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General Questions regarding Sabayon Linux

What is Sabayon Linux

Sabayon Linux is a pre-configured distribution with the tenets of Performance, Versatility, and Stability, based on the source-based distribution named Gentoo Linux, a particularly customizable distribution. If you have other questions on Gentoo and its philosophy, I request you visit their website: http://gentoo.org.

In particular, Sabayon emanates substantially from Gentoo's testing branch, one of the most popular source-based Linux distributions, which is about on par with Debian's unstable branch called Sid. Though based on the bleeding edge, you will find Sabayon is quite stable and perhaps more cutting edge than many. Although both Sabayon and Gentoo are rolling releases, Sabayon will have release snapshots.

How is Sabayon Linux maintained?

As Ubuntu uses some of the packages from Debian, so Sabayon receives its packages from Gentoo.
Sabayon, when using the package manager "Entropy" is binary based. Currently Sabayon has about 13,000 packages in Entropy. And when Sabayon is using the package manager "Portage", it is source based. The Gentoo repository is quite huge.

What is the difference between source-based and binary based distribution?

Most distros, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, Fedora and SUSE, install binary packages. Simply put, a binary package is the pre-compiled program, compiled on another computer and made available for download and installation on other computers.

A source-based distro is one that compiles its programs from source code on the target computer at the time of installation, rather than relying on others to compile and package them. Source-based distros generally also have in their repositories some binary (pre-compiled) packages; these will be the large programs such as LibreOffice, the reason being that the compilation of these can take several hours.


  • Overlay: We have our own Portage overlay for ebuilds. Ebuilds are script files that contain instructions for the Portage package manager on how to install the package from its source code.
  • Performance: We have modified the Portage make.conf file in order to ensure that our distribution will run at higher speed on newer computers and as fast as possible on older computers.
  • Variability: Again, we have modified make.conf in order to cater to a wide spectrum of hardware, using the x86 and amd64 (x86_64) processor architectures.
  • Entropy: We have a binary manager that can be used as the one, unique package manager. It functions also with Portage so that you can use them both if you are an experienced user. The Entropy binary packages are ready-built and can be installed immediately without the need to compile anything from the source code.
  • The main branch of Gentoo is considered Gentoo stable. Sabayon is based on Gentoo's testing branch.
  • Sabayon has different versions ready for quick and pain free installation. The Gentoo installation is done from the ground up, relying on you to make all the configuration choices.
  • Gentoo has use flags. Sabayon will ignore use flags when using Entropy, but will apply the use flags when using portage.

Why choose Sabayon Linux ?

1. Variety

Sabayon has multiple editions to choose from. From a variety of desktops to a variety of packages and installations that can enjoyed by new linux users as well as by power users who prefer a higher level of customization.

2. Sabayon is a rolling release.

Once installed you should not need to reinstall a new updated version, since you can use the update tools. Entropy is a GUI tool and front-end for the text console based Equo. This allows you to have the latest and greatest packages available to you, at all times.

3. The Calamares installer 

The Calamares installer in Sabayon greatly simplifies installation including disk partition setup, note that disk encryption support is still in development and then not yet available. (see https://calamares.io/bugs/browse/CAL-260 https://calamares.io/bugs/browse/CAL-256 https://calamares.io/bugs/browse/CAL-257 for reference).

The old and beloved Anaconda installer was retired, since our fork wasn't actually mantained.

Calamares is used on other Linux Distros as well, and it is actively mantained.

4. Choice of package managers and repositories.

Sabayon's package manager Entropy is binary and currently contains about 13,000 packages in its repositories. Gentoo's package manager Portage is source based and has a quite huge repo.

5. Support.

Sabayon is highly active and well maintained. You can find help through our forums, live help, and the ever-growing wiki.

6. Look and feel.

Sabayon is generally considered one of the more visually attractive Linux distros. From the installer, to the desktops, and even down to the terminal which has a useful color scheme applied to make any work on the command line pleasing to the eye and easy to understand.

7. Using Sabayon helps to save the world

Test results have shown that using Sabayon Linux improves the economy; helps reduce global warming; is generally good for the environment; promotes world peace; and helps to fight off alien invasive species from other galaxies. It is also shown to be helpful in improving the health of your sense of humor, which is important to keep from bashing your head on the key board during difficult moments. (Test results have been claimed to vary, but number 7 is considered an attempt at humor.)

