I said in my review of Sabayon 5.2 KDE that I was so pleased with the speed and features of the OS that I would install it. I did read some online forum posts on Sabayon 5.2 being a nice live DVD OS but not good for installation, but I figured that this person just had a bad day. I decided to give installation and full use a shot.
The former went smoothly. The latter went untested for reasons that you can read after the jump.
I went through the installation process. First, however, I used GParted (from my Linux Mint 7 live CD) to shrink my Windows partition, expand my extended Linux partition into that space, and create an ext3 logical Linux partition inside the extended partition's new space. This is where Sabayon's installation would go. I haven't created a separate home partition because I didn't do it with Linux Mint. I may do it in the future, though - more on that in a bit.
With regard to the actual installation, the steps were simple. Sabayon uses the Anaconda installer, which, while not as simple as the Ubiquity (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc.) installer, is still fairly easy to use and is used by other popular distributions like Fedora and CentOS. Almost all of the steps are fairly self-explanatory, so I'll just focus on partitioning. I formatted my new partition (again) to ext3 (for some reason, this is required even if the partition is formatted but unused) and set '/' (the root directory) as the mount point of this partition. I applied these changes. Also, instead of installing GRUB (the bootloader) in the MBR (as this would erase the Windows bootloader, making Windows unbootable), I installed it in the partition for Sabayon. I then applied all of the changes and waited as the installer chugged along. The installer shouldn't take more than 10 minutes - I would say that it took about 5 minutes on my computer, which is still pretty good for such a feature-packed distribution.
Then came the problems.
The first was simultaneously serious and trivial - despite showing a dialog box in the installer regarding the bootloader (Sabayon 5.2 uses the very new (and very beta-quality) GRUB 2, while Linux Mint 7 uses the very polished GRUB 1.X (also now known as GRUB Legacy)), Sabayon failed to display its GRUB, so Linux Mint's GRUB was displayed (without an entry for Sabayon). I searched the Internet for a solution and found one at www.dedoimedo.com. It was very helpful and allowed me to access Sabayon (sort of). However, after my menu.lst was fixed, for some reason Sabayon refused (upon boot) to mount its own root partition, leading to some console error messages. I tried manually calling the partition, and while this worked (though there was no shiny splash screen), Sabayon did boot.
That was only the beginning of my troubles though.
For some reason, whenever I logged in to Sabayon in the KDM login screen, I kept either getting bounced back to the login screen or getting an error message about some "lnusertmp" thing (and clicking "OK" on this error message would then bounce me back to the login screen - a no-win situation, if you ask me). I searched the Internet for solutions and found 3 promising-looking ones, and tried them all: none of them worked.
At around the same time, I found a fix for my webcam not working in Skype on Linux Mint (which was another reason why I was thinking of switching to Sabayon). This meant that, aside from desktop effects (which I'm too scared to meddle with on Linux Mint as support for my graphics card is slightly spotty and meddling with that may make my system unusable), there was no real reason for me to consider using Sabayon (well, there is the KDE experience).
I'm probably going to delete my Sabayon partition, and that's a real shame, because the live DVD/USB experience is truly spectacular, so I would expect the full installation to work even better. Sadly, just as that forum member said, it is not installation-ready. Hopefully Sabayon 5.3 (or 6.0?) will come out relatively soon, but that's probably not going to happen as Sabayon 5.2 came out fairly recently. In any case, I'm getting a new computer pretty soon (and maybe then is when I'll make a separate home partition), so maybe Sabayon (maybe even 5.2 will work on that computer) will work there. Then again, just for desktop effects, it's really just my computer that has issues with the effects.
Stay tuned for my reflection of Linux Mint coming soon!