How to use the Sabayon overlay (or How to "convert" Gentoo to Sabayon)

For our work machines I tend to use Ubuntu and, of course Xandros , but at home I like to use something where I can try out the more cutting edge stuff, so I use Gentoo .

Gentoo is great for tweaking and optimising your system but, as any soul who has tried to use it in production will tell you, its always a case of praying before you do a system update that it doesn't take you down for a period of time. (The only exception for me at the moment is to use gentoo for Dom0 with Xen -- I couldn't get any of the other distro's to work. Maybe Redhat5 will be the answer here.)

Anyway I heard about Sabayon and that is was based on Gentoo so I thought I would give it a try. Since I already had a Gentoo machine I didn't want to have to download the Sabayon iso and re-install. Since Sabayon is basically a Gentoo overlay I poped over to the helpful folk on the Sabayon irc channel and got how to convert a Gentoo system to Sabayon. The steps are outlined below:


  1. su; (you need to be root)
  2. emerge layman; (this is an overlay manager)
  3. edit /etc/make.conf and add the line "source /usr/portage/local/layman/make.conf" to the end of the file. This is to get emerge to read the overlays. See "man layman" for details.
  4. layman -f;
  5. layman -a sabayon;
  6. emerge --sync;
  7. emerge -uaD world;

(The folks on the IRC channel also pointed out that Sabayon is really just a normal gentoo overlay. So there is no real conversion from Gentoo as such.)

Busy updating now --- I will let you know if there are any issues.