|Main Screen + GNOME Main Menu|
So what is Kororaa? Based on my previous statement, it would be pretty easy to guess that it's a Fedora remix. But it's actually a little more complicated than that. You see, Kororaa actually started life as an easy-to-use Gentoo derivative; it was basically Sabayon before (or maybe just around the same time as) Sabayon existed, and regular readers of this blog know from my numerous reviews of Sabayon that it is a Gentoo derivative that's supposed to be easy-to-use and that just works. After about 2 years, however, Kororaa went dormant, due, if I understand this correctly, to the developer not having enough time or resources to properly maintain a Gentoo derivative. He then found Fedora, and since then Kororaa has been a Fedora remix. Furthermore, while I believe that Gentoo-based Kororaa focused solely on KDE, Fedora-based Kororaa has both KDE and GNOME releases, both of which I will be testing in this post.
I tested these editions of Kororaa via a live USB system created with UnetBootin. I tested the installation procedure of the KDE edition via VirtualBox within the live session with 1024 MB of RAM allocated to the guest OS. Follow the jump to see what it's like.
GNOMEI tested the GNOME edition first. After changing the BIOS and getting through the boot menu, I was greeted with...nothing. I was kind of expecting either a boot splash or a scrolling wall of text, and I got neither. Thankfully, this passed quickly, and I was led into the GDM login screen, which quickly gave way to the desktop.
|PackageKit + Kernel Panic|
Unfortunately, these minor gripes gave way to a somewhat bigger issue. I got a notification that the kernel had crashed. Interestingly, this did not functionally affect the live session at all; I believe the exact same problem and lack of consequences happened with Fusion 14 "Thorium" in that comparison test. It's still a little concerning to me though to see something as serious as that.
|YouTube on Mozilla Firefox 4|
The default package manager is of course PackageKit as is included in Fedora and practically all of its derivatives. It wasn't quite as fast as Synaptic Package Manager (more on that shortly), but it did the job well, and I was able to watch YouTube videos in relatively short order. I was also able to test my wireless and sound cards and my keyboard's volume shortcuts at the same time, and those all worked flawlessly.
Speaking of Synaptic Package Manager, I was pleasantly surprised to see it included too! This must be the first time I've seen it included in a Fedora-based distribution. Unfortunately, it refused to load packages from other repositories, so it was essentially useless, which saddened me a little.
|LibreOffice Writer + Nautilus + Desktop Cube|
Some other programs present in the live session include Evolution and Tomboy as mentioned earlier, GIMP, Inkscape, Shotwell, Gwibber, Pidgin, Audacity, OpenShot, and VLC. There were some confusing areas for me; for example, I got mixed up by the kernel updater Ksplice and the general update manager.
Cheese Webcam Booth is included, and it recognized my webcam and mic just fine.
I was able to get the latest Fedora RPM of Skype (version 2.2 beta) from the Skype website, and it installed fine. It recognized my webcam and mic perfectly fine, and the nice thing is that it even had a button to open the PulseAudio volume control panel as PulseAudio is installed in Kororaa. That's cool. Another nice thing is that it started up a lot more quickly than I'm used to.
|Synaptic Package Manager + "Help" PDF + Desktop Wall|
Compiz desktop effects worked perfectly fine, which is not surprising given similarly good behavior in Fusion & Fuduntu. A nice thing about the desktop cube was that the top and bottom, instead of being generic beige squares, were branded with the Kororaa name and logo.
That's basically where my time with the Kororaa GNOME edition ended. Aside from the small kernel hiccup, it was quite pleasant, friendly, and enjoyable to use.
Unfortunately, upon logging in, I saw the same kernel crash, once again with no real ill effects. It's annoying, and I'm concerned that there's something bad going on deep down that I don't know enough about.
Save for yet another batch of rotating wallpapers, the desktop looks like absolutely vanilla KDE 4. There really isn't anything to talk about here.
|Mozilla Firefox 4 + LibreOffice Writer|
This time, I decided to use the "Add/Remove Extras" program to install Adobe Flash. It's a small, simple program that's quite easy to use; the only matter of concern for new users is the box that talks about how Adobe Flash is proprietary software and is also a security risk. While this is technically true, the rather blunt wording is likely to scare off the new users Kororaa is trying to court.
LibreOffice is the default productivity suite once again, and it too is very well-integrated with KDE 4.
|Dolphin + KDE System Settings + Desktop Cube|
KWin desktop effects worked perfectly fine, which is great considering that many KDE distributions in the past have had issues with my computer's hardware.
I had no stability or other issues with KDE, which is at version 4.6 in Kororaa.
At this point, I began the installation process in VirtualBox. To do that, I first had to install VirtualBox, which I did in the KDE Control Module; I'm not sure if this is the same as KPackageKit, but in any case it reminded me a lot of the Linux Mint Software Manager (which is a great thing) and it worked really well.
One nice thing about VirtualBox 4.0 was that I had the option of allocating up to 3072 MB of RAM to the guest OS, which is something I have never seen before (previously, I could only allocated up to 2048 MB of RAM to the guest OS). That aside, I quickly started the live virtual machine and started the installation.
|Partitioning in Anaconda Installer|
One step that I missed in the installation was the creation of a user account, so I was glad to see that included post-installation. After that and a few more questions, I was able to log in to a desktop essentially identical to that of the live session. That's where my time with Kororaa ended.
Let me first say that I'm pretty sure that the kernel panic issues come from upstream, because I saw it in Fusion 14 "Thorium" as well, so while it did slightly mar the experience, I'm not going to blame Kororaa for it. Other than that, I was somewhat annoyed by the rotating wallpapers (both editions) and the lack of Nautilus Elementary in the GNOME edition. I liked the "Help" file, the included applications, the overall ease of use, the fact that Kororaa worked very well with my computer's hardware, and the fact that Kororaa seems to have treated both the GNOME and KDE editions with equal care. Overall, I would highly recommend Kororaa to any newbie to Fedora (or to Linux in general). That said, while I know that this is the first release of the "rebooted" Kororaa project, it's important to note that Kororaa 14 "Nemo" came out after Fedora 15 "Lovelock" (and many months after the direct upstream Fedora 14 "Laughlin"). Hopefully the developer will release Kororaa 15 at least a little while before Fedora 16 "Verne".