Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

SabayonLinux 3.3 Mini on that HP Laptop

Filed under

Given the growing popularity of SabayonLinux, my continued bad luck with it1, and the fact that my dvdburner died this past weekend, I decided to test the newly released Sabayon Linux 3.3 Mini. Normally one thinks of a mini as a 200 MB or so iso, but in Sabayon's case, it means a regular cdrom-sized image. So, did our tuxmachine0 have any better luck with the newest release from Sabayon this time?

This iso boots to a modified (from regular Sabayon) boot screen. This one contains options to boot the livecd, text & gui installs, and anonymous web browsing amongst some others such safe-graphics and memtest. As usual Sabayon has a uniquely attractive appearance and it starts at boot, continues thru booting, and onto the desktop. The color scheme found throughout features a dark gray to blackish foundation colors with reddish/maroon accents. It's impressive that the theme runs through most of the applications founds such as K3b and Amarok.

I first sampled the aixgl desktop because the little information blurb said it offered better performance. But it showed the same "black window" bug that I found in the latest SimplyMepis. It wasn't as bad as I could see contents in the first window opened, but any subsequent windows would render in only black. On the harddrive install this condition remained, but XGL worked really well, including the Beryl theme manager.


The included and auto-loaded bcm43xx tried to work with my wireless chipset. It could bring the connection up to a point. It could scan for access points, but it wouldn't connect. I was able to use ndiswrapper with my windows drivers and achieve a connection. I complained about the buggy Network Manager on Sayabon Linux my last test, but it seems to be functioning well this release.

The anaconda based installer worked on my laptop, as the disk was partitioned by openSUSE's installer last December. It seems to have been a tad slow, but it finished the install and I was able to boot in my new SayabonLinux system. During install, one has the choice of installing grub to the mbr or partition or no bootloader at all. It offers several other convenient configuration options as well including language, timezone, upgrade or install, desktop, paritioning options, network devices, user creation, and root passwords.

The mini version of Sabayon seems a bit limited in the area of applications. I assume it takes quite a bit of room to include support for all the 3D desktops and associated applications. The site states Sabayon is compatible with Gentoo's portage repositories, so one can customize their install to suite their needs. I tested Kuroo, the kde front-end for portage, but I found it to be either misconfigured or inoperable. I was under the impression development had stopped on this app quite a while ago, but perhaps I'm wrong. However, emerge at the commandline works well. I've installed several things so far and haven't had any problems yet.

Some of the included apps are: Kpdf, Kb3, Amarok, Codeine, Thunderbird, Konversation, Bluetooth apps, and wpa_gui. Sabayon Mini also comes with Fluxbox, which is customized to provide consistency. It features the sabayon wallpaper and a reddish-burgundy theme. The fluxbox menu seems to be a hold over from the full-featured Sabayon as none of the applications listed are actually present.


Removeable media handling is excellent. Insert a cdrom/dvd or usb stick and a kde dialog box opens asking what should be done. An icon appears in the lower panel with various options.

I wasn't able to get my printer working as the system is delivered. Truth is, as of this writing, I'm still hammering out the issues. The errors are seen on the gentoo forum, so I'm not sure the fault lies with Sabayon developers. I didn't have these issues with my other Gentoo boxes, but that means very little. So, to be fair, let's err on the subject's side and blame this on an upstream gentoo issue.

My sound worked automagically in both the livecd environment and hard drive install. The touchpad works as it should.

Battery management and monitoring is handled by powersave by default. This works really well and is my favorite method for a kde desktop. Suspend to ram worked well either invoked manually, by a set timeout, or by closing the lid (as set by default). However, suspend to disk couldn't seem to wake up here. The cpufreq worked as it should for saving power.

Overall, either this release or this version of this release of Sabayon Linux is very much improved. I've had my issues with this distro in the past1, but this time things were stable, operative, and non-destructive. Sabayon has always looked good and that hasn't changed. This mini would be a great foundation for those wishing to customize a gentoo system to their tastes without having to start from scratch while having the pleasure of using the customized Sabayon artwork. One of the most desired and still the hardest component to set up, XGL/Beryl desktop, is already included and working. I think the mini is a great choice. But if you are wanting a full-featured system that doesn't require a lot of extra emerging, then perhaps you should test the full sized SabayonLinux. I think after all this time I can finally give SabayonLinux a thumbs-up. :up:

SabayonLinux @ Distrowatch
SabayonLinux Homepage.

One can order a professionally crafted copy from They also have the full sized dvd.

[1]Previous attempts published:

Good review...

Good review Susan, I enjoyed it. It's great to see that it's working a little bit better for you this time around. I too had the exact same problem with AIXGL so I disabled it quick. I have to say that this version of Sabayon proved to have amazing hardware detection during my tests. I ran it on a new ASUS A8JS laptop and it setup everything perfectly... it all worked right after the boot. Surprisingly, even the wired NIC port didn't function with the Gentoo Live CD, so I was impressed to see it fully supported with SL.

This is one distro that keeps getting better, but my main gripe is something a lot of people love: The insane amount of pre-installed packages (close to 2,000 on the full edition). Did you happen to check to see how many packages were installed with the mini-edition? As crappy as Kuroo is, I checked using it since it was easy to do.

re: how many packages

Wow, equery says 1063. That's kinda wicked cuz my desktop machine has 970. My now abandoned server install had 421.

