Sabayon 11 Review
The 11′th iteration of Sabayon has been released, as Fabio Erculiani announced on the official Sabayon page, stating that “this is a release you cannot miss!”
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Those who don’t know, Sabayon Linux is a Gentoo-based rolling-release Linux distribution created by Fabio Erculiani that pursues the “Out of the box” thinking that’s available in both x86 and x64 architectures. It comes in many flavours and is available for users of all the leading Desktop Enviroments like KDE, GNOME, MATE, XFCE, and others.
Since it’s a rolling release version, those who are already using Sabayon don’t have to worry much, they are already rolling the latest version.
So what’s new in Sabayon 11?
According to the Fabio’s announcement, Sabayon 11 comes with Linux Kernel 3.7 with BFQ iosched, GNOME 3.6.2, KDE 4.9.5 (upgraded to 4.10.1 as soon as it’s possible), Xfce 4.10, LibreOffice 3.6.3.
It also brings suppot for infamous EFI/UEFI and UEFI SecureBoot; greatly improved NVIDIA Optimus support through Bumblebee; MATE 1.4 for those being nostalgic for GNOME 2.x; a selection of MySQL flavors, including Google MySQL and MariaDB.
It benefits from the huge repository of Gentoo and there are around 14,000 packages available in the repositories.
I opted to boot into the LiveCD enviroment so I could lurk around while it was installing, but let’s focus on the installer first.
The install process is fairly straightforward, but it has more to show than let’s say, a Debian install process. The slideshow that keeps you from getting bored is pretty simple and neat, displaying the main features of the distribution, which are centered around the newest software. It tries to show that Sabayon is all about bleeding-edge multimedia experience, while providing a stable working enviroment.
The Nvidia Optimus and Bumblebee support is a nice addition, as I find myself using a laptop with discrete Nvidia video card, so skipping the whole tedious process of installing and making the integrated and dedicated graphics work seamlessly is really welcomed, especially when you get this out of the box.
The booting process is graphical and works just fine (unlike other distros I know), and if you are a bit nosy and want to know what’s going on behind the scene you can always hit F2 for verbose mode.
Once you’re in the login screen (and if you installed the GNOME edition), you can also choose to long into FluxBox, Sabayon Media Center or the XBMC session, and of course GNOME itself.
I must admit that the GNOME 3.x enviroment is not my favourite one, but in Sabayon it feels right - simple and straightforward.
The default browser is Chromium, and the default IM client is Empathy. Since I am a Pidgin and Firefox user I head to install those. It comes with Flash Player installed so you won’t have to worry about that bit. Other default applications are LibreOffice suite, Transmission for downloading torrents and GIMP. I was surprised to see that VLC was missing.
Speaking of package management, the default package manager in Sabayon is called Entropy which takes the best from Portage, Yum and APT. The Graphical Package Manager is called Rigo which has a really simple to use interface.
I find Sabayon to be a great distribution. If you have not tried it yet, please do.
Based on: Gentoo
Architecture: i586, x86_x64
Release model: Rolling distro, but with official releases
Desktop Enviroments: Cinnamon, Enlightenment, GNOME, KDE, Fluxbox, LXDE, MATE, Openbox, XFCE.