Sabayon – Gentoo Linux for the masses

As the Sabayon slogan goes “Simplicity is sophistication”

SabayonGnomeDesktop#linux #gentoo #sabayon #Pixel2 #Pixel3
A different kind of Gentoo distribution

Gentoo Linux differs from many other Linux distributions in that packages are not pre-configured. Rather, the source code of those packages is downloaded and compiled locally. This is time-consuming and a real hassle for people like me who are just not that tech-savvy.

Along Comes Sabayon Linux

Sabayon is a Gentoo based Linux distribution that is user-friendly. There is a GUI installer to ease the whole process.

Go to the Sabayon website to get it. I downloaded the gnome version. Here are my notes of installation inside a virtualbox running on a Fedora host.

Process of Installation

After the liveCD boots up you will be inside a Gnome DE. (“Gnome,” in the Linux world, is pronounced “Ga-Nome” not “Nome.”) Finding the actual installation program takes some searching. Once you find it you can begin the installation process. I’ll leave the process of finding it to you. The installation is fairly friendly, but has some hitches if you’re like me.

The first thing you encounter when you start the installer is a welcome to Sabayon 18.04 message with a choice of languages to choose from. Naturally, I chose English (United States) and pressed continue.

Next I was confronted with a somewhat confusing screen of installation summary. There are four items on the screen. Keyboard, installation destination, time and date, and finally “network and hostname.” The “installation destination” selection indicates there is an error and that I should probably click that. I didn’t have to mess with any of the others.

I was then confronted with another confusing screen called “installation destination.” Immediately under that there is a button called done which can be selected. Below that you have to select how and where you want to install Sabayon Linux. Since my ATA vbox hard disk is pre-selected I just click done. This will automatically configure partitioning of my virtualbox hard disk.

After clicking done I have to wait about 20 seconds before it returned to the installation summary screen which caused me some concern that it might not be working. Furthermore, after returning to that screen the “begin installation” button was greyed out indicating that something was still amiss.

However after another wait of several seconds the “begin installation” button finally became clickable and I clicked it.

After that I came to the configuration screen for which I have been provided two options, set the root password and create a user. I did both, as should you. As an aside make sure when creating a user for yourself that you select make this user administrator. Then click “done.”

Meanwhile, as you do all this, installation is progressing in the background. You just have to sit back and wait until it’s done.

Meanwhile if you want to play around with gnome inside the live CD, you just have to press Ctrl alt down arrow. To go back press Ctrl alt up Arrow to watch the installation progress.

After installation is complete there will be a tiny notification at the bottom of your screen which says “Complete!” It’s really hard to notice. On the right side of the screen it says “Sabayon is now successfully installed and ready for you to use. Go ahead and reboot to start using it.”

So although I was worried about my installation media still being in place I went ahead and clicked quit. I did expect the system to reboot at that point, but apparently it just ends the installation program. To restart the system and boot into the new operating system you have to go to the upper right hand corner of the screen and click once you return to the desktop.

Booting into your new Linux installation

The boot screen features three small question marks that are highlighted one after another indicating that something’s happening in the background of an otherwise black screen. However after a not too long wait you’ll come to the welcome to Sabayon greeter screen on the main desktop. Installation and booting into the new system seemed fairly easy and quick. Booting the system once installed seem to go very fast.

Don’t close this welcome screen! It’s more than a standard welcome screen apparently. It has options to establish a password for a keyring, and installation of new software which you will probably want to have.

What you wind up with

One of the things I noticed right away was that Sabayon Linux is very compatible with virtualbox mode running full screen. That’s a great plus for people wanting to check it out without actually installing it directly to your hard drive.

Another thing I noticed was that it will play YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon videos, right out of the box. That is, as long as you use Google Chrome as your preferred browser which comes pre-installed. That’s another plus. No hassle there.

In my past experience with this operating system I know that you can get in trouble with dependencies when installing various software since software is compiled locally from the source code. However, if you’re the kind of person that likes to fiddle with your computer but not a real techy, who wants to be off the beaten path, and be different than a lot of people, then this Linux installation is easy to use, practical, and fun.

NOTE: This entire article was dictated using the WordPress App on a Google Pixel 2XL phone.

Upgrading to Fedora 28 from Fedora 27

Upgrading is slow but definitely worth it.

I am presently upgrading from Fedora 27 to Fedora 28, which as of writing just came out.

At the stage I am at now I have already undertaken all of the command line instructions and have rebooted the computer. The system has started the upgrade process in the reboot. It’s taking a while but I think it will be worth it.

In the meantime, I am without my computer. So I’m using my new Pixel 2XL phone to dictate this article. It makes a few mistakes but that’s ok.
I was once a big fan of rolling Linux distributions but sometimes found them unstable. Sometimes certain programs would just stop working, or the whole OS, which is part of the deal with rolling distributions. I always thought I wanted the bleeding edge of Linux software, something you can get with rolling distributions.

What what I found, however, was that I really didn’t have the stomach or patience to wait for those programs that stopped working to start working again or go through tedious and confusing steps to get the program that stopped working to work again, or get the whole OS up and going again.
I am no newbie to Linux. I’ve been using Linux since 1998. So in these 20 years I have used most of the major distributions, if not all. Pretty much you name it, I’ve run it.

What I’m using now is Fedora Linux. The reason I decided to go with Fedora is that Linus Torvalds uses it and he is the creator of Linux.

Furthermore, I discovered, unlike some other non-rolling distributions, Fedora Linux can be upgraded to the next version without reinstalling the whole software. Meanwhile, you get regular updates so your programs stay fairly bleeding edge.

Upgrading Fedora from one version to the next can be done easily either from the command line or from inside the desktop environment, (which in my case is KDE).

That’s what I’m doing now. I’ve upgraded, or rather am still upgrading, Fedora 27 to 28, all from the command line. It’s easy to find instructions how to do this by a simple Google search, or if you prefer, DuckDuckGo.

At a certain point in the installation procedure the computer automatically restarts to begin the actual update process. That takes time. Be prepared not to be able to use your computer for about 45 minutes or so, which explains why I’m dictating this article on my phone rather than typing it on my computer.

So if you’re thinking of upgrading, by all means do so. Just search Google for “upgrade Fedora 27 to Fedora 28.” Be prepared that this will take some time but it will be worth it in the end.

The process is now complete. My computer is back to normal. Everything is as it was but under the hood is the new Fedora 28 version of Linux.

Google Assistant vs Google Docs

Note: I wrote this article some time ago. I have an update on dictation of WordPress blogs here.
This is an example of speech recognition in Google Docs . What I like about using my headset and microphone is that when I use it for dictation it doesn’t cause the computer to stop listening every few seconds like it does with Google Assistant on my phone. The computer keeps listening even if I pause. I actually have to physically click on the big red stop button to get it to stop listening!

Of course I’m just discovering that it did stop listening and I had to re-click play. So I wonder if it stops automatically listening if I just pause too long . Let’s see.

Yep. It stopped listening alright, however it took about 20 or 30 seconds. That’s a lot longer and better than Google Assistant on my smartphone. The only problem I’m having with Google Docs is it doesn’t seem to be able to offer suggestions when something I dictated is typed incorrectly. There’s no auto-correct feature. I suppose that’s a small price to pay. In either case, when I dictate a document, I have to go over it and edit it manually anyway. Otherwise I’m going to wind up looking like this goose experiment.
I also find that I speak verbosely and have to cut down a lot of what I say when I get my hands on the keyboard. For the most part, this document was written by dictation with minor edits here and there.