Korora

August 2, 2018

In case anyone still checks this blog out, I’ll update you. Some people who know me may know my day Job is a Sr. Linux Engineer, I rather enjoy my day job. I got into Linux early as a child (thanks Dad) and have ridden the Linux/OpenSource wave for quite some time. The only thing I may find more enjoyable then working on Linux machines, would be teaching people to work on Linux machines. A while ago an opportunity was given to me to not only have a day job I enjoyed, but a night job as well, to teach RedHat night courses at the local community college (junior college). While teaching these courses many people have asked me if there was an alternative to RHEL/CentOS that would be good for them to use for Desktop use. Naturally I said Fedora, as Fedora can be good for desktop use and is basically the testing bed for whatever new technologies will end up in Enterprise Linux. However, I started to notice some common issues students were having with driver support watching videos and doing desktop tasks, that coming from the Windows world most would take for granted. It’s not that Fedora was bad, or broken, it was just legally and ideologically bound to not include some technologies. Students struggled and though I wanted them to learn to swim in the RHEL pool some where just sinking to the bottom and staying there. So I started pointing people to Korora. Korora, unbound by some of the road blocks RedHat faced, for the most part offered a desktop experience that was much more streamlined and allowed my students to initially get their feet wet before jumping in and sinking like rocks. So for a few years now I have been touting the greatness of Korora.

In passing about a year ago I read a story that Chris Smart one of the lead developers (and the creator) of Korora was taking a break. Chris had been working on Korora since the early 2000s when it was based on Gentoo. Sad as I was I got online posted if they needed any help I was around and got a response (by multiple people via E-Mail) to jump in anytime. I had good intentions, but I truly didn’t have the time and Fedora had just dropped 32bit packages, so there would be no install path for my EeePCs. Plus I reasoned
Korora has a vibrant community and another great lead developer named Ian, so I thought they’ll make it just fine. A few months ago Ian announced how own hiatus. I didn’t see it, it took me until a few weeks ago when I saw on Google+ of all places the mention of his hiatus. I freaked out a bit, how could this happen? I jumped on their IRC channel, looked for the news section on their website and saw the official announcement, an indefinite hiatus and no one left to really continue. Those who were left, though loyal, friendly and willing to help did not have the means to carry on. In the open source world continued support and development depend on community members and community members depend on continued development. If one of the members of that equation dries up, normally the project doesn’t survive long and it looked like development was drying up.

If you’ve read any of the previous posts you may have realized or gotten the impression I have been working on and with Linux Distros for over a decade. It’s something I rather enjoy.. sometimes even if I don’t have a community of support, like with rebasing Unity Linux on MUSL-libc for example. With the recent explosion of automation and continuous integration technologies I have found major interest in learning how to automate package and Distribution releases. Recently I decided to port a perl based tool (though I don’t know perl well) called MkLiveCD to a distro called Mageia. For the most port I was successful in doing that and then I used MkLiveCD to help automate ISO builds (MKLiveCD’s sole purpose) with docker containers in Travis-CI. So I say all of that, to say this, when I realized Korora was in real trouble I felt I had no choice but to get involved. So I did. That’s currently what this whole story is about. Korora is still going to release at least some Fedora 28 based ISOs, because honestly I can’t have my students sinking like rocks at the bottom of the Linux pool and Korora for many has made itself a very nice floaty for those who are just learning how to swim in the RedHat (hopefully later RHEL) world. Lately you will find me in #korora on Freenode. Feel free to stop by, download an ISO and give us some feedback.

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19 Responses to “Korora”

  1. bgstack15 Says:

    Do you plan on continuing the pretty themes used by Korora– i.e., the Numix-Circle icons, Arc gtk2/3 theme, and color scheme?

    Korora is what enabled my desktop usage of GNU/Linux and I want to help keep it around to help people dive into rpm-based distros.

    • jmiahman Says:

      Yes, I actually followed suite with KDE, though I had to sneak a custom Numix-Circle-Blue theme in there.. because I’m pretty sure it’s an unwritten rule KDE has to have something blue.

  2. Amavida Says:

    I’m so glad to hear Korora will stay around. Even experienced Linux users appreciate having a preconfigured Fedora ISO available because it’s a big time saver. Many of us have family & work committments which limit us. Thank you for stepping up & donating your time/knowledge. I will check out the situation & look at volunteering some small help in whatever way I can.

