Sabayon Linux Repository maintainer / Web developer / Father / Elferrat


EfikaMX: Install Sabayon to NAND

I assume you have a working bootable Sabayon image on a sd card.

Boot from the Sabayon SD

Once booted up:
Install u-boot-tools:
equo install u-boot-tools
We need this later

Format the nand root partition:
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2

Mount the clean nand root partition:
mkdir /mnt/nand && mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/nand

Rsync / from the SD to the new nand partition:
rsync -avHAXx --delete --numeric-ids --exclude "/mnt/*" / /mnt/nand/

Change fstab on the nand root partition:
nano /mnt/nand/etc/fstab
Change /dev/mmcblk0p1 to /dev/sda1

Unmount nand root partition
umount /dev/sda2

Now we go ahead with the boot partition.
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1

Rsync boot partition from the SD to the new partition:
mkdir /mnt/temp && mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/temp
mkdir /mnt/nandboot && mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/nandboot

rsync -avHAXx /mnt/temp/ /mnt/nandboot/

Regenerate uboot image:

cd into /mnt/nandboot

nano boot.script

change so it looks like this root=/dev/sda2

Now regenerate the uboot image:

mkimage -A arm -T script -C none -n "boot" -d boot.script  boot.scr

Reboot the system and remove the SD card.

Leave a comment

fglrx and underscan

Since about a week I got a new monitor ( Samsung Syncmaster S24B350 ) and the first thing I noticed when I booted in my Windows(tm) partition was weird black borders around the desktop. Not being able to use “auto-adjustment” I scratched my head over this and went into the Catalyst settings. Here I noticed I could disable underscan and get this problem fixed for Windows(tm). The same problem occurred in Sabayon. The same solution applied using the /opt/bin/amdcccle tool but the settings were gone after a reboot. Obviously not using that gui tool right.. even as root I could not get it to save my settings.

To perm fix this, from a root shell run:

/opt/bin/aticonfig –set-pcs-val=MCIL,DigitalHDTVDefaultUnderscan,0

Hope it helps somebody.

Leave a comment

The S.M.A.R.T Attribute 193 Load/Unload counter keeps increasing on a SATA 2 hard drive

Almost 3 years ago after another drive went broken I thought I’d go buy a Western Digital because I’ve read some good stuff about it. At the local shop I’ve found the caviar green drive, and hey saving energy is good for my wallet, so why not get this one I thought. 

All was fine and good until after ~2 years it suddenly died! At least I thought it did. (short drama story here on G+)

I decided to ignore that drive a bit until recently I needed room for my homedir and decided to move my stuff on a partition on that drive. And here we go again, nothing but problems after using it for about a week. I instantly recalled that I already dugg the problem before and came to the conclusion that under Linux the head parking is happening very very often. 

This leads to worn out parts, stuff we certainly want to prevent happening.


(very high Load/Unload)

So this post is kind of a warning for people that have such a drive and combine it with intense disk usage. A crazy old Linux tester like me that moves stuff around all the time, or perhaps a torrent users, whatever. There is a solution for this issue that could prevent you from running into problems by following these steps:

1. Get on a Microsoft Windows Machine.

2. Make a bootable USB flash drive

3. download wdidle3 here

4. Extract wdidle3.exe to your just created bootable USB 

5. Put the USB in the PC with the Caviar Green drive and boot it.

6. run wdidle3.exe /s300

Further reading here:


Testing Steam Linux Beta

Not that I wish to support this highly experimental piece of software, but let me show you how I would try to install the Steam Linux Beta client on Sabayon Linux.

