Minimal Workstation

Other distributions like Ubuntu or Manjaro provide a “minimal” installation option that strips out a lot of programs considered unnecessary. And I think Fedora should have a similar option in the installer. Most users will never need stuff like gnome-connections, gnome-contacts or cheese. It just makes the system (seem) more bloated. Users should decide for themselves what software they want to use.

You can already use the network installer to install whatever editions/packages you wish:

https://alt.fedoraproject.org/

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Generally, the software Workstation includes is meant to cover various basic functionality. For example, Cheese is a straightforward way to test your camera and mic. That’s a conscious decision of the Workstation Working Group, and I think it’s the right one for a general audience.

However, Fedora’s mission is to provide the tools for interested contributors to build what they believe are the perfect solutions for users. If you think this is really important and can find a few other people that agree, I think there’s plenty of room for a “Minimal GNOME” spin.

If it’s just for your personal setup, you might consider creating a Kickstart you use for future installs that builds just exactly what you like. This is the first step in creating a spin – but useful on its own too.

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I’m curious who exactly are these “most users” that you speak for who don’t need productivity software… When I hear “bloat” as the reason I instantly become uninterested because that’s so subjective. What exactly do you use your computer for? I use mine for real work so productivity software is appreciated (and I’d certainly expect a distro with “Workstation” in the name to come with those apps). If all you use your computer for is gaming and ricing a tiling window manager setup then sure, maybe you don’t need them, but I (and I’m guessing many others) definitely do.

It especially strikes me as odd that you single out Cheese as a “bloat” app considering we’ve been in a pandemic for the last few years, meaning a lot of work and schooling has gone remote. How are you going to test if your webcam works without webcam software?!

“Users should decide for themselves what software they want to use.” - and they can. Nothing’s stopping you from simply running sudo dnf remove (whatever you don’t want) or just installing from the Fedora Everything installer so you can avoid these so called “bloat” apps to begin with. Fedora Workstation is deliberately a curated desktop experience for general use - Fedora Everything is the “assemble it yourself” experience, which seems to be more what you want.

Another thing worth pointing out is that currently Fedora Silverblue does not ship with much software by default. Don’t count on it to remain the case forever in future as, as far as I remember, the goal is to bring it on par with the regular Workstation setup at some point in the future, specifically with regards to pre-installed software on the system. (I might be wrong, though.)

As it is right now, in Silverblue you really get the bare minimum pre-installed and you can install additional packages via Flatpak, in a toolbx container or layered on the base system with rpm-ostree. The last two variants use the regular Fedora repositories and install from there. The setup is very flexible and you can decide what you want to install, and what not.

It is very stable in practical day-to-day use (I’ve relied on it for quite some time now), but the usual caveats apply: this is an upcoming release and various parts are under active development. If you don’t do something too unusual, you should be fine. If you do, you can ask here, in Ask Fedora, or in the Silverblue channel on Matrix/IRC and there will probalby someone who is able to help you as they know about the subject deeply and maybe tried out something very similar themselves.

There is no right answer to the default software set. If you strip everything except the core DE components someone will complain it is too bloated. Alternatively if you preinstall every package in the Fedora repo someone else will complain it doesn’t include enough software to be usable out of the box.

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