Sabayon Linux 7: A Review (With Screenshots)

Posted by Jonquil on Oct 23, 2011 3:17 PM EDT
xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!; By Jonquil McDaniel
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Sabayon is an incredibly fast Linux distribution, probably due to its Gentoo roots. Even though I ran this in Live mode it was snappy and highly responsive.

Sabayon is an incredibly fast Linux distribution, probably due to its Gentoo roots. Even though I ran this in Live mode it was snappy and highly responsive.

The starting desktop is beautiful, there’s no doubt about that. And it includes handy links to help, donations, and installation.

System tools include a configuration editor, system settings, Deja Dup, an updater, power statistics, and more. I like that they included the configuration editor but wonder why they didn’t include Gnome Tweak Tool.

Something I really love about this distribution is they include the Google Chromium browser by default. Empathy instant messenger and the Evolution email client are also included, along with the Transmission Bittorrent client and (another pleasant surprise) X-Chat IRC.

Another pleasant surprise is that Gimp is included by default. The Gnome image viewer, Shotwell, and Adobe’s PDF viewer is also included by default.

Yay! LibreOffice is installed by default. A dictionary is installed by default as well.

As you can see, Flash Player is also installed by default. There’s also a firewall and services configuration menu. The services configuration menu is something I sorely miss in Fedora.

The updater works well, giving you a preview of the processes as they run.

The Sabayon menu is full of helpful, informational tools to help you get started with your Sabayon Linux system.

Sabayon Linux also comes with the Brasero CD/DVD burning application, the Cheese webcam application, Exhaile media player, XMBC Media Center, and more. I’m not too crazy about Exhaile or the Movie Player, but that could be easily replaced. XMBC seems like it would be pretty interesting if I was running a media center, but I really see no use for it on a desktop system.

Sabayon Linux would have replaced Fedora on my system if it was not for this one teensy problem. Since Sabayon uses Portage for package management and there is no graphical package management system, you have to search on the Gentoo Packages website for packages to install. I would be fine with this if it weren’t for my search for Gnome Tweak Tool becoming a muddled mess with the list of packages on the site. I wish the search would instead take me to a separate page showing me the search results; that seems like an easy enough solution to this problem. Until this is fixed though I am sticking with Fedora.


Sabayon Linux is a fast distribution with a very appealing set of default installed applications. It’s reliance on Portage though with no graphical package management system does not make it a very appealing distribution for newbies. The problems with Gentoo’s package search makes it an unappealing distribution for anyone that’s not going to be happy with the default installed software alone. Another pet peeve is that Gimp by default would only save to xcf and not jpg, gif, png, or anything else. I give this a 3 out of 5.

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