  3. Thomas Klein Says:

    Hi, just wanted to take the occasion to drop a huge THANK YOU for your efforts to step up and help Korora overcome the hiatus. Much appreciated!
    After countless fool’s errands searching for a “good” daily-use gnome-driven distro, I stumbled across Korora and it now is the backbone of my daily work.
    Though I fully understand the reasons behind the hiatus it still left me sad to see Korora coming to a possible end-of-life. Now the hope is back that there could be a chance of someone breathing new life into it.
    Again, thanks a ton for what you try to do!
    Cheers, Thomas

    • jmiahman Says:

      Man, Thomas I am not a Gnome guy. I love having it around, but it’s not my daily driver. So if our current Gnome ISO is crap please leave feedback and let us know how we can improve. Otherwise I’m glad you enjoy it, I’ve just copied what the greats before me did and that’s why I am going to have to count on users like yourself in the future. Thanks

  4. Dave Jones Says:

    Thanks so much for the great news. I loved Korora but stopped using it due to no Version 27. I don’t really have a lot of developing experience but would love to help keep the project afloat anyway possible. Let us all know if there is anything we can do to help!

    • jmiahman Says:

      You obviously know when an app doesn’t look or work correctly, or maybe just when something stands out and seems wrong. So feel free to get a gitlab account and leave some feedback if you run into such things (or hit us up on Freenode #korora). Also if there’s an app you think we just HAVE to have on the ISOs let us know that as well. Thanks!

  5. Roy Davies Says:

    Many thanks for your efforts. I have installed Korora 28 on my old Acer laptop. At the moment everything is working fine.
    Roy D

  6. Bucky Goldstein Says:

    Hello, I too want to thank you for your efforts to keep Korora going, and it is very much appreciated. I was very sad when I heard of the hiatus (completely understandable), and even sadder when I heard everyone was migrating to Fedora. I reluctantly set aside this afternoon to test the Korora to Fedora migration. While I can live with Fedora, I’d rather not if Korora is still going to be available. I’ve downloaded your Korora 28 ISO, and am looking forward to testing it.

    • jmiahman Says:

      Thanks Bucky, I plan on keeping it around as long as I can, as long as the community participates and I think people want to use it and leave feedback I’ll keep doing it. I was heart broken when I heard about the hiatus, so often hiatus spells d-e-a-t-h for open source projects and communities and rarely can they pick up the pieces later. So I am hoping we can keep the momentum going and if we just have to keep doing community releases we will as long as the community is there.

  7. Mark Smith Says:

    Thanks for that explanation Jeremiah, I’m typing this via a live usb of the K28 XFCE .iso.
    Having tried Fedora proper and feeling rather underwhelmed with its “out of the box” usability I’ve come to the conclusion that Korora is pretty much the only RPM game in town that matches the Swiss army knife of Xubuntu.
    I’ve been using XFCE Korora since about ver17-18 and was quite bummed when I found out that upgrading to 27 was the end of the line. 😦
    I can’t program but would be willing to test things if I can help.
    Thanks for your effort and don’t burn yourself out!
    Mark

    • jmiahman Says:

      Awesome Mark! Living up to Xubuntu is a tall order, so glad your an XFCE user it’s a great environment and the way Korora has themed it and treated it in the past (and now) has been quite impressive. I hope we can follow suite and I would love your feedback!

  8. Adam Holland Says:

    Thanks for stepping up to the plate. I am sure there are enough of us to pitch in with all the needed contributions. I’m not a programmer, but for anything I can do, count me in.

    • jmiahman Says:

      Thanks so much for you comment Adam. Feedback and using Korora… that’s what everyone can do. If you find yourself making changes to the environment to make your life easier, that could benefit others as well.. let us know. If you find an app that just doesn’t look right, or run right.. let us know. If you find an application on another distro that has made your life easier in some way and it’s not offered by Fedora/Korora.. let us know. Your feedback and the rest of the community giving us feedback is what will keep Korora relevant and the project alive.

  9. Mike Says:

    I just wanted to THANK YOU to step up! I really enjoy using Korora as my main and only Linux OS. Thanks to Korora developers I started liking Linux environment. Before that even with the use of Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, and more big-name ones I thought it is hopeless. Thanks again and wish you all success.

    • jmiahman Says:

      So glad you found a home here, hope we can make some additions you like and help you feel included in the community.

  10. jmiahman Says:

    Thanks everyone who commented. I appreciate your feedback and encouragement. Some of you asked how to help. So I have done a post that goes over that a bit..

    https://jmiahman.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/korora-work-update/

    Really leaving feedback, playing a role in testing and just being a great community member are really the areas that would be most helpful. Keep the intest going and the project moving by your suggestions feedback and maybe even pull requests 🙂


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