The other day I met Gentoo, I tried to install it, and finally did it after four tries, and the one using the minimal installation did not work. I finally manage to install using the Live CD but only using the Networkless option one on VMWare and one in another partition of my disk.
Well this introduction about Gentoo is to talk about Sabayon I decided to try it as I have read it is like Gentoo but easier to install, I also wanted to try its OOTB (Out of the box functionality). Sabayon is an Italian Linux that is user oriented, and it is based on Gentoo.
Ok the first thing you will see when start installing Sabayon is Anaconda, as I am a fan of Fedora, this was great for me, as Anaconda is a great installer.
It asks you all the needed info to start installing the system, its disk partitioning tool as most Fedora users may know is really easy to use, you also have flexibility to install Grub, (I needed it to install it on a Multiple Linux boot schema).
On the installation, you will be asked for a Super User, mmmh that is different to another distributions as the others asks you for a user in order not to run as root the applications. This Super User is created with UID=1000 and belongs to a lot of groups but no special group is created for itself as RedHat and Debian based Linux did, as well as Mandriva on those other Linux I have tested and used before you have a group named the same as the user, and all users may get root rights just entering
On Sabayon only this Super-User is capable to do this, unless you give the right to the others once created, or at the moment of creating it, using its Graphical user management tool.
But one of the biggest features about Sabayon (which comes from Gentoo) is that all its packages are compiled for your OS, no binaries are used
Portage is its packages manager, which takes care of downloading the source code of the application you want to install and also download if needed the source code of the dependencies, and compile all of them, because of this behavior it takes a little bit longer to install packages on Sabayon, but it also makes (at least in theory) faster applications as the should fit exactly your needs, if your USE variable is well configured.
To install a package you use a tool similar to yum or apt-get or rpmi, which is called emerge
It is phyton driven but it is as fast as apt-get as it also has its database locally.
Sabayon comes wit a lot of applications, and due to its OOTB philosophy it can play mp3 files, has Flash, and java support for its browsers.
It also comes Out of the box with Google Picasa, LightScribe support, Mplayer, Real Player, Democray Tv, and lots of other useful applications.
Its default Desktop is KDE but the CD gives you the option to install FluxBox or Gnome (I have chosen Gnome).
I really think that together with Mandriva and Ubuntu Sabayon is one of the friendliest (or at least easier to install and use) Distro I have tested so far.
It really worth a try, give it a chance.
I will continue working with it, and posting my experiences here, and of course I will continue also working with Gentoo, but will take me longer to start posting about it.