En:Beginners Guide

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i18n: de en fr

This document will guide you through the process of booting and installing SabayonLinux.

Before installing, you are advised to read the Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ

If you're experiencing problems, the Wiki is an excellent resource to be consulted.

The IRC channel (https://www.sabayon.org/chat),

and the forums (https://forum.sabayon.org/) are also available if the answer cannot be found here.

please bookmark this page, as the links mentioned in this guide, will lead you to other pages...

System Requirements

  • Live Environment - No 3D Desktop:
    • i686 Processor
    • at least 512 MB of RAM (1 GB suggested)
    • a 2D graphics card
    • a DDC capable Monitor
    • mouse and keyboard
  • Live Environment - 3D Desktop:
    • i686 Processor (starting from AMD K6 and Intel Pentium II)
    • at least 512 MB of RAM (1 GB suggested)
    • an OpenGL capable 3D graphics card (mostly NVIDIA, ATI, Intel, VIA)
    • a DDC capable Monitor
    • mouse and keyboard
  • Installation:
Please note that the below Requirements can be a bit too low for some Desktop Environments.

A full KDE Desktop for example, CAN run with only 1 GB RAM, but you will most likely run out of memory during a session.

Especially when running programs, such as firefox or thunderbird. Please keep that in mind.
    • i686 Processor
    • at least 512 MB of RAM (1 GB suggested for decent eyecandy effects)
    • an OpenGL capable 3D graphics card (mostly NVIDIA, ATI, Intel, VIA)
    • 20 GB of free space, that is bare minimum DVD Install. 30+ GB is highly recommended.
    • 8 GB of free space for miniCD. 10+ GB is recommended
    • Internet connection (not mandatory but highly suggested)
    • a DDC capable Monitor
    • mouse and keyboard

The live CD/DVD

What Editions are available in Sabayon Linux?

Sabayon is all about choice. You have many flavors to choose from.

You can download them from the mirrors, here:

The following choices are the main releases available in 32Bit (x86) or 64Bit (amd64):

"amd64" is also suitable for Intel based 64bit Processors
1. KDE
2. Gnome
5. XFCE 
6. Enlightenment

All of the above mentioned Desktop Environments are fully featured.

7. CoreCDX
CoreCDX is a minimal install for those wishing to configure the system more to their liking,
(for more advanced users) in 32bit or 64bit., and uses the Fluxbox Window Manager.

burning / checking the .iso image

One of the most common problems with burning a Linux install CD/DVD is that people sometimes don't understand that an iso image file is not a normal file. You cannot just burn the iso to disc to and expect it to work. I repeat: you cannot simply put the iso file on a blank disk and expect it to work. In order to properly make a CD or DVD out of an iso image, you need special software. Instructions for Nero and Isorecorder are included; for other programs, see the manual for the software, or just give one of these a shot.

With Nero you just select file and burn image, then select the .iso file you want to burn. The software handles the rest.

If you're looking for a good, alternative freeware solution, you can download a free image burner.

isorecorder [1] Simply download and install the correct version for your version of windows, then right click on the .iso and tell it to burn.

checking the integrity of the burned disc

Many people know they can check if a downloaded ISO file is OK by comparing the md5sum of the ISO file against the md5sum posted on the SL mirrors. For example:

# md5sum -c SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4f.iso.md5
SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4f.iso: OK

cf. the contents of ftp://bo.mirror.garr.it/mirrors/sabayonlinux/SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4f.iso.md5 which are: 645600788920443b372baae3544acffa SabayonLinux-x86_64-3.4f.iso

so the ISO I downloaded was good.

Remember - verify the MD5 sum for the version of Sabayon that you downloaded - they are all different. The MD5s can be found on the mirrors listed at: http://www.sabayonlinux.org/mirrors

But a different method is needed to verify the integrity of the LiveDVD/CD itself. You should select the verify written data checkbox in K3b before burning the DVD/CD, but if you forgot or still have doubts then the following method can be used to check the integrity of the burnt LiveDVD/CD:

If you only have Windows installed on your HDD, apparently you can use a Windows shareware application, see the following Web page for details: http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.php?title=Checking_the_integrity_of_a_Live_CD


1. I have not checked if the method for Windows on the above-mentioned Web page actually works, so use it at your own risk.

