Linux Distro War: Sabayon vs. Mint

Posted by jun auza On 9/24/2007
Linux Distro War: Sabayon vs. Mint - A lot of people have been pairing and matching their favorite distros with the hope of finding out which is better or superior among their choices; and I'm one of them. I often visit different forums or do a search on Google looking for answers and curious about the real winner among my favorites.

I have recently reviewed Sabayon 3.3b Mini Edition and Mint 3.0 Light Edition. As we all know, they are two of the most promising and hottest Linux distros today. They are currently ranked number 5 and 6 respectively on Distrowatch. I know more and more people have been pairing these two that is why I'm starting a distro war. I'm rating Sabayon and Mint based on the tests I made to find out who has the clear edge.

Distrowar Arena (Test Machine Specs):
Board: Intel D101GGCL
Processor: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 with HT Technology
Hard Drive: Samsung 80GB with 10GB allocated to VM disk
Memory: 1.5GB 400 MHz DDR with 512MB allocated to VM memory
Graphics Card: On-board

Tale of the Tape:
Distro Name:---------------------------Sabayon Linux----------------Linux Mint
Origin:-----------------------------------Italy-----------------------------Ireland
Age (Since Version 1):-------------------?-----------------------------1 YR
Package Management:---------------SRC (Portage)----------------DEB(Debian)
Default Desktop:-----------------------KDE----------------------------GNOME
Installation:-----------------------------Graphical(LiveCD)-----------Graphical(LiveCD)

Speed Test:

Installation Time- Winner, Sabayon!
Boot/Startup Time - Winner, Sabayon!
Responsiveness- Draw!

Decoding: In VMware, it only took about 15 minutes to install Sabayon against 20 minutes in Mint. The Boot/Startup Time, measured from Grub to desktop, took 58 seconds for Sabayon and 65 seconds for Mint. It's a draw for Responsiveness due to fact that both distros are light and fast and I can't see a considerable difference between the two.

Aesthetics:
Default Theme- Winner, Mint!
Extras- Winner, Mint!
Artwork- Winner, Mint!

Decoding: Mint is my winner in all Aesthetics Category. The default theme is pleasing to the eye with several extra Mint wallpapers available. The artworks are sleek and polished like its boot-splash screen and log-in menu.

Features:

Pre-installed Applications- Draw!
Available Packages from Repo- Winner, Mint!
Ease of Use- Winner, Mint!

Decoding: The Pre-installed Applications Category is deadlocked because both have several important features installed by default like the multimedia capability of Sabayon and the key softwares found in Mint. The Debian/Ubuntu repositories have all the good and latest stuff available for Mint compared to the sometimes dated Gentoo packages. Ease of Use is hands down to Mint for being newbie-friendly.

Stability:
Hardware Detection- Draw!
Software Maintenance- Draw!
Error Handling- Draw!

Decoding: I can only give a draw verdict in all of the "Stability" sub-categories because I have never used Mint and Sabayon long enough to declare a clear winner. But based only on my initial tests, I found out that both of them are very much capable and are generally stable for productive uses. I hope the readers can fill in the gap.

Final Score:
Mint = 5
Sabayon = 2
*Winner Mint!

Conclusion:
The results are only based on my own opinion and were solely based on the tests I made. Mint may have won the war but the DVD version of Sabayon might have all the necessary weaponry it needs to beat Mint. What do you think?

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