Skip to main content

Booting Sabayon 3.4e on the Gateways

Since I'm in the mood to boot live CDs on notebooks, I decided to continue this little experiment by booting Sabayon 3.4e on both notebooks. While Sabayon booted to a graphical desktop on both machines, the experience was a little better on the M685 than on the M680. I didn't download this, I got it as an insert tucked inside the November issue of Linux Pro Magazine, which I picked up at a local Barnes and Noble bookstore tonight.


One of the nicest features of this distribution is its opening boot. Rather than watching some fancy artwork you're presented with a first-boot screen that identifies the graphic subsystem and allows you to select graphic acceleration or not. Sabayon correctly detected and identified both notebook's graphics chip sets. In both cases I choose graphic acceleration and when it finished booting into the desktop graphic acceleration was indeed enabled. By the way, not only do you get a very solid indication of successful graphical configuration, but the audio plays a rather funky ditty while booting, giving you a very good check of the audio portion. Audio worked fine on both notebooks.


As I noted above the Sabayon experience was a little better on the M685 (nVidia) than the M680 (ATI). Specifically, the keyboard would not work on the M680. I don't know why. I could use [Ctrl][Alt][F1], for example, to get to a full-screen terminal, and there the keyboard worked just fine. Curious, I pulled the CD out of the M680 and booted the M685 with it. There, the keyboard did work, so I continued looking around.

One common problem on both machines was the failure of the menu to work. The desktop comes up as KDE (which is just fine by me), but clicking on the lower right to get the KDE menu would not work on either notebook. I finally launched applications by discovering and using the run command dialog. You get a run command dialog by right-clicking on the desktop for its pop-up menu, then selecting the second entry. That's how, for example, I got Firefox, Konsole and KSnapshot.

Of course, with a working keyboard I was able to configure the wireless network to log into my home network. In fact, wireless was properly detected on both notebooks.

The screen shot above is playing a flash video from CNN. Nothing to download or install. It just worked. Note also that the NVIDIA X Server Settings dialog is available. The ATI Catalyst Control Center was available on the M680's desktop, but Sabayon booted the desktop using the Xorg 'free' driver, so CCC would not work. I can only assume that if the ATI drivers were used then CCC would work. Sabayon seems to have the nVidia drivers on the distribution. I saw the classic nVidia boot screen right before the desktop came up.

And just for grins I captured this view of the 'flattened cube' effect with reflections. This is the kind of performance I would have expected Ubuntu 7.10 to provide, particularly when I read all that Ubuntu was supposed to provide from the Ubuntu evangelists.

Warts aside, I haven't had this high a level of out-of-the-box experience since Mint Beta 17, and that was on europa using the older ATI 9700 Pro.


I just checked the Sabayon site, and it looks like the current release is 3.4f. So I will download and burn a new CD to see if any of the problems encountered with 3.4e are fixed.

On My Soapbox

I'm reminded a second time that the real pleasure of using Linux isn't with the majors such as Redhat (Fedora), Novell (openSUSE), and Canonical/Debian (Ubuntu), but with alternates such as Mint (building on Ubuntu) and now Sabayon (building on Gentoo), especially if you've got fairly recent hardware you want to take full advantage of. Canonical and Ubuntu eclipsed pure Debian because Debian would not add contemporary features in a timely manner. History may repeat itself if Redhat, Novell, and Canonical (just to name three) aren't careful.


  1. I will try sabayon now. I have been using MINT Celena for some weeks now and it works fine but I yearn for something different.

    I tried Backtrack2 which promised a lot but I could not get it to start properly.

    Anyway once again a helpful review.


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…