As a reviewer my first thought on loading a newly installed distro is to open the screenshot application to record my first stumblings around the desktop. It's not a big deal but there isn't one so I moved directly to updating my fledgling system and what is that in the Gnome Panel notification area? It's a shield that looks remarkably like the one in the Window system tray indicating updates are available. Nice choice. Looking reminiscent of Windows may enrage some Linux fanboys but for anyone new to Linux with some computer experience these similarities simply ease you in.
After finding a little yellow shield in the system notification area Sabayon begins to lose some it's polish. Left clicking the shield open a panel labeled Magneto Application Updates Notifier. Application and Latest Version are the two headings and sys-libs/glibc at version 2.12.2 was listed. OK, I'll update this single package and get down to business. There's a button with a friendly green tick labeled Load Package Manager. I pushed this a couple of times and nothing seemed to happen. I clicked close and when back to the shield and started over. Somewhere in my frowning the Entropy Store 1.0_rc10 (as entropy-nopriv) window opened. That's a mouthful, "Entropy Store" might've been nicer...I'm beginning to feel like a beta tester.
This is the second time I've run the update too, the first time it seemed to be running so slowly I opted to experiment with the Skip mirror button. It seemed an obvious choice, if one mirror is slow switch to another...the installer merrily skipped through several more worldwide then after a couple more minutes returned an error and asked me to read the terminal output. The terminal output was less that transparent but mentioned updating repositories. So I started again. I think I managed to update the repos, but I'm less that sure about that and then I started the update again. OK, I'm not touching the Skip Mirror button this time, I'll just let is roll. There is no question about it, this is without doubt the longest system update I have ever ever run. Over an hour, I have no screenshots, I cannot install any of the handful of productivity apps I manage my day with and I have been able to do no work...
Still, this is Linux kernel 2.6.39, bang up-to-date. A nice Sabayon branded LibreOffice 3.3.3 in pre-installed. Brasero is again the disc burner of choice and Exaile is the Media Management app. Exaile is more Clementine or Banshee than Rhythmbox/Amorok so it's not bad to start with. Flash works out of the box which is more than could be said for the pulseaudio sound and sadly as an initial update has yet to completed it's not possible to try to install proprietary nVidia drivers.
Finally, after 5 hours the updating completed and I congratulated myself on my pig headedness. Gnome was all to shit, gtk themes were broken, I had no sound and no way to access any GUI tools. I thought I'd get the nVidia drivers installed and try Twinview.
~/Downloads $ sh "x11-drivers-nvidia-drivers-96.43.20#2.6.39-sabayon~1.etp"
x11-drivers-nvidia-drivers-96.43.20#2.6.39-sabayon~1.etp: line 1: syntax error near unexpected token `newline'
x11-drivers-nvidia-drivers-96.43.20#2.6.39-sabayon~1.etp: line 1: `<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
The only thing left to do now is map a network drive to my server and copy up my screenshot. Then I can reclaim the wasted space Sabayon 6 is taking up on my hard drive.
Sabayon is a Linux distribution.
We aim to deliver the best user experience "out of the box" by providing the latest open source technologies in an elegant format.
In Sabayon everything should just work. We offer a bleeding edge operating system that is both stable and reliable.
Clearly, Sabayon fails in this objective. When I added experimental repositories to my Debian Squeeze install I expected to update and end up in dependency hell with a testing 3.0.x kernel, a messed up Gnome install, some compiling and a lot of hammering flat to do. Credit to Debian, that worked out after some small tidying I did have a working, productive system at the end of it.
After simply using the GUI tools out of the box with Sabayon I have a hamstrung installation, I have no propriety graphics drivers, no sound out of the box and Gnome butchered worse than in a Wheezy upgrade. Far from being bleeding edge, stable and reliable I find a system that's not particularly bleeding edge and falls down after one marathon (5 hours!) post install update. Far from delivering the best user experience “out-of-the-box” Sabayon delivers an unpolished turd out-of-the-box. If you want the aims Sabayon has set itself then look to Linux Mint, those guys have it sorted.
Sabayon does show some potential though and I'll come back in a year or so to check on their progress with Sabayon 7 or 8. However, 6 is a complete mess.