Stable enough for a work computer?

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Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby ghostautumn » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:08

Hi, I've been using Linux for a couple years now, but I've never tried Sabayon. I've been looking for a distro with KDE that is really stable, and sadly there's not a lot of reviews on 5 oh! so I thought I'd just straight up ask whether other users' experience of Sabayon 5 oh! is that it is stable enough that everything generally just works, and that there aren't a lot of glitches or bugs. By stable I mean as or more stable than, say, the latest OpenSUSE or Mandriva, which seem to be my only other options really. The programs I regularly use are Firefox, Open Office, Virtual Box, BasKet, Kontact, a music program, etc. What do people think? I really like the looks of it, I've just been having a lot of problems with other distros that I really don't have time for at the moment, I just want something that works and that I can use to get my work done without many interruptions. Thanks for any help people can give me.

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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby Marius » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:37

I use generally speaking, GNOME, but am not averse to using KDE, Xfce, fluxbox, or Openbox. I have an impression that Sabayon Linux is absolutely stable ''enough'' with both GNOME and KDE very well supported and polished.

The developers/support team is small but highly professional and dedicated. And Fitzcarraldo is simply fabulous and irreplacable in his role of the Sabayon forum Guardian-Angel: patient, well informed and always ready to help.

The package base is very extensive. For example such a complex and giving a lot of trouble to distro packagers system like TexLive is not only available under Sabayon but works out of the box (I daily rely on it in my work) whereas Mandriva as recently as a month ago has not been even able to provide it (!), their rationale being that even such an avantgarde distribution as Fedora has been struggling with TexLive support.

Most bugs/inconsistencies are upstream, one should not forget that they are present even in so avowedly stable distributions like CentOS (a default at many research institutes around the world).
Last edited by Marius on Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby gallienus » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:15

First I'm an unabashed fan of sabayon, it's been my main distro since 3.4. Before that I used Slackware for years. So yes I'm a little biased.

I haven't used kde with sabayon 5.0 yet but in the past, sabayon versions 3.4 through 4.2, sabayon kde was always very stable and worked like a charm. I haven't used KDE 4.* yet but it wouldn't surprise me if it worked perfectly right out of the box. Since upgrading to 5.0 I generally use Gnome/XFCE with compiz all of which work great.

Since putting a tv turner on my pc my computer has become my tv/music player/computer. On any given day at any given hour I usually have the following running; Mythtv, Firefox (usually with 4 or five tabs open), Thunderbird (6 email accounts both pop3 and imap), Pidgin (usually 3 aim accounts), Nautilus, System Monitor. If mythtv isn't open and showing a tv show I have amarok open and playing music, and yes it's the latest version. Because it's used by mythtv Mysql 5 runs constantly behind everything. Since it's always running anyway I set up Amarok to use mysql as it's database. I only use openoffice occasionally but I've never had any problems with it. I've also start messing around with tightvnc and gnucash, also problem free.

I'm very happy with sabayon but I still like checking out other distros and for that I'll use Virtualbox. So in addition to all the above listed programs that are almost always running I'll run and or install a new distro in virtualbox a couple of times a week. I haven't had any problems with virtual box yet. I also use vmware to run windows xp now and then. If it wasn't for windows registration key I'd probably dump vmware in favor of virtualbox but I don't think ms is going to keep letting me reinstall windows, this would be the fourth or fifth install.

So far I've had up times of 9 and 6 days with Sabayon 5.0 that I can remember. Sometimes when I'm talking to people I know who use windows I'll open up gimp and openoffice and start a hulu show in firefox in addition to all the other stuff that's running and take a screenshot and send it to them. They have no idea how I deal with so many open programs and they are astounded when I tell them I have zero lag.

Sulfur is a breeze to use and with the magneto update notifier right on the taskbar you know when and what updates are available immediately.

In the interest of full disclosure I had one instance of my computer locking up since I installed sabayon 5.0 over a month ago. The problem was either Mythtv or Vmware. Both programs use the same disk, mythtv for writing videos to mpg format as I watch tv and it's where I put windows xp's virtual disk in vmware. The computer locked up and the hard drive light was on as if it was constantly writing to the drive.

Sorry, I'm rabbling. Anyway to answer your question. I would say yes it's definitely stable enough for a work computer. I'll go even further, if I had a home based business that needed a file server I wouldn't hesitate to use sabayon 5.0 as the server.

P.S
Even though I shouldn't really mix sulfur and portato I used portato to install google chromium 4.0.25 and it hasn't given me any problems thus far.
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby albfneto » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:01

yes, for me, sabayon is very stable...
but also sabayon is bleeding edge, if sabayon is updated everyday, it may be turned less stable..
if you use sabayon in the work, do not update all the days...
these caract. are similar to gentoo, in fact, sabayon is fully customizable, you may turns it unstable, if you want this!
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby ghostautumn » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:31

Sounds great. Thanks for all the responses, I think I'll experiment with it first for awhile in Virtual Box, but I like what I here and see so far.
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby ninodog » Wed Dec 09, 2009 19:39

Hi - I use Sabayon 4 with KDE 3.5 for my office and as a file sharer. I have 2 desktop machines and 3 laptops running it and have no problems with it at all except that I cannot stay up-to-date. - Am currently trying to get Sabayon 5 with KDE 4.3 running on one of the laptops and am having some problems which I think are KDE problems, but I'm not sure. - Of the different flavors of Linux I've tried (Suse, Red hat, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint, Slackware, Puppy) I like Sabayon the best. It is fast and well configured for immediate use. KDE 4 is a different matter. I think it's buggy as hell and not suited to a work environment.
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Wed Dec 09, 2009 21:33

ninodog wrote:KDE 4 is a different matter. I think it's buggy as hell and not suited to a work environment.


