The other reason for me to look at it again was that I read somewhere Sabayon was recommended for Mandriva users or the group of people who would choose and be happy with Mandriva. I've had a look at the Gnome, Kde and Gamer Live DVD's a few times in the past but always felt quite ambivalent about this distribution, despite the music playing at startup and the heavy theming and colourful backgrounds that gave Sabayon a fun character. But I used to like Mandriva and I like light systems using Xfce4 or LXDE, so these spins should be right for me, right?
In 5.3 Sabayon comes with a much cleaner more professional looking default background in dark blue. Not too heavy on the eyes the way I like it, however compared to previous releases it's also easy their most boring background so far. You can't have everything.
|Login manager with default 5.3 theme|
First impressions: The Live CD took its sweet time to boot, and the hard drive install in Virtualbox seemed to take even longer to come back up. Anyone who knows me going on about 'the one with the Milestone' because of the time it takes to do anything will know this is not a good start. The LXDE install and live CD on the other side seemed a bit more responsive. On a positive note, I later revisited and decreased Ram in Virtualbox to 256MB. After both reported in the beginning they were unable to find the hard drive they managed to boot a while later, coming out of a blank screen. However, later on they were on several occasions unable to shut down, and trying to boot again became hit and miss. Even more bizarrely, I could not get Sabayon to boot at all on my low-powered physical machine. Mini 1120NR
|Choosing your language|
|Options for partitioning and encryption|
|Installing Lxde from live CD|
Xfce4 is my desktop of choice and I spend about 95% of my time in it. Booting back into what is identified as Xfce 4.7.0 I was pleased to see menu layout and desktop remained unaltered, and in Sabayon it even still comes with the old Rodent theme. Several other themes like the prominent Tango are also available. The LXDE desktop is a standard affair. It looks nice and crisp too and comes with a few more Sabayon themed backgrounds.
Fonts look good without any adjusting necessary and are of an easy to read size, Firefox presents plenty of links in the Bookmarks Toolbar to make it easy to contact the community and go to forums, bugzilla, wiki and website etc. to get help. On LXDE the menu has more links easily accessible in the sub-group Sabayon. This is probably what the previous author meant when talking about a friendly alternative to Mandriva. There is also an update notifier (Magneto) in your lower panel, again with helpful links to website, package manager and a web interface for searching the package database.
|The updater in action|
|Sulfur - the front end to Entropy|
|Fonts in Xfce4|
|Lxde with alternate wallpaper|
In terms of a light desktop it disappointed a bit.
Good installer, easy to use and full of choices without overwhelming the new user
Virtualbox and mouse integration working from the start
A very standard Xfce
Good looking fonts
Helpful links and pointers how to use the system everywhere
Great package manager works well and fast, updates without hiccups, good package search
Friendly update-notifier with links to package search and website
Xfce and LXDE versions fit on a CD rather than the DVD-size download of bigger environments
Gnome network manager applet used
Bit slow in loading and normal operation for a low resource edition
Huge size of 628.6MB for Xfce4, Firefox, package manager and little else
No OpenOffice.org or email client installed despite the above size
No codecs or media player in the Xfce and LXDE spins
Does not appear efficient relative to size
Appears to need upwards of 512MB memory for smooth loading and shutdown (confirmed)
As before I feel Sabayon is ok but can't provide a compelling reason why I would switch. Particularly since I like my desktop lean and fast and Sabayon even with Xfce4 or LXDE feels kind of heavy. I just don't quite feel at home, but with some getting used to I could see myself appreciate it more. The package tool looks quite appealing if I ever get tired of doing things in Slackware. But then again, that's just too easy .
Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 6" Display, White - 2nd Generation
A few more screenshots because it was such fun:
|Useful links in Firefox and update-notifier|
|Terminal in Xfce4|
|Sabayon package portal|
|Sulfur - options|
|Sulfur - advanced mode|
|User feedback made easy|
|Adding packages - visible feedback in terminal|
|...running it all inside Virtualbox|