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.

Too Many Options

I cannot decide. There are too many options. A Microsoft Windows person would have no idea.
It’s all the fault of Linux, or more properly “GNU/Linux” pronounced “Gah-New Lin-ux” or sometimes “Gah-New Lin-ox.” Much to the distress of the GNU people who provide all the software for Linux and BSD systems, nobody wants to say “Gan-New” before “Linux.” The harsh reality is this: the vast majority of the public just calls it Linux.
First decision: Which Linux? There are hundreds and hundreds of versions of the open-source, free operating system. It’s already running on devices you probably own, like your modem, router, Android Phone, tablet and smart TV. At my house it also runs my Desktop Computer.
I feel secure in Linux. No viruses. No compromises. Safe, functional, beautiful, incredibly powerful.
So for the first choice I decided I wanted a “rolling distribution,” or one that once installed, it never had to be installed again. It will update itself forever, including the Linux kernel. I am tired of the versions that get outdated and have limited support after an expiration date. There is no need anymore to put up with that. There are both stable and “bleeding edge” rolling versions of Linux out there that do everything that Ubuntu or Mint do. Tough it out.
Next I needed it to be functional. Out of the box working, for the most part. At least in major areas. I shouldn’t have to have a command line prompt and build the entire operating system from the ground up like with Arch or Gentoo. I have no time for that. I wanted a version of Linux which made disk partitioning easy and left me with some kind of graphical interface when I’m done installing and at the same time which gives me complete control over what I’m putting on my computer.
Finally, I wanted to be slightly off the beaten path, but not too far off. I didn’t want Debian/Ubuntu/Mint family versions, or Red Hat versions, Gentoo derivatives or Slackware. Something different. I decided on Arch derivatives, and I narrowed that down to one: Antergos-OS. I did, in the process, over the years, explore all of the above options.
Second decision: What desktop environment? This is where Microsoft Window users are lost. They just have to accept whatever Microsoft has decided for them. They can customize their desktop to some degree, but not with the flexibility and complete range of power that someone using Linux has. In Linux we have many “DEs” such as KDE Plasma, Gnome 3, Mate, Xfce, Cinnamon, Deepin, Enlightenment, Openbox, Lxde and so on. Each of them handles things a little different, look a little different, have different functionalities, strengths and weaknesses.
The Desktop Environment is where I falter.
The desktop environment sits on top and is what your Window Manager serves up to you to interact with your operating system – I think.
For years I used a well-known desktop environment called Mate, and pronounced it “Mate” like the British version of a friend. Only recently I figured out it’s not pronounced like a British friend, but a two syllable word “ma-tay,” which I have trouble getting my head around.
I also used Cinnamon, but didn’t like it so much. Mate was my DE for years.
Then I got bored with it. I tried Unity. Hated it. So I went with Xfce, which is pronounced exactly like the letters of the alphabet. I couldn’t figure out and didn’t seem to like KDE Plasma. We’ll get back to that.
Then I migrated to Gnome and discovered that half the YouTube world mispronounces it as “Nome” when the developers want us to pronounce it “Gah-Nome” because the G means something – what I don’t know, but it’s really supposed to be pronounced “Gah-Nome.”
Then I went back and looked at KDE Plasma, the most popular of all.
Now I have all three on my computer. I can switch from one to the other: Gnome, Xfce and KDE Plasma. I have them all set up. They are all beautiful, have rotating wallpapers, intense functionality and so on. I can do anything. I can place Facebook games, watch Netflix, watch Amazon Videos and YouTube, work on my spreadsheet, write and update this blog – all from any of them. It’s hard to remember which DE I’m in at the moment. Let me check … Behold – I’m in Xfce, which is weird because for the last few weeks I’ve been inside Gnome and the last two days I’ve been setting up Plasma. Xfce was my first of these three.
With it all set up so nicely, I can’t decide. I’m confused. I don’t know what to do.
I guess if you don’t like this kind of problem and like having to pay money for an anti-virus subscription just to protect your computer from software you have to download from questionable sources, then go on using MS Windows. In Linux all our software comes from trusted “repositories” and is safe and sound, and we don’t have virus problems. See my earlier post about Linux Virus protection.
So for now, if I get bored, I just switch. Why should I be nailed down to some boring window environment when I can have anything I want and complete freedom with my computer?
Those are some of my reasons I run Linux on my desktop computer.