"Labs" and "Spins" — in the shadow of Editions?

@mattdm The design team’s current thoughts on this is that rather than separate out spins and labs on their own websites, they’ll be brought back into the main website under a general “Downloads” area. We will elevate / promote the editions the most visibly. The main distinction between labs and spins is whether or not they are focused on a desktop vs. functionality, so we could just call them all “spins” and the spins focused on desktop could be “desktop spins” or under a “desktop” category of spins, and the spins focused on function / use case could be categorized under their functions or even called “lab spins” or something like that.

So, we’re pulling labs & spins back onto the main website. And the distinction between desktop (spins) and function (labs) will remain, but may be in terms of a category applied towards a general “spins” notion rather than completely different terminology.

Does that make sense?


This is a great idea, it covers the main conversation of this thread that is exposure of both labs and spin.

It make sense, but I think the idea was to not having it separate from each other. The term we discussed was “Solutions” but there wasn’t a consensus about it. In this particular case I think wording is important, and we though about use Fedora with and Fedora for that could fit under the idea of “Solutions”

My questions here are:

  • By having this included in the main site, Would we drop labs.fp.o and spins.fp.o?
  • If we drop those, Will we have specific page per “Solution” (e.g.: labs.fp.o/jam)
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Yes, we (Sway SIG) would very much like to see how the final policy looks.

We just did a community survey to help us come up with a smart name for a Sway OSTree variant, and the result was interesting: “Just call it Fedora Silverblue Sway and don’t make people remember all these names”. Not in the same tone, of course, but it was suggested enough times to reconsider the naming strategy. (Note that our audience is limited and may not represent well the overall Fedora community).

So I do like Fedora [Linux] with Sway and Fedora Silverblue with Sway options made according to the policy being discussed. I think I’ll be backing these names on the next SIG meeting.
Just… what’s the right moniker to use to distinguish an immutable ostree desktop variant? General audience seems to associate SB with immutable desktop in general, but people closer to Fedora development narrow it to a Workstation (GNOME) immutable edition.


I’m all for dropping the whole “Silverblue / Kinoite / Sodalite [potential name for the Pantheon immutable spin]” thing and using a simplified naming scheme. I see very often on Reddit, YouTube comment sections, and elsewhere, that people find this current naming scheme confusing.

Fedora Silverblue used to be called Fedora Atomic Workstation - I like that name, and it provides a nice pattern for the rest of the immutable spins.

Fedora Atomic Workstation
Fedora Atomic with Plasma
Fedora Atomic with Sway

Using the “Atomic with…” scheme avoids the problem of “Silverblue” being associated with GNOME, and matches up nicely with our current proposal for “Fedora Linux with…” for the RPM-based spins. What do you think?


I’m not a Fedora developer but I would vote for your proposal, @mxanthropocene. :+1:

For as much as I love the names of Silverblue and Kinoite because they sound like Pokemon games, I do think it makes sense for there to be a single brand for the immutable desktop and then something to denote the differences between the spins.

@mxanthropocene’s recommendation for the format makes sense.

One counterargument are some of Ubuntu’s spins like Kubuntu and Lubuntu. However, even that doesn’t seem to have stuck in the community because you also have Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE and so on. :confused:


It’s a matter of taste and personal preferences but I’m fond of names which sound technical, informative, and seriously, names like “Fedora Atomic Workstation”, “Fedora Atomic with Plasma”, “Fedora Atomic with Sway”.

Look at some of the name proposals for different immutable spins (and Linux distros in general, including Ubuntu spins as Xubuntu)–too often I don’t even know how to pronounce them… As I can speak some (limited) English I can pronounce “Silverblue” but I honestly have no idea how to pronounce “Kinoite” (and what language it is) and I pronounce it [kiˈnɔ̝i̯.t̪ɛ̝] or [ki.nɔ̝ˈi̩.t̪ɛ̝] following the rules of my native language.

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I’m sympathetic to the argument about too many names and branding being confusing, but it can also be confusing to have a name be too big. That’s one of the things that happened to the “Atomic” brand — it was the exciting hot thing and suddenly every new idea (and lots of old ones) wanted to have that attached. That eventually collapses under its own weight.

Also, with Silverblue, part of the idea is that not just a tech choice but a specific, opinionated offering. That’s easier to position when someone is “shopping” for an OS. And it’s really powerful for helping people — you don’t need to ask 20 questions to know what the other person is looking at before you can start to explain how to do a task or configure something.

Maybe we could check with the RH brand people if we could bring back “Fedora Atomic Desktop” as a category label for the family of immutable desktop systems? (Or reprovisionable, anti-hysteresis desktop systems, as @walters would remind me!) It’s still a nice brand and logo!


