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Sabayon Linux 3.4f - Work Of A WiFi Genius. E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 03 October 2007


Live CD and Live DVD  of Sabayon Linux 3.4-x86_64


Well, another version of Sabayon Linux which is based on  the unstable  branch of Gentoo Linux is up for grabs. For this review, I succeeded in getting a quick download of the SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4f.iso  (Live DVD) and the very recent  but long-awaited  SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4.miniEdition.iso  (Live CD)   from one of  the  download  mirrors. For your  information, the size of  the iso image  of  the Live DVD version has grown from just slightly over 3Gb in version 3.0  to more than 4Gb  in this  new  version. Each of the Live DVD and Live CD have  a base of Kernel 2.6.22,  KDE 3.5.7,  X.Org 7.2,  gcc 4.1.2,  and Fluxbox 1.0_r3  under  their  hoods. The Live DVD also has the GNOME 2.18.0 desktop.


Sabayon Linux is a gaming-centric  Linux distro  emphasizing  on artistic elements. Even  the  look of the Sabayon Linux website will tell you that.  Before  I  begin my review of SabayonLinux-x86_6-3.4f and  also SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4.miniEdition, I would like to inform you that  Sabayon Linux  as of  this version,  still lacks a new-user-friendly package management system.  I hope that Sabayon Linux users who are passionate about Sabayon Linux but lack the time to learn the beautiful source-based portage package management will  benefit from  the arrival  of the binary-based  Equo/Entropy package management system  which is still  in the early stages of development. Otherwise  Sabayon Linux 3.4  will charm  you with its high quality open source games, dramatic arts, and superior WiFi support.




The Same Test Machine That Was Used For Version 3.3


I used the same Compaq Presario V3222AU notebook  which  I used  to test the

SabayonLinux 3.3 x86_64 and the corresponding miniEdition a few months ago.





Boot Options Of The Live DVD 


-Start Sabayon Linux 3.4f.

-Start Without Music.

-Anonymous Internet Browsing. 

-Start Graphical Installation.

-Start Text Installation.

-XsistenCe (Persistent Home).

-Play With Sauerbraten.

-Play With Savage.


Boot option of the Live DVD (SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4f).




Boot Options Of The Live CD. 


-Start Sabayon Linux 3.4 miniEd.

-Start Graphical Installation.

-Start Text Installation.

-Start in safe mode.

-Start in Console mode.

-Debug mode.

-Memory test.

-Boot from first hard disk.


Boot options of the Live CD (SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4.miniEdition). 




The boot options remain very similar to the options available on the Live DVD of the previous 3.3 version of Sabayon Linux -x86_64-3.3. There is a new option called XsistenCe (Persistent Home)  on the new Live DVD replacing the "Start In Safe Mode" option.  The "Play With Coldwar(demo)" option has been replaced by "Play With Savage" option in the new Live DVD.


The boot options on the new Live CD are very similar to the previous 3.3b.miniEdition.  However, there is no more "Anonymous Internet Browsing" option on the new Live CD.  The new option on the Live CD is "Boot from first hard disk".





Booting  time of the Live DVD and Live CD


A new and more dramatic "red wine-ish"-themed boot splash is implemented on both the Live DVD and Live CD of Sabayon Linux 3.4.  Just press Alt+F1 to get the verbose mode. You'll hear nice background music(different from version 3.3) while booting up my notebook. This time, the gaming-themed music is much more crisp and very dramatic. The theme music has a softer volume as compared to the loud-volume theme music in Sabayon Linux version 3.3.  Like the previous version of the Live CD, the new Live CD also has no accompanying music during bootup.

More dramatic boot splash for the new Live CD and Live DVD.



According to the Sabayon Linux developer, lxnay,  the Live boot time  should be faster on the Live DVD and Live CD of Sabayon Linux 3.4. Yes, it's true. I found out that the Live DVD has a faster boot up time than the Live DVD of the previous 3.3 version. The Live CD is also faster than the Live CD of  the previous 3.3b miniEdition.


The new Live DVD  took  2 minutes 15 seconds  to reach  the Accelerator manager from  the boot option screen.  Then another 1 minute 55 seconds to reach a fully loaded  KDE.  The Live DVD of the 3.3 version  took 4 minutes 10 seconds  and  1 minute 35 seconds respectively.


The new Live CD took 2 minutes 6 seconds to reach the Accelerator manager and another 1 minute 30 seconds to reach a fully loaded KDE desktop environment. However, the Live CD of the previous 3.3b miniEdition took 3 minutes 28 seconds and 59 seconds respectively.



Took a few seconds to autologin. Less hassle! In the

previous version you need to press Enter. 



