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Kororaa - Close but no cigar...

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The Kororaa* project released beta 2 of their 2005 Gentoo binary distribution installer this past week and we thought we'd give it a test run. This is a wonderful project and I think it has its niche. I love the idea of getting a gentoo install in a matter of minutes instead of days and in a manner more familiar or comfortable to folks. Kororaa is here fill the desire to install gentoo quickly and then later rebuild packages to your machine. In other words, the best of both worlds.

Also before I forget I should mention that the developers also offer a sister product called "Gororaa" that features a gnome desktop as opposed to KDE. They also offer versions for the 64-bit architecture as well.

The site states, "Other new features include lightweight window manager options, international keyboard language support, package selection, updated setup menus, as well as various new tools and configuration scripts and a prettier installer with progress bars Smile KDE 3.4.3, Gnome 2.12, OpenOffice 2.0 and other carefully selected apps for everyday use are among the goodies that are included."

For those who are going to try this distro, I found these "handy tools" listed in the documentation:

systemconfig (the main configuration menu you see when you first boot)
genuser --simple (this command adds a user to your system)
genpass (generates a decent Linux password ? good!)
gensetpass (reset a user's password)
chooseres (set your preferred resolutions in X)
choosekeymap (set your keyboard language)

Also while I'm stalling waiting for my cdrs to burn, I found this nice page that lists many of the packages included in the packages iso. HERE a changelog of sorts as well.

Installation

The installer boots up a nice "sorta" graphical environment, what I like to call ascii-graphical. Smile It walks you through the install process with relative ease.

It begins at a prompt with the text message giving you instructions to type one of several options. I recall seeing:
*kororaa
*kororaa-64
*Don't forget to play a little moon-buggy if you get bored! Wink

I chose kororaa and it began. First choose a keyboard map, Configure drives, and begin install. In configure drives, one can repartition, set mount points, and format. Begin install extracts the now default gentoo stage 3 tarball. Then one is asked to change to the "packages-cd."

At the next screen one can:

  1. Set date

  2. Set timezone
  3. Hostname & domainname
  4. Package selection
  5. Install packages
  6. Configure boot services
  7. Configure boot loader
  8. Setup Users
  9. Finished!

The package selection might be somewhat sparse in some folks' options, but not too bad in mine. It lists many useful applications under all the major categories. It seems to install and finish up.

Then it's time to do some configuration. Under the configure boot services, one checks the services they will need to start upon boot. Grub is the only choice for the bootloader. Finally one is prompted to set the root password and set up a user(s).

One is given two choices when setting up their user accounts. One option is simple, that allows one to input username and password. The other option is complex, where one can set up all the options, including the uid, groups, home and shell.

When one clicks Finish!, I assume it'd be time to setup X. Instead I got the error: can't find mkxfsetup.

System

Upon reboot, one is presented with a configuration dialog that again has some options that don't work (or didn't for me). The layout is similar to the following:

  1. Setup Sound

  2. Setup Sensors
  3. Resolution setup
  4. Network
  5. Portage Mirror
  6. Sync Portage Tree
  7. Update Locate database
  8. Prelink System
  9. Finished!

The setup sound and sensors didn't work here complaining it couldn't find the config files. Resolution worked as did network, portage mirror & sync, and Update Locate database. Prelinking said it worked, but I'm sure it didn't.

It turns out the problems I was experiencing were the result of the package installation step bombing out at an early point. I did several burns and new installations in an attempt to get the system to install as the developers intended, however in each instance the package installation just stops at about 18 of 269. This leaves one with a very crippled desktop. In fact, no desktop and very little applications were installed at all.

At this point one does have a basic base system with users and root privileges. Portage is functional and a make.conf is in place. The graphical setups that do work can help the newcomer get that base system installed much easier than downloading the stage-3 tarball and starting there.

So, although your system is not what it was advertised to be, one could finish their installation after boot through portage. emerge mkxfsetup gets one the utility to set up X, and emerge kde-meta would probably grind away for hours eventually leading to a kde desktop. However, that's not the promise or purpose of kororaa.

Kororaa was said to be a binary distribution with a kde desktop from which one could re-build their customized source based system. One can accomplish a complete system, just not at leisure from the luxury of kde.

This is a beta product at this time and the installer shows great promise. Perhaps my experience is isolated, but it appears at this time we need to let Kororaa simmer a bit more before it's done.

