Mint 18 or Korora 24



Hey folks,

I want to install Linux parallel to Windows on my laptop, and I narrowed down my choices to the following two options:
Mint 18 Cinnamon
Korora 24 GNOME

The question is: can you tell me, which one might suit me best in the long run (to maybe replace Windows someday)?

What I'd need (the basic stuff works anyway):
- Playing games, mostly via steam
- Watch videos on my TV

From trying both on USB-Sticks, I see the following points:

Pro Korora:
+ I prefer the dock on the left side (I also have my Windows task bar docked on the left side, as this fits most natural into the common UIs where every element is docked top-left)
+ I really like the design

Despite these points, I maybe tend a little more towards Mint:
? Bigger user/dev base and thus maybe better support (on-board software, drivers, additional software like WINE, ...)
? Steam is supposed to work (best) with Ubuntu, so I guess you're on the safe(r) side with Mint

I read a few times that Fedora is not the best option for playing games, but with RPM, drivers and other non-free stuff pre-installed, Korora might not have these issues.

I'd appreciate any adivce, hopefully from someone with Korora and Mint experience (but any help is appreciated). :)



Hi, I've run both Linux Mint and Fedora for about half a year each, and currently am on Fedora. Not much experience with Korora specifically, but the differences to Fedora should only be superficial anyways. I explain a lot of things here, which I figure you'll want to understand, but if you want to skip it, my actual recommendation is in the last three paragraphs.

As for your points:
More support for Linux Mint (/Ubuntu) is true in the sense that if you search for stuff on the internet, then you'll often find more help-topics for them.

On-board software is really arguable. Linux Mint has a few self-written pieces of software (including Cinnamon), so those are generally rather well integrated and get a lot of support from the Mint-developers. On the other hand, this self-written software obviously often has less adoption across the entire Linux-world, so you'll get less distro-independent support for it.

As for drivers, most drivers on Linux are in the kernel. Therefore they are also shared across distros and you generally won't see much different hardware support on different distros. There's one big exception to that, though, and that is that different distros ship with different versions of the kernel. Linux Mint tends to stay back on older versions of software, waiting until stability is good for that software, whereas Korora is rather quick to adopt new versions, and so you might actually get better hardware support on Korora, especially if it's newer hardware.

WINE-support should be generally the same everywhere.

As for Steam-support, it's pretty rare that someone has problems with it, just because they aren't running Ubuntu.
And I've also personally never heard about someone having problems with gaming in general on Fedora, but my graphics card is Intel, so the proper driver is included in the kernel and doesn't need a separate installation like it might for AMD and Nvidia, so maybe they meant that. And yeah, the developers of Fedora don't like proprietary software, and those proper drivers for AMD and Nvidia are proprietary software, so I can imagine that installing those driver might potentially be a hassle in Fedora. Probably less so in Korora, as you already said.

Now, as to what I would recommend. I personally like Fedora, because I like shiny new features and don't mind occasionally fixing small things. If that doesn't sound like you at all, then I think, it'd be better for you to go with something else than Fedora/Korora (at least for now).

However, instead of Linux Mint Cinnamon, I think Ubuntu GNOME would be a better fit.
The bulk of how Korora looks, including the panel on the left, is done by a software package called GNOME Shell. GNOME Shell is a so-called "desktop environment"; Cinnamon is also one. And you could install GNOME Shell in Linux Mint, if you wanted to. But Linux Mint is not actually that different from Ubuntu, unless you specifically want to use Cinnamon, and so, if you want to use GNOME Shell instead, it makes more sense to just go directly with Ubuntu GNOME, which is Ubuntu, but with GNOME Shell preinstalled, and therefore it will look a lot like Korora. And your main-reason so far for using Korora seems to be how it looks, so yeah, this sounds like the best of both worlds.

Now, Ubuntu GNOME won't look exactly like Korora, as the Korora-devs did do some further small tweaks. And this will probably be over your head for now, but as far as I can tell, the Korora-devs used "Arc" as GTK-theme and "Numix Circle" as icon pack.
So, if you install those and apply them, it will look the same (apart from stuff like wallpaper or other branding, of course).
I'm not entirely sure about GNOME Shell, as I've never personally used it all too much, but you might need to install "GNOME Tweak Tool" to apply the GTK-theme and icon pack after you've installed them.