KDE splash.







The KDE Desktop On The Live DVD And Live CD


I will only look at the KDE desktop environment  as this  is primarily a KDE-based Linux distribution.  Icons appearing  on  the KDE desktop  of  the Live DVD were TORCS,  Warsow,  Savage:Battle For Newerth, Battle For Wesnoth,  Danger From The Deep,  Second Life,  Sauerbraten,  FlightGear,  Update Installer,  GParted, Virtual Machine Manager,  Nexuiz,  Donate Funds To The Project, Picasa, Google Earth, Get Live Help  and Install On Disk.


KDE desktop on the Live DVD.



KDE desktop on the Live CD. 



All the games were playable!  There  were only 3 icons for games in version 3.3, namely Battle For Wesnoth, Sauerbraten  and Cold War Demo.  I  thoroughly enjoyed the increased number of premium open source games on the new Live DVD despite my preference for martial arts games. 


The KDE desktop from the Live DVD is beautiful and artistic and it has all of the 17 icons arranged properly.  There  is  no problem  with the arrangement  of the 6 icons on the Live CD either.  In Sabayon Linux 3.3  there were only 10 icons on the KDE desktop. Like version 3.3, there were also 3 virtual desktops and similar applets on the desktop panels. The icon theme used for the Live DVD is Nuvola and the Live CD,the Crystal SVG icon theme. The  fonts  used on the Live DVD and Live CD are that of the DejaVu Sans type.


GNOME desktop on the Live DVD.







Multimedia, Browser Plugins, And Ntfs-3g 


Sabayon Linux 3.4 comes with the out-of-the-box ability to play among others, MP3,original DVD, MPEG, DIVX files, etc. I  had problems playing Quicktime video and Real media with SMplayer(Qt front-end of Mplayer) in the Live CD. There is no RealPlayer on the Live CD.


However, I didn't face any problems playing these video formats on the Live DVD, as I could choose RealPlayer 10 and other media players like VLC, Totem, or Kaffeine. 


The Java plugin on Konqueror worked well but I had difficulty running the Logmein Java applet using Firefox (no problems on the 32 bit though). I had to downgrade the latest  Flash-plugin (version 9.0.60_beta082207) on the Live CD  because  of problems that occured when visiting certain sites. However, there were no issues when I used the Macromedia Flash-plugin (version on the Live DVD.



With ntfs-3g, the ntfs partition on my notebook could be mounted and opened in read/write mode by just clicking the System Menu applet on the desktop panel->Storage Media when running the Live DVD or Live CD. Of course, you can also access the ntfs partition through the Kickoff menu->Computer tab. 






Screen and Graphic card

My notebook's screen was accurately  configured to 1200x800  with the correct depth by the Live CD and Live DVD which comes with the latest Nvidia  and ATI driver and also Compiz fusion 0.5.2. Unfortunately all the applets (including Kickoff menu) on the bottom panel were non-responsive. Changing to Kwin or Metacity window manager didn't solve the matter either.


Download the latest Nvidia driver. 



Then delete the # sign and you shall get 3D eye candy. 



I had to restart the x server and choose  "No Acceleration" from the Acceleration manager. Then I installed the latest Nvidia driver version 100.14.19-r10 via the emerge utility. The Nvidia driver bundled with the Live DVD was 100.14.11-r11 and the one on the Live CD was of 100.14.19-r10 version. The Live CD and the Live DVD share the same ATI driver version 8.40.4-r11. The 915 resolution version 0.5.3 was  also bundled with the Live CD and Live DVD.





Installation on Compaq Presario V3222AU


The new Live DVD needed 52 minutes to install Sabayon Linux -x86_64-3.4f while it only took 39 minutes to install the previous version of Live DVD of Sabayon LInux-x86_64-3.3.  I attributed this to the bigger size of packages to be installed, especially the increased number of premium open source games. The new Live CD took (Sabayon Linux -x86_64-3.4.miniEdition) 13 minutes 40 seconds to complete the installation while the previous version of the Live CD took  14 minutes 27 seconds. Tiny difference!


Anaconda lets  you select the desktop environment of your choice.



New ability of Anaconda on the Live DVD:-  you can select the categories

of packages that you wish to install or omit.



During installation to the hard disk,  I chose  ext4 for the filesystem of  my root partition. In order to have ext4,  I needed  to created  a  100MB  /boot partition with either ext2 or ext3 filesystem. Anaconda allowed me to install either KDE, GNOME, Fluxbox, or Core environment as the default Desktop environment while the miniEdition only allowed KDE,  Fluxbox and Core environment. In the previous edition of Sabayon Linux, there was no choice of Core environment.