1. You will need to add a custom overlay called steam-overlay

Edit /etc/layman/layman.cfg and add file:///var/lib/layman/my-list.xml  to the overlays section. Mind you, it only works if it is tabbed in position right under (smells like Python nazi stuff to me)

Now you must create /var/lib/layman/my-list.xml and add to this file:

<?xml version=”1.0″ ?>
 <repositories version=”1.0″>
   <repo priority=”50″ quality=”experimental” status=”unofficial”>
     <description>Gentoo overlay for Valve’s Steam client and Steam-based games</description>
     <source type=”git”>git://</source>
If you didn’t have git installed, use Entropy to install it.
2. layman -f -a steam-overlay
3. emerge –sync 
4. emerge -av steam-meta
ANY dependency that gets pulled in from Portage you should install using Entropy first until you end up with a list like this:

[ebuild N ] games-util/steam-installer-9999::steam-overlay 1,297 kB
[ebuild N ] games-util/steam-client-meta-9999::steam-overlay USE=”-flash -windows-games” VIDEO_CARDS=”-intel” 0 kB
[ebuild N ] games-util/steam-meta-9999::steam-overlay USE=”installer -testdeps” 0 kB

Remarks :
- Those ebuilds can be broken ( because upstream changes allot causing the manifests to fail )
- We are playing with an experimental binary blob here, it could include code that makes kittens die, so be warned!
More info here:
Edit: I had to remanifest and redo the patch for steam since upstream just changed things:

— usr/bin/steam.orig 2012-11-30 21:04:16.370876939 +0100
+++ usr/bin/steam 2012-11-30 21:09:32.650054985 +0100
@@ -108,27 +108,6 @@ function setup_variables()

-function install_extra_packages()
- # Get the list of packages which are already installed
- INSTALLED=”$(dpkg –get-selections $EXTRA_PACKAGES 2>/dev/null | grep “\binstall$” | cut -f1 | sort)”
- # compute the list of packages that need to be installed
- NEEDSINSTALL=”$(comm -23 <(echo “$EXTRA_PACKAGES” | tr ‘ ‘ ‘\n’ | sort) <(echo “$INSTALLED”) | xargs ) “
- NEEDSINSTALL=${NEEDSINSTALL## } # remove leading space
- if [ "$NEEDSINSTALL" ]; then
- # Call to actually do the work
- MESSAGE=$”Please enter your password to complete the Steam installation.
-Steam needs to install these additional packages:
- run_sudo “$MESSAGE” apt-get install $NEEDSINSTALL
- fi
function install_bootstrap()
@@ -159,8 +138,6 @@ function install_bootstrap()
# Restore the umask
umask $omask

- # Try and install any extra packages
- install_extra_packages jockey-common python-apt

function repair_bootstrap()

1 Comment

Missing gtk+ icons/font render problems?

On my test weekly system I noticed that gcc wasn’t updated first. The order of things sometimes matter! If you see messages like this error while loading shared libraries: during package updates, you are surely affected by this. So if you notice problems with icons go missing, weird colors on gtk apps:

# equo install x11-libs/pango x11-libs/gdk-pixbuf x11-libs/gtk+:2 x11-libs/gtk+:3


Playing with Plymouth

If you ever wondered why Fedora and Ubuntu have such nice animated boot screens, let me enlighten you on this subject. They are using Plymouth to achieve this.

If you want to play with this I have some instructions for you to follow but be warned that you should know what you are doing and let me start with summing up some known issues:

All following problems should be solved when Plymouth is finally integrated with OpenRC.

1. Because Plymouth is taking over the control of tty1 it might mess it up. Although they should no longer occur with 0.8.3-r3.
Line endings might be messed up.
Password typed in tty1 might be not hidden. Switch to another tty to login.
2. Plymouth turns on OpenRC’s interactive mode. The workaround is to disable it permanently in /etc/rc.conf.
3. Splash might freeze on some stages and not respond immediately.

