En:Sabayon Linux

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Sabayon Linux Overview

Real World Equivalent

"Sabayon is an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, a sweet liquor (usually Marsala wine), and sometimes cream or whole eggs. It is a very light custard, which has been whipped to incorporate a large amount of air."

Real theory

Sabayon Linux is an operating system powered by the Linux kernel and GNU. There are many Linux flavors, but most geeks just call them distributions. We are a Linux distribution, though, and try to provide our users the best and most complete computing experience.

Our philosophy follows two simple statements:

A) OOTB (out of the box) Functionalities: There should be no problems and everything should "just work."

B) KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid!

Moreover, to achieve this, Sabayon Linux uses Gentoo's testing branch as its base. It is (and always will be) 100% compatible with it. We are one of the most scalable distributions and are happy to support everyone from the most creative kernel hacker to the newbie. How? Because of point A above, and because Gentoo Linux is THE most extensible Linux distribution, no one can say anything to the contrary. 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. Both Sabayon and Gentoo are on rolling release cycle, but Sabayon will have release snapshots.

What Sabayon Linux is NOT

  • It is NOT a binary-only distribution. Yes, you can install Sabayon Linux in half an hour and have a powerful desktop under your hands. But, our current policy does not support the idea to fork Gentoo Linux package management because users don't like to waste time compiling. We have a clear idea; if you don't want to compile a lot of packages just wait for the next release, because you will always be able to:
    • Update your current installation to the latest Sabayon Linux by running the Sabayon Linux installer and choosing the Upgrade option
    • Keep up to date, Sabayon Linux release cycles are very, very short. If you just want to keep your PC secure, just use the glsa-check utility.
  • It is NOT developed with politics in mind. This means that if we like an application over another, it's just because it could work better and be closer to our OOTB philosophy described above.
  • It is NOT company-driven. We have always been users, and then developers. That's our power and our view. We only want something that works without Microsoft and their superficial operating system implementation!
  • It is NOT Ubuntu! We don't try to mimic any other distribution, we just take the best from each one.

How is Sabayon Linux different from other distributions?

  • Sabayon offers a complete out-of-the-box experience, it comes with pre-installed media codecs, drivers, and games.
  • New versions are released in a short amount of time.
  • Sabayon is a rolling release. If installed once and updated regularly, you shouldn't need to reinstall new versions. Simply use the GUI package manager or command line if you choose, to keep up to date.
  • Unlike most other distributions, it's completely independent from commercial interests. No big firm stands behind Sabayon Linux and dictates what it should do. The developers of Sabayon Linux are all users from other Distributions, so they started to make a distribution "from users for users".


You can see a large number of screenshots of several versions of Sabayon Linux, including screenshots of the screens displayed during installation to hard disk, on the following page:

Screenshots Gallery.

Important Items to Know

Prerequisites and System Requirements for running Sabayon Linux

  • Live Environment - No 3D Desktop:
    • i686 Processor
    • at least 512 MiB of RAM (1 GiB 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 MiB of RAM (1 GiB suggested)
    • an OpenGL capable 3D graphics card (mostly NVIDIA, ATI, Intel, VIA)
    • a DDC capable Monitor
    • mouse and keyboard
  • Installation:
    • i686 Processor
    • at least 512 MiB of RAM (1 GiB suggested for decent eyecandy effects)
    • an OpenGL capable 3D graphics card (mostly NVIDIA, ATI, Intel, VIA)
    • 20 GiB of free space, that is bare minimum DVD Install. 30+ Gig is highly recommended.
    • 8 GiB of free space for miniCD. 10+ Gig is recommended
    • Internet connection (not mandatory but highly suggested)
    • a DDC capable Monitor
    • mouse and keyboard

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).

Boot Methods for special ways of using Sabayon

Starting from SabayonLinux 3.2, all these options can be choosen without typing anything on the boot command line

  • Start the SabayonLinux Live system.
  • Start the Graphical Installation.
  • Start the Text mode Installation.
  • Start the SabayonLinux Live system without proprietary drivers.
  • Start the SabayonLinux Live system without loading X.Org.
  • Start the SabayonLinux Live system with Internet Kiosk framework.
  • Start the SabayonLinux Live system with Internet Kiosk framework + NX Client.
  • Start the SabayonLinux Live system in Debug mode (expert).
  • Perform a memory test.

Boot parameters and workarounds for problematic Hardware

Sabayon Linux supports some extra features that can be enabled by adding the boot parameters below. Moreover, you can tune the system to behave in different ways.

