Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

SabayonLinux 3.26 on my HP Pavilion Laptop

Filed under

SabayonLinux 3.26 was released on Jan 7, only a short time after 3.25. This maintenance release is the last of the 3.2 series and the team will now concentrate on 3.3. While many reviews shout accolades to this rising star, Tuxmachines once again suffered a loss of data making our experience a bit mixed. This is a short description of our time with SabayonLinux.

Since SabayonLinux is based on gentoo and should really amount to a fully functional gentoo system without all the work, this system is still falling a bit short of that perceived goal. But not by much. Without the loss of data, the time spent configuring hardware and services wouldn't be begrudged. However, upon install, I was left to spend a coupla hours learning grub and getting back into my other systems. The loss of data isn't confined to that unpleasantness. Take a hint from Tuxmachines, don't try to use a shared home partition.

I have openSUSE 10.2 installed on the machine I used for SabayonLinux, but am still searching for that near-perfect system. openSUSE falls short in two mostly insignificant areas - or one mostly insignificant and one a bit less so. I mentioned the fugly font situation in my review of openSUSE, but I was to discover I'm having problems with the video players and .bin files. I can live without watching certain video formats, but I've grown quite spoiled in the area of font rendering.

The boot phase and desktop is very much in the tradition of Sabayon as I've known it. It is different from much of the pack while being very tasteful and attractive. This latest incarnation features customized splashes and graphics in peachy orangy hues. It's nice looking, even if my description doesn't express it. The fonts are much better in SabayonLinux out of the box that I've experienced with openSUSE even after experimenting and tweaking. The system features KDE 3.5.5, kernel 2.6.19, Xorg 7.1.99, gcc 4.1.1, and lots of nice software. The desktop includes a nice wallpaper, lots of transparency, and the Kickoff menu. So it makes a good second impression.

However, that second impression was marred by the first. The livecd bootsplash lists several boot options. These include SabayonLinux, a Music Edition choice, a Quake4 demo, and an Internet Kiosk NX mode, as well as text and gui installs. I wasn't having the best of luck in livecd mode, so after my second lock-up I decided to boot into the gui install mode. This option boots into a fluxbox desktop and starts the anaconda installer. It is your basic anaconda installer, with a few of the tedious steps removed. I supposed I was still undecided on some points and while setting up the partitions I defined my /boot, /home, and /. The first of my mistakes. The second mistake was that I chose not to install a bootloader as I find openSUSE's quite attractive. I figured I could edit the bootloader to include SabayonLinux later as I do on my desktop. Well, SabayonLinux did abide by my decision not install a bootloader, but it still overwrote the grub.conf/menu.lst with empty files. Wtf? Being a lilo person up until the install of openSUSE on this laptop, I was a bit out of my element. It took well over an hour (probably closer to two) for me to read up and fix the issue. Quite annoying. Ok, I admit, very annoying.

My third mistake was (naming a shared home partition and) using the same username as used on openSUSE. When I finally got grub squared away and got back onto openSUSE, I found all my files and data in /home/srlinuxx gone and nothing in their place. No skeleton files, no Desktop, no .kde or anything. WTF? So, the next coupla hours were spent restoring openSUSE to a usuable state. I've been installing various Linux distros for a long time now, and have never had this happen before. Very, very annoying.

The other problems with SabayonLinux can probably be attributed to my lack of knowledge, at least to a large degree. I've been using gentoo a long time as my main os, and my workhorse system has been in place so long that I may have forgotten more than I recall. Perhaps things have changed a bit as well. So, hardware detection and setup are other areas in which I'm having problems.

The graphics are detected and configured correctly. Nvidia drivers are loaded and a 1200x800 desktop results. It looks really nice. However my sound is not working. I've booted up perhaps a dozen livecds on this new laptop and SabayonLinux is the only system that does not configure the sound correctly. I see a lot of "dummy" modules loaded for it and trying to modprobe the correct modules results in 'module not found.' I'm going to have to rebuild the kernel it looks like.

The next issue is almost embarrassing to mention as I'm sure it's my own fault. Getting wireless to work is not really a problem, but keeping it after reboot is. I use ndiswrapper to utilize the windows driver for my wireless chip and have no problems there. I must first rmmod bcm43xx and then modprobe ndiswrapper to get the hardware working. Knetworkmanager can then connect to my access point most of the time. Sometimes I have to iwlist scan before it will see them. I'm not sure what's up with that. But the problem lies in having to do this each boot. I put ndiswrapper in the /etc/modules.d/autoload/kernel file and have even put bcm43xx in the modules.blacklist file, however each boot bcm43xx is loaded first and my wireless chip doesn't work. As stated, I'm sure this is a short-coming of my own and I can work this issue out, but it's not very newbie friendly. I guess as long as I'm rebuilding the kernel for sound support, I can take out bcm43xx to solve that. Big Grin

The next issue is once again my fault I'm sure. But I experience occasional lock-ups. I've tried using noapic which seems to lessen the occurrences, but it still happens. I'm going to have to explore and experiment with other boot options I guess to get around that, in hopes it can be cured. Where the one boot where the keyboard quit working after 30 seconds fits in I'm not sure.

