Episode 5 Show Notes


…wherein we discuss what did and didn’t work for us this month…

Moss – So This month I have been fighting with my hopes and dreams, and finding a nice surprise which I will report on shortly. I’m working a full-time job which was supposed to be part-time, which limits my time somewhat. The weather has been beastly hot with brief, occasional rainstorms.

August 3 – I reformatted my IdeaPad hard drive and tried to set it up using UEFI, because one of our listeners asked me why I was using Legacy Boot. First distro I installed, it couldn’t find the right place to store the boot. So back to Legacy Boot.

August 7 – I installed Linux Mint 19.1 and upgraded it to 19.2. I installed Mageia 7. I installed Sabayon. Sabayon is a rolling release, so I have no clue on a version number.

I attempted to update Mageia MATE. It froze halfway through. I did that many times with the same result, both using the update manager and terminal. Finally, it just told me that a file was broken with a bad key, and that is that. I tried to log into the Mageia Forum, I had a login from a year or so ago. I couldn’t get in. I couldn’t reset my password. I couldn’t even create a new account (it let me, and let me select my password, and then crashed). So no Mageia right now, and I’ll try to get back to it.

Meanwhile, I found that installing Mageia made it look like Mint was no longer installed. Nothing changed about that after installing Sabayon. So I installed Ubuntu Budgie 19.04 on the remaining partition, and installed and ran Grub Customizer, and voila, everything is there and boots.

August 10 – I’m installing Mageia 7.1 KDE on the same partition I had Gnome. NOTE TO DEVELOPERS: Please turn off power-saving features during installation. Nothing scares a new user more than having his screen turn itself off while he is installing your system.

Mageia nicely suggested I have my Linux Mint 19.2 be the first boot. It did that last time, and then hid the boot from me. Let’s see how it goes this time.

I boot to a pretty menu if you like blue. Yes, Linux Mint is there and highlighted, although Mageia is at the top of the menu. Anything I select, it asks me for username and password, and won’t accept login for anything. Note that Mageia doesn’t set username in installation, but you get to set that at your first boot — but at this point I can’t get in to that first boot. Nor can I log into anything else. I just discovered the magic word. It is not Admin or blank or anything else, it is “root”. Now I’m logging in.

And it won’t let me log into ANY of my boots without “root” password. And while it detects my Realtek wifi modem, it does not detect any signals coming to it. I fought that for about 20 minutes, then went to install KDE neon to get my boot back.

KDE neon detected the wifi just fine and logged me into my router on about the 3rd step of installation, just after selecting English language and English US keyboard. I got my boot back, as expected. However, after some fighting with Discover, I decided to give up on Neon and went back to Ubuntu Budgie, which has never let me down. It found my wifi installation AND already had it set up when I rebooted; many other distros I have to set it up again after installation and reboot.

I think it’s time to give up on Mageia for now. I have lots of other distros to look at. I went back to Sabayon, and have installed everything except Mullvad and a couple games. I just about had Mullvad installed, but Mullvad claims I have too many keys out. I have written them to find out what to do next — I can’t just go deleting keys when I have no information which key is used for which distro or machine. Still, Sabayon is just peachy and I’ll stick with it for a while.

So. On August 16th, I was installing something else (Deepin 15.11) to the IdeaPad, and it completely screwed the Grub boot system. I tried several things to rescue it, but the final choice was the Nuke-and-Pave Option.  So I reformatted my hard drive, and installed Linux Mint, Sabayon, and Ubuntu MATE.

In the past few days, I installed GeckoLinux 150 on my ThinkPad, to have Ubuntu Budgie 19.04 instantly leave the boot menu; when I installed Ubuntu MATE 18.04, GeckoLinux went away. And on the IdeaPad, I installed Manjaro, to have Ubuntu MATE 18.04 stop booting (reports a strange message saying it is not a 32-bit distro and I should try a 16-bit boot), and, upon reinstalling Ubuntu MATE, I get a “kernel panic” from Manjaro with no boot. (I have shared the screen with our Telegram group.)  If you say, well, it must be Ubuntu’s fault — both machines have LinuxMint 19.2, which was not affected, and the ThinkPad also has Bodhi 5, also not affected, and both are based on Ubuntu 18.04. All these continue to boot. And while I’ve had issues with Mageia, as stated, Sabayon ran beautifully, as did OpenMandriva 3. This is why I instituted the “Plays Well With Others” category, but it still stresses me out when I run up on it.

So now you’ve heard some of my struggles, has anything exciting been happening to you, Tony?