If this didn’t scare you away yet here are the steps to make it work on a Sabayon system:

equo install dracut plymouth

change Openrc configuration:
edit /etc/rc.conf


list plymouth themes and select one:
plymouth-set-default-theme –list

we select the solar theme:
plymouth-set-default-theme solar

generate initramfs:
dracut -H

NOTE: Whenever you change plymouth theme regenerate initramfs:
dracut -H -f

when you generate a new initramfs notice this line:
I: -rw-r–r– 1 root root 4050903 Mar 6 21:04 /boot/initramfs-3.2.0-sabayon.img
this is the location of the generated initramfs we need to add to the next step.

edit /etc/grub.d/40_custom

menuentry “Dracut” {
linux /boot/kernel-genkernel-x86_64-3.2.0-sabayon root=/dev/sda1 video=uvesafb:mtrr:3,ywrap,800×600-24@60 quiet splash
initrd /boot/initramfs-3.2.0-sabayon.img

regenerate grub.cfg:
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

reboot and select the Dracut entry from grub

Leave a comment

Reverting xorg-server

We are going to revert to xorg-server-1.10.4
After some discussion we decided that we are not going to ship latest and greatest xorg-server due some issues:

- FGLRX broken with Xvideo (VLC/mplayer/etc can crash X)
- Legacy NVIDIA drivers do NOT work with latest xorg-server
- No noticeable new features in latest xorg-server.

It almost never happens we decide such a thing after sending out packages to main repository. The package “downgrades” will follow soon.


GNOME 3 Shell and fglrx fixed in next driver!

So we all complained about fglrx not working with GNOME Shell and it was evil AMD closed source drivers ignoring GNOME users, at least that is what you would think.

The opposite is true here it seems.
As we can read in this bugzilla report. A bugzilla that is not owned by AMD.

We can see AMD respond explaining they noticed the problem 2011-08-10 and it was fixed within 2 days.
They also explain that it takes 4 weeks to go through QA testing before it finally gets released. That obviously makes sense to anyone.

So how can things take this long? Didn’t GNOME developers actually test gnome-shell with fglrx drivers? Didn’t distributions that noticed the bug realize the Bugzilla wasn’t even owned by AMD at all? What would have happened if GNOME developers actually reported this to AMD while GNOME Shell was in a more early development cycle back in 2010?


Thank you AMD! Looking forward for the 11.9 driver that will hopefully come out within 4 weeks.

“Nelson Marques 2011-05-25 23:30:05 UTC
ATI/AMD needs to fix this, not really us… I’ve opened this bug report on
their end, and other distro’s have the same issue…”


I installed Sabayon 6 what now?

Here is a very short guide what I would do directly after install.

Open a terminal and become root. (you type in su and hit enter and then give your root password)

Now the first thing would be to update the repository database:
equo update

It will now tell you there is 1 update available, glibc. This is an update that always must be installed before anything else so go ahead.
After installation it will re-spawn Entropy and continue asking to install the additional updates.

We stop here and first install the new entropy code with a trick so it doesn’t start pulling in huge dependency trees. Entropy does not need them to run anyway.

equo install entropy equo --relaxed

Once done we need to sort the mirrors. I noticed that on my test case it was set to a mirror in Australia. This is the other side of the globe and obviously not the best speedy connection I could get.

equo repo mirrorsort sabayon-weekly

Wait for it to test and then continue.

equo upgrade

And there you have it.


Testing GNOME 3

About 2 weeks ago GNOME 3 was added to the testing repository and I think it is good enough for more experienced users to go and play with it. I’d like to state that if you like GNOME 3 or not, we cannot help that.

If you use fgrlx drivers (<=11.7) do not migrate yet, GNOME Shell doesn't work with it!
You can get it to work if you remove ati-drivers and move to the OpenSource ati driver and switch to Gallium3d (eselect mesa)

To give you a head start here let me give you a quick howto migration guide.

1. Add Limbo (obviously)
2. Upgrade your system completely
3. Restart your system (A new gdm is installed and for me it required me to reboot or restart dbus)

If you log in the first time you will notice a warning and the Fallback desktop will load. This is wanted behaviour.

4. Install gnome-shell and log out
5. log in and there you go.

Some tweaks to apply:

- install gnome-tweak-tool
- install gnome-extra/gnome-shell-extensions-activities-button

Open gnome-tweak-tool and then:

File manager – Put all options on if you want desktop Icons
Interface – Select the Elementary icon theme as your default theme

Have fun!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 174 other followers