Thank you very much for your detailed answer.

In case you are interested why I tend more to Korora ot Mint than I do to Ubuntu GNOME (otherwise jump to TL,DR): Last year (before upgrading to Windows 10), I already took a look at some distros (among them were Korora and Mint), but for the same reasons you recommended Ubuntu GNOME I chose to install it on my laptop (and additionally on a very old laptop) as my primary OS. The problems began with switching from the xorg-drivers to the nVidia drivers (or maybe were present before, I was not able to get it working with xorg drivers later on): when switching on the TV (HDMI), both screens turned black until I unplugged/switched off the TV. Some blamed the hardware (there's an integrated Intel GPU + a dedicated nVidia 660m, I don't know the excact nVidia name for this), but noone could help me solve this problem. As I couldn't use my TV with Ubuntu GNOME, I started booting into Windows regularly, until I finally chose to remove Ubuntu GNOME (as I was not using it anymore). Since then, it is only installed on my old laptop, which I only switch on occasionally just to use a little Linux. ;-)
This old laptop is too old for games (you can't even smoothly browse the internet, at least not 100% of the time), so I have not tried anything besides surfing and playing around with Linux a little bit. In Ubuntu GNOME, I had to install the dock (and a few other "add-ons") manually, which was not a big deal if it would only have to be done once. But after some months of not using it, I decided to boot it up again and install the latest updates. After updating to 16.04 LTS, the add-ons (including my beloved dock) were all gone (at least that's what it looks like to me). That's why Korora GNOME this time is more appealing to me than Ubuntu GNOME, simply because it has all those add-ons pre-installed, which makes me hope they will not have to be reinstalled and reconfigured after a major update. The ideal Linux (at least for now) would be the one that is most "finished" out of the box.
TL,DR: Korora has more out of the box (dock & more useful add-ons pre-installed), also I had issues with my display drivers last time I tried Ubuntu GNOME about a year ago, so my feeling tells me to try a different distro this time (which might not be a completely rational decision, but I don't know enough about Linux to say for sure my problems are distro-independent).

And yeah, the "bleeding-edge" features of Korora do seem appealing too, it is not only their nice design. :-D

Another thing I recently read about Mint, which would shift the odds more towards Korora, is that by default Mint does not have auto updates turned on for things such as xorg or the kernel, thus leaving users with potentially insecure software. Is that really an accurate description?


That Linux Mint doesn't update core-components is not anymore really true. They changed it with version 18, so that's why there's still inaccurate information around.
What they do now, is that the Update Manager will show you a selection on first launch and from there you can choose between not updating those core-components, or updating them after they've been tested for a little while, or updating them as soon as an update is available.

Also keep in mind, though, that even an unupdated Linux Mint is usually still far more secure than your average Windows-installation, so yeah, maybe don't take these kind of security issues all too serious. When you hear Linux users complaining about security, that's usually just complaining for the sake of complaining.
If you really do want excellent security, though, Korora is a pretty good choice. Fedora is the most secure among the popular desktop-distros, and so Korora should be essentially just as secure.

As for your TV-issue, no idea either, but yeah, I've heard of people switching distro and something like that magically fixing itself. Distros are simply such gigantic collections of software that switching them out can fix the weirdest stuff. Could also be that a new installation of Ubuntu GNOME would magically work.
You should be able to test how the distros react to your TV from the Live-USB, though, if you'd like to be sure prior to installation.

And well, you have more experience than I thought you did. So, you should be fine on Korora, too. Not that it will really be more complicated itself. When I first switched to Fedora, I was shocked by how similar it was to Linux Mint. Later on, I slowly started understanding the more specific differences, but yeah, it's still just an operating system and does what operating systems do.

The main-thing that will be more complicated, is really just finding information online in case something breaks. I've personally noticed the number of helpful links in your average web search going from something like 8 down to 5. With a bit of experience that's almost always still enough to figure out what's going on, but yeah, sometimes it does feel a bit scarce...
$100 Digital Ocean Credit
Get a free VM to test out Linux!