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Beginner Friendly Gentoo Based Sabayon Linux Has a New Release

The team behind Sabayon Linux had issued a new release. We are going to take a quick look at what’s involved in this new release.

What is Sabayon Linux?

Sabayon Linux

First of all, some of you might be wondering what the heck is Sabayon? Sabayon is a rolling-release Linux distribution that is based on Gentoo. Gentoo is different than most Linux distros. Instead of simply installing pre-compiled application binaries, Gentoo downloads the source code and builds the application to the specifications of the system’s hardware. The goal is to improve performance. Installing Gentoo is similar to installing Arch, how it’s setup is all up to the user.

Sabayon is designed to be a beginner-friendly version of Gentoo. It is easy to install with the Red Hat developed Anaconda installer. It also comes with a number of applications pre-installed. Sabayon offers two package managers: Portage is borrowed from Gentoo and Entropy is designed by the Sabayon team.

What’s New in Sabayon Linux 18.5?

Here is a list of improvements in the new release snapshot:

  • Linux kernel updated to 4.14
  • GNOME updated to 3.24
  • KDE updated to 5.12
  • MATE updated to 1.18
  • Xfce updated to 4.12
  • Dropped support for Qt 4

The Future

Besides announcing the update of a few desktop environments, the update announcement also talks about the future of Sabayon. From now on Sabayon will only release LTS versions of the kernel. They are also planning to use one display manager greeter across all flavors. They are going to replace the Anaconda installer with the Calamares, as well as make some improvements to the Entropy package manager.

What Took So Long?

I imagine quite a few Sabayon users wonder why it has been so long since the last release. The last stable release of Sabayon was 16.11. That’s quite a while.

According to a January 2018 post, there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Since Sabayon only has a small team, they decide to switch two a twice-yearly release. They plan to issue releases in April and November.

They also had to take care of huge ecosystem changes. “Graphics drivers were exploding in size and features, several kernel releases, wine hit 3.0rc, new hardware and drivers (some amazing, some disappointing), compilers changed, KDE and Gnome grew by leaps and bounds.” Overall, they move to a new more powerful and reliable build infrastructure.

Have you ever used either Sabayon or Gentoo?

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