Should I use Sabayon as a source-based or binary based distribution?

Sabayon Linux has two package managers: Entropy (binary packages) and Portage (source packages). As you can install binary packages instead of source code-based packages, Sabayon Linux offers users a choice and the best of both worlds. The binary packages in the Entropy repository have been built by using the Portage package manager and then packaged using Entropy packaging tools on that computer. The binary packages are stored in the Entropy repository and you install them on your computer by using either the Equo command line client or the Rigo GUI client. As the release time and date of packages are a little different between the 2 package managers it is recommended to use one package manager consistently to avoid conflicts.

Generally, using Entropy with binary packages is recommended to new users and those who just want everything to work easily.

Portage(source based) is recommended for more advanced users who wish to customize their installation to a higher degree.

There are two main advantages to source-based distributions:

  1. Firstly, source-based distros often have the newest software before binary distros do. This is due mainly to the fact that rather than having to compile a package and then test it on different machines, all that is required in Sabayon Linux is a file telling it where to find the source code and how to compile it.
  2. Secondly, undoubtedly a program will eventually have a feature you don't need, and will just take up space or slow down the program. In a binary distro, you're stuck with this feature. In a source-based distro you have the option of removing unwanted features at the time of compilation (assuming you are using Portage rather than Entropy).

System Requirements

  • Live Environment - No 3D Desktop:
    • 64bit 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:
    • 64bit 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 Requirements indicated for Installation may 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 large programs, such as firefox, thunderbird and/or libreoffice. Please keep that in mind.
    • 64bit 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

What Editions are available in Sabayon Linux?

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

You can download them from either the mirrors or as torrent file 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
4. XFCE 
5. Enlightenment

All of the above mentioned editions have Desktop Environments which are fully-featured.

6. ForensicsXfce
ForensicsXfce, beside including by default forensics tools, uses different theme than Xfce edition.

7. SpinBase
SpinBase is a base image (no X-Windows) for creating desktop oriented Sabayon distributions.
All Sabayon releases are based on SpinBase.

8. Minimal
Minimal is geared towards very minimal graphical environment setup, no fancy tools, browsers, whatever, 
just Fluxbox and command line.

How can I contribute to, or support Sabayon Linux

There are several ways to contribute:

  • The Sabayon foundation is always looking for funds.

For more information, see: Donate

  • Translations.

We are always looking for translators. For the Wiki, as well as translating Sabayon into your native language.

You may subscribe to our wonderful Wiki, and translate the articles into your own Language, or write your own articles about some area of working with GNU/Linux.

If you want to translate Sabayon into your own language, please see: En:HOWTO: Translate Sabayon

If you want to translate the Wiki articles into your own language, please see: En:Translations and Editing_Guidelines

  • Subscribe to our Forum

Help out others with problems. Perhaps problems you've had once too,
and know the answer or a solution. Forum

  • Join us on Facebook or Google+

There are lots of Discussions going on on facebook and Google+. Want to help out, or participate?
Google+ Community

  • setup more download mirrors

We need more mirrors!

Check out this link to learn more about what it takes to mirror the Sabayon Linux project. Mirroring_Sabayon

The liveCD/DVD

Should I get the 32-bit or the 64-bit edition?

(NOTE 32 BIT WAS RETIRED) This is a never-ending, debatable question. For new users, 32-bit is easier to operate as 64-bit may be a bit fussier. Everything should work in 64-bit as the 32-bit version. Keep in mind that you are still using mostly 32-bit applications. The average desktop user is not going to see benefits over the 32-bit. I suggest to people to try both and see for themselves. In my experience I see most new people picking the 32-bit version. You can certainly Google for more information on this debate. 64bit would seem to be the direction things are going in, though most applications are still in 32bit. 64bit has gotten more support these days and become more widespread in use. 64bit is currently more secure, however most 64bit systems use multi libraries. multi libraries allow you to use both 64 and 32bit apps. A 64bit system using multi libraries will have a certain amount of vulnerability as a 32 bit system.

Can I install without having to burn the ISO to CD or DVD?

Yes, you can install if you don't have a CD or DVD burner. Another way, if your computer can boot USB pen drives, is to use UNetbootin or similar to install the Sabayon Linux ISO to a pen drive and create a bootable pen drive (think of it as a fast LiveCD/DVD). Then you can boot the pen drive to get to a Live desktop, and install Sabayon Linux from there, just as you would from a LiveCD/DVD.

