I managed to find a lot of time over the weekend to play with the new Ubuntu 7.10 that was released on Thursday. It took a little bit of extra work to get the restricted drivers installed, and then to enable Compiz Fusion, but it was well worth it.
One anonymous commenter pointed out a Linux distribution called Sabayon Linux 3.4f that “just works.” I was skeptical at first with how good this might be, but I quickly became impressed. It includes the restricted/proprietary drivers out-of-the-box, and automatically enables Compiz Fusion for you if it’s supported by your graphics card! What’s even better is that all of this works on the Live DVD that they offer, so you can play with Compiz Fusion before you even install a thing.
Much like OpenSUSE this distribution includes the KDE Kickoff Menu which you can see in my screenshot above. I love this type of menu structure because it seems a lot more organized, and the search box located at the top makes finding your programs extremely easy.
One of the first things that you’ll probably notice on the Live DVD is the abundant amount of applications that are available for you to use. There are several advanced 3D games including TORCS, Battle for Wesnoth, Warsow, and FlightGear sitting on your desktop. I like a good game every now and then, but I don’t play them enough to make it worth installing. Luckily if you choose to setup Sabayon on your computer you can decide whether you want the games installed:
Sabayon also comes with an array of other applications, such as Picasa and Google Earth, that you won’t find built-in to other Linux distributions. This is pretty smart because it creates even less work for the user.
So how is this not perfect? There are still some graphics cards that it does not support, such as my laptop’s ATI Mobility Radeon X1400. When running Sabayon with the 3D graphics my Taskbars were un-clickable. I had no problem with my desktop’s graphics card, so your mileage may vary. There is a post in the Sabayon forum where users have specified whether their graphics card works or not.
As it stands right now I would say that this is my favorite Linux distribution because of how many things it is able to include out-of-the-box. I had the problem with my graphics card on my laptop, but things went so incredibly smooth on my desktop that it compensated for those issues. If they are able to extend their graphics card support a little more I would definitely say this is the best version of Linux available. Oh, and did I mention that it is extremely well updated?
The two things I’m not a huge fan about are the bright red theme and slightly disturbing sound scheme. Luckily these things can easily be changed. ;)