Review: Korora 21 "Darla" Cinnamon

Main Screen + Cinnamon Menu
I wanted to do this review a few weeks ago but didn't get the chance until now. Anyway, although I have reviewed Korora a few times before on this blog, I have not reviewed its Cinnamon edition until now. I particularly wanted to try the Cinnamon edition mainly because I seem to have bad luck whenever I try other distributions with Cinnamon, so I wanted to see if that would change here. As usual, I tried it as a live USB system made with UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

After the boot menu, I was greeted by a simple boot splash consisting of a small blue progress bar centered on a dark background. This took a little while to give way to a solitary cursor, followed by the whole desktop. Initially, the desktop was quite unresponsive, but I figured it was because like other distributions, this was trying to render an additional monitor that didn't exist, so I turned that off in the Cinnamon System Settings tool. That fixed things and allowed me to better enjoy the desktop.

Mozilla Firefox + LibreOffice Writer
The desktop looks slightly different from standard Cinnamon, but functionally it's basically the same. The only major difference seems to be that the panel is on top, and the corresponding hot corners have been put on the bottom of the screen. Aesthetically, the GTK+ and window themes are the GNOME default Adwaita, while the icon theme is simply called "korora", though I could swear that I've seen it elsewhere. In any case, the overall look and feel is quite pleasing and works pretty well in terms of function.

Mozilla Firefox is the default browser. Proprietary codecs seem to be included, as YouTube and Hulu worked fine. That said, I will note that for some reason, although wireless networks were recognized, this distribution refused to recognize my wired ethernet connection. LibreOffice is the default productivity suite. There seem to be a lot of multimedia applications present, as I saw Darktable, Audacity, Handbrake, a sound converter, and some others. Otherwise, though, there isn't too much notable about the software selection. The only small oddity I found was that Gloobus Preview is included, even though there isn't any immediately obvious way to make it work with the file manager Nemo, and Nemo already has the Nemo-Preview file previewer as its own.

Nemo + Nemo-Preview + Expo
I was able to use the YUM Extender to install Redshift, which worked well. As far as that software installer goes, though, it could use a bit more work in making it clear what the status of a package is. For example, it seemed to suggest that Google Talk was already installed, yet when I logged into Gmail, I had to install the plugin for it to work correctly. That said, I was able to easily install Google Talk as well as Skype from their respective websites. All three of those things worked fine.
Mupen64Plus isn't present at all in the repositories, which I find a little unusual for a distribution that is not much changed from its parent (Fedora) that is very popular and has a large software pool. I had to download the old version from the website, and although it worked, it was rather sluggish while running.

The desktop effects present in Cinnamon worked well. The desktop overall never felt particularly slow or sluggish. Moreover, the system used about 400 MB of RAM at idle according to the command "free -m", which isn't too bad.

That's where my time with Korora 21 "Darla" Cinnamon ended. The issues I had with YUM Extender are fairly minor and don't have to do with Korora in particular, though maybe the Korora developers could consider including a different GUI package manager. Likewise, with Mupen64Plus, if I was seriously considering installing Korora for daily use, I might look a little more into making it work. That said, the ethernet issue is a bit of a dealbreaker for me, considering that I have almost never run into this issue during live testing; although this may not be an issue with Korora specifically, the fact that I'd have to consider fixing this issue at all seems problematic in itself. For now, I'd say that although this probably isn't a bad distribution to use, I'd personally wait until the next release in the hope that things may get better.
You can get it here.