Review: Korora 19 "Bruce" GNOME

Activities screen
In the comments of my review of Korora 18 "Flo" KDE, a bunch of people asked me to review Korora 19 "Bruce" GNOME. Now that this new version is out, I'm going to review it. It hasn't been too long since my last review of Korora, so I'll skip the introduction and get right to the main stuff. I reviewed the 64-bit edition (usually I review the 32-bit versions of distributions essentially by default, but this time the 32-bit edition seemed rather delayed to the point when I first downloaded the ISO file, I was under the impression that Korora might have dropped 32-bit support) on a live USB made with MultiSystem. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

After the boot menu, I was greeted by the same sort of boot splash as last time. That led relatively quickly into the desktop, which is a standard GNOME 3/Shell desktop, so I won't dwell too much on that. The only thing of note is the wallpaper, for two reasons. The first is that it looks quite nice with its subtle brown shades and Korora branding. The second is that one time after logging in, it failed to load properly and I was left instead with the drab gray background from the GDM login screen lingering.
Additionally, I wanted to try the new GNOME 3/Classic desktop, but it seems like logging out and back in is not enough to enable that environment; a full reboot is required, which is of course impossible to do in a live session, and moreover, I thought rebooting after these kinds of software installations (except for kernel upgrades, of course) were relics of Microsoft Windows.

Mozilla Firefox
Mozilla Firefox is the default browser. It comes with most proprietary codecs included as is typical of Korora, as YouTube and Hulu worked fine along with my laptop's volume keyboard shortcuts.
LibreOffice is the default productivity suite. There aren't too many other included applications of note beyond the standard GNOME and Fedora utilities. The only other issue to note is that GNOME Files caused a hiccup in the desktop when it launched: the top bar and all the window titlebars disappeared briefly, but they thankfully returned quickly and without further issue. Also, speaking of GNOME Files, there is a file previewer included as well; I think it is GNOME Sushi, yet the list of programs shows Gloobus-Preview installed, so I'm not entirely sure what it is (both programs look fairly similar), but it works well in any case.

I was able to use the YUM Extender package manager to install Google Talk and Redshift. Both of those worked quite well.
GNOME Files + GNOME Sushi
My experience with installing Skype, on the other hand, was much less positive. Skype only offers an RPM file for 32-bit versions of Fedora, so I figured I would need to install the dynamic TAR package. I downloaded it and simply extracted the appropriate files and folders to the recommended destinations. When I tried to run the Skype executable file, though, the terminal claimed that Skype couldn't find some necessary library on which it depends. I then tried to follow instructions online to install Skype, but those didn't work either, probably because of conflicts with packages already installed. Next, I rebooted, giving me a clean slate, and tried again to follow the instructions for installing the RPM file. I noticed that installing the prerequisite dependencies gave some errors about older versions of packages, so I figured the thing to do might be to upgrade the system packages. I did that through "sudo yum update", but that went fine until the end at which point I was kicked out of the desktop and couldn't get back in. I performed a hard reboot and tried the "sudo yum update" command after pressing 'CTRL'+'ALT'+'F5', but the same thing happened there. At that point I basically gave up. (I also didn't bother checking Mupen64Plus, for the record.)

Korora used about 510 MB of RAM at idle, which is now significantly more than KDE. Furthermore, applications were a little slow to launch and respond to inputs, and the handful of DE-related hiccups I experienced gave me the feeling that the system was slightly unstable, and I couldn't shake this feeling off.

That's where my time with Korora 19 "Bruce" GNOME ended. The nonworking nature of Skype is a deal-breaker for me, and I suspect that is the case for a lot of newbies who might be interested in Linux as well. Most new computers now have 64-bit processors, and I as well as a lot of other users would like to put such hardware to good use with a 64-bit distribution. If I can't do what I need to do every day with such a distribution, then I can't recommend it. In fairness, given that most of the distributions I test are in 32-bit guise, it is possible that many of the positive reviews I have given in the past would on average turn more negative if I reviewed the 64-bit edition instead, but for now, it is what it is.
You can get it here as before, and don't worry, there is a 32-bit edition available for each DE shipped.