Patrick Brunier

Technoid and API addict


Sabayon 4.2 on a Dell XPS M1330

During my quest finding the perfect GNU/Linux distribution for my daily computing needs during the last 13 years, I have ran into Sabayon Linux. Sabayon 4.2 to be precise. You can get it in two flavours a KDE and a GNOME flavour.
I don’t care about either of those two. I want to use XFCE this time.
Because Sabayon doesn’t come in an XFCE flavour, you’ll have to choose GNOME or KDE to startup with.
I have chosen KDE….but GNOME is fine too.

During installation you’ll have the option to chose the kind of installation. Or KDE (or Gnome on the GNOME DVD), or XBMC, or FluxBox, or blablablabla.
Obviously no XFCE there either…..Because I wanted a clean starting point, I chose to go for the FluxBox installation.
That way I would have a minimal and more important clean installation perfect for installing XFCE later on.
The installation is pretty straight forward. Not very much additional choices that can be made.
After installation the idea of the clean installation went up in flames.
Despite the fact that I chose for the FluxBox installation a lot of KDE stuff was installed.
Ah well….we can uninstall the useless stuff later on, as I did.
Sabayon 4.2 does a good job handling all my notebook’s hardware. Everything is detected and it all works out of the box. No need to install the Nvidia drivers…they are already there and just work. No need to fiddle with my soundchip….it just works. Just install XFCE and you’re ready to go. Thumbs up to Sabayon!

A few things I had to alter to the configuration to get rid of some annoyances:

* System bell/beep
One of the most anoying things while working in the terminal on Linux is the system bell.
Especially if you like to use tab (auto-completion) and you don’t have an exact match.
On Sabayon (not sure if it is Sabayon or my M1330) the beep isn’t a real beep. It’s even more annoying.
It’s some sort of high pitched chicken. Had to get rid of that one….fast.
You can easily achieve that by editing the following items:
– Uncomment the “#set bell-style none” to make it look like “set bell-style none” or if you like “set bell-style visual” in the file /etc/inputrc.
This disables the beep in the consoles after reboot.
– Add “/usr/bin/xset -b b 0” to some of the possible places for this. Like your X session manager or xinitrc.
– Add “blacklist pcspkr” to the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file.
This disables the pcspkr kernel module after a reboot.

* Trackpad
The M1330 has a fairly small trackpad. Sabayon by default has trackpad scrolling enabled on the edges of the pad. I don’t like that. If you want to disable this, open “/etc/hal/fdi/policy/11-x11-synaptics.fdi”. In this file you’ll see four lines that say something about scrolling. Depending on your needs set the ones you don’t like to “false”. I personally disabled all…..what a relief.