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Welcome to Sabayon Linux

Welcome to the fully installable LiveCD/DVD distro - http://www.sabayon.org

Take a Visual Tour of Sabayon Linux: Visual Tour: Booting Sabayon Linux Gnome and Visual Tour: Booting Sabayon Linux KDE4.

This short introduction will tell you a little about what exactly you downloaded, how you can use it, and where to get more help.

Release Information

You can find past and present information on all our releases in the forum Press Releases. You really should check here to see which is the current version.

Where to Download

You can find our mirrors on our Mirror Page.

What Did I Download?

First of all, you downloaded either a DVD- or CD-sized ISO file which is to be burned to an optical disc. This is a live distro, which means that when you boot from the DVD or CD, a fully functional operating system will be at your finger tips.

Sabayon Linux is based on the source-based Gentoo Linux - http://gentoo.org. Gentoo is a highly customizable distro and, using their excellent development techniques, we have created a pre-configured distribution with the tenets of Performance, Versatility, and Stability. If you have any questions about Gentoo and its philosophy, please visit their website. In particular, Sabayon is based on Gentoo's testing branch. Gentoo's testing branch is about on par with Debian's Sid (unstable branch) releases. Though based on the bleeding edge, you will find Sabayon is quite stable and perhaps more cutting edge.

  • Performance: We have modified the make.conf file to ensure that our distribution runs at the highest speed possible on newer computer hardware and fast on semi-older hardware. As such, our distribution is not meant to be run on Pentium Pros, although it is entirely conceivable.
  • Versatility: Again, we have modified make.conf to give nice wide range of features for all computers. We have also compiled the kernel to run well against most of the architectures out there while still leaving plenty of room for performance and, as always, the ability to change anything at your desire.
  • Stability: While many would call the distribution extremely experimental, we give options. You can choose from several desktop environments and window managers, or opt for a command line-only installation optimised for servers. Also, having being built upon the strengths of Gentoo, you know you're getting a rock-solid distribution worthy of slamming with processor- and ram-intensive tasks while having the OS running smoothly.
  • Passwords for the Live discs:
For older releases, the password for the root user is "root" (without the quotes). For newer releases, no password is required: just press the Enter key.
For older releases, the password for user sabayonuser is "sabayonuser" (without the quotes). For newer releases, no password is required: just press the Enter key.


For our installer, we've chosen to migrate and customize the wonderful Anaconda installer by the Fedora Core team. The installer is essentially a DVD-to-hard-drive copy with features. You can pick and choose the packages you want or you can install the whole thing. You can also choose to attempt to rescue the system, or to just rescue your bootloader. The Anaconda installer also greatly simplifies setting up partitions and allows for easy disk and or partition encryption if you desire.

Package Management

It is reccomended that you choose and use "only" one of the package managers below. Crossing back and forth can create problems for you. Entropy is recommended for less experienced users, or those preferring a less hands on approach. Portage is recommended for more experienced users who like to tweak and adjust their system more.

Sabayon is based on Gentoo's testing branch. So using portage commands will pull packages and sync system to gentoo testing. Entropy takes packages from Gentoo testing and they are pre-compiled, than offered to you in binary form. There is a time delay from when Sabayon compiles these packages for Entropy and when you receive them. It is recommended to only use 1 of the package managers to avoid any possible conflicts as a result of the time delay. Generally, Entropy packages will be slightly more stable because they will have already been released in Gentoo testing for a period of time(exact amount of time varies), prior to being released in Entropy.

For Entropy:

Please see our Entropy section Entropy . Entropy is the binary package manager. All packages in Entropy are built using Portage (see below) for you, making installing and updating software faster and easier. Note: Portage USE flags have no impact on Entropy as Entropy packages are pre-compiled with existing USE flags on a remote computer.

Entropy is Sabayon's own package manager, with Rigo (replacing Sulfur) as its GUI and Equo as its command line interface. Packages consist of updates, drivers and any additional software you may wish to add to your system.

Entropy commands will usually begin with: equo

For Portage:

Portage is Gentoo's package manager. As Sabayon is based on Gentoo, you can also use the Portage package manager in Sabayon Linux, but it is only recommended for advanced users as it may result in incompatibilities with packages built for, and installed via, Entropy. For more information on Portage, see http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Portage and En:HOWTO: The Complete Portage Guide.

Portage commands will usually begin with: emerge


This brief introduction is just to dip your toes in the water and give you some general knowledge so you'll start to understand. Linux is about harnessing the power of the community to help you. Here are but a few avenues from where to get help:




IRC: #Sabayon @ irc.freenode.net

Installation Guide: Step by Step

This guide was originally written using Sabayon 5.4 KDE 64 bit live dvd installation. So please bear in mind that you may need to adjust some of your installation according to your needs.

Last edited on January 21, 2011

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".

Begin updating and upgrading

With a fresh install that massive amount of updates will take about 3-8 hours to download and install. I try to begin it before going to bed and then i can sleep while its doing its thing. Some good news here is you can still surf the net or play with your other settings while the update is happening. Keep in mind you have 2 different package managers available. Sabayon's own package manager, Entropy, (with GUI counterpart Rigo) which is awesome. There is also Gentoo's package manager, Portage, which is awesome also. However, Its recommended you choose and stick with one or the the other. There can be complications and breakage if continuous swapping back and forth between the 2. I think new users should begin with and use Entropy. More experienced users and those that like to tinker with their system may opt to use Portage. As you get more comfortable with your system migrating to Portage is not too difficult. To keep it simple and prevent mistakes I will only list the Entropy commands, but i'll provide you with the link to update Entropy using Portage if you prefer it.

