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"Sabayon 13.04 is a modern and easy-to-use Linux distribution based on Gentoo, following an extreme yet reliable rolling-release model. This is a monthly release generated, tested and published by our build servers containing the latest and greatest collection of software available in the Entropy repositories. Linux kernel 3.8.8 with BFQ iosched and ZFS, GNOME 3.6.3, KDE 4.10.2, MATE 1.6, Xfce 4.10, LibreOffice 4.0, production-ready UEFI support and experimental systemd support are just some of the things you will find inside the box."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Gentoo-based, fast, choice of binary or source package management
Rigo is slow, and still a work in progress
I have been using Sabayon 13.04 Xfce for several days now, and I'm quite pleased. I was looking to try a distro based on Gentoo, but with easy installation, and Sabayon fits that bill. I find that it is quite fast on my Thinkpad T61. The Anaconda installer was easy and painless, as ever.
Rigo, the GUI package manager, is too slow for my tastes, I prefer managing packages from the console anyway, regardless of distro. In this respect, equo is simple and fast. I haven't tried using emerge (Gentoo) to manage packages, etc., but it is an option. However, the Sabayon maintainers do recommend that you choose either equo (binary) or emerge (source), and not mix the two, which makes sense.
I have both installed and updated software and the system a couple of times over the course of a few days, and everything has worked flawlessly so far.
I would recommend Sabayon to anyone interested in a solid, rolling release, Gentoo-based Linux OS. Everything has worked as it should, so far.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 3
Sometimes it works perfectly
others it just doesn’t even start
Over the years, I've rated Sabayon as high as 9/10 and as low as 4/10. This is a bleeding-edge distro, and sometimes the contents seem to have escaped rather than have been released. This time I tested 32-bit versions of both the Xfce and CoreCDX versions, and the results was the worst ever. The previous reviewers have been lucky: it seems to depend on your hardware.
The disks have options to check themselves, install, run live, run in safe mode, or run in console mode. Both passed their checks, but then locked up at various stages. Only the console live session ever finished loading, after which using startx or xinit locked up the system again. A little searching revealed I could install from the CLI. Unfortunately that installer insisted on either using the whole disk, having free space already available, or overwriting an existing partition — and it didn’t say which one! Was it going to destroy my guest partition (OK) or my working Linux (eek!)? I could have deleted the guest partition and run the Sabayon installer again, but who knows what it might have done.
I reported the video problem at the forum, but no help was available. Many others seemed to be having trouble, with posts like ‘X server will not start’ and even ‘Windows installation damaged’. Last time I reviewed Sabayon I suggested it was for those who could always fall back on Windows: it seems even that isn’t guaranteed.