Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sabayon Linux - to choose or not to choose

Sabayon Linux is one of my favorite Linux distros. It is based on Gentoo, but this fact is of little importance for me personally.

I decided to make a summary of why I like Sabayon, and what I dislike about it, or in other words, to list  what are the pros and cons of Sabayon Linux for me. This is just a subjective opinion.

Sabayon: To choose or not to choose:

• Rolling release. Rolls stably.
• Multimedia codecs installed out of the box
• Proprietary graphics drivers installed out of the box
• Latest software, latest DEs versions
• GUI package manager, powerful command line package management utility
• Restricted software available in the repo (Flash, Oracle Java, proprietory Virtualbox, Opera), no unnecessary philosophy
• Large repository
• Relatively light on resources, not bloated,  fast and responsive
• Binary distro - apps are quickly installed
• Source-based distro - compile if you like
• Uses the Anaconda installer, easy to deploy
• Generally, sufficiently user-friendly
• Little customisation, vanilla DEs
• Rather poor artwork
• Lack of polish
(it’s your duty to make sure GTK apps look acceptably on KDE, or that you use the same cursor theme both for welcome screen and after logged in; etc.)
• Corrupt packages in the repo on rare occasions
• Apps may behave not as expected or feature non-optimal default settings
(e.g., winFF won’t just work and convert videos, the user’s intervenience is needed to configure the app)
• Latest software, less testing, bugs may occur
(e.g. on Sabayon you’ll be one of the first to find out Clementine’s multimedia keys support is broken in a new version)
For me, the pros outweigh the cons. What really makes me addicted to Sabayon is that I have the latest software, easily, with no fuss, and little effort.

Probably, I need to try Arch, another prominent rolling distro, to be able to truly appreciate Sabayon. Something tells me, though, Arch would consume more time on system configuration while Sabayon doesn't, it just ships the latest software to you in a couple of clicks.


  1. Another pro is that Sabayon ships a really good version of enlightenment (e17)

  2. I loved the stability of sabayon 9... And rigo (and equo), the application manager was nice but lacking, coming from the Synaptic (and apt) world.

    1. What exactly was lacking in equo? Rigo is a bit rigid and not as versatile as Synaptic, but it's probably because it's new.