Sabayon 6

The last time I looked at Sabayon Linux it was up to version 5, this time around it’s version 6. Sabayon Linux is based on Gentoo and, as you may already know, Gentoo has not always been considered the easiest version of desktop Linux for non-technical users to install and use. Sabayon Linux does a pretty good job of making Gentoo available to those who simply want to install and use Gentoo without having to roll their own or otherwise deal with Gentoo’s potential headaches.

Sabayon Linux comes in a number of different spins including GNOME and KDE. For this review I’ve installed the KDE version. Note though that there are other spins including SpinBase, CoreCDX, ServerBase and OpenVZ. Most desktop users will probably want to simply opt for the GNOME or KDE spins rather than the others.

Here’s some additional info though about the other spins for those who are curious:

SpinBase is a very minimal environment that can be used for many different purposes: didactical, home server deployment, but even for custom Sabayon ISO images creation, using our tool called Molecule). Any Sabayon release we make is based on SpinBase.

CoreCDX instead, is geared towards very minimal graphical environment setup, no fancy tools, browsers, whatever, just Fluxbox and command-line. You set the rule.
ServerBase is very similar to SpinBase, but powered by a server-optimized Linux kernel (package: sys-kernel/linux-server)

OpenVZ is our official OpenVZ template.

All of them have a smaller footprint making them fit into a single CD, or USB memory sticks.

SpinBase and ServerBase are provided with a very minimal Anaconda Installer and CoreCDX should be preferred for non-standard filesystem/partition layouts.

Splash

Splash

What’s New In This Release
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

Linux Kernel 2.6.39.1 and blazing fast, yet reliable, boot
Providing extra Server-optimized, OpenVZ-enabled, Vserver-enabled kernels in repositories
Natively supporting btrfs filesystem
Completely reworked artwork and boot music intro, thanks to our little Van Gogh (Ian Whyman)
Improved theming for 16:9 and 16:10 widescreen monitors
Transform Sabayon into an full-featured HTPC Operating System (Media Center) using XBMC
Entropy 1.0_rc10, bringing outstanding speed and reliability. Entropy Store (Sulfur) went through a massive speed rework. Entropy Web Services foundation library has been introduced in order to support User Generated Content contributions in a more powerful way, bringing our Package Manager in the Social Internet age. Added support to delta packages downloads, parallel packages download, differential repository update through simple HTTPS protocol
Several Sabayon Installer improvements, especially with dealing with crypt, LVM and swRAID environments
Added a non-intrusive firewall tool called “ufw” and its frontends for GNOME and KDE
X.Org Server updated to 1.10
Sane Desktop Compositing now enabled by default
Switched to IcedTea6 as bundled Java VM
Switched to jpeg-turbo library, boosting JPEG images rendering speed
Switched to LibreOffice 3.3.3
Switched to Chromium/WebKit as bundled Web Browser
Split nvidia-drivers and ati-drivers into userspace and kernel modules, improving reliability over kernel migrations
Updated to GNOME 2.32.2 and KDE 4.6.4
Updated to GRUB 1.99
Introduced the “kernel-switcher” tool, to easily switch between available Sabayon Linux kernels
Python toolchain updated to version 2.7
Updated to GCC 4.5.2
Dracut and Plymouth ready (expect them in Sabayon 7)
Thousands of updates and bug fixes that flew in, during these last 4 months
We’re still here! (it’s a feature), only thanks to your donations, please keep donating, donate now!

There’s obviously quite a bit of new stuff in this release. Much of it isn’t necessarily obvious to most desktop users, especially those new to Sabayon Linux.

I’m very happy that LibreOffice 3.3.3 is now included as the default office suite. I’ve been using LibreOffice for a while and it’s shaping up nicely.

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Comments

  1. says

    I recently went through a multi-day ordeal trying to migrate from Kubuntu to Sabayon 6. Not sure what I did wrong but Kubuntu seemed to trash my boot up to such a degree that I had to totally remove it and exist with Windoze Vista and Sabayon on the old laptop. Seems as stable as I would like… but I am curious as how people keep saying Chromium is the default browser when I found only Midori as the browser Sabayon installed. I added Firefox and am thinking about adding Chromium later. My distro came from a magazine and maybe that's why I got a different browser… or is that why I had conflicts with Kubuntu?

    Good review, BTW… so far I enjoy all the features of Sabayon.

  2. says

    Now that I have the mirrorsort "issue" resolved – and I also took the time to take the forum suggestion that I found and apply it as an update to the Sabayon Wiki, so that others can also benefit from it, I've had better results updating Sabayon 6 packagesl updated some more this past evening.

    I am enjoying using the Xfce variation as well as the KDE desktop, and I happen to prefer the Xfce desktop, so with Sabayon 6, I have BOTH; very current and up to date too.