Kuroo says it's 1243. So, somewhere in there I guess. Big Grin

waste of time...

I tried it on 2 machines...

took 7 minuted to boot on a p4 dual core pc. worked excruciatingly slow.

never did boot up the new laptop/ gave up after 15 minutes.

will never try this again.

re: waste of time...

Well, actually the livecd did take a bit longer to boot than one might expect here too, but I thought perhaps it was my media or something. The hard drive install boots about normal for gentoo tho.

slow boot

Good review.

I installed the DVD version.

The boot process is very slow, whether live or hard disk boot.

My install to hard disk was flawless, though time consuming. Sabayon Linux continues to improve. It does need a better gui package updater/installer.

Most visibly improved was the font quality.

If it weren't for PCLOS, I would give Sabayon Linux serious consideration for my main desktop.

re: slow boot

Well, pooh, every other boot is gonna seem slow compared to PCLOS. That thing boots in like 20 seconds here! Big Grin


To those who are interested, here's one of the latest.

re: Video

Fancy dancy huh? Let's see yod'm do that!

Naa... let them have cakes.

Naa... let them have cakes.

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Debian's APT 1.1 Accepted Into Unstable

It's been over a year and a half since APT 1.0 was released by the Debian development community while today APT 1.1 has reached the unstable community. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Neverware’s CloudReady Brings a Chromium-Fueled Chromebook OS to Standard Hardware
    I have been a Chromebook user for a while now. I find their ease of use, simplicity, and reliability something that is unmatched by most standard laptops or desktops. As someone who spends a vast amount of their PC time writing words, Chrome OS makes perfect sense. The added bonus of Chrome OS being powered by the Linux kernel makes it all the better. Point in fact… I like the Chrome OS platform so much, I became the proud owner of a Pixel—probably the single most amazing piece of mobile hardware I have ever experienced. But not everyone wants to shell out the cash for such a machine. In fact, some would rather make use of the hardware they already have. That’s where the likes of Neverware’s CloudReady comes into play. However, this relatively new platform isn’t just a tinker's toy. Yes, the claim that CloudReady will turn any hardware into a Chromebook is spot on. However, CloudReady isn’t just for individual users. Neverware is putting this platform to good use for educators, individuals, and even enterprises. That Neverware is taking on the educational system is telling. Primary and secondary school systems across the globe are staring down financial burdens that don’t allow them to purchase new hardware or operating systems. By allowing those same institutions to repurpose aging hardware and turn them into efficient, reliable machines, educators are able to squeeze far more out of less.
  • A64 OLinuXino OSHW Linux Laptop idea becomes more real :)
    Few weeks ago I blogged about the idea to make OSHW Laptop based on Allwinner A64 64-bit SoC. Today we received the first samples of the laptop plastic body. The quality of the plastic parts is very good! As you can see we have already sourced the plastic body, the battery, LCD display, keyboard, touchpad, speakers, camera, microphone and all fittings.
  • What is the best product for my needs?
    I have a project for work that needs a very secure system. I'm looking at using Linux and am wondering what I need to meet my needs. I am new to Linux but have worked around IT personel for years so obviously know a little bit about it. Let me try to explain what is currently being used, the problems with the current system, and what I need out of the future system below.
  • Scale Testing Docker Swarm to 30,000 Containers
    Swarm is the easiest way to run Docker app in production. It lets you take an an app that you’ve built in development and deploy it across a cluster of servers. Recently we took Swarm out beta and released version 1.0. It’s being used by people like O’Reilly for building authoring tools, the Distributed Systems Group at Eurecom for doing scientific research, and Rackspace who built their new container service, Carina, on top of it.
  • Deis Aims to Extend Kubernetes into a Platform
    In just a few short months, Google’s deft move to build an open consortium around its Kubernetes orchestrator has shifted the platform focus away from containers, and onto container orchestrators. Perhaps the biggest indicator of that shift came last week at KubeCon in San Francisco, where Deis — now the brightly polished new division of Engine Yard — unveiled a package manager for workloads called Helm.
  • Intel hatches architecture to make high performance computing an enterprise staple
    As for Dell, the company said it launched new Dell Networking H-Series switches and adapters as well as PowerEdge servers based on Omni-Path. Dell said it is holding advisory sessions with customers on optimizing Omni-Path and Intel's Xeon Phi chips.
  • USA Has a Shrinking Share of the TOP500
    In the bigger picture, China nearly tripled the number of systems on the latest list, while the number of systems in the United States has fallen to the lowest point since the TOP500 list was created in 1993. China is also carving out a bigger share as a manufacturer of high performance computers with multiple Chinese manufacturers becoming more active in this field.

today's howtos

Announcing the general availability of Oracle Linux 7.2

We're happy to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 2, the second update release for Oracle Linux 7. You can find the individual RPM packages on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux Yum Server and ISO installation images are available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud. Read more Also: Red Hat OpenShift 3.1 Opens the Door for Both .NET and JBoss Middleware Red Hat Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research (RHT)