Fedora has always been a popular desktop Linux distribution, but it has not always had the reputation of being welcoming to new Linux users or to those who just want it to work right “out of the box” with multimedia codecs or proprietary software. Korora is a Fedora spin that tries to provide a user-friendly desktop experience with little or no additional work needed by the user. Korora 21 is the latest release and it offers a number of improvements for users.
Note that Korora is offered in a variety of options in terms of the desktop environment. You can get it with GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon or Xfce. For this review I opted to install the Cinnamon version of Korora 21.
Before I get into the review, here’s a brief explanation about how Korora differs from Fedora:
Korora is a Fedora Remix, which means it ships with regular Fedora packages along with others that Fedora cannot ship. We also make changes to the system, so exactly how does Korora differ from Fedora?
Firstly, all our code is open source and freely available to anyone via our GitHub account. We also provide a tool called kp which will let anyone rebuild all of our packages and an entire Korora image, or modify these to build their own variation. That’s the tool we use to build all of the Korora packages and images.
We do however ship some software that is proprietary, such as Adobe Flash, and others are installable, such as Google Chrome. We don’t have source code for these as they are not open source; however, anything we create, or modify is.
The base kickstart also spells out the repositories to pull packages from. Many of these, and in particular RPMFusion, are added by most Fedora users and we can do this out of the box because we aren’t restricted by Fedora’s own project rules. They include:
RPMFusion Free Updates
RPMFusion Non-Free Updates
Korora is an open source project and we do support open source software, even though some of the software we ship is proprietary. What we have done is to put all the pieces together and try to make a Fedora Remix that is useful for anyone out there, but there’s nothing that we do that you couldn’t do yourself.
What’s new in Korora 21
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:
KDE Software Compilation 4.14.3
Korora 21 download and install
You can download Korora 21 from this page. You can get Korora 21 in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. Korora 21 is a live distribution, so you can create bootable media and boot into it without having to do an install on your system. Please note that Korora’s speed might be slower in the live desktop than if you are running an actual install, so bear that in mind if you opt to try the live desktop.
Korora 21 also uses Fedora’s Anaconda installer. So if you are familiar with that then you should have no problems installing it on your system. If you’re new to the Fedora installer, don’t worry. It’s quite usable but it’s a bit different than the installers used for Ubuntu, Linux Mint and some other distributions. The Fedora Project has an install guide for Anaconda that you might want to check out before doing an install of Korora 21.
My install went quite well, I had no problems and the install itself was relatively speedy. Bear in mind, however, that I have used the Anaconda installer often in the past. So I’m quite familiar with how it is laid out and what it has to offer. Use the Fedora install guide for Anaconda I linked to above if you’re new to it as it might save you some time when installing Korora 21.