If you need to select what to install and what not, the new Sabayon Linux 3.4 Live DVD will allow you to do just that. You cannot do that with the Live CD. Categories of packages that you can omit or install are:- GNOME Desktop, KDE Desktop, Advanced 3D Games, Basic Free Games, Multimedia Applications, Office Applications, and Internet Applications. 


To give you more control of the system that will be installed, the Live CD and Live DVD allows you to either enable or disable services like Samba, CUPS, NFS, and SSH. If you wish to make your desktop very secure, just disable all of the above services. Making sure that there are no open ports on Sabayon Linux desktop is a very good new step by the developers.  


Grub had no problem detecting Windows Vista and booting it.  Postinstallation, all those icons were still available on the KDE desktop  except  for  the Install On Disk and Update Installer icons. Even my documents  which  were  created  while I was on the Live DVD and Live CD mode were still on the KDE desktop when I first logged into the newly installed Sabayon Linux.





Short Boot up  time (after installation)


It took the new Live DVD version of Sabayon Linux -x86_64-3.4f   56 seconds to boot up  from  the hard disk  of my Compaq Presario notebook  while it was 64 seconds for previous 3.3 version of the Live DVD. The boot up time was just 51 seconds for the new Live CD version  and  it took a much longer time, 88 seconds,  for the previous Live CD version.  





Excellent network adapter support


Sabayon Linux 3.3's Live CD and Live DVD supported my  ipw3945 wlan chipset with WPA-PSK capability out-of-the-box but could  only support my Dell 1390 wlan  adapter  with  Broadcom's  bcm4311  chipset  and  the  Ralink RT2500 wlan pci up to WEP encryption protocol.  In fact, the 64 bit Live CD and Live DVD of the previous version of Sabayon Linux 3.3 didn't get almost all of my test  wlan adapters working out-of-the-box.


Bcm4312 wlan chipset handled gracefully. 



However  in Sabayon Linux -x86_64-3.4f (the Live DVD) and  Sabayon Linux-x86_64-3.4.miniEdition (the Live CD),  it  was  a  whole  different  wifi scenario. Below are the wlan adapters supported by the new Live DVD and Live CD out-of-the-box even when WPA-PSK  was needed. There were no problem with WEP encryption protocol either:-


-ipw3945 miniPCI wlan adapter on my Dell Inspiron 640m notebook.

-bcm4311 miniPCI wlan adapter on my Compaq V3222AU notebook.

-bcm4312 miniPCI wlan adapter on my Dell Inspiron 640m notebook. 

-Belkin Wireless G USB Network Adapter with Zydas firmware.

-D-Link USB wlan adapter model DWL-G122 with RaLink rt73 chipset.

-RaLink RT2500 PCI wlan adapter was also supported.

-Netgear WG511T pcmcia wlan adapter with Atheros chipset

-D-Link PCMCIA wlan adapter with RaLink RT2561/RT61 chipset.

-3COM OfficeConnect Wireless XJACK PC Card with Atheros chipset.

-Prolink Wireless 802.11g USB2.0 wlan adapter with rt73 chipset.


For your information, these wlan adapters  are  also supported  by the new 32 bit Live CD and Live DVD. However the support for the ipw2100 was logically omitted from the 64 bit version the Live CD  and Live DVD. By the way,  the ipw2100 wlan chipset is  fully  supported  by  the new 32 bit Live CD and Live DVD.  (Note:- The supreme wifi support was not available on the earlier revision of Sabayon Linux 3.4). 


For your information, ndiswrapper 1.47  has also been bundled  with Sabayon Linux-x86_64-3.4f Live DVD and Sabayon Linux -x86_64 3.4.miniEdition Live CD. If you need to extract files from the Microsoft .cab file, Cabextract has also been bundled with this new version Sabayon Linux. 





Applications on Kickoff menu of the 64-bit Live DVD


-Assistant, BeanShell Prompt, Glade Interface Designer, Linguist, and Qt Designer.



-Five or More, Four-in-a-Row, Gnometris, Klotski, Tetravex, Tali, Same GNOME,

Mines, Iagno, KGoldrunner, KBounce, KFoulEggs, Kolf, Nibbles, Robots, KSnakeRace,

KSpaceDuel, KAsteroids, KSirtet, KSmileTris, KTron, Chess, Kenolaba, KBackgammon ,

KBlackBox, Mahjongg, KMahjongg, KReversi, Shisen-Sho, KWin4, Blackjack,

Lieutenant Skat, Patience, KPoker, KBattleship, Klickety, SameGame. Konquest,

KMines, Savage Battle For Newerth, Savage Editor, Savage Graveyard Mod,

KSokoban, KAtomic, Battle For Wesnoth, KJumpingCube, Kolor Lines, Potato Guy,

Kodo, AMOR, KTeaTime, and KWorldClock.