My next issue is that same mplayer .bin issue experienced with openSUSE. This head scratcher is very puzzling. I've installed addition codecs and rebuilt mplayer on both systems, and have not figured this one out yet. But I had hopes it'd work in SabayonLinux.

The final issue I'd like to point out is erratic touchpad performance. The pointer does not move smoothly and at times stops. At other times it seems to have a mind of its own. This works flawlessly in openSUSE and all the other livecds I tested. So, this is yet another area I'd have to bone-up on if I wish to use SabayonLinux.

Here's the rub: I got this laptop for Christmas and I was wanting to get a working Linux install without a lot of fuss, muss, work, and time. That's the whole point of using a binary distro like openSUSE or SabayonLinux. If I wanted to rebuild kernels and applications, spend hours googling, and reading howtos I could have just installed Gentoo from scratch.

SabayonLinux looks real nice and includes the cool 3D effects of XGL and AIXGL (which I haven't bothered to test), but all in all, openSUSE is closer to working more properly than SabayonLinux. To be quite honest, I think I will not even bother working out these issues as time is of the essence. I know SabayonLinux does nicely with desktops and the developers are a small team. Their efforts are highly commended and they have garnered lots of nice reviews. But I don't think SabayonLinux is for my HP Pavilion laptop and my goals for it. I admit I'm still a laptop newbie and I sure could get to know my hardware really well if I choose to persue SabayonLinux. Smile

Previous attempts:

UPDATE: 01/13/07 - I've worked through or around most of the issues I complained about in this article, but one. This last one is the deal breaker though. SabayonLinux still intermittently locks up - tight. No sysrq dance to the rescue. So, I think I give up for sure this time. But as stated, I think Sabayon has lots of good qualities and would make some folks a real nice system - it just doesn't work well on my HP laptop.

Never. Ever. Use. Shared. Partitions.

...except for the swap Smile

re: Never. Ever. Use. Shared. Partitions.

Yeah, no sh*t.

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Yeah I have used this distro

Yeah I have used this distro once before.
I had trouble initially (not just this distro but all kernels prior to 2.6.19 have broken acpi for my HP Pavillion laptop, and I am yet to try 2.6.19, will probably build an LFS soon to stay vanilla)
This distro was the worst though, the version prior to last failed to boot at all into any graphics on the last release which caused me great frustration. I finally got it to boot eventually, with a broken acpi (noacpi caused it to hang???) so my system was burning up at 70C trying to run compiz without hardware acceleration. (Was not happy Sad )

I looked up on the disk and the reported ati driver that came with the distro was different to the one on the disk and as I decided to install this distro onto the disk and sort out the problems from there, they seemed easy enough to fix, rebuild the kernel to use the then experimental acpi-fix and get the latest ati driver which had full support for my card and in x86-64.

The install seemed to go without worry, I installed it on a clean hard disk, the disks unmounted and remounted cleanly afterwards so I was happy to risk rebooting to go into lilo in openSuse to add the new kernel.

Bang! I hit the same problem I had as you guys, no bootloader even after I said don't install one. No openSuse install disk to hand, just overwrote the dvdrw for this broken distro. so from here I had to install the only system I had to hand, a mandriva disk. I then had to boot into this system, add openSuse to the lilo menu and boot back into that system to delete the mandriva disto I don't want and clear that dvdrw so I never make the same mistake again.

Distro shows a lot of promise, but when I 'complained' on the forum that my card was unsupported in the version of the ati driver that was on disk i was pointed to a page showing the card running without hardware acceleration that the card was supported. I figure that was some troll so I never followed up the matter, but I kept an eye on this distro, when the installer works I may try it, but I will have probably just learnt to install a vanilla gentoo by then.

I have built an LFS ( distro on 2 machines before now, blindingly fast as I only install a basic setup, basic firewall and then KDE with full graphics support. I have no need for the likes of samba and cups and gnome a lot of the time, they are fantastic projects but not needed for my everyday use, i dabble with them on a distro where they come install, but I know what I use and so I prefer just to have that (a problem on rpm distro's imho).

Well I have a slightly worse opinion of this distro than most but nice to read a review from someone interested about it.

