Despite going four years without using GNOME 3 to any real degree, it felt familiar from the get-go, almost as if it was just mere months since I last used it. As I’ve had to do with Ubuntu’s Unity, I needed to find a tweaking tool for GNOME, stat, as many of its defaults don’t suit me very well. After figuring out via Web search that it was gnome-tweak-tool I was looking for, I was rather surprised to see that Gentoo had included it in that monolithic ‘gnome’ install. It’s really easy to see why.
In my previous post I showed how to install CuterCode and Qreator, two simple GUI applications for producing QR Codes. I have now found a couple of other GUI applications, Portable QR-Code Generator and QtQR, both of which offer more features than the aforementioned two, such as allowing you to specify the amount of error correction to be incorporated into the QR Code.
QR Codes are two-dimensional bar codes that can store a surprising amount of information. CuterCode and Qreator are two applications that are easy to install and use to produce QR Codes that can be saved as image files for use on labels, posters, Web sites, business cards, documents, etc.
Sabayon offers four editions of the distribution -- GNOME, KDE, Xfce and Minimal. Each edition is available for 64-bit x86 machines exclusively. I opted to download the KDE image which is 2.2GB in size. Booting from the live media brings up a boot menu where we can choose to launch a live desktop environment, run the system installer, install a media centre edition of the distribution or install Steam Big Picture. We can also choose to launch a console only mode, handy for trouble-shooting problems. I will come back to the media centre and Steam interfaces a little later.
There are so many Linux distributions to choose from. Depending on your perspective, this can be a good or bad thing. You see, for many, using Linux is about choice -- you get to choose the distro, packages and environment. There is truth to this; however, many others, including myself, often wonder if the community's efforts are too fragmented. In other words, when talent is spread thin, progress may be slowed.
One distro which should not be discussed in this debate is Gentoo; it has been around for 12 years and is not some recently launched project. Hell, Google chose this distro as the base for Chrome OS, so it must be good; seriously, the search-giant's operating system is pretty darn stable. Gentoo Linux has reached version 20140826 and it looks like a winner.
Samuli Suominen of Gentoo expressed some hesitation about this change, "I'd really hate to be forced to fork (or carry huge patchset) unnecessarily (I'm not a systemd hater, I'm not a eudev lover, I'm simply working on what is provided to me by *you*, udev upstream)." Lennart countered, "Oh god. You know, if you come me like this as blame me that I would 'force' you to do something, then you just piss me off and make me ignore you. Anyway, as soon as kdbus is merged this i how we will maintain udev, you have ample time to figure out some solution that works for you, but we will not support the udev-on-netlink case anymore. I see three options: a) fork things, live with systemd, c) if hate systemd that much, but love udev so much, then implement an alternative userspace for kdbus to do initialiuzation/policy/activation. Also note that this will not be a change that is just internal between udev and libudev. We expect that clients will soonishly just start doing normal bus calls to the new udev, like they'd do them to any other system service instead of using libudev. Good luck."
Sabayon 14.06 is based on Gentoo and that is not something that you see every day. In fact, there are very few Linux distros out there that are using Gentoo as a base and it's good to see that developers take the time and the effort to utilize something else than Debian and Ubuntu.
Another interesting thing brought by this release is its rolling release model, which is not all that common. There were some talks to get this model working with Ubuntu, for example, but developers figured it was too much work.