    This distribution has settled in nicely for me now, thanks to information I was able to locate on the Sabayon forum in order to locate Sabayon mirror sites that function effectively from my location.

  3. Aaron says

    Your comment that Gnome 3 is a mess has zero merit. 99% of the complaints about Gnome 3 are based on ignorance of the system and expectations that it should work exactly like Gnome 2.X

    Gnome 3 is heads and tails above where KDE was with their initial 4 release and is far less buggy than Unity is. There is a big difference between whether a desktop environment is functionally sound and whether you like it or not. I hate KDE, but not because it doesn't work. It just doesn't float my boat, but I wouldn't call it a "mess".

  4. says

    BlueJayofEvil wrote:

    “I’m very happy that LibreOffice 3.3.3 is now included as the default office suite. I’ve been using LibreOffice for a while and it’s shaping up nicely as a”

    I think you forgot to finish this paragraph?

    Thanks, I edited it. Dang copy edits get past me sometimes. :whistle: :blush:

  5. BlueJayofEvil says

    "I’m very happy that LibreOffice 3.3.3 is now included as the default office suite. I’ve been using LibreOffice for a while and it’s shaping up nicely as a"

    I think you forgot to finish this paragraph?

  6. says

    Brian Masinick wrote:

    The only issue I have with Sabayon 6 – and this probably now applies to Sabayon 5.5 as well – is that the number of usable repositories and their access speed from my location in Concord, NH is extremely limited. In the 5.5 release, I found an Equo procedure where you can pass it an argument mirrorsort, which finds the most usable mirror sites, then, whether you use Equo or you use Sulphur or Entropy, it ought to select the most responsive mirror. Unfortunately there are no domestic sites that I’ve been able to find that work, and it’s going on two weeks that this has been the case.

    I finally found the solution to my issue: the ID argument to the mirrorsort feature with Equo changed. Instead of using the command

    equo repo mirrorsort sabayonlinux.org

    as shown in the Wiki at http://wiki.sabayonlinux.org/index.php?title=En:E

    instead, use the command

    equo repo mirrorsort sabayon-weekly

    as shown in the forum at http://forum.sabayon.org/viewtopic.php?t=24517#p1

    Now it works great! Issue solved and Sabayon 6.0 works excellent, including updating packages. It is also easy to change the colors of the highlighting and other features of Sulphur, the primary GUI-based package manager. There are configuration options in this flexible tool, and that's where they can be changed.

  7. says

    The only issue I have with Sabayon 6 – and this probably now applies to Sabayon 5.5 as well – is that the number of usable repositories and their access speed from my location in Concord, NH is extremely limited. In the 5.5 release, I found an Equo procedure where you can pass it an argument mirrorsort, which finds the most usable mirror sites, then, whether you use Equo or you use Sulphur or Entropy, it ought to select the most responsive mirror. Unfortunately there are no domestic sites that I've been able to find that work, and it's going on two weeks that this has been the case.

    I really like Sabayon, but if I cannot find, at least on a relatively consistent basis, a usable package download mirror site, I cannot see myself continuing to use this software very long. I asked about it, but those on IRC that evening were not aware of the issue and had no answers for me. If someone reads this and can suggest a working solution, I will look at it, but otherwise, the days I can continue to keep Sabayon are getting dated; I need a reliable, regularly up-datable system. Sabayon used to have a nice facility, and I could even tune the mirror sites, but for between two and three weeks now, this has no longer worked for me. Too bad; I hate to ditch this software, but unless I get an answer soon, this one may have to take a rest until mirror repository issues are adequately resolved for me.

  8. says

    Rob wrote:

    The last paragraph of your review mentions Sabayon 5. Perhaps you meant to write Sabayon 6?

    Oops! Thanks for catching that, I fixed it. :blush:

  9. acinic says

    I failed to install the Gnome version. KDE version not root mont ! In my case it failed Sabayon 6!

  10. says

    hpb wrote:

    Why not use “equo”? Then maybe you are not distracted by garish colors and confusing names which -in my opinion- have little to do with the quality of one of the best distro’s at the moment and should not take up such much space in a review. There are fare more good things to write about Sabayon, but then you have to dig a little deeper.

    It's certainly a viable option but I don't generally use the command line for software management, and I wonder how many other desktop users would do so. But I'm glad it's there as an option for those who prefer it.

  11. says

    I'm a bit of a distrohopper myself (with real hardware, not VMs) and Sabayon is one of my favorite distros so far.

    Also, Entropy Store has ratings and reviews. You usually complain when a distro doesn't have them because you like them in Mint, but didn'm mention that Sabayon has them too.

  12. hpb says

    Why not use "equo"? Then maybe you are not distracted by garish colors and confusing names which -in my opinion- have little to do with the quality of one of the best distro's at the moment and should not take up such much space in a review. There are fare more good things to write about Sabayon, but then you have to dig a little deeper.

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