Fedora Lifecycles: imagine longer-term possibilities!

@mattdm: The Fedora LTS version is a good idea regarding the kernel (long-term), when a user of a Fedora flavour can choice a kernel with long-term-support. For older hardware it is often sufficient enough to run with a older long-term-support kernel. On the other hand a LTS version will bind manpower to maintain a LTS version. All other amazing things like actual software etc. should remain. A rolling release I would only offer, if a high-quality testing team is available, otherwise it would be a disaster for many user when they get a broken system and they have no help from Linux-professionals. Today I would wish to have an automatic system-upgrade every release-point with a self-maintaining OS supported by Artificial Intelligence in the background to avoid obsolete packages and digital “waste” caused by updates and other user/system activities. This options should be standard on all Fedora systems to guarantee a smooth running and well performing system. The software install options should prevent that a user can do system-destroying actions. That is my vision of things that are usefully and realisable and do not destroy the spirit of Fedora being a cutting-edge and always modern OS. For Microsoft Windows there are also plans to build a self-repairing and maintaining system. I am sure, that this will broaden the user-base of Fedora. I hope my ideas will have practial effects for Fedora.

@mattdm: The Fedora LTS version is a good idea regarding the kernel
(long-term), when a user of a Fedora flavour can choice a kernel with
long-term-support. For older hardware it is often sufficient enough to run
with a older long-term-support kernel. On the other hand a LTS version will
bind manpower to maintain a LTS version. All other amazing things like
actual software etc. should remain. A rolling release I would only offer,
if a high-quality testing team is available, otherwise it would be a
disaster for many user when they get a broken system and they have no help
from Linux-professionals. Today I would wish to have an automatic
system-upgrade every release-point with a self-maintaining OS supported by
Artificial Intelligence in the background to avoid obsolete packages and
digital “waste” caused by updates and other user/system activities. This
options should be standard on all Fedora systems to guarantee a smooth
running and well performing system. The software install options should
prevent that a user can do system-destroying actions. That is my vision of
things that are usefully and realisable and do not destroy the spirit of
Fedora being a cutting-edge and always modern OS. For Microsoft Windows
there are also plans to build a self-repairing and maintaining system. I
am sure, that this will broaden the user-base of Fedora. I hope my ideas
will have practial effects for Fedora.


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What problems would the use of an old kernel solve? I have systems from 2004
that run Fedora 29 today. The only systems I use a different kernel on are my
own X200 tablet and T400 laptop, but even then it’s only because I put my
kernel in cbfs on those.

Why have all of the wasted effort for a LTS kernel?

The software install options should prevent that a user can do system-
destroying actions.

Of course, and dnf does that already. You’d have to be trying to break your
system, if you’re using only the package manager.

I believe the usual idea is that kernel upgrades can break things, which is relatively rare but pretty bad when it does happen, and in certain uses/workflows you can’t really afford that risk.

If that were true, then those updates should be tested before mass applied.
Even if we did have a LTS kernel, there’s no way we could test literally all
hardware which would be affected by a given change.

Well, yeah, but the chances of something breaking due to a ton of changes in drivers, filesystems, and system internals are a lot higher than three backported security buffer overflow fixed.

Hate to necro a 6 month old topic, but I think the general reason people ask about a Fedora LTS is because they’ve tried CentOS but hit a wall when trying to find basic desktop packages like say everyone’s favorite time waster Frozen-Bubble, you have to either compile it yourself or use a third party repo that might have outdated packages or run into a dependency resolution problem, if the epel repo could be expanded to include more packages like you’d find in the Fedora repos, or a new el repo was created containing those same packages, then I think that would satisfy the niche of people asking for an LTS version of Fedora. And as a note I’m not a developer, I’m just some dude that knows how to install and use several Linux distros and I stumbled into this while trying to find an el repo with a decent number of pacakges in it.

A lot of this can actually be worked around rather nicely using containers; CentOS makes a pretty good container host OS (at least until we get RHEL CoreOS or similar).

For what it’s worth, I don’t think we should worry about “thread necro” in this forum. I mean, if five years from now there’s probably no need to make a non-essential comment on something from Fedora 29 times, but if it’s a general topic like this where there are still open questions and you have something to add, go for it!

From when I started switching my systems to Fedora Workstation eight years ago, I always saw Fedora as the leading edge and That’s one of the reasons I went to it. The other was that there are Redhat folks watching over it to keep things from going off the rails, but still let the creativity flow.

Since I started helping out with QA I’ve been delving more deeply into what is Fedora really? That is: What are the goals, philosophy, etc. I was more than a little surprised at how many versions of Fedora there are. There are new ones coming in and not so old ones being abandon. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just look over https://kojipkgs.fedoraproject.org/compose/ and consider this. If our goal, ultimately, is to provide what Redhat needs for RHEL 8 do these help us achieve that goal?

I really liked that phrase earlier of “skating to where the puck is going to be”. Starting back in the 70’s, that’s what we were doing in the electronics inductry. When we first started a new system design from scratch we designed for the parts that would be available when we were ready to build prototypes. We had to it was a major tool that helped our companies survive and prosper. Though I’m very new to Fedora I’ve been involved with software for my whole career and though the open community has embraced this in places and at times. More would be better. As I understand it, the basic purpose of Fedora is to hone that edge so RHEL can be the best.

My 1/2 cent worth is that with some more settling down, Silverblue would make a good successor to Workstation. Perhaps by F35 it could be in a good position to be the next candidate to make major contributions to RHEL.

As for Fedora becoming a pseudo commercial product provided with hardware… well… I guess I would ask: Of all the items in koji compose what is being offered? How much effort and time will it take to get it ready to be offered? Will the cost in time and effort produce commensurate value to Fedora and Redhat?

Sometimes we need to stand back from the trees to understand how best to manage the forest.

A couple of additional things have come to my attention that deserve consideration in this context.

In the thread “Fedora’s Strategic Direction: An Update from the Council” One of the points was that apparently Anaconda doesn’t “phone home” to say it has done an install. If it did, that would certainly shed some light on what users see as good stuff they want to use. If when Anaconda finishes just before it offers the “Quit” button, it sent a simple message back to Fedora land saying I just finished a Workstation install, or… what ever of the offerings was installed, It might help with managing the herd of offerings.

It seems to me that eventually rolling releases run into difficulty with potential for misery. I’m thinking of when major changes like the implementation of Wayland come along. Trying to do some big transition that way seems like it would lead to lots of temporary code that would need to be cleaned out as the roll went along.

The users of Fedora have always seemed to me to be a very software knowledgeable group. Sure there are exceptions, but concerning users being afraid of large updates or re-installs, it seems unlikely to me that they are a large portion of the user population. The official Fedora view of this as provided in this page seems support this. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User_base On the other hand I’ve been trying to get a good idea of who Fedora users are for a few years now and I’m not confident that I know the answer. I think the user base is broader than one might guess, but I also think that web page needs to be reviewed and edited to provide all of the project teams with a current view of the community we are really trying to serve.