Tony – So since we last recorded I have returned from Woodbrooke and completed this months’ distro review, more of that soon. I have been playing with a couple of donated PC base units which are all early dual core PC’s so I decided to install Linux Mint XFCE and they run fine with 4Gb of RAM. They would benefit from an SSD upgrade but as they are destined to be given away they’ll probably not get it. I’ve also put Mint onto a Packard Bell laptop I was given and this has had an SSD upgrade as I’m passing it on to a Friend with very little cash as he is on disability benefits. This runs very nicely with 6Gb Ram and the SSD despite being almost 9 years old.  

Clearing my Garage so I can get it ready for moving in our Makerspace Laser cutter, 3D Printer, and CNC milling router as we have lost our current base from the end of this month.

And on the 17th August, I joined the Big Daddy Linux Live stream as their challenge was the distro I am reviewing this month, EndeavourOS so I got to talk a little about that but not in the depth of a full review.

DISTRO NAME: EndeavourOS reviewed by Tony


So for information this months installation was done as a sole install on a Toshiba Portege Z30 the specification is as follows, this is the same machine I used for last months Debian review:

Intel® Core™ i5-4210U CPU 2cores and 4 threads @ 1.70GHz to 2.7GHz 

128Gb M2 SSD and 8Gb DDR3 Ram.

However to test its friendliness for those dual booters out there I did test installs on a couple of other machines. I can report If the PC being dual booted has a standard partition configuration then Endeavor does a great job and the Calamares installer they have included makes it as simple as an Ubuntu spin to dual boot. However with Endless OS the Dual boot failed to setup Grub correctly due to the partition structure of EndlessOS and at first boot Grub loaded straight into Endeavor and as it was only a test, I didn’t try to fix the issue.   


All hardware including the WiFi card was detected and working as soon as I rebooted the Laptop. However you have a very basic set of utilities to start, XFCE 4.13 was the DE at install although this has since been updated to XFCE 4.14. You get Firefox for a web browser and a few system tools such as GPartEd, but all the software you need to be productive has to be installed, including any alternate DE’s you may wish to use.   


It would be inaccurate to say that Endeavour is a “new users” distribution of Arch, as those who have been using a deb or rpm distribution for any length of time will find they need to learn the pacman package management system to get anything done and it does take a little getting used to. However Endeavor OS have already created a great Wiki which will help you learn the basics so your first port of call after initial install should be to the Wiki. One of the pages gives you the details of installing other DE’s and I was able to install MATE using the instructions on this page; here:

Also as well as pacman the distro team have included the community repositories which can be checked for software using the Yay package management tool, if you wish to check both repositories then using Yay will search the official Arch repositories and the community repositories so you only need to use one command, there is a slight difference in that you don’t use sudo when using Yay commands but it will ask for your admin password during the process.   

Also as well as a great Wiki, Endeavour OS has already built a great community around it and there is an active Telegram group to look for user support. I also found support on some of the other community groups I am signed up to such as the Big Daddy Linux Discourse channel where they were recently doing an Endeavour challenge.  

Application Issues: I didn’t have any, all the software I needed to install and use regularly is installable either in the official Arch repository or through the community repository. Also you can if you wish to install, both Flatpaks and Snaps, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting your chosen software installed, even my beloved get-iplayer is available without having to install the snap. 


At first boot, Endeavour OS is very light on system resources, at first install, updates and installation of all my essential software the HDD/SSD usage in my case was less than 6Gb.


As I have already said, Endeavour OS has already created a great Wiki with loads of information on getting started with what you need to do on first install. There is also a large Arch information base out there that is full of information, including many video tutorials on YouTube. 


Again the installer is very easy to use, and the dual boot option allows easy resizing of the HDD partitions so you can allocate the space the way you want to with a slider or leave the default 50/50 split. As I said earlier, on most installs this works fine, when I installed a dual boot to a Linux Mint box no issues at all. But with Endless OS, Grub got confused with their complex partitioning on the disc and I was left with only an option to boot into Endeavour at restart, but I think this issue was the fault of Endless OS and not Endeavour OS. I did install the August updated iso onto one of my Dells that still had a dual boot of Windows and PCLinuxOS and this went perfect with all the OSes showing up in the Grub splash screen at boot.  


I have been using the laptop for about 80% of my computing needs for the last 4 weeks and, despite daily updates, I have not had any issues with the stability of the OS, despite not checking if there were any issues with any proposed updates as is recommended.