Under Linux:

Insert the LiveDVD into the optical drive, let the disc spin up and then enter the following three commands:

md5sum /dev/cdrom | awk '{print $1}' > md5a.txt
md5sum ~/Sabayon_Linux_8_amd64_K.iso | awk '{print $1}' > md5b.txt
diff -qs md5a.txt md5b.txt

(Obviously change the path and/or the ISO file name to match your circumstances.)

If you get an error message while the md5sum is reading the disc, there must be something wrong either with the burn or with the optical drive itself.

If you get the message "Files md5a.txt and md5b.txt differ" then the burn was bad.

If you get the message "Files md5a.txt and md5b.txt are identical" then the burn was good.

Passwords on live CD/DVD

  • The root password:

no password is required: just press the Enter key.

  • The sabayonuser password:

no password is required: just press the Enter key.

  • For older releases (version 6 and earlier) the password for Root is "root" (without the quotes) and the password for Sabayonuser is "sabayonuser" (without the quotes).

The Booting process

The boot process of the liveCD/DVD should be pretty straight forwarded, just as many other Linux Distrtibutions.

However, you could get into problems, when having hardware that isn't supported by default, for example.

Or having old hardware that the current drivers don't support.

When having a old NVidia card, and you've downloaded the latest ISO, chances are that it will not start the Window Manager/Desktop Environment, but rather present you with a black screen.

There is nothing wrong with the ISO, it is because "nvidia-drivers-304.64" or higher is installed by default.

You can bypass that by hitting ctrl-alt-f1, remove the nvidia-drivers, (nouveau is installed too), and restart xdm., as explained below:

Removing latest nvidia-drivers:

    # Press the "CTRL-ALT-F1" key combination.

"#" is just indicated that you have to be root, so do not include that with the actual commands...

# su
# equo remove nvidia-drivers --ask

Check that "x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers" got removed., nothing else... and confirm with "yes"

Restart XDM:

# /etc/init.d/xdm restart

For a overall view of which cards support what driver., please see: http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_32667.html

If you wish to be guided through the boot process and the several options it offers, we have a visual walkthrough.

Please see: Visual_Tour:_Boot-menu_Sabayon_LiveCD/DVD

Workarounds for problematic Hardware, during the boot process are discussed here:


cheatcodes for ATI and nVidia


noddc res=1024x768 refresh=60 opengl=ati


noddc res=1024x768 refresh=60 opengl=nvidia

To use the cheatcodes, hit F5 on the boot up screen of the livecd/dvd and add one of the lines above pending on your hardware

see: Visual_Tour:_Boot-menu_Sabayon_LiveCD/DVD

When you need to edit xorg.conf, or have to create it for special reasons, the following visual tour will show you how to edit Xorg.conf:


Installing Sabayon

Installation Guide: Step by Step

install guide with grub2 and GPT

visual walkthrough installing Sabayon

Pre-installation Preparation

Make a note of your current hardware

Though not 100% necessary, it's a pretty good idea to know the specs of your computer. This can help you plan now and help with some decisions later during installation. If you currently have ms windows installed you can check some basic details. In ms windows you can check your system a few ways:

go to start button / all programs / accessories / system tools / system information

go to start button / control panel / system

go to start button / control panel / Hardware (tab on top) / device manager

go to start button / my computer

Now in searching these places you want to answers to the following questions:

How much hard drive space do I have ?
How much memory do I have ? (physical ram also know as ram)

This is helpful for choosing your swap partition later.

Which CPU do I have ?

This will help you decide if you choose a 64bit or 32bit operating system. You may need to go to the Intel or AMD websites to check your architure. Or you may be able to find it by using your favorite search engine.

Other Pre-install Considerations

Do I want to use 2 operating systems (such as Sabayon and Windows) on 1 computer?