-DjView, Draw, GIMP, Gwenview, showFoto, Inkscape,

Panorama stitcher, digiKam, F-Spot, Picasa, Picasa Media Detector, X-Sane,

Document Viewer, KDVI, KFaxView, KView, KolourPaint, KPDF. KPovModeler,

KGhostView, Kooka, KSnapshot. KcolorChooser, KColourEdit, KFax, KIconEdit,

and KRuler.



-Google Earth, Azureus, Downloader for X, FileZilla, KFTPGrabber, Get Live Help,

Pidgin, Konversation, KMLDonkey, Knetscan, LogJam, Firefox, KNetworkManager,

NX Client for Linux, NX Connection Wizard, NX Session Administrator, Skype,

OpenVPN, Writer/Web, Wireshark, aMule, KTorrent, KGet, Kopete,

WPA_Supplicant Administration GUI, KPPP, KSirc, KMail, KNetAttach, Akregator,

NmapFE, Terminal Server Client, -Konqueror. KPPPLogview, KNewsTicker,

Dictionary, and KWifiManager.



-SMPlayer,  soundKonverter, Amarok, K3b, Sound Juicer CD EXtractor, CD Player,

KsCD, KAudioCreator, Democracy TV, dvd::rip,  Elisa Media Center,  LaCie Light-

Scribe Labeler 4L, LightScribe SimpleLabeler, Manencode, Kaffeine, Noatun, Real-

Player 10,  Totem Movie Player,  JuK,  Recording Level Monitor, KRec, Manslide,

KMix, Sound Recorder, k9copy, MPlayer, TVtime Television Viewer, VLC media

player, Volume Control, Volume Monitor, X-Sane, aRts Builder, Kaboodle, KMid

and aRts Control Tool.




-Kontact,  KAddressBook, Base,  Evolution,  Invest  Chart , KOrganizer, Impress, Calc,

and Writer.



-Login Photo, Printing, Services, Shared Folders, Time and Date, Users and

Groups, Acceleration Manager, kbluetooth, CompizConfig Settings Manager,

Compiz Settings Manager,Search & Indexing, Emerald Theme Manager, GTK

Styles and Fonts, Java Control Panel 1.5, Java Control Panel for Sun JDK 1.6,

Keyring Manager. Login Window, Network, PalmOS Devices, Printers, SCIM

Input Method Setup, Screensaver, User Profile Editor, Volume Control,

Configure the Panel, Desktop Settings Wizard, Menu Editor, Menu Updating

Tool, and Wallet Management Tool. 



-Archive Manage, Configuration Editor, Network Tools, New Login in a Nested

Window, New Login,  GParted,  Root Terminal,  System Log,  System  Monitor,

Terminal, Keyring Manager, KlamAV, ATI Catalyst Control Center, Avahi SSH

Server Browser, Avahi VNC Server Browser, Avahi Zeroconf Browser, kpower-

save, Bluetooth File Sharing, Kbluelock, kbluemon, Kinputwizard, Compiz Fusion

Icon, Disk Usage Analyzer, Innotek Virtualbox, LaCie LightScribe Labeler 4L,

LightScribe SimpleLabeler, Login Window, Manage Printing, Network, NVIDIA X

Server Settings, Portato(Gtk), User Profile Editor, Virtual Machine Manager,

Wine-Doors, Yakuake, K3bSetup, Krfb, KInfoCenter, KSysGuard, KRandRTray,

NmapFE, KCron, Konsole, KUser, File Manager-Super User Mode, KwikDisk,

Terminal Program-Super User Mode, and  KDiskFree.



Network Tools, Character Map, Calculator, Dictionary, Archive Manager, KMouse-

tool, KMag, KMouth, KSayIt, kttsmgr, Klipper, KPager, SuperKaramba, KNotes,

KCalc, KTip, Kate, KEdit, Kwrite, Gedit, Ark, KHexEdit, KPalmDOC, KdeprintFax,

KFloppy, Kandy, KPilot, KJobViewer, KGpg, KDE Groupware Wizard, KJots, KArm,

KAlarm, KSig, KitchenSync, KTnef, Avahi SSH Server Browser, Avahi VNC Server

Browser, Avahi Zeroconf Browser, Search and Index, Kerry Beagle, File Size

Viewer, HP Device Manager, Kiso, Tomboy Notes, Root Terminal, Search, skim,

Take Screenshot, KCharSelect, KTimer, KFontView, and and KRegExpEditor. 



