Life, Gentoo & Sabayon

As always, long time no blog, so lets hope this one is good, eh?

I have become Gentoo developer. Which I was pretty happy about. This means of course that the Sabayon project now has two Gentoo developers in its ranks.

Lxnay as you may remember has been a Gentoo developer for a while and has been busily working on adding all the powerful Sabayon technologies to portage, such as Entropy and Molecule, he is also in the Gnome herd, so has been battling Gnome 3.2, which he loves, by the way.

I on the other hand have joined the KDE herd, so there is a nice symmetry between our responsibilities. I plan on fixing up various packages around portage and maintaining a few I use a lot and need some love, such as the Pigdin SIPE/OCS plugin.

A nice example of how this setup benefits both Sabayon and Gentoo users can been seen in Sabayon bug report #2733, where I bumped the “PlayOnLinux” package in portage, enabling both the Sabayon entropy maintainers and any Gentoo user to build the package.

I have been on an excellent trip to New York City, a fantastic place to visit and I highly recommend going if you get the chance, I also spotted this gem on the flight over.

In other Sabayon news, Sabayon 7 has been tagged, the development team are testing the final tagged release so expect it imminently.

I hope to get back into the habit of blogging over the coming months and as always please feel free to comment to ask questions etc.

You can also follow me on twitter, or add me on google+.

QDbusViewer and Integer Arrays

This post is a “things that should be easily googleable but aren’t” type post.

When an application is returning a dbus array of integers (Dbus type ‘ai’), qdbusviewer will give you a message similar to:

unable to find method <MethodName> on path <DbusPath> in interface <Interface>

This message is sign of a failing in qdbusviewer and not in the application (as I discovered to today after a couple of hours of confusion!)

The solution is to use another dbus client, for example:

$ dbus-send --session --type=method_call --print-reply --dest=<Interface> <DbusPath> <MethodName>
method return sender=:1.165 -> dest=:1.171 reply_serial=2
array [       int32 0       int32 1    ]

Hopefully that will save someone some pain.

Sabayon 6 Released!


We’re once again here to announce the immediate availability of Sabayon 6, one of the biggest milestone in our project. Letting bleeding edge and reliability to coexist is the most outstanding challenge our users, our team, is faced every day.

There you have it, shining at full bright, for your home computer, your laptop and your home servers.

Because we do care about our community, we do listen to our users, we consider them part of the game, we decided to leave GNOME3 out for another, last, release cycle, in order let things to settle down: providing a broken user experience has never been in our plans.

Besides, what do we have under the hood this round? Let’s go ahead and see.

Please don’t forget to donate here, we still need your support.
Thanks to your donations, we were able to buy a new development server, but we need more I/O speed now!


  • Linux Kernel and blazing fast, yet reliable, boot
  • Providing extra Server-optimized, OpenVZ-enabled, Vserver-enabled kernels in repositories
  • Natively supporting btrfs filesystem
  • Completely reworked artwork and boot music intro, thanks to our little Van Gogh (Ian Whyman)
  • Improved theming for 16:9 and 16:10 widescreen monitors
  • Transform Sabayon into an full-featured HTPC Operating System (Media Center) using XBMC
  • Entropy 1.0_rc10, bringing outstanding speed and reliability. Entropy Store (Sulfur) went through a massive speed rework. Entropy Web Services foundation library has been introduced in order to support User Generated Content contributions in a more powerful way, bringing our Package Manager in the Social Internet age. Added support to delta packages downloads, parallel packages download, differential repository update through simple HTTPS protocol
  • Several Sabayon Installer improvements, especially with dealing with crypt, LVM and swRAID environments
  • Added a non-intrusive firewall tool called “ufw” and its frontends for GNOME and KDE
  • X.Org Server updated to 1.10
  • Sane Desktop Compositing now enabled by default
  • Switched to IcedTea6 as bundled Java VM
  • Switched to jpeg-turbo library, boosting JPEG images rendering speed
  • Switched to LibreOffice 3.3.3
  • Switched to Chromium/WebKit as bundled Web Browser
  • Split nvidia-drivers and ati-drivers into userspace and kernel modules, improving reliability over kernel migrations
  • Updated to GNOME 2.32.2 and KDE 4.6.4
  • Updated to GRUB 1.99
  • Introduced the “kernel-switcher” tool, to easily switch between available Sabayon Linux kernels
  • Python toolchain updated to version 2.7
  • Updated to GCC 4.5.2
  • Dracut and Plymouth ready (expect them in Sabayon 7)
  • Thousands of updates and bug fixes that flew in, during these last 4 months
  • We’re still here! (it’s a feature), only thanks to your donations, please keep donating, donate now!