For the bcm43xx issue, write a simple init script to rmmod the bcm43xx module and modprobe the ndiswrapper.
That's what I am doing in openSuse 10.2, nice the kernel has experimental support for bcm43xx at last but I have a bcm4318 which from what I have heard doesn't work without the windows driver being loaded in some form.

re: Yeah I have used this distro

At least it didn't eat my partition table this time. Actually, come to think of it, it would have only taken me 10 minutes to fix that. Big Grin


For the bcm43xx issue, write a simple init script to rmmod the bcm43xx module and modprobe the ndiswrapper.

I'd probably stick those commands in the local.start file (which is gentoo's equivalent to rc.local).

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

bcm43xx issue

It doesn't matter what you do, as long as it's built into the kernel, this little bastard of a driver will be detected and loaded. Hal or udev or some running process has to do with that. I've been fiddling with sabayon on my hp laptop (dv6119) for about a week or so now, so bear with me.

I'm used to the barebones type distros, and only decided to try sabayon because it was hailed as one of the best 64bit distros out there.

I've learned you've either got to rename the actual driver and suffer with a startup error message, or rebuild the kernel without support for the bcm43xx module which will be done eventually anyway.

ndiswrapper works fine on most hp laptops with the bcm wifi chip.

I'm still undecided on this distro, but I do give them plenty of props for a job well done on setting up a gentoo based system fast and pretty damn accurately.

btw: you may want to try out the irqpoll boot parameter if your headphone jack and/or usb mass storage gives you a problem. worked for me.

re: bcm43xx issue

debauchery1st wrote:

btw: you may want to try out the irqpoll boot parameter if your headphone jack and/or usb mass storage gives you a problem. worked for me.

Oh no kidding? I'd given up on getting that earphone jack to work. In fact, you may have noticed, I've practically ignored its existence - forgetting to even mention it in my "laptop" articles. Wow, I'll try that. Thanks.

Yeah, I keep trying Sabayon. One of these days it'll be ready for me. ...or me for it. Big Grin

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

4 Neat New GTK Themes for Your Linux Desktop

The new Yaru/Communitheme theme might be the talk of the Ubuntu town right now, but it’s not the only decent desktop theme out there. If you want to give your Linux desktop a striking new look ahead of the autumn then the following quad-pack of quality GTK themes might help you out. Don’t be put off by the fact you will need to manually install these skins; it’s pretty to install GTK themes on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS above, providing you set hidden folders to show (Ctrl + H) in Nautilus first. Read more Also: Getting Things GNOME

Python wriggles onward without its head

At the third annual PyBay Conference in San Francisco over the weekend, Python aficionados gathered to learn new tricks and touch base with old friends. Only a month earlier, Python creator Guido van Rossum said he would step down as BDFL – benevolent dictator for life – following a draining debate over the addition of a new way to assign variables within an expression (PEP 572). But if any bitterness about the proposal politics lingered, it wasn't evident among attendees. Raymond Hettinger, a Python core developer, consultant and speaker, told The Register that the retirement of Python creator Guido van Rossum hasn't really changed things. "It has not changed the tenor of development yet," he said. "Essentially, [Guido] presented us with a challenge for self-government. And at this point we don't have any active challenges or something controversial to resolve." Read more

