Sabayon 9 [GNOME] Review

So guys, for the first time in my life am I going to try a Linux flavor from the Gentoo family. Gentoo is a unique flavor of Linux in sense that it is really powerful and highly customizable. If you are ready to do a lot of work under the hood to get a system that just suits your needs, Gentoo is the choice. But Gentoo install is way too complicated for an average user. You have to compile your own kernel, and software has to be compiled from source too.

Sabayon Linux

Gentoo Linux

Sabayon aims to give a flavor of Gentoo that is as easy to install as any other distro, like Ubuntu and openSUSE. But at the same time, it gives you the power of a very robust operating system.

Sabayon comes in four variants, KDE, GNOME, XFCE and LXDE. I have pretty much started liking XFCE and LXDE as they continue to progress and are becoming as user friendly as GNOME, but at the same time, they are lightweight too. I however chose to download the GNOME version, since I have been using GNOME since eternity, and it is a mature desktop environment unlike XFCE and LXDE.


Installation is easy as anything. In its attempt to ease out the installation of Gentoo, it succeeds pretty well

First Run

It booted up into the GNOME 3 Desktop. I personally do not like the new GNOME. I always prefer the Fallback mode, I like the old GNOME much much more. However, at GDM, there was no option to choose Fallback mode.

The fonts were PATHETIC. I had to configure it using the Advanced Settings tool (which, thanks to Sabayon, is included by default). Its called from the command line by gnome-tweak-tool. Even after playing with the fonts for a while, it could not meet my desires. Ubuntu is much better in this sense


No Firefox or Thunderbird by default. It uses Chromium, which I don’t really like. I like Firefox. However, the new Rigo has simplified the package installation and its as easy as Ubuntu now. I’d say it also fulfills this goal fairly well. Yes, Sabayon also aims to simplify the installation of pre compiled packages (which is not available in Gentoo).


LibreOffice has a very well known bug in Sabayon 9. It freezes after you type the first character. May it be Calc, Writer or Impress. This is irritating.

Everything else

GNOME froze three times in one day. Sigh. It’s not as stable as expected.

I would not rate Sabayon very high. Although it meets its two main goals (installation and package management), a lot of work has to be done in this distro before the public can adopt it.


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