If you do you may wish to read the following links:

How to dual boot Sabayon and Windows

Dual booting with hard disk encryption

I want to keep my current Windows installed, but I need to make room on my hard drive to install Sabayon

Shrink an existing partition

Do I need to wipe my hard drive clean ?

Even if you delete files and over write a hard drive with a new operating system, old and potentially sensitive data can be retrieved using forensics. If you are looking for a truly clean start you may wish to read the following link and wipe your hard drive properly:

How to wipe and shred data

Is security and hard drive encryption important to me ?

You may not know the answer to that question until a jealous lover decides to kill you in your sleep or some government agency arrives at your home to take you and your pc away ;). If you think privacy and security are important to you then read the following link:

Hard Disk Encryption

Which kind of desktop do I want ?

KDE, GNOME, Fluxbox, LXDE, Openbox, Xfce, and Enlightenment are window managers for Linux. They have different functions and appearance. All can work well and have certain advantages. At this point it seems KDE and GNOME are more widely used. I think new Linux users migrating from Windows may find KDE and the classic style kickoff menu (start button and programs list) a little more familiar.

Final preparation for installation

Choose a download mirror

These are different servers in various countries and regions where you can download Sabayon. Usually the closest country or region will download faster, but not always.

Download mirrors

Click iso/ from the list

Too easy

Choose the correct iso you want

This is more tricky as the list is quite long. Look at the file names carefully. The file name will incude Sabayon_Linux; version number (as of this writing, 5.4); cpu type (amd64 for both intel and amd 64bit cpu's; or x86 for 32bit processors); and desktop type (E17 for enlightenment; G for GNOME; K for KDE; LXDE); and file type (we want .iso).

If you are unsure than use x86 for 32bit. 32bit operating systems will work on 64bit CPU's, but NOT vice-versa.

Note: files that end with .iso.md5 or .iso.pkglist or .iso.torrent are NOT the iso file. The file image you need to burn to disk will end in .iso

Example: Sabayon_Linux_5.4_amd64_K.iso

If there are errors during installation you may want to come back here and downlown the .iso.md5 file that is a partner to your iso file. The .iso.md5 file is a small file to check the integrity of main iso file you downloaded.

Example of the partner checksum file: Sabayon_Linux_5.4_amd64_K.iso.md5

For instructions to use the md5 checksum read the following link:

How to check integrity of a live dvd

Burn the iso file to dvd

It is very important to know that you do NOT simply burn the iso file as a data file to the dvd. There are many drink coasters out there from those that have. The selection on your dvd/cd coping software needs to say “burn as image”. This selection is not usually on the front of the control panel, but more likely buried under a tab somewhere. For more information on burning an iso to disk try the following links:

From About.com PC Support

Sabayon how to burn dvd

Booting Sabayon LiveDVD Image from a USB Device

If you prefer to use a usb or flash drive instead of dvd to boot Sabayon you can try the following links:

Boot dvd iso from usb

Boot CoreCD image from usb

It is easier though to install syslinux, format your flash drive in FAT32 or ext2/ext3 (the latter is required for LiveDVD images) and use unetbootin GUI tool on the iso image.

Change the boot priority in bios

BIOS is the pretty, black screen with white words you see when you first power on or restart your computer. Normally your hard drive is set to boot first. In order to boot your iso DVD you need to change the boot order so that the computer will boot from the cd/dvd player or usb first. To change the boot order you need to enter BIOS. To enter BIOS you need to push either DEL, F1 or ESC at the very beginning of start up/restart, depending on which BIOS and motherboard you have. After you have entered BIOS you will need to use the arrows on the keyboard to move around and find the settings for boot order/boot priority. After you have made changes you will probably need to push F10 to save and exit.

Save and/or Backup anything on the hard drive you want to keep

Begin Installation

No doubt your eye balls are square and head is buzzing from hours and/or days of reading. At this point we should be ready to rock.

Power on/Restart with Sabayon live DVD loaded in your player.