If we’re looking at potentially changing the branding around the immutable family of spins, I think it could be worth sticking with Silverblue as the brand instead of reverting to Atomic. I think most folks have heard of Silverblue over Kinoite especially if they’re outside of the Fedora community, and that brand is currently in use.

If we stick with Silverblue as the brand, then KDE and any other spins would be added as options just like with Workstation. Workstation is the default desktop experience. Silverblue is the default immutable desktop experience. There are spins of both with different DEs. We simplify the brand without the switching cost of readopting the old one.


Or better yet, see if we can get them to provide input on the naming of variants in general. This would tie in well to the strategic plan homework you have, I think.


This sounds like a strong argument. I’m not a marketing expert but it just makes sense to me it will be easier to promove “Silverblue” than “Fedora Atomic Workstation”. Especially, taking into consideration that the name “Silverblue” is already widely known.

However, herein the question is, for whom is the immutable branch of Fedora Linux. Most of those people “shopping” of an OS are newcomers to Linux who have just recently switched away from Windows or are going to do that. There may be another thread on this on the Forum (?) but I’m not that sure if Silverblue is a variant for complete beginners… (Although in part, I’m saying that due to the insufficient documentation which I guess will improve once Silverblue is official.)

I believe “intermediate” and “advanced” Linux users are far more resistant to marketing tricks (by the way, one of the things I appreciate in the Fedora Project is that it doesn’t use an “aggressive” language doing pure marketing and more ridiculous marketing) and choose distros based on strictly technical characteristics.

Technical advantages of Silverblue over most mutable distros are -in my opinion- enormous and I’m confident that with time more and more “intermediate-to-advanced” Linux users will notice them–people willing to get something “technical”. Hence, I think to myself, a “technical” name like “Fedora Atomic Desktop” is perhaps not that bad in this particular case (?).

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The reason we came up with Kinoite is because we weren’t allowed to use the Silverblue name. Likewise for Workstation, the KDE spin wasn’t allowed to use it either.

I would have preferred for the Fedora Atomic brand to be available, but it isn’t currently.

Technical advantages are worthless when the experience isn’t good. Fixing issues with a broken OSTree based system are way harder. It’s going to be a very long time before it’s going to be up to the level of polish that the normal variants have.


My experience with Silverblue is better than anything I’ve ever seen on any other Linux distro, *BSD or Windows. Otherwise, I wouldn’t use Silverblue… :wink:


I have used Silverblue and Workstation, both are hampered by “issues” and some are interrelated, but in all cases the issues were addressed. I think the only thing that may be holding Silverblue “back” from the official variants is the level of effort/quantity of support it has. The team who works on Silverblue tends to be smaller. As for technically fixing issues, it is no more difficult, just requires a paradigm shift in your thinking of how a system is supposed to work. Trust me once you embrace it, the use of Silverblue is a joy.

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Matthew Miller suggested I chime in on this thread after I discussed a related issue with him today.
So one thing I feel has been somewhat missing in the thread so far is the fact that all these different offerings are not the same, yet we talk about them like they are.

To give an example I was talking with someone from the media today who had some complaints about how ‘Fedora’ works or didn’t work. At first I was surprised he had these issues because I had been running the same software without issues, but it turns out he was using one of the spins and thus had not even seen some of the integration work we had done in Fedora Workstation.

So I see a lot of people on this thread advocate for everything being branded as Fedora, or for things like ‘Fedora Workstation with KDE’, but I would actually argue that we would be doing ourselves a huge favour by going further down the route of Silverblue and Kinoite. Which has much more distinctive separate brands. Because nobody is going to review Kinoite and complain about Silverblue or vica versa. I think Ubuntu actually has this right, where ‘nobody’ downloads Xubuntu and end up writing a review complaining about things being broken in ‘Ubuntu’.

The effort that Matthew has been putting in to clarify that Fedora is the project and that ‘Fedora Workstation’ and ‘Fedora Server’ etc. are separate projects produced by the Fedora community has helped alleviate this problem somewhat. And I have spent almost the last decade trying to help build ‘Fedora Workstation’ as a distinct identity, but we need to continue down the route or we will always be hampered by people assuming they can install anything with the name ‘Fedora’ in it and expect the same functionality and behaviour.


Closing the loop here -

Fedora Websites 3.0 revamp has a relevant ongoing discussion on how to organize the navbar here: Layout improvements to global nav bar (#50) · Issues · fedora / Design / Fedora Design / Website Design · GitLab


It suggests finding a better name for “Downloads”, which implies OS image. However, “Downloads” are universally used across the Fedora websites/Docs.

Nitpicking: a suggestion to use operating systems sounds more explicit, but we need to consider references (not the link, but overall context) to the entire sites and Docs.


By closing you mean that the naming is already decided? Is there a place where this was finally and officially voted? Is it finally “Solutions” or there are other options?

I think that’s just meant in the sense of “bringing two things together”, not that this is shut off.