2013-05-23

Review: Korora 18 "Flo" KDE

Main Screen + Kickoff Menu
In the last week of classes, since finished all of my assignments, I have had a little time to do some distribution reviews before starting to prepare for final exams. The second such review is of the KDE edition of Korora 18 "Flo".

I have reviewed Korora before. Back then it was called Kororaa (with an extra 'a'), so I guess the name was shortened in a manner similar to that of Facebook (from "TheFacebook"). It's a distribution that essentially offers a bunch of niceties on top of Fedora with GNOME or KDE. This time I tried just the KDE version.

I tried this as a live USB system made with UnetBootin, as making it with MultiSystem gave problems on several occasions. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

Mozilla Firefox + LibreOffice Writer
After the boot menu came a nice spinner on a black background for the boot splash. After that came the KDE splash which has been modified for Korora such that the 5 icons appearing in order appear not in a box in the center of the screen but instead integrated near the bottom of the screen with the Korora background. After that came the desktop.

The desktop is fairly standard for KDE. The moderately dark blue Korora-branded background is quite elegant. The panel is a little thinner than is typical of KDE, and in that regard it resembles openSUSE a little more. There is a nice document referring users on how to get help, as well as a video that explains in depth how to perform the installation, including tips for past users who are unfamiliar with the newest iteration of the Anaconda installer.

Mozilla Firefox is the default browser, and it comes equipped with a lot of old extensions for KDE integration that makes it oddly look a little more out-of-place. Proprietary codecs appear to be included, as YouTube and Hulu worked fine, as did my laptop's volume keyboard shortcuts.
LibreOffice is the default productivity software included. It is also well-integrated with KDE.
Other installed software includes GIMP, Inkscape, digiKam, Steam, Miro, Blogilo, VLC, Audacity, and Kdenlive, along with standard KDE tools. That accounts for why the ISO file is so big.

YUM Extender
The two package managers included are Apper and YUM Extender, and in general the latter tended to work much more reliably than did the former. I was able to use this package manager to successfully install and use the Google Talk plugin as well as Redshift.

Skype required installation of the RPM file from the website. After downloading it, I opened it with the Apper package installer. That gave me a strange error message during the installation process that led me to believe that the installation could not be completed. Oddly enough, though, the installation was complete, as I was able to successfully use Skype to carry out a long conversation with both video and audio.
I was able to install Mupen64Plus 1.5 in the usual way. Unfortunately, Korora doesn't seem to be able to find the better available plugins, and the default plugins have basically no customization options, so I was stuck with a GUI that was basically no better than the CLI version. Plus, the frame rates were quite low, which was not good.

Korora used 350 MB of RAM at idle, which is pretty good for KDE. All the usual desktop effects worked fine as well. The system was overall quite fast, though Adobe Flash playback was occasionally a little slow or choppy.

Dolphin + Gwenview + Desktop Cube
That is where my time with Korora 18 "Flo" KDE ended. The odd error message in the installation of Skype may cause other people to reconsider entirely, which is why I can almost but not quite recommend Korora for newbies. Given the popularity of Skype and given that the helper package in the repositories conflicts with a core system package (making it useless now), it might be good if developers in that community could come together to write a more current tutorial on how to deal with Skype. Also, the stunted nature of Mupen64Plus means I wouldn't use this for myself. But really, it only needs a tiny bit more work before I can comfortably recommend this.
You can get it here.

10 comments:

  1. do you have a review for gnome edition

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  2. I've been running Korora 18 for a few weeks now. It's extremely polished and I had none of the errors you encountered setting it up. Everything just works for me.

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  3. @Anonymous 1: I wasn't planning on doing a review of the GNOME edition, and I still do not unless more people want it.

    @Anonymous 2: To be fair, the errors I encountered were generally fairly minor.

    Thanks for the comments!

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  4. I too would like you to look at the Gnome edition as I respect your opinion on the various distros. Thanks. Mike

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    1. @Anonymous: I'm flattered that you respect my opinions on this blog. As you are also not the only one to ask for such a review, it will most certainly happen, though probably in a few weeks. Thanks for the comment!

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  5. Thanks fornthe review a gnome review it'll be great.

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    1. @Pedro: To be honest, because Korora 19 "Bruce" has seen a beta release recently, I'll probably hold off on reviewing the GNOME edition until the final release of that version, which shouldn't be too far from now. Thanks for the comment!

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  6. I am user of Fedora 18 and eagerly waiting for Fedora 19, But there are chances that I use Korora 19 (of course GNOME).

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  7. The so-called 'minor errors' are upsetting for noobs. I'm assuming another FAIL for this RPM-based distro, compared to the predictability & reliability of the 'buntus.

    Curious now. Can any RPM-based distro be so easily installed to the latest stable kernel in a few seconds, like the buntus? I've had many disasters because not all RPM apps will work with all the crazily compatible RPM distros.

    I know you need to be politically correct, to avoid angering the fanboy crazies. But is an honest opinion possible to express here?

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  8. @Anonymous: I will be reviewing Korora 19 "Bruce" GNOME soon.

    @Greg Zeng: I think openSUSE may fit the bill for you. Have you tried it? It comes with new stable kernel versions and has quite good compatibility with most RPM packages.

    Thanks for the comments!

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