By Jack M. Germain - LinuxInsider |4th March 2016

The Korora Linux desktop is a solid computing platform that's loaded with options to suit a wide range of user needs. Korora 23 final was released last month. It's a Fedora-based distribution featuring many user-friendly enhancements as well as a choice of five desktop environments. Fedora is the community version of Red Hat Linux Enterprise.

Unless you are looking for bleeding-edge desktop environments, Korora gives you all the top contenders. You can run Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, MATE and Xfce.

I tested all of these Korora options and was pleased with how each one performed. I focused the "Look and Feel" portion below on the MATE desktop flavor because I was impressed with its integration in Korora much more than in other distros. For anyone unhappy with the current GNOME 3 style, the MATE fork is a refreshing alternative.

Even Linux users who dislike the GNOME 3 desktop will feel right at home with the Korora version.

Korora's developers gave the entire line a similar appearance. Korora adheres to the Fedora design, which places the panel at the top of the screen. That consistency really pays off. I tend to view top-panel design as old-style Linux because so many of the distros I use place the panel at the bottom of the screen. However, the top-panel placement feels like a natural in Korora. That holds true especially for the Cinnamon desktop version. I use Cinnamon in other distros and was surprised at how the panel on top did not bother me.

Code-named Coral, the entire Korora 23 line has the latest stable RPM Fusion repositories. These community packages provide support for things that Fedora normally does not ship, like multimedia codecs and proprietary kernel drivers.

The Korora distro is a growing project started by lead developer Chris Smart about 10 years ago as Kororaa. Its name comes from the M?ori word for "the little penguin." His purpose was to quickly reproduce a Gentoo Linux installation on multiple desktop machines. The distro started with just two flavors -- GNOME and KDE. Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce got added along the way. Smart discontinued that project in late 2007 only to reintroduce it nearly three years later as a Fedora Remix. With the release of version 18 in 2013, he changed the project's name to Korora.

Korora offers a lot to like, starting with its installation. The process is effortless. Using Korora is, too. Even if you are not familiar with Red Hat or Fedora, you can use Korora without any fiddling. Although there's little to no fiddling involved with installing and using the distro, Korora does require a little special treatment if you want to include a few extras. That's because it has to comply with licensing agreements associated with the Fedora community. For instance, proprietary software drivers such as Nvidia and packages like Google Chrome are not preinstalled. To get these items, use the Pharlap device manager in the Control Center of the Systems menu. Korora's default applications include Mozilla's Web browser, LibreOffice suite, Shotwell photo manager, Audacious music manager, the OpenShot video editor and the VLC media player. Many other Linux staples are prepackaged in their related desktop versions.