Friday, February 10, 2012

Different Flavors

So I knew that, when I decided to undertake this adventure, I'd be running into some changes.  Big ones, small ones, and places in the between.  Gentoo has always had its place for me, it was my first distribution, it has taught me a lot, but now I'm starting to think serious about jumping to its off-shoot, Sabayon.  Back when I was in the Linux world, Sabayon was in its infant stages.  Heck, back then, it was RR4 and RR64.  I played around with it, mostly cause it would show off XGL (also in its infant stages), but I never really thought much of it.  Now, I'm considering it.

In my eyes, now Sabayon is to Gentoo what Ubuntu is to Debian.  Now that's a very broad statement, and the laymen at this blog will be confused as can be, but basically, Sabayon feels like it's trying to be a new user oriented distribution.  It offers a decent amount of variety, customizability similar to Gentoo, and, in theory, an easier setup.  As I type this post, I'm downloading the LiveDVD/installer and I will be trying it out. 

The one thing that Sabayon has changed significantly since I last used it is that it is no longer Portage based.  Portage is Gentoo package manager and compiles everything it can from source.  This is nice, it adds customization, but it also takes away on speed of updates and such.  With Portage, you start from scratch and build up.  Sabayon has migrated to Entropy, which, as far as I can tell, is a custom package manager that uses Gentoo based packages.  So someone else does your compiling and you get the package management of portage.  It's not going to be as customized, but it'll be quicker to install.

My biggest issues with Gentoo were always that, anytime I felt like changing things around, it'd cost me...a lot.  If I decided that I needed that debug USE flag, I needed to recompile for a day and a half minimum.  With Sabayon, I can avoid that, and Sabayon seems to give the user more options from the get go.

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