The computer will power up and begin to load the DVD. It will bring you to a loading options screen. There will be 3-5 choices. You have about 45-60 second to choose, unless you press a key to stop the timer. The top option should be the main loading choice. Selecting this will not install, nor will it hurt your hard drive. It will simply load you to a desktop environment. It could take 3-5 minutes to load to desktop. After it loads you can check that the internet works and play with the system a bit. Keep in mind that the look and feel may be a bit slow and clunky because you are merely test driving on the DVD. After installation, look and feel will be much better. When you're done goofing off and decide for a more serious comitment:

Save and/or Backup anything on the hard drive you want to keep

Click the “Install Sabayon” icon located near the top left corner

The first few screens of the installer should be pretty straight forward even for novice computer users.

Select Root password

In Sabayon, as with most GNU/linux systems, root is the equivalent of “admin” in ms windows systems. This password is important and should be different than user password or any other pw. Linux is fundmentally safer in part because the root password is needed to make changes to important files. Viruses can't auto run and go crazy through your system because you would have to physically log in as root and then run the virus yourself, but we're too smart for that, right? Always initially log into Sabayon or any linux as user, never as root.

You need root password to open Rigo (the GUI package manager for Entropy) and to run certain commands in the terminal.

Select user name, full name, and user password

User name is the name you will need at the login screen everytime you start your computer. (no spaces or funny symbols)

User password is the password you need at the login screen everytime you start the computer.

Full name can be whatever you want including the same as user name. It can also have spaces, etc.

Create partition scheme

So many choices. . . .where to begin ????

Currently mbr style partitioning is the most widely used and and easiest for for nearly all os's to install to, though GUID (gpt) are gaining more acceptance in mac and latter newer versions of ms windows. Mbr partitioning is the recommended and least problem free at the moment for linux and bsd systems. With mbr partitioning, hard drives can have 4 primary partitions, but can have many logical and extended partitions. Logical/extended partitions are like imaginary branches off of one primary partition.Each LVM group or extended partition group will use 1 of your 4 primary partitions.

Regardless of which scheme you choose, you will need atleast one partition. One partition must contain / (root) partition. Other partitions are optional, but /swap is recommended (/home will be inside of root if you dont make an addition partition). Both /home and swap can be installed as logical partitions off of the /(root) primary partition if need be.

The simplest and most efficient way is to install the entire system to / on 1 primary partition. You will get a warning that swap is not installed, but a swap folder can be added after installation if you want it.

If for some reason you wish to install using multiple mount points or partitions i reccomend the following: I tend to pad partions with a little more volume than is required. You can adjust to leaner amounts if you are thin on hd space, but I recommend the following:

/boot 100mb ext4(32mb-100 is fine)

/ (root) 30,000mb ext4(about 30 gb) 18gb-30gb is fine, but /var will be inside /root, so I put more here.

/swap 1028mb – 4096mb swap(1gb-4gb) this should be about the size of your physical memory.

/home 40,000mb -200,000mb+ ext4(40gb-200gb+) This generally should be the biggest partition as all your personal things will come here, photos, films, games, music, bla bla bla.

If you want an education try reading the following links:

Gentoo partition guide

Arch Linux partition guide

Sabayon manual partitioning

During the installation you will arrive at a page on the install asking "what kind of installation do you want ?". You can make your own decision about this, but i would recommend Create Custom Partition Scheme. In this way you can set the partitons and partition sizes to fit your needs. Upon selecting custom partion setup you will come to a new page. Click on the freespace or partition you want to change or install to, so that it is highlighted. Once the freespace or partition is highlighted you can then click one of the buttons to either Create, edit, or delete that particular freespace/partition.

For disk encryption you need atleast 2 primary partitions. /boot and / (/root). In this way all other directories such as /home and /var will be installed inside of / (/root). /boot must be unencrypted when you encrypt / (root). For extra security a 100mb partition can installed to a usb flash drive and install /boot to it., though not necessary.

In using LVM groups I have found i can not see swap after installation using LVM. As of yet, I'm not certain if swap is working with LVM groups. I do know swap works on its own primary partition. I have reports it also works on an extended partition. If you have a small amount of ram you may wish to take this into consideration.

