2013-04-08

Long-Term Review: Chakra 2013.02 "Benz"

I did this long-term review on my normal UROP desktop computer with the 64-bit edition of the OS. Follow the jump to see how it fared. Also do note that there are more days logged because I intend to use it for about 60-80 full hours of work, which is the equivalent of 7-10 full days in the summer, though now I am working on a part-time basis as classes have started.

Day 0

I tried the live session again using the same live USB made through the "dd" command. It worked fine as usual.

Day 1

The installation process went fine, hasn't changed much from before, and didn't take too long; I kept the same partition layout as before, though I formatted both the root and home partitions to have a cleanly installed system. Also, I chose at the end of the installation to install the Mozilla Firefox bundle. Finally, I was a little concerned that GRUB might be installed in the root partition rather than the MBR, but thankfully, a reboot convinced me that this was not the case.

The boot menu looks really nice, with icons next to the boot menu entries; unfortunately, this is a little undercut by the overlaying of a garish terminal cutout with a black background and white text over the smooth gray background of the boot menu whenever an option is selected. There was no boot splash, but that didn't matter a bit because the boot process was ridiculously fast. I think it booted in just over 5 seconds, and definitely under 10 seconds (from the boot menu), which is probably some kind of a record. After that came the login screen, which looks really slick with a large time/date stamp above the user selection menu and password text box.

Upon logging in for the first time, I was greeted by Kapudan, which is a port of the first-run wizard Kaptan from Pardus; it functions basically the same. I opted to use the KDE Lancelot menu, 4 virtual desktops, extra folders in the home folder, the same wallpaper, and the firewall. Unfortunately, while some of these changes like the menu were activated, others like the extra folders were not. Furthermore, Kapudan would start up even after the very first login, so I had to disable it and make the other necessary changes in Dolphin and in the KDE System Settings program. After those changes were made as in my review of the live session, other things went the same as in the live session, with one small change: the KDE Plasma widget for Redshift is no longer available in the Chakra Community Repository (CCR) for some reason, so I had to stick with the CLI version of Redshift. Also, Chakra was indeed much faster and snappier when installed than when used as a live USB; before installing anything new, I did a system update using "su" followed by "pacman -Syy" followed by "pacman -Syu", and that worked fine. Finally, my UROP work went fine today; over a month ago, I figured out how to access remote filesystems using Nautilus and Dolphin, and the method for Dolphin works just fine on Chakra.

Day 2

The only issue that popped up was with the clock; upon logging in (and also in the login screen itself), it displays time according to UTC, but after a few minutes, it switches to EST. Otherwise, things were fine.

Day 3

My UROP work went fine today. There isn't much else to report here.

Day 4

My UROP work went fine today as well. Also, I was able to download and install updates by issuing the commands "su" followed by the password followed by "pacman -Syy" followed by "pacman -Syu". The whole process was quite quick, and this ties with Chakra as a whole being quite quick as well.

Day 5

My UROP work went fine today. There isn't much else to report here.

Day 6

My UROP work went fine today. Also, I was able to install updates just fine.

Day 7

My UROP work went fine today. Also, I was able to install updates just fine, along with being able to install the KDE calculator program.

Day 8

My UROP work went fine today. Also, I was able to install updates just fine, along with being able to uninstall some programs that I wasn't using like Rekonq and KPatience. However, somehow this ended up also uninstalling Kate, so I had to reinstall that to get it to work again, despite its presence in the menu; that went without issue.

Day 9

My UROP work encountered a slight hiccup today, but that was more because of the nature of what I was trying to do rather than any issue with Chakra itself. The issue was that I had a calculation output text file that was 3.4 gigabytes (yes, you read that correctly), so Kate refused to load it, and as I was loading it remotely, it refused to load anything else until I had rebooted the system. That said, Gedit run remotely also crashed while trying to load the file. In any case, I was able to redo the calculation and make sure that it didn't output as much stuff. Also, I was able to install the KDE Plasma applet for Redshift. It took logging out and logging back in to get it to work, but it most certainly worked, which made me happy.

Day 10

My UROP work went fine today. Also, I was able to install updates just fine.

Day 11

My UROP work went fine today. Also, I was able to install updates just fine.

Day 12

My UROP work went fine today. Also, I was able to install updates just fine.

Conclusion

I'm ending the review here mainly because I have realized that I am using my personal laptop more than I am using my UROP office desktop to do UROP work. This means that my interactions with my UROP office desktop computer are becoming progressively less frequent (though that may well change this summer). That aside, Chakra worked really well for what I had to do, and my recommendation of it has only intensified. Give it a try!

2 comments:

  1. Is there any reason not to use pacman -Syyu instead of pacman -Syy followed by pacman -Syu (or even instead of pacman -Syy followed by pacman -Su)?

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    1. @Anonymous: I'm not that familiar with Pacman, so when I tried to recall how to update & upgrade packages, this is what I remembered; if what you say does the same thing, I might try that. Thanks for the tip!

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