  • lang: set a specific localization
  • res: set a specific resolution
  • refresh: set a specific Monitor Vertical Refresh Rate for X.Org
  • hsync: set a specific Monitor Horizontal Sync Rate for X.Org
  • xdriver: force X.Org to use a specific Video driver
 xdriver=vesa (good generic driver)
 xdriver=radeon (open-source driver for ATI GPUs - see X.Org Wiki article http://www.x.org/wiki/radeon)
 xdriver=radeonhd  (open-source driver for ATI GPUs - see X.Org Wiki article http://www.x.org/wiki/radeonhd)
 Other xdriver options include i810, i740, i128, sis, mga, r128, openchrome, cirrus, cyrix, s3 and s3virge
  • insmod: force the loading of a specific kernel module
  • rmmod: force the unloading of a specific kernel module
  • sound=mute: do not autoconfigure the sound mixer.
  • nofreqscaling: disable the autoconfiguration of CPU frequency scaling.
  • noddc: disable DDC Monitor autoconfiguration.
  • session=: autostart a specific Desktop Environment. Available kde, gnome, xfce, fluxbox, 16
    • To autostart Fluxbox for example:
  • music: enable music during boot (experimental).
  • autoscramble: randomization of root and sabayonuser passwords.
  • nox: start the System without X.Org.
  • legacy: start with safe parameters - for legacy compatibility.
  • noaccelmanager: disable Acceleration Manager (for 3D desktop selection).
  • noapic nolapic: disable APIC (mostly used on some faulty bioses).
  • gentoo=nohdparm nohdparm ide=nodma: If the system hangs on hdparm service startup or your system does not have DMA Hard drives, try this.
  • acpi=off: disable ACPI completely.
  • pci=noacpi: disable ACPI for PCI maps (HP servers and VIA chipsets).
  • pci=nomsi: disable MSI. Some chipsets do not handle MSI well, leading to difficulties in identifying Hard Drives and other devices.
  • floppy.floppy=thinkpad: useful for some ThinkPad notebooks.
  • all-generic-ide: useful when your IDE CD/DVD Reader is not detected at boot
  • vga=771: useful on some wide-screen laptops. It forces a healthy framebuffer resolution.
  • maxcpus=1: set the max of CPU's to be used by the kernel. Usefull for macbooks.
  • doslowusb: If you run grub(2) from an external HD this is what you want to add.
  • scandelay=10: If you run grub(2) from an external HD this is what you want to add.
Feel free to add extra cheat codes.

KMS (Kernel Mode Setting)

Since the linux-sabayon 2.6.33 kernel version KMS got gently introduced. If you enable KMS you let the Kernel set the screen resolution instead of Xorg. For Intel based video this has become mandatory since xorg-server 1.7 and it is enabled by default for that.

To use KMS with the Opensource ati driver:

  • radeon.modeset=1

To completely disable KMS:

  • nomodeset

What is Tor/Privoxy

Just start with the boot option:

  • tor: enable the system to use Tor/Privoxy system to surf the web anonymously.

is a free software implementation of second-generation onion routing — a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet. Originally sponsored by the US Naval Research Laboratory, Tor became an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) project in late 2004. The EFF supported Tor financially until November 2005, and continues to provide web hosting for the project.

Like all current low-latency anonymity networks, Tor is vulnerable to correlation attacks from attackers who can watch both ends of a user's connection. In a number of countries, including the US, various government agencies have access to connection data of a large number of internet service providers. Because of this, Tor is not suitable for protection against big-brother-like observation by those government agencies.

What is Internet Kiosk

Again, just start with the boot option:

  • internetkiosk: enable Internet Kiosk mode (do not use this - use the command outside).
  • nxclient: used along with "internetkiosk" parameter, autostarts NX Client.

Internet Kiosk is an automated Internet navigation system based on Sabayon Linux, KDE and NoMachine NX Server/Client. You can not only surf the internet, you can listen to music across the NX network, burn CD/DVD from your terminal, print your photo, play 2D games, use your Flash Pen, write and read Office documents (OpenDocument and MSOffice ones).

  • How it works:
    • Internet Kiosk System starts if you meet these requirements:
      • A NoMachine NX Server available (that will be the real locked-in user desktop)
      • A Thin Client with NX Client or an OLD Computer with at least 192MB of RAM, a DVD Reader and 2MB of non-volatile memory like USB flash memory or IDE HD.
  • There are two Operational modes:
    • Internet Kiosk NX: A memory device /dev/sda1 or /dev/hda1 must be available. This can be formatted in ext3, reiserfs, xfs, reiser4, ext2 or FAT32 (very important because most of USB keys are pre-formatted with this filesystem). If you don't have this partition, you can boot SabayonLinux LiveDVD normally and then use Partition Editor on the desktop (aka GParted) to create it. Priority is given to /dev/sda1. So, if you have /dev/sda1 and /dev/hda1, /dev/sda1 will be used. At boot time, init scripts change Default Desktop Environment to Fluxbox, stop some services, like SSH, Syslog, Clamav, FreeNX Server, and autostart NX Client with the configuration files created/stored (automagically by SabayonLinux) on our non-volatile memory. In addition, a script "startinternetkiosk.sh" can be placed on it and will be called in the boot runlevel. From 2.60.2, another script "startinternetkiosk_endboot.sh", can be called before X load and must be placed in the same directory of startinternetkiosk.sh.
    • Internet Kiosk: The difference is that it will only call "startinternetkiosk.sh" (boot runlevel) and "startinternetkiosk_endboot.sh" (before X start) from your non-volatile memory and no other changes are made.

OpenGL and Accelerated Desktop

If you want to try to get your OpenGL Acceleration or your Accelerated Desktop to work in cases that it doesn't, just poke with the commands below. You only need to add those parameters to the boot commandline.

  • opengl
    • Force the System to use a specific OpenGL subsystem, when autodetection fails.
   example for NVIDIA (with NVIDIA Proprietary drivers):
   example for X.Org Mesa implementation
  • agpgart
    • Force the System to load the AGP driver, when the autodetection fails.
  • noaccelmanager
    • Disable the loading of the Acceleration Manager application.
  • aiglx
    • Enable AIGLX Desktop Acceleration and disable Acceleration Manager.

Supported languages

- The DVD Editions support every language available for the respective application. For example, starting from Sabayon Linux 3.2, we support all GNOME, KDE, Firefox and LibreOffice language packs.

ibus packages are available for your special input method needs.

- Language support on the MiniEditions is limited to English, for space reasons.