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 wanted to check it out.

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.

Linux vs Microsoft: How Far Would I go?

Despite the existence of hundreds of Linux “distros” it basically amounts to two classes, and none play NBC.com.

My never-ending battle to stay as far away from Microsoft Windows as possible lost ground today.
I hate Windows. Have I ever told you this? It’s why I use Linux.
The other day I tried TrueOS and didn’t like it. I was trying to get as far away from Microsoft Windows as humanly possible. TrueOS is the new name for OpenBSD. The BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) is the open source version of Unix. When BSD stalled due to court cases, Linus Travalds came out with Linux, another Unix-like operating system, and the rest is history.
But BSD survived. Nowadays we have various versions like OpenBSD (now TrueBSD) and FreeBSD. The problem I found with TrueOS is it seems to be a developers platform, not a robust desktop end-loser platform for people like me.
So I went back to Linux, but what flavor of Linux?
For years I’ve been using Linux Mint, lately with the xcfe Desktop Environment on top.
When recently I revived my computer, I decided to explore around. I installed TrueOS, Linux Mint Mate, Linux Mint xfce, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Arch Linux, Manjaro xfce, Fedora xfce, Fedora Workstation, Debian, and Bodhi Linux. My computer design makes this painless to accomplish.
Here’s what I found. Despite the existence of hundreds of Linux “distros” it basically amounts to two classes. The RPM models and the DEB models. RPM models consist mainly of Red Hat Linux, Fedora, Arch and openSUSE (all of which I have used). The DEB models are based on Debian and consist of many distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Bodhi Linux.
Hands down, Linux Mint seems to be the most robust for out-of-the-box usage, but as with any Linux distro, you can work with whatever flavor of Linux you have and install almost anything to make it work and feel like whatever you desire.
Since I was trying to move away from Linux Mint (out of boredom), I tried many of the aforementioned distros, the last being Fedora Workstation which I installed this morning and uninstalled this afternoon.
Fedora Workstation comes with Gnome 3 Desktop Environment pre-installed, but it was easy to install xfce and make it like Fedora xfce!
Fedora Workstation is a great Linux distro, but alas. It sorely lacks codecs, the pieces of code that enable you to watch DVD’s, Twitter clips and YouTube. I managed to install the necessary codecs after hours of research, but when I tried to play Farmville2 on Facebook, found it wouldn’t and couldn’t load. (I don’t play that game, but my wife loves it so I tried it for testing purposes.) No matter what I did, spending hours, I couldn’t resolve this issue.
So I thought, “I bet if I went back to Linux Mint it would work.” Then I thought of a distro I hadn’t tried, Ubuntu Studio.
I am now running Ubuntu Studio and here’s what I found. It has all the codecs installed, it plays DVDs and YouTube and Farmville2 on Facebook. It plays music, you can make and edit movies, all kinds of goodies.
However, knowing me, I had to stretch the limit. I went to NBC.com to see if I could watch past episodes of recent TV shows.
Yes, and no. The video shows up, but so jerky and disjointed it was unwatchable.
Then I thought, “I bet if I was on Microsoft Windows it would play,” and you know what? I know it would.
Which brings me to the ultimate question. How far am I willing to go with this? Would I ever switch back to Microsoft Windows?
The answer, of course, is no, I wouldn’t, but I’m disappointed my Linux codecs won’t play that content.C7ErZCdWkAAp9yv

Off the Beaten Track

Sometimes I wander in thoughts and in actions.
Hiking the Adirondacks as a kid, I remember there were are all kinds of marked trails. They’ve got little signs tacked to trees marking colors. In some places, where there were no trees, they painted colors on the rock. These are the marked, well beaten trails. Sometimes they had helpful wooden signs posted here and there showing you the trail map. There was no GPS back then, but we always carried a topographical trail map in our pockets.
And then there was bushwhacking. We’d purposely wander off the beaten track. That’s where we’d get lost if we didn’t know what we were doing. My father always seemed to know what he was doing. We rarely got lost. Maybe we had awkward shortcuts, but never would we be lost. The moss always grew on the north side of the tree trunks.
It was not without adventure including bushwhacking itself and the occasional rattlesnake hiding under a rock or rotting tree branch.
Bushwhacking meant making your way through the thicket – broken branches and bushes, trudging over leaves and pine needles, encountering gnats, flies, and annoying threads left behind by spiderwebs. Sometimes there’d be some cool rocks to climb on. We had a collapsible metal cup we’d whip out when you came to a spring or stream, and we always had canteens too.
The Boyd solution to the snakes was simple enough. They were more scared of you than you were of them, my Dad used to say, so make a lot of noise. Get a big stick and whack at the tall grass on the hill you are climbing. Never got bit. Saw a lot of rattlesnakes and copperheads, though. My older brothers used to kill them by beating them with big sticks. Saw black bears, deer and pretty vistas.
Every aspect of that childhood still affects the way I am in front of my computer as an adult.
I prefer lesser known trails. Sometimes I prefer to bushwhack. Sometimes I get lost.
My computer hobby is this: the operating system that makes the thing work and the various desktop environments that sit on top of it. I’m always fiddling, never satisfied. My wife chuckles at me for this. “Are you installing Linux again?” “Well I screwed up something. It won’t boot, so I’m just reinserting the DVD. Don’t worry, I’ve been through this a million times.”
In 1983, Brooklyn, New York, I had a black screen with green words on it. That was what a computer looked like. It was a Tandy Radio Shack running the TRSDOS operating system. On that machine I used my first word-processor, wrote my first book, and learned BASIC programming.
Oh, why do I bore you? Windows came along. OS2 came along. Linux came along. FreeBSD and it’s latest incarnation TrueOS using Lumina -tried that too. Dabbled with Solaris. The worldwide web came along, domain names, another book, Turbo Pascal, perl and PHP. Added a wonderful wife, a job, pets, smart phones, tablets, laptops, and self-built computers, and here I sit, on my days off, fiddling.
Gotta stop now. See what’s going on in one of my other workspaces downloading Debian with their weird jigdo file download thingamabob. I’ll just press crl-alt right arrow and this whole screen flips over to the next one to see whuz up. I’ve got seven different screens called workspaces, all running different programs, or sometimes just there, all with different window background pictures, many that I took myself.

Unkaputing my Kaput Computer

Suffice it to say you don’t need anything Microsoft to have a perfectly wonderful PC.

My poor computer, running the Linuxmint operating system, cool though it is with it’s huge RAM and 2.5 terabytes of storage, needs servicing.
Oh don’t have me rant about how I seriously dislike having to spend actual money to have virus protection on a Windows machine, or actual money for the operating system itself. Or that Windows is not the operating system on those devices anyway. It’s still MSDOS with an interface layer so you don’t have to use the command prompt directly like it was before Windows came along. But I digress. I’ve been ranting. Suffice it to say you don’t need anything Microsoft to have a perfectly wonderful PC.
My computer was built by us assembling the parts, such as the tower, the motherboard, disk drives, fans, etc. It was a blank machine with no OS, and I installed the easiest and best operating system on it, Linuxmint, built on top of Ubuntu. Still works, but the DVD writer is kaput. And it’s dirty inside.
Time to get it serviced. I’ll pay someone. Too much for me to bother with personally anymore.