Ease of Installation new user friendly install scores     5/10

experienced Linux users                                                   8/10

Hardware Issues                                                                10/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                       10/10

Ease of Use                                                                         8/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                      8/10

Stability                                                                                 9/10




For the developers to produce such a slick iteration of Arch at their first attempt, despite having a very active community that they have inherited from the former Antergos OS, is absolutely amazing. Also the community, despite the reputation that some Arch communities have, in my experience has been fantastic. Bryan from the Endeavour team was on Big Daddy Linux Live a couple of weeks ago and stated that one of their aims is to have the best community that any Arch user could want or expect. I echo Rocco’s statement on hearing this, this is amazing that the community is at the center of this distribution. If you have never tried Arch and want an easy start to getting to a working DE albeit with minimal software installed, Endeavour may be for you. This is definitely going in the list of Distroes to keep in the locker and it is currently still on the Toshiba until I decide to install the next review subject over it.

DISTRO NAME: Sabayon Linux reviewed by Moss

This month, I had hoped to review Mageia 7.1, but we’ve already discussed my travels in Mageialand. Ultimately this is about the unexpected joys of Sabayon, a distro which attempts to bring Gentoo to beginners.

MY HARDWARE: This month I’m strictly working on my Lenovo IdeaPad 110-15acl-80TJ with 4 Gb of RAM and a 500-Gb hard drive (AMD chips).

Aug 8 – I started trying to update Sabayon. It took more than my lunch hour; fortunately, the update manager is ready, willing and able to suspend an update and continue it later. It took over 3 hours to do the first update (468 files), and then a second update of about 66 files took about 20 minutes. Everything went smoothly. Total install including updates was about 5 hours. 

I got Firefox set up, and even managed to install SoftMaker Office from a tar.gz file with an easy to use script and completely remove LibreOffice.

It is obvious I will need to completely relearn the commands for the Gentoo system, and I’m having a bit of trouble finding my other programs. I’m needing to get Mullvad installed, as well as my printer. But that is for another day.

Due to a mess-up on my system not having to do with Sabayon, I reinstalled on the 16th.  Sabayon started doing updates and then froze 25% of the way through one update and would not continue. My experience was, if you discontinue updates, you can continue them later. Not so this time. (My fault, as I’ll explain later.) I spent all day on the 17th trying to get it to work. Looks like I’m reinstalling again on August 18th. More about this later, as I discovered the cause.

August 18 – I got Mint installed. I got Sabayon installed. I installed Ubuntu MATE. I left my machine with 3 partitions, at least for now. While I was updating Sabayon, which we all tend to do before anything else, I actually read through the Welcome page, where it suggests you open Terminal and do a few things FIRST (even though the software has already asked you to do updates). I note that one of the “first steps” searches for a better mirror. DO THIS PEOPLE! Sabayon is a fun distro, but those initial updates take 5 hours without taking this step. Yes, it is a forgiving distro, and you can break the process and pick it up later, something I wish other distros would do as well as Sabayon does, but still, it will be FIVE HOURS. I will be reinstalling soon just to see what the difference is.

If you are interested, a reviewer on DistroWatch recently reviewed Sabayon utilizing the Gnome desktop.

On August 21st, I started my 4th installation of Sabayon at 18:55. If it weren’t an easy install, I might not be doing this, but Sabayon always finds a way to make it feel like fun. Again, the purpose of this installation was to see whether it goes more quickly if you follow the guidelines and do things in Terminal first before running updates. I noted during installation that this distro includes native AMD and Nvidia drivers, and comes with Steam Big Picture Mode. The slideshow also features Kodi, but for some reason that is not included in the installation but can easily be added later. I checked out the assistive tools; they exist, but I wouldn’t rely on them. My installation was completed at 19:17. Upon reboot, I found that it did not transfer my wifi password; not all distros do, but it’s a pleasure to see when one does.

So it’s into Terminal I go. The Equo update completed at 19:23, the Mirrorsort at 19:25. It took until 21:11 to upgrade Entropy, the package manager, but this apparently included all of the hours-long updates I had experienced in previous installations. I then ran Equo conf update, which seemed to be stuck at 6% until I figured out I needed to hit the space bar to continue, which I needed to do a few times for it to continue, and it completed at 21:20, displaying the endlessly cute message, “All fine, baby! Nothing to do!”

I did a couple of unneeded (repeated) updates, just to prove to myself that all the updates were done, then ran “equo deptest” (test for missing dependencies), which completed at 21:33, and then ”equo libtest” (check for missing or broken libraries), which finished at 21:41, at which time I was all done and had to reboot.


You boot up, and are met with a message that no Virtual Machine has been detected, so it is turning off the VM manager. It then continues to boot, and nothing appears to be wrong, but that’s a bit disconcerting to new users.