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 Sabayon_Linux_11_x86_MATE.iso.md5
Sabayon_Linux_11_x86_MATE.iso: OK

cf. the contents of http://mirror.de.sabayon.org/iso/Sabayon_Linux_11_x86_MATE.iso.md5 which are:

6ce8fb1de25965b41fb391e8fd2994e4  Sabayon_Linux_11_x86_MATE.iso

so the ISO I downloaded was good.

Remember - verify the MD5 checksum for the version of Sabayon that you downloaded - they are all different. The MD5 checksums can be found on the mirrors.

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

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

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 LiveCD/DVD into the optical drive, let the disc spin up and then enter the following three commands:

# md5sum /dev/cdrom | awk '{print $1}' > md5cd.txt
# md5sum ~/Sabayon_Linux_11_x86_MATE.iso | awk '{print $1}' > md5iso.txt
# diff -qs md5cd.txt md5iso.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 md5cd.txt and md5iso.txt differ" then the burn was bad.
  • If you get the message "Files md5cd.txt and md5iso.txt are identical" then the burn was good.

Passwords on LiveCD/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).

Persistent Home Directory

Please see: Persistent_Home_Directory

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.

Removing latest nvidia-drivers:

# Press the "CTRL-ALT-F1" key combination.
"#" sign indicated that you have to be root, so do not include that with the actual commands...
$ su
# equo remove --ask nvidia-drivers

Check that "x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers" got removed … nothing else … and confirm with "yes". Then restart Display Manager service:

# systemctl restart display-manager

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:


After installation

What is Entropy or Equo?

Entropy is the binary package manager of Sabayon Linux. To install binary packages you use either the command line client Equo or the newest graphical user interface Rigo.

A binary package is a file package containing the already-compiled files to install instead of having to compile the source code. Equo, and Rigo handle these files.

I just installed it, what do I do first?

This question has always amazed me. Who says there is anything to do? How about just using the operating system and getting familiar with it? Take some time and read the documentation. If you insist on having to do something then

# emerge --sync && layman -S

to update your Portage package list, or, if using Entropy, see Fresh Install

The GUI for managing packages

Rigo is the GUI for the Entropy package manager.

emerge and layman are Portage commands, Portage is not our own package manager but is available to advanced users. Any steps using these commands can be safely ignored

There are GUIs for the Portage package manager, but they are no substitute for using emerge on the command line.

  • Currently we have Kuroo4 (Qt), and Porthole (Gtk). Kuroo4 seems to be the best, but only available in Portage.

Personally if you have to rely on a GUI, then try to just use it as a browser of Portage, but still use the command line to install your packages. You will save yourself a lot of headaches. Search and gather your information needed with the GUI then open up Konsole or Terminal and install using the emerge command.

How do I update/install packages?

There are 2 package managers, Entropy and Portage. It is highly recommended that you choose and only use 1 package manager. Conflicts can arise from mixing both package managers. Please read the Entropy page. Entropy is the package manager specially developed for Sabayon Linux. It has a command line interface (Equo) and a GUI (Rigo). Equo commands and Rigo GUI are Entropy and recommended for newer users of Sabayon Linux. Advanced users of Sabayon Linux may wish to use Portage, the package manager developed for Gentoo Linux, on which Sabayon Linux is based. For information on Portage, please read HOWTO: The Complete Portage Guide.

How do I install several packages?

For Entropy:

# equo install foo foo foo foo foo

For Portage:

# emerge foo foo foo foo foo

The package manager will install each package one after another. Replace foo with actual package name.

How do I search for a package?

  • For Entropy:
# equo search foo

or use the Rigo GUI, or on the Web: Sabayon Linux Website's Entropy package search page.

  • For Portage:
# emerge -s foo

or use a GUI such as Kuroo4.

Using EIX

  • For Portage:

I highly recommend using eix. It's the best tool you can have at your hands for searching. It is a command line tool, but it is very powerful and will tell you lots of information.

