Experiences from testing fedora silverblue


I 've recently read some Fedora articles about Silverblue and decided to test it out. My experience with it has been mostly positive, but I am not sure I could replace my normal F32 installation with it. I made my tests through Gnome Boxes. Below are notable details of my experience.

  • rpm-ostree is awesome, I was able to easily learn how to upgrade with it.
  • The ability to layer packages is also very useful. I used this functionality to layer important packages like gnome-shell-extension-appindicator and gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-dock.
  • I was also pleasantly surprised on the ability to customise parts of the root filesystem, mainly /etc. I have purchased solo USB-C open firmware FIDO2 keys and I was able to apply the modifications needed to authenticate with a solokey instead of using the password. The changes to /etc/ even persisted a couple rpm-ostree upgrades which surprised me.

Unfortunately there have been also some problems.

As you can see my problems resolve mostly around flatpaks and the fact that they are not yet considered as much by application developers. It’s good that there is the escape hatch of layering packages but I feel that if I were to use that extensively it kind of defeats the purpose.

Some additional notes:

  • Is there a way to see older ostree commits though? The ability to do rollbacks is good, but rpm-ostree status only shows 1 commit back.
  • It appears that you cannot do rollbacks from flatpaks intalled from the fedora repo. That is rather unfortunate.

If the proposal to move to Btrfs for F33 passes I may be tempted to install Fedora SilverBlue 33 but I am afraid that the application ecosystem is not there yet to avoid paper cuts when using a lot of open source applications. And layering the packages to avoid those paper cuts kind of defeats the purpose.

I still have the VM in my machine and I’ be happy to do more testing or change how I 've configured some things if other people have any suggestions.

Hello @iolaum;
you were asking the following …

at this link How to find previous images earlier than rpm-ostree rollback or the boot screen allow you to access
I asked the same thing. You would use sudo ostree pull fedora:fedora/<version>/x86_64/silverblue --commit-metadata-only --depth=5 to get the 5 previous commits

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Good to know! thanks for the link. Also after following the links I saw that there is an experimental command that also achieves this:

$ rpm-ostree ex history
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I have managed to show the Nextcloud Flatpak tray icon, maybe this will help: UI only opens once on Ubuntu 18.04 · Issue #10 · flathub/com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud · GitHub