Getting Started

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WIP: This article is currently a work in progress, additions and changes are still to be made. You should not consider this article stable.

So you just installed your Sabayon Linux system for the first time, excellent. Here we will cover the basics of getting you up and running. What good is a computer if you can't understand how to use it and keep it at least partly maintained right?

Teaching You the Basics

How many of you know what a terminal is? None? Few? That's okay. Wiktionary defines terminal as a device for entering data into a computer or a communications system and/or displaying data received, especially a device equipped with a keyboard and some sort of textual display. So think about it, you're actually programming your computer using your own fingers and keyboard. Now a terminal is what we use quite often to do pretty much anything on your computer. Yeah, we know, for most command lines in a terminal there are GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications; however, I do strongly discourage you from using these applications because they are sometimes poorly coded which can often result in a dead and/or broken system. An example of a terminal command line is su. Su is the two line word we use to gain super user (root) access to our system. Root is the all powerful God to your computer. He can do anything he wants with no one telling him anything, kind of like Hitler. We use su for fun things such as emerging (I'll explain later) applications and editing core components of the system. Note that su has the power to break your system when left in the hands of an inexperienced user (often called a noob).

Do not Fear a Console

Console (often called a terminal or bash emulator) is what we use to do just about anything to our system. Now when you first opened up your terminal you should see something similar to this:

[email protected] ~ $

Okay a breakdown of what that means:

  • localhost: My user name, your's will be whatever you called yourself when you setup Sabayon.
  • @phoenix: My computers name, your's will be whatever you set it to be when you setup Sabayon.
  • ~: Defines the home directory, if I do an ls command (Explained later on) it will show what is in my home directory. This is kind of like the C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents for Windows.
  • $: Says that you are in user mode.

Now I can change this by typing su. This is what your terminal will look like in su:

phoenix localhost #

Okay a breakdown of what that means:

  • localhost: My user name, your's will be whatever you called yourself when you setup Sabayon.
  • phoenix: My computers name, your's will be whatever you set it to be when you setup Sabayon.
  • #: Says that you are in Root mode.

Notice how the ~ and @ went away? The su mode doesn't have these because su is all powerful.

Updating the System

When you first install your system, it isn't quite up-to-date as you would expect. So we will do this in a root terminal. When I say root terminal I mean get into your favourite Bash emulator (called a terminal). If you don't have a favourite then you will pick Konsole for KDE or gnome-terminal for Gnome. This will bring up a box about 4 or 5 inches in diagonal width with either a black or white background. It will list your computer name and your user name. And here we go so pay attention please. I will explain everything as you go along.

$ su

Okay I hope you see that little dark grey box above me here. This is call a code box for wiki. It was custom designed by our good friend Eden. Whenever you see this it means that whatever is inside of that box must be typed in a terminal. If you read the above section you should have a good idea as to what that is. Now lets keep going. When you type su, you'll get a line saying Password: all that is doing is asking you for your root password that you setup when you installed Sabayon. If you lost this root password, you're screwed. Sorry mate. Now once you type that in, you should see the root look of a terminal (explained above) and you'll start by updating your system:

# equo update && equo install equo sys-apps/entropy rigo && equo upgrade

Wow.. what did that do?

  • Equo is CLI (command line interface) front end for the package manager for Sabayon, called Entropy. Package manager is a piece of software that keeps track of all the applications (aka packages) on your system, it is used to install, update and remove programs from your linux installation. Think of it like Add/Remove on Windows but about 1000% better.
  • equo update - is the command that tells equo to get a new copy of the database with details of all the packages you can install, this step allows you to update all the latest software.
  • equo install equo sys-apps/entropy rigo - this command tells equo to install equo, rigo and entropy, which are 3 different bits of the package manager. Rigo is a Graphic user interface (point and click interface) and may be suited for those who prefer GUIs, equo is the command line client for Entropy.
  • equo upgrade - tells equo to update all the packages that are installed in your system.

The Next Scary Door

Right... so you updated your system? Great! Now I will teach you a little about your system. Once again, pay attention please. Okay, I guess I will start off with explaining that ls command I showed you earlier. Basically ls is the command that Unix uses to list things in a directory. Watch:

$ ls ~

This will list your home directory located at /home/username. Here is my output:

Russellville School Calendar.xls
Sabayon Linux Equo Repository Firefox Search Plugins

Okay so I'm not a house keeper, big deal. Now you're probably wondering what some of that stuff is:

  • Desktop: Folder. So is Documents, Downloads, Music, Movies, Pictures, and Episodes.
  • Screenshot.png: A typical image.
  • emerge.txt~: A text file backup. That tilda (~) represents a backup. This will happen anytime you write a text file, and then edit it in the future.

And that is all of that. Now there is a second command: ls -a. This a command that will list everything in that folder, including hidden directories. Here is my output: <syntaxhighlight lang="'"`UNIQ--pre-00000006-QINU`"'" enclose="none">Output</syntaxhighlight> Now I'm not to take all the time in the world to explain all of that. But note that the period (.) represents a hidden anything. Want to hide a secret text file called secret.txt? Rename it to .secret.txt.