# emerge eix && eix-update
# eix foo

You can use eix in Entropy too:

# equo install eix && eix-update
# eix foo

Example output of eix app-editors/gedit:

* app-editors/gedit
     Available versions:  2.30.4 (~)3.4.2 (~)3.6.2-r1 {doc +introspection (+)python spell test zeitgeist PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET="python2_6 python2_7" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_6 python2_7"}
     Homepage:            http://live.gnome.org/Gedit
     Description:         A text editor for the GNOME desktop

* app-editors/gedit-plugins
     Available versions:  2.32.0 (~)3.4.0 (~)3.6.1-r1 {charmap +python synctex terminal PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET="python2_6 python2_7" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_6 python2_7"}
     Homepage:            http://live.gnome.org/GeditPlugins
     Description:         Offical plugins for gedit

* app-editors/gedit-latex [1]
     Available versions:  (~)3.2.1
     Homepage:            http://live.gnome.org/Gedit
     Description:         Provides code assistance for C, C++ and Objective-C by utilizing clang

[1] "sabayon" /var/lib/layman/sabayon

3 matches.

Eix has the ability to search Portage and all overlays. Simply edit the /etc/eix-sync.conf file and just add * to it:

# echo '*' >> /etc/eix-sync.conf

Then do:

# eix-remote update

Now when you search, it will tell where and what overlay a package is in if it is not in the Portage main tree. This will widen your abilities to find packages, as overlays contain a lot of ebuilds too.


Can I emerge 2 packages at same time in Portage?

Yes you can, but it can and will bog your system down. It's not really recommended.

How do I update everything at once?

For Entropy:

# equo update
# equo upgrade
# equo conf update

See the Sabayon Wiki article Entropy for details.

emerge and layman are Portage commands. Portage is not our package manager but is available to advanced users. Any steps using these commands can be safely ignored

If you are new to this distro and have no understanding of Portage, we do not recommend this until you get to know how this distro works. This is one of the fastest ways to destroy your system. This distro is not like the other distros that have the big easy button update. For your information though, world update is what Gentoo calls updating your entire system. It looks at your world file and compares it to Portage and then proceeds to update all packages. Following is how:

# emerge -- sync && layman -S
# emerge -ua world

You've been warned. When you come yelling because your system won't boot, don't expect sympathy.

N.B. The term 'world' is not used in Entropy.

How do I uninstall a package?

  • For Entropy:
# equo remove foo
This can remove dependencies.
  • For Portage:
 # emerge -C foo
This will not remove the dependencies. You will need to run depclean for that. I stress great caution with depclean, as it means what it says.

How do I find out which packages depend on a certain package?

# equery depends foo

It will tell you all files depending on that package. See using gentoolkit for more information and commands.

I keep getting !!! ARCH is not set... Are you missing the 'etc/make.profile' symlink?

In Konsole/Terminal use the su command to become the root user and then:

  • Run the following command: eselect profile list
  • Look for something like: default-linux/x86/2007.0/desktop and note the number in front of it.
  • Then do: eselect profile set # <--replace the # with the number. In my case it would be eselect profile set 6

Now you should be good to go again.

Do I have to download the LiveCD/DVD every time to upgrade?

No, Sabayon is a rolling release. However in some cases upgrading via LiveCD/DVD may prove more time efficent.

Entropy: The equo command makes upgrading easy - see Entropy.

Portage: Portage is recommended for advanced users that prefer a higher degree of customization. That being said, Gentoo documentation is quite extensive and helpful for those wanting to dive into it.

Always backup your files before doing anything. My personal opinion: backup, fresh install, restore backup.

How do I check for security updates ?

It's pretty easy to keep your system secure. Entropy does this for you automatically.

For Portage:

  • Open up konsole or terminal and enter the command su to become the root user.
  • Run the command glsa-check -t all to check your system.
  • Then to fix, run glsa-check -f $(glsa-check -t all)

You can also visit our security wiki for more helpful tips:

How do I handle blocked packages?

This is an issue in Portage. You are going to run into packages blocking other packages. This can happen for several reasons, e.g. a package has been dropped from Portage as it no longer exists or is no longer supported. In most cases you will simply have to remove (uninstall) the package that is blocking the new package. You will want to do some research on this first. Don't take Portage for granted and blindly do as it says without checking out what or why.

Latest versions of Portage (version 2.2 and higher) handle most blockages.

How to handle masked packages?

A package is complaining that it is masked and cannot install. This is one of those times you want to check why it is masked. A masked package is usually masked to prevent you from busting things. There are several ways a package can be masked. You can still install masked packages by unmasking them, but make sure you find out first why they are masked.

How do I update the config files?