So, close but no cigar folks.

UPDATE: Please see my updated article concerning Kororaa Linux.

Try default install?

Hey cool Smile I just saw this review on distrowatch and thought I'd check it out.

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you - something has gone wrong in the package install, which is strange. I would really love to see the output of /var/log/emerge.log to see what failed. Maybe there is a bug in the package selection that I hadn't found.

Kororaa should definately give you a full KDE install. Obviously with the install failing at package 19 you have 250 packages that never got to be installed, hence it is rather lacking.

I would really love to see how the install goes without changing the default packages. Keen to give that a try? Wink

Cheers,
Chris

re: Try default install?

I de-selected the wifi drivers, ipw2200, synaptics, wpa supplicant, and kwifimanager.

Yeah, I can try the default install tomorrow. I can email you the emerge.log from the unsuccessful install tonight.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

re: Try default install?

Sorry. It still won't go here. I had to re-download the files, so I started with fresh download, fresh burns and formatted the partition using reiserfs (3). I didn't change any default package settings, in fact I didn't even open the subcatagories.

It made it to 103 of 337. Sad I'm sorry. Perhaps it's something up with my machine.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Something's not right..

Something is definately not right there Thinking perhaps it's a flakey CD drive, I'm not sure. Some tests might be in order Wink One thought though, one cannot run other emerge commands from the system while the packages are installing. The percentage bar uses the emerge.log, and if you run other emerge commands (even queries) it will add these to the emerge.log and hence interfere with the bar. The packages will still be installing, but most likely it will say "finished installing packages" because it looks for the "Finished" from the log. But as discussed on email, the system should install just fine and you should get a pretty KDM login screen waiting for you after your initial boot Smile

re: Something's not right...

>One cannot run other emerge commands from the system while the packages are installing. The percentage bar uses the emerge.log, and if you run other emerge commands (even queries) it will add these to the emerge.log.

I didn't touch anything. In fact, I walked away and watched tv until I heard the "drums" stop. Smile

Yeah, I'm sure it would do fine on other's machines. I wish my other test machine wasn't down. Sad Although the first failure was using my dvd rom and the rest were using my cdrw. So I know that don't rule out the drives completely, but it does make it less likely it's that. And I used different media brands each burn too.

Anyway, wonderful project! And good work, the installer looks great.
----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

re: install requirements?

When I test a new distribution I usually, and in this case, only define a /. I don't even tell them about my /boot partition. That's mainly to protect my data, but it also simplifies things. I don't even use separate /opt or /usr whatever on my main system.

As far as installing some script to take screenshots - hey point me to that huh? Big Grin Seriously, if I get any, it's been thru an emulator either before or after the actual review from my main system. I've looked and asked around, but never did get a good answer on how to get screenshots like some do of the actual install and such. I knew there had to be a way, I just hadn't found it yet.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

no requirements :) apart from a computer!

hey atang1, there are no restrictions on hard drive setup or anything under Kororaa (that I'm aware of). The installer just detects what you have and presents it for you to do what you will Smile
I used vmware to take all the screenshots from beta2 at the screenshots section of the website Smile

Re: Two questions for the distro architect ?

Hey atang1, I'm not sure how you mean to get the distro to fall back to compatible drivers. The X detection script (based on knoppix) will detect vesa if it doesn't know the chipset of the video card. As for modems and parallel ports etc, Kororaa has support forn whatever the 2.6.13 kernel supports, and for sound the alsaconf script should also detect them. I guess what you are suggesting is that is no sound is detected, then it should default to sbpro, but if the card is sbpro compatible is should already be set up. Perhaps I'm missing the mark here, if so, please enlighten me Wink In short it should work on any computer (provided it has full sse instruction set support) Smile Cheers

This is rather interesting an

This is rather interesting and something I don't have much clue about! Thinking It is probably something the Gentoo devs can look into. Kororaa itself is really a customised Gentoo install with our own installer, configuration scripts and pre-built packages, etc. This stuff is a little over my head! Do you have more info on this subject? Cheers.

Re: We need you and other distro developers ?

atang1 wrote:

As you can tell Tuxmachines.org is the place for distro developers to gether and discuss the future of Linux operating system. You are welcome to do your own review here of your own distro.

I'm gonna have to put you on the payroll atang! Big Grin well, ...if I had a payroll...

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