Sabayon 8 Gnome with Extensions

Sabayon 8 is starting to shape up and if you are doing the updates via the package manager, you should see the new artwork implemented.  Like with any release we do, there is always a decision to be made of what stays and what goes.  This is not always an easy decision as we don’t want to cause chaos.  A tough decision was made about xorg-server-1.11, which doesn’t work with legacy nvidia cards.  We decided we can’t hold back because of that and have implemented xorg-server-1.11.  So now what?

First, if you are unsure if your card is a Nvidia legacy card, you can refer to this Nvidia page and see.  It will also explain to you what a legacy card is.

Second, you’re still in luck as the opensource Nvidia driver called Nouveau can be used to replace the package nvidia-drivers.  If you need information about what that is, check out this home page and the Gentoo wiki page. You can also see they are available in entropy and portage.  I hear really good things about Nouveau, but I have no personal experience with it.  I upgrade my hardware frequently so I’m never having to deal with such things.

Third, if your hardware is just plain old I would recommend looking at distros that are focused on older hardware.  Some of these distros would be like knoppix, puppy linux, xubuntu and crunchbag.  I actually have xubuntu that I just installed the other day on a older machine that I have.  It has the legacy fx5200 card and I found that xubuntu ran great.

We aren’t the only distro that is running into this issue with legacy cards.  A while back on my Ubuntu machine it wanted to upgrade to the latest release, but at the same time I got a big old warning box telling me that my hardware probably would not work well with it so I opt to not do it and just retire the machine for now.  I have a huge tote full of legacy stuff that I am looking at throwing out as it is no longer good for anything.  That 2400 baud modem just isn’t gonna get used again.  Even my old faithful 1x cdrom that still works isn’t gonna ever be used again.

Anyway, Sabayon 8 is looking good and I’m expecting a release in the very near future.  I think about all that is left to do is decide on the gnome 3 default desktop and a couple of bug fixes.  We are kinda leaning towards default gnome 3 with some extensions instead of Cinnamon as default.  Cinnamon is just still too alpha to go prime time.  The gnome-shell extensions really help improve the usability of gnome.  I’m interested in hearing from people what their favorite extensions are.  Look for a release announcement soon.

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