Minimum requirements (aka, we don’t underestimate them, like everybody else does):

  • An i686-compatible Processor (Intel Pentium II/III, Celeron, AMD Athlon)
  • 512Mb RAM (GNOME) – 768Mb RAM (KDE)
  • 8 GB of free space
  • A X.Org supported 2D GPU
  • A DVD reader

Optimal requirements

  • A Dual Core Processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or better, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or better)
  • 1024Mb RAM
  • 15 GB of free space
  • A X.Org supported 3D GPU (Intel, AMD, NVIDIA) (esp. for XBMC)

Download sources

ISO images (those little .iso files that you have download and burn) are available on our mirrors:

  • Sabayon Linux 6 amd64 (x86_64, x64) GNOME:
    06b51b1b0210a636c40a0eba1822539c Sabayon_Linux_6_amd64_G.iso
  • Sabayon Linux 6 x86 (i686, x32) GNOME:
    76ce8f9871940573a5841123348def29 Sabayon_Linux_6_x86_G.iso
  • Sabayon Linux 6 amd64 (x86_64, x64) KDE:
    ce2d774270bb8c020aedf76f5f57e5bb Sabayon_Linux_6_amd64_K.iso
  • Sabayon Linux 6 x86 (i686, x32) KDE:
    68ece268e181967b8200382b019e3c0b Sabayon_Linux_6_x86_K.iso
  • Sabayon Mirrors Page
  • Sabayon Bittorrent Tracker

Thanks everybody involved!

To comment, see the forum Here.

Looking for Derivatives

A quick call for anyone who has created a Sabayon derivative or spin that is publicly available.

I am currently adding a derivatives section on the new site and it looking a bit bare, so if you would like the possibility of some more hits for your Sabayon based distro, please contact me with details. Please include a project name, homepage and short description.


Official Linux(R) Licence

Registered TrademarkThe Sabayon Foundation has just had an official sub-license granted for our use of Linux(R) as part of “Sabayon Linux” & “SabayonLinux”, covering goods and services on every corner of the planet (including Antarctica!).

Linux is of course a trademark of Linus Torvalds and the Linux Foundation can provide everyone who uses the trademark as part of their product with a license to use it in countries where it is trademarked. This is a good deal for everyone involved as it means that Company X can no go using the Linux name for crappy products and services.

And so Linux(R) License No. 20110410-0332 is for Sabayon.

I feel that I should mention a video by Jon “maddog” Hall, of his keynote at CeBIT earlier this year called “The Hidden Costs of Closed Source Software”, the inital part of which originally raised to fact that we had not in fact registered our use of Linux! Its a very interesting video and Maddog puts his points across fairly without going to GNUCrazy…

The Hidden Costs of Closed Source Software – Jon “maddog” Hall

Sabayon in Linux Format #141

I have been waiting for this day for so long! Great to see it finally happen! Thank you to everyone who has donated and may our path to world domination continue.

Apologies for the crappy phone images, blame HTC.

Shame the logo was rendered wrong.

Ubuntu 11.04 alpha 43% slower than 10.10

or – Sometimes Phoronix Grinds My Gears.

I don’t have anything against Phoronix, its a valued resource to the Linux graphics community no doubt and I’m thankful for the service it provides, sometimes – like today for example – it just makes me a little sad.

The main thing that irritates me is the endless cross referencing of other posts, for example today – KDE 4.5.3 is released! Yay, I heard about it from Phoronix, good job. However, the entire first paragraph is just cramming as many links to other articles that are related to KDE as possible, in this case an example is QtSceneGraph, an experimental implementation thats not even in upstream Qt yet and not at all related to KDE, also included where articles about the next major release(4.6), and the next super major release (KDE5). We know more page views means more ad revenue for Phoronix, not sure the entire back catalog of links has to be weaved into every story, why not just have “related posts” section like 90% of blogs do?

Its a similar story with the kernel releases, they will link to every other story they have run about that kernel revision, often with it just linking to an index page of stories possibly related to that release, this is always early on, so you will have to read through that before the actual news, but again, they will link relating to stuff that’s not even going to be in this kernel, but the next one, or the next one.

And then after that we get onto the actual news item with a link to source, no problems there, very nice, good job.

The second issue I have with them is the benchmarking of alpha and beta versions, its just my opinion that this is a bad practice… its not done yet! I’m sure it will be argued that it could help the project improve, but this isn’t why Phoronix does it, it does it to get a nice tabloid headline eg “Ubuntu 11.04 alpha 43% slower than 10.10″  that will bring it more ad revenue.

Oh and don’t forget to have plug for their Phoronix Global service as often as possible.

Life, New Sabayon Site Design & Sabayon 5.5 Teaser

So what have I been up to lately? Well, I have recently got a nice new job with a local ex-ISP turned “cloud services” provider so I’m looking forward to jumping into the new role which, I hope, will be far more interesting as it will unleash my passion for Linux in a commercial environment. I’ve been a bit less active on the Sabayon front because of the job hunting and such but should increase again soon.

One of the things I’ve been working on is the Sabayon website design, the plan is to provide the whole portal and services with a uniform clean look that is more accessible and easy to use. I’ve attached a screenshot of the homepage draft design, feedback as always is encouraged.

Sabayon Website Redesign Beta

I have moved to the Bugzilla.git repository but have not been able to work on the new styling for a while which is a shame however its high on my todo list.

I’ve also been improving some of my various other projects, for instance the IRC bot ParkerBeta on the #Sabayon IRC channels on Freenode, the facts database module recently got an update to enable to the deletion of particular numbered entries on entries with multiple output. The not so functional Entropy module is getting a major update to use another of my recently started projects a JSON API for entropy, its currently in the very early stages, but when finished should allow lots of cool stuff to built on top of it, think nice AJAX web interfaces etc.

So finally: Sabayon 5.5 may or may not be planned for around Christmas.