It's definitely getting much better. I'm using SL 5.0 (updated via Portage) with KDE 4.3.3 on a laptop for work, and have to say it works well overall. Earlier versions of KDE 4 were a pain in the neck but the latest versions of KDE 4 have become much better, and KDE 4.4, due out in Q1 2010, looks like it's going to be even better (see another thread for some details). One of the functions that was really annoying me in KDE 4 was Bluetooth, as I use it often to upload photos from my mobile phone to my laptop for work purposes, but I've got it working now, albeit still unstably.

Skype (including Webcam) works very well indeed -- also important for work -- and so do all the usual office tools. As I need 100% compatibility with Microsoft Word in most cases, I also have Word 2000 running under Wine to save me having to dual boot that often. I also have Visio 5 Professional (the last release before Microsoft bought the company) running under Wine, although the native Linux application Dia is installed and I have used it too. That said, there is nothing in Linux that beats Visio.

I have VariCAD Viewer installed, a native Linux application that allows me to view AutoCAD drawings and also saves me having to boot into Windows. The excellent gscan2pdf is a scanning-to-PDF tool that I also use regularly for work purposes. OpenOffice Calc makes an excellent substitute for Microsoft Excel. Thunderbird works perfectly for my heavy use of e-mails for work with large numbers of folders and a huge number of e-mails stored since 2002. I use GQview to view a large number (>13,000) of photo records I need for work purposes.

Both wired and wireless networking work well for me around the world (I travel regularly). The only problem I have had with wireless networking is with not being able to connect to hidden WPA-PSK networks even if I know the network name and password, but I have now found that if I configure the router to broadcast the network name then I can access the WPA network without problem. Wireless range is better than under Windows on the same laptop.

Apart from all the work-related stuff, I also use the laptop for my entertainment: music, video files, Internet and video DVDs.

Acrobat Reader serves me well for work purposes, as does CUPS' virtual PDF printer driver. As I travel a lot, the ability to easily display local and home time and city locations for a large number of time zones in an easy way on the Panel and on a Desktop clock is very handy.

CUPS has served me reasonably well with various printers in different offices, although this is one area where my Windows-using colleagues do have a clear advantage. Occasionally, though, I have the upper hand over Windows users. For example last week two of my Vista-using colleagues could not use Skype or Outlook in an office but I was able to. Sometimes, too, I can access a pen drive that they cannot. However I was unable to get past a Microsoft ISA server at one office, even using ntlmaps definitely configured correctly, and I was never able to get to the bottom of it. Still, Firefox could bypass the ISA server, which at least allowed me to access Webmail and browse the Web for work purposes.

The bottom line: SL is good enough for a work computer, and so is KDE 4.3.3 although the KDE 4 Bluetooth support still needs to improve. Printer support is not as comprehensive as Windows, but works in many cases.

If you're using SL on a work PC then my advice, for what it's worth, regarding world updates is: tread carefully and keep an eye on the SL forums to see if the same problem is being reported frequently, as world updates can break a system or an application. SL is a bleeding-edge distribution, i.e. it is from the testing branch of Gentoo, so you do need to exercise caution with updates to individual packages or world updates. If I didn't also have Windows installed on this laptop I would be dual booting with another, stable Linux distribution simply as a backup measure in order to assist with recovery of SL if the worst were to happen. Furthermore, I would recommend having a separate /home partition for a work PC.
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby albfneto » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:15

new KDE versions are stable.
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby quan2m » Tue Dec 29, 2009 22:40

Something that lingers that may bite you in certain work environments is the "Hidden ESSID" problem. Using updated SL 5.1K (updated via forklift DVD) neither WICD or NetworkManager are able to connect to WEP/LEAP or WPA1/2 PSK when the ESSID is hidden.

For the WPA1/2PSK (my home network) I was able to get them to connect by unhiding the ESSID and joining, and then hiding the network again. The WEP/LEAP network is no worky as I cannot unhide it. I have tried using iwconfig to set the ESSID pre-emptively but that didn't work either. It appears to error out after the authentication is complete so there may be another setting that I am not aware of (I'm not very savvy on the Linux wireless front).

Other than that, it has been a wonderful experience. The ability to grab overlays has helped as well if you need some cutting edge stuff for work (I use GNS3 a lot). (PS, I did try to get the wireless working before installing the 'sunrise' overlay.)
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Re: Stable enough for a work computer?

Postby wolfden » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:28

Please keep in mind we run from the ~ branch of portage. ~ is not stable branch, it's testing branch. This is why we are a bleeding edge distro.
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