As you install stuff, some packages are going to bring in new versions of their config files. These config files are important as they may have new settings for that package that need to be implemented. I stress that is is very, very crucial that you pay attention to these config files. You can change the entire outcome of your installation if you are not careful. Get to know your config files. There are several ways to handle these files:

  • For Entropy:
# equo conf update
  • For Portage:

dispatch-conf and etc-update are probably the most popular ways of handling updates to config files.

Please handle these files with care. You can't know these files enough.

Where do I start to configure my system?

  • For Entropy:

All packages are pre-configured remotely as they have been compiled on a remote computer. You do not need to (and cannot) do anything. If a package has been compiled without a specific USE flag that you need, then you will either have to request to the Entropy repository maintainers that the package be rebuilt (file a bug report in bugzilla) and the new version placed in the Entropy repository, or use Portage to rebuild it yourself.

  • For Portage:

The file make.conf is your heart and soul of your operating system. Learn it, edit it and build a lean, mean machine. Sabayon Linux ships with a generic make.conf that tries to support everything under the sun. You don't need all that stuff and by configuring, you will have lesser issues with Portage and conflicts.

Where does Portage download the packages to?

They are downloaded and stored in the directory /usr/portage/distfiles/

Where does Entropy download the packages to?

They are downloaded and stored in the directory /var/tmp/entropy/packages/ For instance, on my amd64 using Branch 4 they are stored in /var/tmp/entropy/packages/amd64/5

How do I clean out Entropy downloaded packages?

# equo cleanup

See Sabayon Wiki page of Equo commands or equo --help --verbose.


How do I get the Desktop Cube thing working?

The desktop cube and 3D graphics do not work after I installed Sabayon Linux to the hard disk, but do work when I'm using the LiveCD/DVD.

Well, in theory what you see when you run the LiveCD/DVD is what you get when you install Sabayon Linux. So if the 3D desktop was working with the LiveCD/DVD then it should work when you boot your new installation. Well, we know all about theories; it doesn't work for everyone. You can either search in the Sabayon Linux Forums and the Sabayon Wiki for help on how to get the 3D desktop working with your particular model of graphics card, or you can ask in IRC #sabayon.

First thing you need to do: make sure the md5sum is good after you downloaded the .iso file, I can't stress that enough. Make sure you have burnt the CD/DVD as slowly as possible, and enable Burn Verify in your burning application.

You will be asked those two questions every time, so please do this so we don't have to waste bandwidth re-asking. It may seem petty to you to check the md5sum but, without knowing you're starting out with a good ISO file, it's pointless to continue. We can spend weeks troubleshooting and if your md5sum was bad, we just waste a lot of time and it causes a lot of frustration. With a bad md5sum you can still get a bootable working desktop, but may have issues elsewhere. So keep in mind, just because it boots, doesn't mean the ISO file is good. How do I check the md5sum and disk you ask? Well, luckily for you: HOWTO: Checking the integrity of a LiveCD or LiveDVD.

The linked HowTo is marked as outdated and needs a revision. Please use it on your own risk!

OK, so you made sure the md5sum was good and you burnt the disk at a nice slow speed with Burn Verify enabled. Now we can start looking at other things. Do you have the correct video driver and the latest version of it? That will be the first thing to know.

NVIDIA card owners, the following link will save you hours of frustration. Yes, certain cards require certain drivers: http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Nvidia. If you do not know or understand what is 'masking' then please read more (Portage users, see http://dev.gentoo.org/~dang/masked.txt. Entropy users, see Entropy#Masking_and_Unmasking_Packages_in_Entropy.

Our Wiki also has a HowTo get NVIDIA and ATI cards working too, so use the relevant information: HOWTO: Get Ati or Nvidia Video Cards working in Sabayon.

The linked HowTo is marked as outdated and needs a revision. Please use it on your own risk!

Also search the Sabayon Linux Forums for posts mentioning your card manufacturer and model.

The above method will work for most people, but you will find that maybe it didn't work for you. Why? I don't know. A little bit of research into /etc/X11/xorg.conf can usually resolve the remaining few that have problems. The following link is full of information for AIGLX: http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/AIGLX/Troubleshooting. Again, only use the information that is relevant. You will want to pay attention to the xorg.conf settings shown on that page and compare it to your xorg.conf so it matches.

Still having problems? Buy a new video card!

