Sunday, 27 November 2011

The time has come

To talk of many things. Of sausages and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.

A 'wipe & re-install' session for Sabayon. From memory, I think the last rebuild happened about 16 months ago (shortly before Marc & Dixie's visit) so it's done as well as OSX and many Windows installs. The software was starting to get a bit cranky and temperamental, with DigiKam occasionally failing to show newly saved files in the folders to which they'd been saved, VLC playing the background music MUCH louder than the voices on DVD playback and the update application ceasing to work.

Probably entirely fixable, but it seemed easier to just save the Home directory to an external HDD, then re-load it and carry on.

I'd also wanted to see what the new (Sabayon 7) theming was like, because although Sabayon updates the complete OS (I started off with v5.5, finished on 7) the changes made are mostly under the hood, with usually only small changes to the desktop. Last but not least, Sabayon 7 uses the Btrfs file management system (like FAT32 or NTFS)which is meant to be substantially quicker in operation than EXT3 and 4. That might well be true - install time was around 20min instead of the usual 35-40 min it usually seemed to take. We'll have to see though, because I've also heard accusations of instability, so I'll need to be careful with the backups.

One other change I've noted, is that Sabayon have changed from Firefox to Chromium as the default browser. Not my favourite appearance-wise (and regrettably Opera are following this style increasingly) but it's bloomin' fast after FF. I shall have to do some re-evaluation alongside Opera, but with this level of performance it will be hard to continue using FF.

So what's the downside to the re-build?

Sabayon work very much at the bleeding edge, meaning that software updates get adapted, tested and then bunged in the repository ASAP. That means that for a 5-6 week old 'new' operating system there was one initial 20Mb download and then 861 further updated files for around a 3.5Gb download total. It's been going since around 2.15pm and has reached 44% at 4.09pm. And that's WITH removing most of the bundled games and WITHOUT installing any of my own software preferences (like Thunderbird, FF, Inkscape, Audacity, DigiKam etc).

So here we go. In another few hours I'll have a spanky new copy of S7 up and running (hopefully) solidly) that should see me through for another 15-18 months.

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