In order to reduce the degree of applications redundancy that existed on the Live DVD of Sabayon Linux 3.3, quite a number of programs did not make its way to the new  Live DVD  version of Sabayon Linux.  For example, Kdevelop, Cervisia, Blender, Edutainment softwares, Postscript viewer, Twinkle, Thunderbird, Seamonkey, Ralink RT2500 Config, Wengophone, Opera, Epiphany, Gnumeric, Gnucash, XChat, WxCas, Audacious, Codeine, Beep Media Player, Streamtuner, Smb4k and many other applications were omitted. 





Applications on the Kmenu of the 64-bit Live CD


There were  no games  at all on the Kmenu of the Live CD of  the Sabayon Linux 3.4.miniEdition. However, the Live CD came with Qt Designer, Assistant, Linguist, KPDF, Ksnapshot, KColorChooser, KColorEdit, KIconEdit, Konversation, KnetworkManager, KTorrent, WPA_Supplicant Administration GUI, Kopete, KPPP, Konqueror,  KPPPLogView, Dictionary, SMPlayer, Amarok, K3b, KMix, aRts Builder, aRts Control Tool, Kbluetooth, Acceleration Manager, Compiz Config Settings Manager, Printers, CUPS, Emerald Theme Manager, Kbluelock,

Kbluemon, Portato, KInputwizard, Kuser, KRandRTray, Compiz Fusion Icon, GParted, Konsole, etc.


(note:- The types of applications in this new miniEdition of Sabayon Linux 3.4  is very similar to that of Sabayon Linux 3.3b miniEdition.  Codeine  was  the default media player for the 3.3b miniEdition instead of SMPlayer. There was no KTorrent on the 3.3b miniEdition of Sabayon Linux) 





Hardware Compatibility


There  was  no compatibility problem  with my Logitech wireless mouse and wireless keyboard. My  all-in-one  HP Officet 4355  was  detected  and after some  simple  configuration steps,  it was up  and running.  The Live CD  of Sabayon Linux -x86_64-3.4.miniEdition and  the Live DVD of Sabayon Linux-x86_64-3.4f easily handled my new hard disk-based Sony camcorder. There was no problem with the 2 Bluetooth adapters that I plugged into the USB port of my Compaq Presario V3222AU notebook.


Accessing my Nokia phone via the bluetooth adapter.






Package Management


Now, Portato  is the choice of front-end to the portage system.  In version 3.3 of Sabayon Linux,  it was Kuroo.  I  had  no problem in syncing using  this gtk application. Took about 75 minutes to sync. Portato also looks and feels much more intuitive. After syncing and after having emerged the up-to-date portage package, I installed ppracer for my daughter to play.




By the way, the Sabayon Linux forum recommends fresh install as a better way to upgrade your  existing Sabayon Linux  to a newer one.  Of course,  after  you have backup your /home directory. I hope the upcoming alpha-quality Equa/Entropy binary-based package management  will ease the process of upgrading Sabayon Linux from an existing version to a newer one.





Bipolar Experience


As  a notebook user, it feels so nice to have a working wifi when Linux is running on your notebook.  In my case,  I would feel euphoric (not ecstatic)  whenever,  I could make the WiFi adapter work without using ndiswrapper (please don't get me wrong, Ndiswrapper is a great tool which has contributed a lot to Linux wlan!). My bipolar experience started  when suspend-to-ram worked  only partially  and suspend-to-disk did not work at all! More so when it didn't work on my other two notebooks (Dell Inspiron 640m and Dell Inspiron 600m).







There is no doubt that  the  x86_64 version of Sabayon Linux 3.4  is the best bleeding-edge  64-bit Linux desktop at  the moment.  Excellent hardware support,  especially the wlan adapters.  You will definitely  like this Linux distribution  if  you prefer a bleeding-edge 64-bit Linux distro  which  has everything  working  out-of-the-box. No hassle! The cons for huge adoption are still the beautiful portage management system and the slow live boot. Lastly, I believe that Sabayon Linux will progress by leaps and bounds in the next 2 years provided that the developers  i) can find good sponsorship,  ii) emergence of a user-friendly package management system which can work hand-in-hand with the beautiful portage, and iii) reduction of the live boot time.




Thank you for reading my review.


Kindly email comments/suggestions

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By Michael Shee Choon Beng. 

Add NewSearch
AbacusMonkey - Great review   | 121.45.216. | 2008-02-13 09:07:27
Thanks for the great review mate. Really highlights some of the features of Sabayon. It sounds like it might be worth a look.


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