If you want to post your special way of how you got it working - please do. Mine just works all the time so I don't have such problems.


Does this include support for some privately-owned platforms?

Yes, Sabayon Linux supports DVDs, MP3, WMA, AAC, DivX. Moreover, it supports a lot of open platforms, such as Ogg Vorbis, Matroska, Ogg Theora, FLAC, and coder-decoder Xvid.


Please Visit our Gaming Shed

3D Desktop/Compiz Questions

The cube was working on LiveCD/DVD but doesn't on install, now what?

This question was dealt before. See How do I get the Desktop Cube thing working?
Well, now it's getting difficult as we need to check more things. You will need the assistance of the Sabayon Linux Forum or IRC to help. I recommend you try and find the source of your problem first. When logged in, open a Konsole/Terminal window and type in the command
$ fusion-icon
(you may have to install it first) and see what the error message is in the Konsole/Terminal. You will need to post that error message with your request for help. Make sure you have installed the latest video drivers for your video card also.

How do I update Compiz-Fusion to latest Dev. Version?

We have a guide on the forum that is maintained to keep up with the changes in Compiz-Fusion development. This is for Portage users.

How do I know if my card will work with Compiz-Fusion?

We have a card list that the community has reported on if their card works or not. It's not a complete list, but a good list to reference.

Where can I get more help on Compiz-Fusion?

I would suggest their support forum.

COMPIZ project And COMPIZ FUSION Plugins Merged into the Base Project [compiz.org]

How do I install KDE 4.x.x with Equo?

# equo install kde-meta-4.x.x

Replace the x's with the version of KDE you want to install.

How Do I enable Autologin?

The real question is, do you really want to? If yes, you should get a hammer and hit yourself in the head repeatedly. Logging in, especially logging in as user, not root, is a very basic but powerful security measure. Hostile programs cannot be autorun on your system if you log in as user. Also no one can accidently/purposefully find your collection of porn, google searches, or downloaded emails simply by pushing the power button if you set a user with password. Please see our Wiki page for how to do this.

How Do I change the positioning of notifications?

By default the sabayon gnome version comes with Notify OSD. This is developed by Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth says the positioning won't be configurable .

notify-osd is no longer in entropy.

So if you want the notifications to appear in another corner you'll have to uninstall notify-osd and install notification-daemon. After that you will be able to configure the positioning with the last command

# equo remove notify-osd
# equo install x11-misc/notification-daemon
$ notification-properties

Networking Questions

How do I find out what network card I have?

As root user, enter the command in a Konsole or Terminal window:

# lspci -nnk | grep -i net -A2

The command lspci will list hardware; this specific command will list your network's name/chip set.

How do I set-up my network?

Well, hopefully the LiveCD/DVD recognizes your network card, and NetworkManager sets your network up for you. If it doesn't, try running the command as root:

# su
# net-setup

You're going to want to consult the Gentoo Networking section.

I can ping my router but can't access the Internet

You're probably having DNS issues. You need to edit the file /etc/resolv.conf and enter the correct DNS, then restart your network. If you don't know what to use for DNS, use


Sabayon comes with ufw installed and configured. By default all incoming connections are blocked.

To check the ufw status you can use the "ufw status" command, i.e.:

# ufw status
Status: active

To allow, i.e. sshd (22/tcp) you can add a rule to ufw (as root):

# ufw allow ssh
Rule added
Rule added (v6)
# ufw status
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
22                         ALLOW       Anywhere
22                         ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)

What to do if NetworkManager keep reconnecting, making surfing the web merely impossible? If your NetworkManager Associates and Dissociates from your access point even with cable, this could be an issue of DCHPCD. The service handle improperly Router Advertisements of IPv6 stack so NetworkManager decides to disassociate. For this issue there is a workaround that consists in appending the string 'dhcp=internal' in your main section of '/etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf' like this:


Then restart your NetworkManager service with:

# systemctl restart NetworkManager

or simply reboot your system, this will fix the issue.

Sound Questions

I have no sound, what do I do?

  • Let's see if you computer detects your sound card so, from a command line, use:
$ su
# alsaconf
- hopefully your card shows up and all you have to do is select and go.
  • After running that, you can adjust your sound settings via
$ alsamixer

- Press F6 to select your card in ALSAMixer and make sure no channels are muted and that the channel volumes are turned up.

  • If you have HDA-Intel Card, please see this HowTo.

