #archlinux. Popularity grew as users loved the improved customization and performance, and by December 2008 we had built a custom installer and made our first release with #archlinux, #kdemod, and #tribe on it.
After several releases, Jan Mette expressed his desire to fully split from #archlinux to begin work on an independent #linux distribution. Still strongly inspired by #archlinux and its philosophy, this split would allow a much closer integration of the software developed by #kde. A meeting was called in February of 2010, and plans were made to continue in this direction. Despite Jan’s unexpected passing soon thereafter, the first release of Chakra as an independent distribution was made in May 2010, and the community continues today in honor of his vision. With this new direction, development on KDEmod was ended and the project took the name of “Chakra”, borrowing from traditional Indian medicine and suggesting the idea of continual motion.
Although Chakra has fully split from #archlinux, its positive influence can be seen in much of what we do and we’ve had a great response from the #linux community. Chakra has come a long way, and we are proud of what we have accomplished. We have developed a great community that has played a key role in our success.
Learn more about the half-rolling release model
The rolling release model dictates that any software is updated as soon as possible — whenever a new (stable) version is released upstream, and as long as nothing prevents the update from being performed. This model is followed by distributions such as Arch Linux.
In Chakra we decided to implement our own release model based on the former, which we named “half-rolling”. Our model aims to provide a stable core of software, on top of which other applications can roll. The core of the system is not updated as soon as possible, but following a more traditional approach. Then, the rest of the software is updated following an application-based rolling release model, where applications roll, and their dependencies roll as long as updating them does not prevent applications from running as expected, or make them loose functionality.
The #half-rolling release model, based on Arch Linux’ rolling release model, was created by the @team when Chakra was born. It aims to provide a stable core of software, and rolling applications on top of it, and it is one of the keys of the success of the distribution.
In our release model, we define two different layers of software, each one with its own release model:
The core layer consists of software that is critical for an operational system, such as the graphics or sound subsystems.
This layer is not updated as soon as possible, but following a more traditional time-based approach. Its software packages are updated following predefined schedules. Unlike the traditional release model, though, there isn’t a single schedule for all the packages. In the sense that schedules are not strictly defined. For example, a group of packages can be updated twice a year, as opposed to every six months or every 180 days. time-based release model on a group basis, where for different groups of packages there are different schedules.
This ensures the system is always stable.
The applications layer contains the rest of the software, including the applications users interact with.
These packages are updated following an application-based rolling release model, where end-user applications are updated following the rolling release model, whereas their dependencies also roll but only as long as updating them does not prevent the end-user applications from running smoothly, or makes them loose functionality.
This way, you can always enjoy bleeding-edge applications. For the end-user, this release model provides a three-fold benefit:
- Continuity - you will only have to install your system once. You can then install any updates from the system itself through the package manager. New Chakra releases are basically snapshots of the current state of the repositories.
- Current - as your favourite applications mature and advance, you will always have access to their latest version. Chakra is often one of the first distributions to add the new updates to its repositories.
- Stability - since the core software is not updated following a rolling release model, there is time to check for known bugs and issues and perhaps skip or patch some specific versions. Also, this means less occasions for users to worry about a regression and a broken system after an upgrade.
The only thing that differs in our implementation from the big picture of the #half-rolling release model is that our applications layer is KDE-centric, i.e. built around the KDE software. That means, the layer is split in two, a layer with the KDE software and a layer with the rest of the software.
The KDE software fully rolls, similarly with other applications. So all new versions of #kde-plasma, #kde-frameworks and #kde-applications are made available to users immediately, after spending a small amount of time in our [testing] repository. This period is usually around one week, if no issues are found.
All of the other packages in the core layer also spend this time in the [testing] repository, before moving into our stable repositories.
The rest of applications are pushed directly into stable and made available to all users simultaneously, since even if something goes wrong, there are no real concerns of ending up with a broken system due to an application update.
- Tutorial: How to use pacman
- Tutorial: How to become a tester
- FAQ: How do I keep my system updated?
- FAQ: Will I need to reinstall Chakra whenever a release is made?
Learn more about the CCR
Chakra’s success is proof that a system built solely on KDE and Qt software works, and that there is a demand for simplicity. However, there may be software that users need or want that aren’t included in our official repositories. The Chakra Community Repository (CCR) is open to any software, and maintained by the community itself. Users are encouraged to vote on the packages they use as the most popular may eventually be accepted into our official repositories.
- Tutorial: How to import a package from the Arch Linux repositories or the AUR to the CCR
- FAQ: How do I build a package that isn’t available in the official repositories or the CCR?
- FAQ: How do I request addition of software to the CCR?
- FAQ: How do I request addition of software to the official repositories?
This is the home of our community
We are a community-driven project, so your participation is vital! We would be happy to get to know you - do say hello and introduce yourself! We are all contributing in our spare time, and having fun while doing this is a big part of why we do it. Try to make your stay a pleasant experience for everyone.
- Feel free to ask any question. We’ve all been newbies - and there is no shame in that.
- When facing a problem, doing your own research in advance and presenting the problem and your findings in a clear way will be appreciated, and you‘ll have much better chances of receiving good support.
- Help other users in a positive and constructive manner. Always consider how your topics and posts benefit our community.
- Share your ideas, thoughts and feedback in a contributing spirit.
Our interactions on this forum should…
- …make members of our community feel comfortable to ask questions, reply to others, provide solutions, and suggest improvements .
- …educate and inform each other on how to use our Chakra systems and the online services provided, so that we can make the most of them. This increases user satisfaction, improves the troubleshooting experience, and reduces the time and resources spent on support.
- …create stronger bonds between Chakra users to enhance the sense of community among everyone. Committed people are more likely to stick around for the long term and help our community grow.
- …enable everyone to contribute to Chakra and to join the @team, so that Chakra remains a healthy distribution.
In this way, we hope to inspire trust and admiration for Chakra as a distribution and as a community. Happy users are more likely to share a good word or news with others, and introduce them to our distribution and community.
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