Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kororaa 17 "Bubbles" 32 Bit

I've been interested in Kororaa, as it intends to be to Fedora about what Ubuntu is to Debian (or perhaps as Mint is to Ubuntu). The developer takes Fedora, adds and configures RPMFusion (and perhaps other 3d party repos) to enable easier access to captive software, like drivers, codecs, and so forth.

I chose 32 bit because even though Mists of Pandaria has both 32 and 64 bit clients, I want to stay with the more mature and stable 32 bit branch of Wine. I chose GNOME in the hope that it would be lighter than KDE. I could not find a torrent, so I downloaded it with wget.

Kororaa boots to a clean desktop with icons for Computer, Home, Help, Install to Hard Drive, Trash, and a README.pdf meant to guide new users. It has a dark blue wallpaper featuring a stylized Kororaa logo, different from the penguin logo on Distrowatch. The logo owes to the Fedora logo, taking the infinity-symbol cutouts and rearranging them. The readme includes instructions for installing captive video drivers from ATI and nVidia, flash support, and skype, as well as instructions for getting help and solving problems.

The default desktop is pretty much vanilla GNOME 3.4. The user menu includes a "Power Off" option. Windows include a maximize button, but not a minimize button. They can still be minimized by hitting alt-space to bring up the window menu, and N to minimize. There is a menu editor, but I don't know how to access the menu it edits. I'm guessing it's for either Cinnamon, Cinnamon 2D, or Fallback mode.

The default activities menu is opened by either hitting the Super/Windows key on the keyboard, clicking Activities in the upper left corner, or mousing into the most upper left pixel, and includes Firefox (at v13), Empathy IM client, Evolution (for email), VLC, shotwell for photos, libreoffice writer, files (the Nautilus file manager), and Install to Hard Drive. It also shows all open windows. Nautilus is configured to mount any internal drives when you click on them in the side pane, and automatically mounts any USB drives.

Other applications can be brought up by clicking on "Applications" when you bring up Activities. The icons are large, clear, and attractive, except for a couple having to do with SELinux. There is a lot of software installed by default, including most of the default GNOME desktop apps. Kororaa mostly favors GNOME native apps over other GTK apps for the same thing, eg Empathy rather than Pidgin, Evolution rather than Thunderbird, and so on. The obvious exceptions are web browsing and office, and given the atrocious bugginess that is Abiword 2.9 and the annoyance that is Epiphany (now called Web). I've successfully used Firefox, Chromium, Midori, Dillo, Iceweasel, Iceape, and opera, but never Epiphany. I don't doubt that I could, but why bother?

I could not get a terminal to launch in the live session. Post-install, I used "sudo yum update" to get all updates, and there were a lot. Delta downloads were only available for about half of the updates; I wound up downloading about 300MB of the 500MB that I would have had to without delta RPMs.

Jockey wasn't able to fetch fglrx/Catalyst, the ATI proprietary GPU driver. Instead of doing research, or re-reading the readme, I used yumex to install it, ran aticonfig, and borked X. Further research showed that ATI's fglrx/Catalyst driver only supports X up to version 1.11. According to Distrowatch, Kororaa 17 has version 1.12.2, so Kororaa is not going to work for me unless I get an nVidia GPU. For that matter, neither will openSUSE 12.2, which has xorg 1.13.0, or anything based on Debian Wheezy (xorg 1.12, apparently includes MEPIS), Sabayon, or Arch. This doesn't leave me with too many options.

Right now I'm looking at Stella (CentOS 6.3 with extra repos pre-congifured and captive codecs included) and Salix 13.37 (the lazy man's Slackware), and perhaps a Debian Squeeze distro. Stable takes us all the way back to xorg 1.7.7 (for example, Saline OS 1.7, CrunchBang Statler). The first to occur to me was Solus 1.2 (xorg 1.10). Other possibilities include:
  • antiX (if I can find an M11 ISO)
  • Litrix (if I'm willing to use a Brazilian Gentoo-based live distro and the Gentoo documentation)
  • Papug
  • Overclockix (based on Squeeze; I may actually overclock now!)
  • PCLOS (one of these days, I have to learn to compile stuff from source, so I can have up-to-date Wine on PCLOS)
  • Resulinux
  • SnowLinux
  • Ututo (a Spanish gentoo distro)
  • Vector Linux
  • Zenwalk
So if it weren't for my long-standing desire to try CentOS by way of Stella, I'd probably try something based on Debian Stable, Slackware, or Gentoo.

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