The main alternative to Fedora IoT (AFAIK) is Ubuntu Edge. Ubuntu Edge doesn’t ship with containers by default (though you can install docker), but uses mainly snaps, for which you can grant hardware access. Ubuntu Edge is already in use in the industry as far as I know, but I don’t know so much about Fedora IoT (no stats or success stories).
I wonder if there are any particular limitations in Fedora IoT’s approach vs Ubuntu Edge. Do we have direct harware access through Podman?
Linux containers run on the host kernel, not a virtual machine, etc, so it is running directly on hardware. That said, there are some things that may need to be volume mounted into a container environment’s file-system to take full advantage of the hardware. This is one of the reasons toolbox is used on Fedora rpm-ostree distributions (including CoreOS), since it handles much of that thinkwork for you.
This image is used to create a toolbx container that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the operating system by providing access to the user’s home directory, the Wayland and X11 sockets, networking (including Avahi), removable devices (like USB sticks), systemd journal, SSH agent, D-Bus, ulimits, /dev and the udev database, etc…