Review: Kororaa 15.1
Two things I have to say to you! One, I’ve received more emails asking me to test Kororaa than any other distribution. The second one is, I’m angry with the Kororaa development team. They released two versions just a couple of weeks apart, naughty men. As I was collecting screenshots for this review, on top of Kororaa 15.1 Squirt, I learned that a new edition was made available, numbered sweet 16. A dilemma, then. What to do, what to do? Delete and start over? No, I proceeded with the original work.
All right, theatric tantrums aside, this is going to be a review of Kororaa 15.1 Squirt, the one before the last edition. I hope you will be able to project onto the latest version, and if not, several dozen more emails might convince me to write another review. Anyhow, Kororaa is a Fedora remix, spin, fork, spoon, whatever you want to call it. So it embraces the geeky and tries to make it fun. Been there, done that, not always works. What about now?
Less is more
This is such an important thing, and yet so many people fail to take notice. When you’re trying to deliver a significant visual impact, then you must refrain from going wild with the decorations, embellishments and polish. True for interior design, true for cars, true for women, true for computers. Less is indeed more, and you can have sweet beauty without too much sugar.
Kororaa 15.1 comes up with a simple KDE desktop, the only visible change being the wallpaper slideshow. If you wanted familiar, you get familiar. The usual stuff all works, Wireless, Bluetooth, Samba, and such like.
Kororaa is supposed to come with a variety of codecs and plugins that should let you enjoy music and videos in all formats and shapes, but this seems to be only partially true. In the live session, MP3 playback worked, but there was no Flash.
Desktop effects, blimey!
This was a surprise that I did not expect, hence a surprise. Most recent KDE distributions struggled a bit with desktop effects on the test box, a 32-bit T60p with 2GB RAM and a super-old ATI card. However, Kororaa managed most splendidly, with elegance and speed. I believe this is the best low-end machine demo I’ve seen so far.
Review: Gentoo 12
First released in 2002 and based around source code rather than pre-compiled binary packages, Gentoo has become famous for the flexibility it offers. However, the Gentoo live DVD is a different beast altogether, leveraging existing Gentoo technology to provide a ready-made desktop that boots from removable media such as a DVD or a USB flash drive. It’s a comprehensive system with a wide variety of applications along with a selection of the current desktops. The disc includes current versions of Gnome 3, Xfce, E16, Fluxbox, LXDE and XBMC and KDE4, and there is a distinct bias towards KDE applications and desktop applications in general.
If you’ve used a recent build of KDE4, you’ll already have an idea of what to expect from the KDE4 desktop. As with most of the desktops environments on the disc, the backdrop contains icons for: the bug tracking system, installing Adobe Flash, a link to the Gentoo IRC channel, a link to the support forums and the user handbook. Those icons give a clue to one of the advantages of the lineage of this distro: it’s the product of an established community.
With several desktops and such a huge set of installed applications, this thing’s a monster. Exploring the application launcher confirms what we expected, this application load-out is extremely broad. On the one hand, this means that this might be a viable complete desktop system in situations in which adding additional applications via the package manager is inconvenient. On the other hand, there is a lot to wade through, including a lot of smaller, slightly obscure KDE applications (KBruch, the fractions tutor anyone?). Amongst the more mainstream applications, there’s quite a lot of redundancy and overlap. For example, there are at least five fully fledged web browsers, and this holds true for every category of application.
There is no GUI hard disk installer included with this live DVD, and this fact won’t surprise long-term Gentoo users as even the regular distribution relies on manual installation from the command line. It is, however, possible to carry out an installation from any working Linux installation, including the Gentoo live DVD. The fact remains that the lack of a GUI installer is at odds with what people have come to expect from a live distro.
The way in which it handles persistent storage of user data is an important feature of a live distro. Again as there is no GUI for doing this in Gentoo, you’ll have to set up the partitions and create the needed file by hand. Although, the location for the file is quite flexible. Once persistence is up and running, it should be possible customise the distro using Gentoo’s Portage package management system that fetches source code packages ready for compilation. Frankly, it’s for time-served Gentoo enthusiasts only and probably not the intended focus of the live DVD.
Read Full Review at Source Web Site: linuxuser.co.uk