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • How to Install R on Ubuntu 18.04
  • How to Install HTTP Git Server with Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Everything You Need to Know about Linux Containers, Part I: Linux Control Groups and Process Isolation
  • Robert Roth: Five or More GSoC
  • Adventures with NVMe, part 2
    A few days ago I asked people to upload their NVMe “cns” data to the LVFS. So far, 643 people did that, and I appreciate each and every submission. I promised I’d share my results, and this is what I’ve found:
  • The Next Challenge For Fwupd / LVFS Is Supporting NVMe SSD Firmware Updates
    With UEFI BIOS updating now working well with the Fwupd firmware updating utility and Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) for distributing these UEFI update capsules, Richard Hughes at Red Hat is next focusing on NVMe solid-state drives for being able to ship firmware updates under Linux. Hughes is in the early stages at looking to support NVMe firmware updates via LVFS/fwupd. Currently he is hoping for Linux users with NVMe drives to send in the id-ctrl identification data on your drives to him. This data will be useful so he knows what drives/models are most popular but also for how the firmware revision string is advertised across drives and vendors.
  • [Older] Language, Networking Packages Get Updates in Tumbleweed
    There were two openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this past week that mostly focused on language and network packages. The Linux Kernel also received an update a couple days ago to version 4.17.13. The packages in the 20180812 Tumbleweed snapshot brought fixes in NetworkManager-applet 1.8.16, which also modernized the package for GTK 3 use in preparations for GTK 4. The free remote desktop protocol client had its third release candidate for freerdp 2.0.0 where it improved automatic reconnects, added Wave2 support and fixed automount issues. More network device card IDs for the Intel 9000 series were added in kernel 4.17.13. A jump from libstorage-ng 4.1.0 to version 4.1.10 brought several translations and added unit test for probing xen xvd devices. Two Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures fixes were made with the update in postgresql 10.5. Several rubygem packages were updated to versions 5.2.1 including rubygem-rails 5.2.1, which makes the master.key file read-only for the owner upon generation on POSIX-compliant systems. Processing XML and HTML with python-lxml 4.2.4 should have fewer crashes thanks to a fix of sporadic crashes during garbage collection when parse-time schema validation is used and the parser participates in a reference cycle. Several YaST packages receive updates including a new ServiceWidget to manage the service status with yast2-ftp-server 4.1.3 as well with yast2-http-server, yast2-slp-server and yast2-squid 4.1.0 versions.
  • Red Hat Inc Risk Points versus Technology
  • 10 Efficient Raspberry Add-ons To Enhance Performance - Part 8
    Sometimes you may find yourself in great need to improve the functionality of your Raspberry Pi. There is a good chance your Raspberry does not support the functionality you want. There is also a chance that it supports your dream functionality but with the help of an external tool. An add-on in other words. It is pretty obvious that your dream add-on exists in the market or someone somewhere is cracking an algorithm to build. Never mind, here we compile a list of the best add-ons to get for your Raspberry in 2018.
  • Secure Email Service Tutanota sees F-Droid Release
    Back in February, I reviewed an email provider called Tutanota. If you read the article, you will remember that I thought very highly of the service. In my eyes, there were very few downsides to using the encrypted mail service, one of them being that you couldn’t use third-party email clients like Thunderbird for desktop computers or K-9 Mail for mobile devices.
  • Motorola Announces Android Pie Updates for 8 smartphones excluding Moto E5 & G5
  • How To Unsend Emails On Gmail For Android?
  • Nerd Knobs and Open Source in Network Software
    Tech is commoditizing. I've talked about this before; I think networking is commoditizing at the device level, and the days of appliance-based networking are behind us. But are networks themselves a commodity? Not any more than any other system. We are running out of useful features, so vendors are losing feature differentiation. This one is going to take a little longer… When I first started in network engineering, the world was multiprotocol, and we had a lot of different transports. For instance, we took cases on IPX, VIP, Appletalk, NetBios, and many other protocols. These all ran on top of Ethernet, T1, Frame, ATM, FDDI, RPR, Token Ring, ARCnet, various sorts of serial links ... The list always felt a little too long, to me. Today we have IPv4, IPv6, and MPLS on top of Ethernet, pretty much. All transports are framed as Ethernet, and all upper layer protocol use some form of IP. MPLS sits in the middle as the most common "transport enhancer." The first thing to note is that space across which useful features can be created is considerably smaller than it used to be.
  • Meetings that make people happy: Myth or magic?
    People tend to focus on the technical elements of meeting prep: setting the objective(s), making the agenda, choosing a place and duration, selecting stakeholders, articulating a timeline, and so on. But if you want people to come to a meeting ready to fully engage, building trust is mission-critical, too. If you need people to engage in your meetings, then you're likely expecting people to come ready to share their creativity, problem-solving, and innovation ideas.
  • Building microprocessor architectures on open-source hardware and software

    "The real freedom you get from open source projects is much more, and more important than the fact that you don't have to pay for it," Frank Gürkaynak, Director of ETHZ's Microelectronics Design Center, writes in an article posted on All About Circuits. "Researchers can take what we provide and freely change it for their experiments. Startup companies can build on what we provide as a starting point and concentrate their time and energy on the actual innovations they want to provide. And people who are disturbed by various attacks on their systems [1, 2] have the chance to look inside and know what exactly is in their system."

  • Create DIY music box cards with Punchbox
    That first time almost brought tears to my eyes. Mozart, sweetly, gently playing on the most perfect little music box. Perfectly! No errors in timing or pitch. Thank you, open source—without Mido, Svgwrite, PyYAML, and Click, this project wouldn't have been possible.
  • Fund Meant to Protect Elections May Be Too Little, Too Late
    The Election Assistance Commission, the government agency charged with distributing federal funds to support elections, released a report Tuesday detailing how each state plans to spend a total of $380 million in grants allocated to improve and secure their election systems. But even as intelligence officials warn of foreign interference in the midterm election, much of the money is not expected to be spent before Election Day. The EAC expects states to spend their allotted money within two to three years and gives them until 2023 to finish spending it. Election experts have expressed skepticism that the money will be enough to modernize election equipment and secure it against state-sponsored cyber threats.