Why are gdm, gnome-desktop and Firefox native in fedora-silverblue. Is there any reason they are not layered packages? I’m asking this because I use silverblue and I love it but I never actually use gnome or gdm. It bothers me that I can’t remove them. I also think firefox could have been a layered package so that people can optionally remove it. So why are they not layered.
I have been wondering that for a while too!
See this blog post by Christian Schaller that explains more in details why GNOME is used by Fedora Workstation and thus Fedora Silverblue.
Also, in the early days, Fedora Silverblue was not able to add Flatpaks by default during the installation, so a basic set of applications had to be installed to make the desktop usable.
Now that all basic GNOME applications are installed as Flatpak, keeping a small set of really essential applications (browser, file manager, terminal) in the base image makes sense to make sure that you have a backup plan if you remove all your Flatpak apps (intentionally or by mistake).
If disk space is the concern, you can take a look at this thread if you want unofficial non-GNOME variants.
I was not saying that silverblue should not use gnome. I don’t mind it coming as the default desktop environment. I also do not need a kde or an xfce version. What I meant to say was that gdm, gnome and firefox should have been layered packages that come by default with fedora. This allows users who want to remove them the chance to do so. If there are no technical limitations which prohibit doing so, it might make for a better design and wider userbase. (some people don’t want firefox for license issues, others might prefer lightweight window managers for estetics or hardware limitations etc…).
I also don’t think they should be flatpaks. I meant they should be layered packages like the ones you install with
sudo rpm-ostree install.
I think that it is more interesting to make you own image if you want something different as a basis (which is what I did to build other images with other desktop environments). Adding overlayed packages is a valid use case for Silverblue but comes with a cost for each update (even though is it rather small).
I have also created a “base” image which does not come with any desktop environment and let’s you overlay the one you want. This is of course mostly useful for minimal DEs such as sway, etc.
Very fascinating. I really want to rollout my own image too. I just don’t know where to get started from. Could you outline a roadmap please.
@Siosm’s I saw your post on kinoite and it helped me achieve what I wanted. Thanks very much.