Dual Booting

For dual booting Sabayon Linux and ms windows try the 2 links below:

Boot Loader Option page

After you have selected your partion and clicked ok, it will begin formatting and writing to disk. Within a few minutes you will arrive at the boot loader option page. You will want to leave the check box enabled for the bootloader. In most cases you will just click "next". If you are dual booting you STILL leave the check box enabled, but you may wish to click the "change" button. Dual booters should read the above link.

People booting only 1 operating system, Sabayon Linux, (and some dual booters) can click next without changing anything.

Finish DVD Installation

After the boot loader menu you will arrive at the final installer screen. Kiss your lover. Hug the kids. Say a small prayer. Cross your fingers and . . .

Click "Reboot" !

Remove the DVD when the BIOS begins.

The Aftermath: Post-installation upgrades and configuration

With a little luck you will have passed the grub bootloader menu and now find yourself at the login screen.

Enter user name and user password

After you load to desktop you will need a few minutes to let the system check for updates(it takes a while on a new install). When its finished a yellow shield icon will appear in the notification area near the clock.

Don't fall out of your chair !

It is not uncommon to have 300-1000 updates needing to be done on a fresh install. Remember Sabayon is a rolling release so we get new stuff a lot. After the initial install, update, and upgrade the number of updates at once will be way smaller. You don't need to update yet. You can take some time to play and look around.

For users new to Linux that choose the KDE desktop environment I recommend a few quick changes before updating.

Convenient settings for new linux users using KDE desktop

For users new to Linux that choose the KDE desktop environment I recommend a few quick changes before updating. Apply changes in the following order.

Close the small desktop inside of the desktop

This can be annoying, causing disappearing/reappearing icons and widgets. Besides the fact it has a seperate picture in the top left corner of the screen. To get rid of it do the following: Right click on open space on the desktop. Click "activities" in the small drop down box. A new task bar will have opened along the bottom of the screen. There are 5 square icons to the left in the task bar. Click the top right corner of 4 of the icons(2-5) so that there is a red x in the corner of each of the 4 icons. Close the task bar.

Add the home folder to desktop

This can make life easier when you are looking for things or need a place for downloading or putting your other things. To do this click the start button. Move the mouse pointer on top of the "computer" icon. Right click on the "home" folder. Click "add to desktop" in the small drop down box. You may need to move the icons manually if they dog pile on eachother. Now you can click and open the home folder(it should have your user name). After you open it you can right click and add new folders for your downloads, photos, etc inside of the home folder.You will find the home folder is the default for office document saves and other downloads.

You can also go to the start button > system > Dolphin (file manager). Right click Dolphin and add to desktop or panel, whichever you prefer.

Change KickOff launcher(start button) to classic style

The Kickoff menu is nice, but terribly slow to use when you want to get things done. The classic menu is awesome, fast, and easy. To change it simply right click the start button and click "switch to classic style menu".

Add a terminal (command line tool) to either desktop or quick launch bar

Yes, Sabayon has a GUI installer (Rigo). But you are still going to want to use the command line on occasion, especially with a fresh install. Also using the command line in Sabayon is quite a treat on the eyes. All the text when using the command line is multi colored, making it very enjoyable to read and look at. It is also makes finding details in all the text so easy compared to black and white text. Click the start button and put the mouse pointer on "system", find "Konsole" in the list. Right click Konsole and "add to desktop" or "add to panel".

For a installation guide, step-by-step, please see: En:Introduction#Installation_Guide:_Step_by_Step

We also offer a visual walkthrough about installing Sabayon, please see: Visual_Tour:_Installing_Sabayon


When installing, Sabayon offers a standard partitioning scheme using LVM, and leaves Windows partitions untouched.

If you wish to manually partition, or add mountpoints, please see: HOWTO:_Manual_Partitioning_with_Sabayon_Linux

For GPT partitioning: HOWTO:_Install_Sabayon_with_GRUB2_and_GPT_on_a_New_System

Advice on the hostname:


Dual boot with Windows

If you want to Dual boot with Windows, or first need to reduce the size of the existing partitions, please see: HOWTO:_Dual_boot_Sabayon_Linux_and_Windows

Install the Gentoo way





boot parameters