Out of four installations, I had Mullvad installed only twice and with purported DNS leaks. Repeated conversations with Mullvad Support confirmed they had no idea how to support Sabayon, and suggested I try a more popular distro.

I still have not found the page I’m looking for in order to install my printer by using source. Sabayon does not use .deb or .rpm files. In the end, this was the back-breaker for me to continue using Sabayon or not, and I’m sure the answer is “out there”.

Sabayon MATE 19.03 desktop, status bar moved to bottom

Interesting updating system… informative and hard to read both!


Application issues: Everything runs the way it should except for Mullvad, my printer, and Stacer. I only got 3 of my 5 games installed. But this is a NICE system and I really enjoy using it.


Htop reports using 2.16 Gb RAM use with Firefox open. That’s a bit steep on a 4 Gb laptop, which leaves me hoping my swap drive is functioning properly.


The Forum is small but friendly. There are around 16,000 registered users, and if it’s like most forums, over half of those have gone on to other things. I got responses to my questions, but not many and not all were actual solutions.


There is no Grub Customizer, but the grub menu shows everything and nothing conflicts.


I have had absolutely no issues with crashes. The update manager is so stable you can stop and start it again even on a later boot.


Is there anything close? Not in Gentoo-based. Perhaps Manjaro and Endeavour in Arch, or Solus OS.


Ease of Installation    new user friendly install scores     4/10 – patience, not skill, required

experienced Linux users                  7/10

Hardware Issues                                                                    8/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                          7/10

Ease of Use                                                                            8/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                         8/10

Stability                                                                                    8/10


I really, really like this distro but will not be keeping it beyond this review. There is nothing here I can’t do more easily elsewhere. But, this is not the nightmare I was expecting to encounter, and there are lots of fun touches (“No new updates! Cool!”). If you’re up for a quite different experience, I highly recommend trying it… but do all the post-installation stuff it suggests and don’t be afraid to use the Terminal. This by itself makes it less friendly to beginners and new users, as so many of us are afraid to open a terminal until we are quite experienced.


from our last show to present

Clonezilla • 2.6.3-5

Hanthana • 30

Proxmox • 6.0 “Mail Gateway”

Scientific • 7.7

Kodachi 6.2

EasyOS 2.1

EasyOS 1.2

OSGeoLive 13.0


OviOS 3.02

Clonezilla 2.6.3-3

Netrunner 19.08

BigLinux 19.04

Alpine 3.10.2

Redcore Linux 1908

Knoppix 8.6

Neptune 6.0

Emmabuntüs DE2-1.05

Voyager Live 10

RHEL 7.7

Pardus 19.0

SparkyLinux 19.08

LinuxMint 19.2


Sylas Writes:

You can manually type in a PPA in your /etc/apt/sources.list although Grub Customizer is actually in the Buster repositories! All you have to do is type ‘sudo apt install grub-customizer’. Then it will work

Tony replied – Thanks Sylas, I’m sure that Moss who plays with Grub all the time will make a note of this. 

<Moss> I’m really not doing distrohopping to stress out myself or the listener, but one of our regular listeners left our Telegram group because he was too stressed hearing about my struggles with Mageia. However, he pledged $50 towards any decent used laptop I would like to purchase, with the proviso that I use it to only install one distro at a time, which is more like what most of our listeners would do. He suggested I ask other listeners to chip in. I don’t enjoy asking for help, suffering as I do (like many other podcasters) from Impostor Syndrome (the fear that what I’m doing isn’t important to anyone), but find I’m doing it a lot these days. We did find a couple Lenovo G70-80s on eBay for around $200, and they look to be ideal for my needs. So if anyone else really enjoys what I’m doing on this show and mintCast and would like to contribute, please contact me.


We are pleased to announce that Episode 4 has been downloaded 369 times as of this recording. This is more than 3 times what we had for Episode 1 after a month.

We have had a number of users who have wanted to submit their own reviews for Distrohoppers’ Digest, and we now plan to do a User-Only show, Distrohopper’s Digest User Edition. We will post the criteria to be used in your review on the blog at https://distrohoppersdigest.blogspot.com

Please submit your review in .flac format if you can, but we can accept .mp3 if that’s the best you can do. Submitting a script of what was said will also help our listeners, but is not required. Please send your submission to [email protected].

Our next show will be recorded on September 25th, 2019. Depending on our feedback, there may be a User Edition before then. Visit our website at https://distrohoppersdigest.blogspot.com and follow us on MeWe, Discord and Telegram at our mintCast groups, and we can be contacted at [email protected] .

If any of our listeners have suggestions for which distros you’d like to see us try, please contact us. 

By Distro Hoppers Digest at August 29, 2019

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