I am a long time user of funtoo and gentoo Linux. Over the last year or so I have made several attempts to switch to a compiled Linux where Sabayon has been one of the favorite options.
I have failed immensely every time. Despite a long history of both Linux and Unix that goes back to SunOS 4 in -92. I can't even imagine how this would look like for a linux beginner.
I am sharing my story with the Sabayon community with sincere hope that this will be perceived as inspiration going forward. I am not seeking help solving particular technical problems.
The installation experience
I m OK with that the Linux installer is not able to cope with my personal complicated BTRFS-setup, and I would really like to have a manual install into chroot for Sabayon , the method of rework a gentoo into sabayon does not work fully out. But this is several years since I tested last time and it might have changed.
What I really think is crucial is that the official download fails mostly when installed in a decent simple alone-on-the-only-drive-mostly-using-defaults install. Most of the times it goes wrong late and I think it might be related to grub-install. I have made some feeble attempts to recover installations but lack of error info and lack of interest in systemd made me give up quite soon.
The one time recently I actually managed to install Sabayon based on the official download (2016.11) which is very old took me 6 attempts to get the system into the disk and after that the entire system crackled down to oblivion when I updated it. There where all kinds of problems and I manage to solve a few but I never got KDE running again; I recall that both SDDM and LightDM was enabled during start for example.
Sadly the download page refer to a DVD that is almost a year old and in the KDE world this year implies a lot of changes.
At the end of the day I need to be able to one of two things to get a Linux installed;
- 1. Either the Linux distro installs flawless with all automagic working like a charm. (The intended Sabayon way)
2. Or I am able to monitor each and every step and understand them, how to do them in my particular setup and manage to install the system, any error is well documented so that I can take proper action (the Gentoo way)
I am not seeking support for my installations as I have abandoned them. I have decided to challenge my Gentoo with Linux Mint + KDE Neon repositories + a few PPAs for the software I need (libreoffice, inkscape etc). This will give the me latest version of the software that is important to me and a stable ground of everything else. I am also maintaining a Gentoo ~amd64 installation alongside in case things does not work out. Gentoo works well as it complies to number 2 in my list - I do it my self but it is well documented.
With this post I just want to share my obstacles for the Sabayon community. There might be similar problems for others and unless a Linux Distro can be fairly easy to install for the targeted users the community will fail to grow. In the case of Sabayon this is stated on the website;
Sabayon is a beginner-friendly Gentoo-based open-source Linux distribution. We aim to deliver the best "out of the box" user experience by providing the latest open source technologies in an elegant format. In Sabayon everything should just work. We offer a bleeding edge operating system that is both stable and reliable.
My experience of Sabayon does not come close to this statement. For me this statement would mean that I plugin a drive on my computer that I am willing to use space from, insert the DVD/USB-stick, reboots and it installs. I boot into the new system and performs a system upgrade. Then I am done. No more, no less. I even have the option to use nvidias drivers if I have a more problematic video card.
During the same period of time I have tested to install several other linuxes; gentoo, funtoo, debian, devuan, manjaro, manjaro-no-systemd/architect, mint, kubuntu......
Manjaro-no-systemd and devuan failed similar to Sabayon, Kubuntu crashed ever so often after installation, which by the way is not less important - fundamental problems with a linux distro once installed will make the user abandon the distro and so I did.