Click and open Konsole or the terminal of your choice

At the top of the terminal window you will see <your name>@<your computer> followed by the $ symbol. $ means you are logged in as user. As user you can look at certain things, but you cant change anything. To make changes, including updating, you need to login as root. To login as root type the following in the terminal window and press enter(you can copy and paste these commands in the terminal):


By typing su (switch user/super user) a new line will appear asking for password. Enter your "root" password (you wont see any letters or symbols) and press enter. When you successfully enter root password you will notice your name change. Also you will see the # symbol next to your name. this means you are now logged in as root. Now as root user you want to continue with the following commands:

equo update

If you have problems then try:

equo update --force

Not too painful right?

First thing that needs to be updated:

equo install glibc

Once that is done you need to get Entropy updated before full system upgrade:

equo install sys-apps/entropy equo  --relaxed


equo install sys-apps/entropy equo rigo

This fills in necessary gaps that may have been skipped over while using the --relaxed flag.

Always equo conf update after updates are done:

equo conf update

We will check equo update again before proceding:

equo update

After running equo update it is a good idea to first run:

equo repo mirrorsort sabayon-weekly

And then:

equo upgrade --ask

You will need to type y or n (y of course) a few times. Then type 1, 2 or 3 about 6-10 times to read and accept licences(all 3's get it done quickly). Once thats done you have about 3 to 8 hours to kill as it downloads and installs all the updates/upgrades. You can go to bed, surf the net, play with the settings of your new toy while you wait. Kernel upgrades need to be done manually, so don't worry about anything tragic there as kernel upgrades are NOT automatic.(Note* auto upgrading the kernel may be coming, check/ask in the forums if your worried)

When it finally finishes you need to configure the updates:

equo conf update

Before you reboot you can check a few things:

Take note of which kernel is selected. The selected kernel will have a * next to it. Sabayon will NOT automatically upgrade the kernel. You will need to do it manually, if you desire. I would recommend staying 1 or 2 versions behind whatever the latest kernel release is, to remain more stable. Your system will still work and be updated even if the kernel is a few versions behind the current release. Check other wiki articles and our How To's section to learn how to upgrade the kernel.

eselect kernel list

Check that the right brand of video driver is selected, it will have an * next to it:

eselect opengl list

If you have a nvidia graphics card you can check pretty easy that it is the correct driver for the kernel. (ATI not so easy as about 255 entries pop up when you search ati) The following is only if you have nvidia graphics:

equo search nvidia

About 16 entries pop up. If you look closely only 1 driver is installed. Look at the details of that installed driver and you will see the kernel version number in it. Check that it is the same as your kernel number from when you entered: eselect kernel list

Take note of the gcc version number:

gcc-config --version

Make sure the latest gcc-config is selected with *:

gcc-config -l

check and make sure binutils is set with an * next to it:

binutils-config -l

Check that python is set to the latest one with an * next to it:

eselect python list
Changing python to 3.* made equo unusable for me, so I changed it back to 2.*

Perform your customary good luck procedure ...


You're upgraded and ready to rock'n'roll !

All Upgraded! What now?

You can check the integrity of your system by opening a terminal and performing the following commands:

Log in as root:


Check your dependencies:

equo deptest --ask

Check your libraries:

equo libtest --ask

Install a Firewall

Setting up a firewall or iptables is a good idea. For more info check out the link below:

Find Your Favorite and/or New Software and Applications

You can click and open Rigo from the desktop. When clicking the icon on the left of the search-box, you'll see the features. Select "Show Installed Applications", and click the "run" button. Simply click the "install" button of the application you want. You will need to enter your root password now.

Using the command line to Install

If you prefer to search and install packages from the command line try the following:

Log in as root:


Replace name with the package name or a key word of your search. Press enter and you will see the list available under that name. Look through the list to find the package you want and take note of the exact package name. This name can help you to find it in Rigo or to go on to install from the command line.

equo search name

Again, change name to the package name you want. This will give you a chance to see the package before you install. After you see the package you can choose y or n on whether to install or not.

equo install name --ask

Other KDE Settings/tricks

There are so many options you can customize to fit your needs in KDE, it'll blow your mind. Below are just a few common helpful ideas. You should go to "system settings" and have a look inside each icon to have a better feel for what KDE has to offer.

To find "system settings":

Go to start button / settings / system settings

When you are in system settings, I like to set mouse to "single click" and set keyboard number lock to "turn on" at start up:

Click "Input Devices" icon in system settings

In "desktop effects" click on "all effects" tab. Scroll down and under window management, enable "desktop cube" and "desktop cube animation". Now when you scroll your mouse in open space on the desktop you will switch between your 4 desktops in style:

Go to start button / settings / system settings / desktop effects

To disable windows auto-maximizing go here:

Go to start button / settings / system settings / workspace behavior / screen edges

unselect "maximize windows by...".

Also go to "window behavior" in system settings, click the "window behavior icon on the left, click the "titlebar actions" tab, and change "titlebar double-click:" from "maximize" to "nothing".

Change your wallpaper by right clicking on empty space in the desktop and select "folder view settings" or "desktop settings"

To edit your photos you may want to try "gimp". I suggest searching it before installing it to see the add on's associated with it:

equo search gimp

now you can choose to install 1 or all of the packages.

GNOME Settings/tricks

. . . need some love from GNOME users

Useful Links for any other questions you may have

Details for the installation guide compiled and built by Skull Fire on dec 21st,2010 from source learned from all over the open source and GNU/linux and open source BSD community. You guys rock !