Well, I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was switch Gentoo for Ubuntu. Well, I have had enough of Ubuntu. It is a nice, well integrated distro. The problem is that I don't want a nice, well integrated distro. I want one that is pleasant (i.e. has a medium amount of eye candy),. minimal, with a powerful package manager. I guess that's the core of my complaint against Debian and its derivatives. I find the whole apt-get system a little rigid. After poking around a few days ago, I came across Sabayon. Sabayon is a Gentoo-based distro, but it is the quick and easy way to get Gentoo running. Sounded like just my cup of tea, so I grabbed a bittorrent and awaited the arrival of the ISO. Just last night, I burnt it and installed it. So, how was it?

The graphical install was painfully bad. It was very well laid out, but it crashed each time through. Finally, I gave up and went with the text installer. All was well. I selected a KDE desktop (farewell, GNOME, forever!) and let 'er rip. It took a while to complete, the reason for which which will soon become clear.

I rebooted the system. The splash screens and logins are particularly slick, but when I logged in an OSD covered my screen, started at 100%, counted down to 0 and froze. It refused to go away. The rest of the system was fine. This is after a default install, mind you. I hadn't restored anything or started tinkering with software yet. A bit of trial/error and googling told me that I needed to kill KMilo, the special keypress service. After doing so, the problem went away.

After getting passed that hurdle, I soon realized why the install took so long: Sabayon is as bloated as Fedora. I installed one desktop: KDE, but I got all of the "accessories" (small games, utilities, and such) of two: both KDE and GNOME. Why on earth did it install two desktops' utilities, but one desktop? That is besides all of the other software it installed by default. I spent more time removing all the software I didn't want then adding what I did want.

Beyond that, the system is nice. Good artwork, Gentoo toolset (is there a better one?), and all. Sabayon seems to be mostly what I've wanted in a distro: quick install, low level eye candy preconfigured, with a down 'n dirty toolset so that I could manage it all myself afterwards. My big complaints were the OSD problem above and just how bloated the system was by default. Coming soon: my fantasy distro and why you probably won't see MCPLinux (mad computer scientist linux) anytime soon.