How can I determine what sound card I have?

# lspci | grep -i audio

How do I install the alsa-driver instead of having it in the kernel?

Sabayon Linux comes with ALSA built into the kernel. You can't install the alsa-drivers while ALSA is built into the kernel. You have to remove ALSA from the kernel before you install the alsa-driver package. So enter the following commands:

$ su
# cd /usr/src/linux
# make menuconfig
# make && make modules_install
# cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/kernel_name # replace kernel_name with the actual name of kernel
# shutdown -r now # Reboot your machine with this
$ su
# emerge alsa-driver

Why do I have to run alsaconf every time I reboot?

This usually happens if you have more than one sound card in your machine. Many people have an on-board sound card and then stick in a better sound card. Disable your on-board sound card via your BIOS and when you run alsaconf again, ALSA will restore your sound each time you reboot.

Video Questions

My NVIDIA card is a legacy card, what driver do I need?

You will need to compare your card with the information below to find out which driver is best for your card:

I need help with my AMD/ATI card!

I don't have ATI so I can't supply much help here, but I can point you to:

How do I setup AIGLX with my ATI?

Sabayon Linux 3.5 is outdated.

How do I setup Dual Monitors? Personally I use TwinView and it works great with Compiz-Fusion also. Check out the Gentoo Wiki article X.Org/Dual Monitors

Video Worked on LiveCD/DVD, but not once install. Options?

If your video was fine on the LiveCD/DVD I would boot the LiveCD/DVD and copy the xorg.conf from it to your hard drive install. There are several ways to do this.

  1. Option - Boot up your LiveCD/DVD and browse to /etc/X11/ and copy the file xorg.conf to your installed version. You should be able to access your installed version through the /media/ directory so it may be something like /media/mydrive/etc/X11/. Reboot the computer and you should have what you had on the LiveCD/DVD. Always backup your files before overwriting.
  2. Option - Boot up and browse to /etc/X11/xorg.conf, use http://pastebin.sabayon.org to paste your xorg.conf file there. Note the URL so that when you reboot to your installed version you can access it. Then just rename your existing xorg.conf and make a new one with the one you pasted.
  3. If you still don't have any luck, we may need to look at your drivers. Try reinstalling your video drivers, but, before reinstalling, make sure you are getting the latest drivers. NVIDIA users, make sure you are using the proper drivers for your card. See Question 1 under Video Questions.

How do I know what Version of Sabayon I installed?

$ cat /etc/sabayon-edition

N.B. Sabayon Linux is a 'rolling release' distro. Therefore, if you have upgraded your installation via Entropy or Portage then your installation will no longer be the version recorded in /etc/sabayon-edition, as that file tells you the version of the LiveCD/DVD that you used to install Sabayon Linux.

To check which version you have currently:

$ cat /etc/sabayon-release

Help and Support Questions

How Do I get Log files to get better support?

With the package app-misc/sabayonlive-tools, you can easily gather important information to help you debug and provide vital information for the support team to help you. Please see this thread to learn how.

Where Do I file a Bug Report?

Please use our bugzilla.

Where can I get help?

Are you lost and confused? There are a lot of great resources out there. I highly encourage you to do some searching first before running into IRC or the Forum and making the same post that has already been posted 100 times. It gets really old answering the same question day in and day out when it's so well documented.

  • Sabayon Linux Forum
  • Sabayon Linux Wiki
  • Gentoo Handbook
  • Official Gentoo Documentation
  • Gentoo Wiki
  • Gentoo Portage Websearch
  • A Portage Introduction
  • irc.freenode.net in channel #Sabayon also on desktop Get Live Help -- note to IRC users, be human and have patience. Do not paste errors in the room either. To paste messages in IRC, use our Pastebin or your favorite pasting site. Then simply give the URL for your pasted text so others can view your error. The people in IRC are not paid to be there, they do it out of dedication, so treat them nicely. Trolling, stupidity, and rudeness will get you banned. Also note that the IRC room is not there to teach you Linux or hold your hand. Don't be lazy, do your part too.
  • Quick note when pasting error messages - Do not paste the error message alone: everyone thinks that ERROR: x11-base/xgl-0.0.1_pre20070915 failed is the error, it's not. The error is above that. Post the entire build log so we don't have to waste time waiting for you to post back with the actual error. If you read below the ERROR: it even says to paste the uppermost error and call stack if relevant.