Sabayon Linux - a Gentoo beauty - Overview & Tutorial - Page 5


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Post-installation configurations

Our system will boot now.

Sabayon GRUB menu

Sabayon users post install

Sabayon desktop post install

Package management

One of the things that interests most people is the issue of package management.

There is a desktop icon for Portato (a geeky abomination of Portage + Potato). This package management system will work OK in most cases, but the terminology used is somewhat confusing. The terms Emerge, Unmerge, Revert, and Ebuild are definitely Gentoo-like and should not feature in GUI-like package managers that are meant to serve both the power users and newbs alike.

Sabayon portato package manager

But the idea is pretty much the same. After finding the right application, you can install it by clicking on Emerge. The dependencies should be resolved automatically, unless they are missing for a particular reason (masked), in which case you'll hit a solid Gentoo snag.

While these small issues make a perfect sense for the typical Gentoo user, they should be hidden from the eyes of the common user seeking a painless experience.

This could be the downside of the Mini edition. Indeed, it is quite possible that the full version aims at bringing the new users as many programs as possible so that they should never bother with the cumbersome package management.

Still, the package management is probably the weakest side of the otherwise very powerful, sexy and streamlined distribution.

Multimedia codecs

As promised, they were there. The audio and video worked out of the box.

Sabayon Amarok

Sabayon SMPlayer

Flash

The Flash plugin for Firefox was not installed, but it took only 2 minutes to install it. I download the tar.gz archive from the Adobe website and executed the installation script (as a regular user, not su). After answering the three prompts by hitting ENTER, the Flash was installed.

Sabayon flash install

Sabayon Firefox with Flash

Applications

The Mini versions comes with a somewhat spartan repertoire of programs, but they can be easily replenished. Even so, the existing array is well-balanced and will get you going instantly. You will have productivity programs, like the Office suite, PDF software, a variety of audio and video applications, and more.

Sabayon apps 1

Sabayon apps 2

Negative sides

Well, I do not normally abuse a distribution in the tutorial meant to promote it, but some words of sobering are required. You should indeed expect a superb experience and will most likely never notice the tiny glitches. Still, the gap between the almost perfect live CD and the somewhat rusty post-installation is rather large.

The package management is clunky, there are some minor issues with resolution and overlapping GUI elements, and some of the typical tools a typical power user might expect are missing, like the vi text editor, for example. The Trash bin would not always empty and the SMPlayer sometimes caused the mouse cursor to blink. Again, these could only be limited to the Mini version.

Some links:

Sabayon website

Sabayon forums

Other links:

My Software & security articles

Conclusion

The live CD experience is absolutely phenomenal. Sabayon delivers a unique experience that will awe you. The installation is quite simple, except for the small issue of non-conventional default partition layout, which you can easily solve.

After Sabayon is installed, you will enjoy a solid and stable operating system. Some of the beauty, though, will be marred by tiny imperfections. The package manager is probably the sore point, the Achilles' Heel of the distribution. While it may be a challenge packing everything into a CD (compared to the full DVD), the fact a superbly flawless package manager like Synaptic works in Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS, which come on a CD, means it can and must be done.

However, you won't be disappointed. Sabayon is a great experience. When you take into account Sabayon is based on Gentoo makes the whole concept all the more amazing. Just remember it is not for everyone. And you might want to consider utilizing your bandwidth to the max. and download the full DVD version. Sabayon proves to be a remarkable achievement. It is a jewel, but it still requires some polishing to bring out the full shine.

Cheers.

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