How to test Fedora Silberblue

I’m running Fedora 30 on my laptop. I want to test Silverblue and see basically 3 possibilities

  1. Install Fedora Silverblue on my laptop

  2. Install Fedoa Silverblue in a VM

  3. Run Fedora Silverblue in my Fedora 30 Workstation

I rule out 1. as my laptop has to function on a day to day basis. So, I think it might be a good idea to start with 2. to get acquainted with Silverblue.

As a next step, would it possible to do 3.?


I think there was a guide to do 3, but it was a bit of a mess and removed.

To be entirely honest, if you have some time to get acquainted with it, option 1 isn’t that scary. The installer is a bit buggy, but once installed, it’s pretty solid; many of us here use it as our daily driver.

I read somewhere that when installing it on the laptop a certain partioning scheme is recommended or even required.

My scheme is:

/boot         ext4
/boot/efi    vfat
/                as btrfs subvol
/home       as btrfs subvol
... and more btrfs subvols which are mounted below /data/

Not sure if this is a problem.

As a general rule, I tend to test new OSes and releases in a VM. I had some trouble doing that with silverblue back when I was doing testing, so I just took the plunge and went for option 1 - but I’m pretty sure that installation issue has since been fixed.

As an additional option - if you can stomach the performance hit - you could install SB to a large USB drive/SD card and boot off of it for testing. That gives you a real world test with the actual hardware you’d be using to run it, with the caveat that booting an entire OS off of an SD/thumbdrive can be sloooow.

I definitely will start with a VM so see how things work. Then I will decide how to proceed. :smile:

OK, have installed a Fedora 30 with Silverblue in a VM.

It seems to install software I use flatpak. Question: Could I assume all software available via dnf is available via flatpak?

Second, my desktop is Xfce4. How can I install it?

Could I assume all software available via dnf is available via flatpak?

No. You’ll most likely want to add the Flathub repository which has a lot of software available, but it’s very different from Fedora’s dnf repos. Fedora’s own registry, which I believe is enabled by default in Silverblue, also has a handful of applications available. There are also other Flatpak repos you can add out there if you search around.

You can install most things in dnf by using rpm-ostree, but this is not the preferred way of installing software. Generally speaking, you should probably try to use Flatpak first in most cases.

To install something like Xfce4, you probably want to look towards rpm-ostree. Note that it doesn’t support package groups, so you’ll need to specify all the packages for Xfce that you want to install.

The installer is buggy. The partition scheme is all that matters. FS type doesn’t matter much but I’d say btrfs is the worst choice based on stability. Just use xfs or tried and true ext4.

Transitioning to silver blue as a ong time fedora user hasn’t been much of a burden. I wanted to get mor familiar with container workflows and dev usage anyway. If you take this opertunity to familiarize your self with podman and ostree I think you’ll come to like them. In a pinch you can always use the fedora toolbox pet container.

It’s a little harder than just relying on the large library of packages in the fedora and rpm fusion repos bit I think it’s worth it.

In fact, the ostree saved my ass a couple days ago when a bad rpm install / power outage broke my latest ostree revision. I just booted one revision back and all was right with the world

Btrfs actually does not work IIRC for some weird reason. I couldn’t get anything but ext4 to work.

hmm wonder what went wrong?

I’ve got /boot ex4, /boot/efi vfat , and “/” is xfs

Maybe it’s just btrfs that doesn’t work then, I think the installer was getting mixed up because LVM2 and btrfs have two different volume systems.

I just used a spare laptop I had lying around and installed it on there. Well, I had Silverblue 29 on it and just rebased to 30 so I don’t know how the installer is working for 30.


My laptop has two 1TB SSDs with around 22 btrfs subvols, and if btrfs isn’t working correctly here then I will not switch. For the time being I’ll play with it in a VM to get some familiarity with ostree.

I’ve always read alot about btrfs being trash. Isn’t that why redhat wound up just using xfs?


Btrfs has been deprecated:
The Btrfs file system has been in Technology Preview state since the initial release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat will not be moving Btrfs to a fully supported feature and it will be removed in a future major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
The Btrfs file system did receive numerous updates from the upstream in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 and will remain available in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 series. However, this is the last planned update to this feature.

I’ve always been afraid to use it for anything i cared about.

I’ve been using btrfs for 4-5 years and I never had any problems. It is very convenient to use. Pretty much the same as zfs.

Regarding xfs. Yes, Redhat is working on stratis which uses xfs as file system. But stratis isn’t yet usable.

Glad to hear you’ve had a good experience with it.

I use it on my private and my company laptop. Of course, on top of LUKS.

You can rebase to Kinoite XFCE version - see the forum thread here

Thanks for the hint. However, it seems that fedora-xfce is not available for F30.