The Chakra Project is a “distrolet” based on Arch Linux and providing its own KDE packages (collectively called KDEmod). I really do not like KDE so I am only interested in how the install goes. I used QEMU with a 4GB image and 512MB RAM with the 2010-01-10 “Aesop” installer.
The installer is live CD based, so boots you into a nice looking desktop . Starting the installation takes you to a graphical install system  with the prerequisite warning about being an alpha release and the issues it can cause your hamster. After reading some notes and agreeing to various EULAs , the install is all go.
Onto the preparation of your system. The language and time settings looked quite ugly , but I have suspicions that QEMU was running this quite slow and maybe this was an artefact. I found it good to know that despite the complexities of installing being hidden, there was options to go in deeper  if needed. Partitioning  was not particularly simple, but that is being reworked for the future.
The actual installation of packages  proceeds with a montage of screenshot to whet your appetite for your new install. Of course you probably have already seen what it looks like from the live CD… Then you create some new users  (although I do not know what exactly an “Administrator” is), enter the root password and install the bootloader. I have no idea what the “Configure System” item at the end of the installer sidebar does as after installing the bootloader I got a reboot dialog.
The booting system looks familiar  to any Arch Linux user. I had expected a graphical boot-up as I had heard something about it using Plymouth, but I guess that is for the future. The login screen indicates that the /etc/hosts file has issues with setting the hostname . Other than that, I was left with a fully working KDE desktop with no obvious issues. Looking at some configuration files to see how well the automatic set-up went found some interesting points. The MODULES array in /etc/rc.conf both disables and enables the e1000 module . Also, I noticed that kdm is started as a daemon rather than using the inittab method, which I guess is more in line with what Chakra wants to provide but I find that to be less flexible. The supplied pacman.conf has the repos listed in an interesting order  (I think [core] should at least come before the KDEmod repos).
Overall, the installer does its job despite a few rough edges. The install booted to the desktop with relatively few configuration issues that I could spot. Not bad for something labelled “alpha”. Is it the “Arch made easy” that is often touted on Distrowatch Weekly comments? Maybe. But with a distro like Arch, that is not necessarily a good thing.
 – Live CD Desktop
 – Installer start screen
 – EULAs
 – Language and timezone setup
 – Hidden “advanced” options
 – Partitioning
 – Package installation
 – User creation
 – Bootup
 – Login
 – /etc/rc.conf
 – /etc/pacman.conf