Warning: this has little or nothing of substance in it, just a "log" of my recent linux installation (ending with Sabayon) experience.
Okay, so in the past, since about '98, I've wanted to run Linux. I've always liked the idea of open source and being able to fiddle with everything and the added security that it implies (and I'm only started to realize the why's of that).
A couple months ago I had some time to kill and decided to take another crack at linux, randomly looked up a distro and got an easy USB created and boom, had Fedora (I think it was 18) on my desktop. Worked pretty well right out of the box. Didn't have adobe flash on it and that was a pain to install. I had to type a bunch of gibberish into the terminal (being a dos child that's not as scary, but the commands are pretty foreign). Got it working after an hour or so and I was up and on my way (had to install VLC which took a bit more gibberish and wine, which took a few clicks).
I didn't really like the look of fedora and the install/update bugged out initially and wasn't very intuitive. It had something like 200-300 updates and would stall or stop, but because it didn't give me obvious signes that I could recognize that it was running or not running, I let it sit like that for half a day before giving up on it.
A week or so ago I started thinking of one of my favorite games to play, Master of Orion 2. That's a dos game if you're not familiar with it, came out in '97. For a long time running windows 2k, I couldn't get it to work. I have an old compaq laptop for just this purpose (it must be from around the same time). It's running windows 95 and does run MOO2, if a little buggy. It was me, windows 2k, or old versions of dosbox that didn't solve this problem back then. I forget if it worked under windows 7, which is what I was using for a number of years now, but now that I changed over to linux, figured and open source thing like dosbox would work well with an open source OS like fedora. Sure enough, it did. I did have some issues with automatic mounting in the autoexec (ie mount c ~/downlo~1/moo2) but that was easily solved by just exploring out to the file and running orion2~2 by typing a few commands by hand each time. I picked up a think pad recently that someone was throwing away, fixed it up and went through the same installation with fedora (VLC installed with the manager without the terminal, so not sure if I just messed up with my desktop the first time). Came to think that I should try to play MOO2 multiplayer through the network. Banged my head against the wall for half a day trying to make any headway in this and got nowhere. I couldn't even turn off the firewall without totally uninstalling it.
Friend of a friend said that fedora had some "hidden" stuff that often interfered with this kind of thing and said ubuntu was the way to go for gaming. So found unetsomethingsomething (the other USB live flash drive thing was solely for fedora) and wow is that utility slick. Got a ubuntu live flash going and was fiddling around with that. To be fair, I was probably just as uncomfortable with the look of ubuntu as I was with fedora, but I had gotten used to fedora in the past month or so so I was a little biased against ubuntu. Then came the software install manager. I forgot what I was trying to install, I think I may have gone through the terminal install of flash (as cumbersome as before) and may have been trying to install VLC. Maybe I was reading it wrong, but it came up with six or so dependancies and then said it couldn't install it because I needed these... My thought, well, hell, install them! Since it wouldn't do it for me I started copying/pasting these listed dependancies into the application search. The first four were already there (then why did it list them?!). The fifth one had about 20 more dependancies (and some of which I noticed where copies of the original six listed). This kind of file/database problem seems to me a perfect problem for, I don't know, a computer to be able to handle really easily without me having to write down a bunch of stuff and cross reference them. So I gave up on the idea of Ubuntu.
I did happen to run across someone saying that Sabayon was really fast, so I figured once more into the rabbit hole. The slick flash drive creator had it, it was much larger of an install/download than the others (not made to fit on a cd) but I kept my patience. I'm not really sure about speed, it was certainly faster than Ubuntu, which had a noticeable lag running off the live usb, but maybe a little slower than fedora, but I didn't do any tests to show this, just my general impression. It certainly looked nice. I really like that it has a task bar at the bottom. Not sure how ubuntu handles this, but fedora just hid it and you could do a couple things to bring it back, but Sabayon its right there in plain site. The drop down "application menu" was way more to my liking than either Fedora's icon driven "all apps" button or Ubuntu's too busy side bar. It came with flash and wine already installed (I know, what?!) and that worked "out of the box", although, why shouldn't it? I mean, it was a much longer, bigger, download. What I didn't see is VLC and where to install it. Where was the installation manager? Literally it took me about a half an hour to figure out that it was called something else: Rigo Application Browser. Everything I googled was either worthless or had Entropy listed as the installation installer (apparently Rigo is the new Entropy, but from what I later read its completely different?). Anyway VLC installed really easily, prompted me by saying cheeky like "umm, there are these dependancies, do you want to look at them or do you trust me?" As a side note, I really like the cheeky sayings that I find throughout this OS. The only thing I didn't like about Rigo is that it started downloading all the updates as well. I would have said yes, but because I didn't know it was doing that, really thought that VLC had a few more dependancies that I thought it should.
Put it on my thinkpad, no problems. Did an almost out of the box test and under network it did see each other, but couldn't connect. Not surprising and definitely a good sign compared to fedora. Didn't get much farther than that in the networking aspect.
Wanted to try this new game that's in beta, Neverwinter (dnd). Found this site explaining how to install it on linux and was on my way when I ran into a problem of installing playonlinux. The playonlinux (POL) website had a bunch of instructions on how to install it but none of them described Sabayon or what its cloned off of (Gentoo). Banged my head against the wall with this for some time till I decided to do what I would have without instructions and brought up Rigo. Felt like an idoit but problem solved, Rigo Application Browser installed it without any problems and followed the rest of the instructions on how to install Neverwinter easily. Side note, the game didn't actually work. Yah, after downloading something like 5gigs and running the program as suggested, it came up with music, a stylized mouse, and a blank screen. Probably has something to do with directx, my video card, or whatnot. Haven't looked into it too much.
Networking... It was suggested that instead of networking through the wireless connection that I also get the internet through, I should at least wire them through a router. I indeed have a spare router and plugged them in. That makes the internet buggy at best, if I get the internet at all. Not that big of a deal, since I can unplug it and with a few clicks have the internet/wireless back up and running fine, but something to think about. Started playing with the wireless connection off completely but didn't get too far other than finding that the firewall can be disabled without having to uninstall it (yah!) and that seems to make the browsing out to the other machine work a lot faster (ie, it tells me I can't open up that machine a lot faster instead of waiting ten seconds for that message to pop up, which I understand is a good thing for a firewall to do).
So overall I'm pretty impressed with Sabayon. I understand most of what I said seem awesome are just things that I could tweak on any system or install a different application manager, but I'm not really too that point yet, being a somewhat new user and having only taken the plunge to actually rely on linux for my every day computer use (as before I'd always dual boot and when running into a problem just reboot back into windows 2k). I especially like Rigo and the firewall (well, for doing what a firewall should do, much like what I expected ZoneAlarm to do on my old windows boxes). The preinstall of flash and wine was also a nice surprise. The default browser is a little... well, seemed a little buggy. Not sure if its the browser or the system, or my connection, but on my desktop I installed firefox and made it the default browser (and making it the default browser was a pretty simple endeavor). Kept the old browser on my thinkpad, no need to fill up that 40gig drive with duplicate software.
Last edited by Skotches
on Tue Jul 09, 2013 21:52, edited 1 time in total.