Arrakis, (derived from the Arabic name ar-rāqiṣ, "the dancer", originally a star-name for Mu Draconis) later Rakis (known colloquially throughout as Dune), is a desert planet home to the Fremen? (Zensunni wanderers) and later, the Imperial Capital under Paul "Muad'Dib" Atreides
Third planet in system Canopus, radius 8112 km. A desert planet with two moons, Krlln and Arvon. Last stop in the Zensunni migration. According to the Legends of Dune? prequel trilogy it was a group of Zensunni wanderers escaping slavery on the planet Poritrin who originally crashed on Arrakis in a prototype interstellar spacecraft several years prior to the creation of the Spacing Guild?.
The planet has no surface water bodies, but open canals called qanats are used "for carrying irrigation water under controlled conditions" through the desert.
Sole source of melange, a spice necessary for navigation in space.
The few plants and animals on the planet include saguaro, burro bush, date palm, sand verbena, evening primrose, barrel cactus, incense bush, smoke tree, creosote bush ... kit fox, desert hawk, kangaroo mouse ... many to be found now nowhere else in the universe except on Arrakis. The most notable life forms on the planet are the giant sandworms and their immature forms of sandtrout and sandplankton. Sandtrout encyst any water deposits; predator fish are placed in the qanats and other water storage areas to protect them from the sandtrout.
Only known source of the all-important spice melange in the universe. By the time of Heretics of Dune?, its name has been shortened to "Rakis."
Sources: Dune Novels,
Related: Dune (Escape Velocity),