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Sabayon Linux 8 Debuts with a Dash of Cinnamon

The Linux Mint project's new desktop interface is now included in the Sabayon repositories, and so is the Razor-qt alternative.

The Linux Mint project has made quite a splash in the Linux world over the past few months, not just for the growing popularity of its user-friendly operating system but also for the launch of Cinnamon, its brand-new desktop alternative.

There's been considerable interest in Cinnamon ever since it was announced back in December, and late last month the first stable version of the desktop made its debut. Created as a fork of the controversial GNOME 3 shell, Cinnamon 1.2 was launched in January as a free download for use with Linux Mint 12, Ubuntu 11.10, Fedora 16, OpenSUSE 12.1, Arch Linux, and Gentoo.

Now, Mint's upstart desktop contender has gained another vote of support in the form of Gentoo-based Sabayon Linux 8, which was just released on Wednesday with a Cinnamon option.

'No Compilation Needed'

Among the many Linux distributions out there, Gentoo is typically considered an option that targets primarily advanced users familiar enough with Linux to optimize components individually.

While Gentoo is currently ranked at No. 20 on Distrowatch's popularity rankings, Sabayon Linux holds the No. 14 spot, billing itself as "the first and best way to try a Gentoo-based Linux distribution at its full power, with all working out-of-the-box and no compilation needed at all."

Following the October release of its predecessor, Sabayon 8 is the result of considerable optimization of critical packages at the compiler level, its makers say, for improved performance, responsiveness, and power management.

Cinnamon and Razor-qt

Linux 3.2, GNOME 3.2.2, KDE 4.7.4, Xfce 4.8, and LibreOffice 3.4.4 are all among the offerings included in Sabayon 8, as are native support for the btrfs filesystem and extra server-oriented Linux kernels.

Most interesting of all, though--at least in my view--is the inclusion of both Cinnamon and the also-new Razor-qt desktop in the software's repositories.

Both of these options are responses to the increasingly mobile-inspired world of desktop environments, and both aim to give users new alternatives beyond GNOME 3 and the equally controversial Unity interface used in Ubuntu.

Given the widespread attention Cinnamon has already received, however, I think it's especially exciting to see it included.

Want to take Sabayon Linux 8 for a test drive, with or without Cinnamon? It's available as a free download from a variety of links listed on the project's site.

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