Silverblue Rawhide - what's in a name? Is there an opportunity?



No - not here to talk about my feelings about the word Silverblue or Fedora CoreOS ( although I do like both ).

I ran one of the recent Sbluhide (see I shouldnt name things). It worked very well! My only complaint was that there didnt seem to be a way (short of compiling a kernel) to switch to the “Rawhide Nodebug” kernel. The Fedora wiki also says the nodebug kernel, ‘Will not “just work” with secure boot.’ I wanted to run a kernel without debug on ( is there a cli switch or tunable? ) to improve performance. I poked around a bit, but ended up moving on the next shiny thing.

How to move Rawhide forward or make it less thorny for daily use is a conversation that comes up in the community from time to time. In Matt M’s Flock keynote this year, he put out the reminder that Fedora is “Leading Edge”, not “Bleeding Edge.” One thing I usually end up doing with my current Fedora install is pulling in a newer kernel and graphics stack. Which is exactly what Rawhide gives me.

An Atomic system with sandboxed desktop applications is the perfect setup to be somewhat safe between leading and bleeding. A release with rawhide-like kernel with better performance would be a great way to do that ( in my head anyway )? Is this possible with Sblue-Rhide currently? If not, how could this be a “real thing?”

Happy Weekend!


I want my desktop stable and all my testing to be isolated in containers. I can’t see a reason to run Silverblue Rawhide unless someone is paying me to do QA. :wink:


Do note that all the ‘rc’ kernels in rawhide (the first build of each RC) have debugging disabled. You could simply only reboot/switch to those trees? But of course that does mean you only update once a week or so and could have a harder time isolating problems.


Oh! Good thought. I did know that about the rawhide kernel. I may give that another whirl with an RC candidate.


I saw this article and I created an account just to reply. Silverblue Rawhide would be just awesome. You get the great advantage of having a rolling distro, AND you also have the great advantage of rpm-ostree, meaning that you can revert at any time to a previous version if your system if failing. This is just brilliant. The moment it is out, I am switching to it.


It’s been out for a while:


I think once Silverblue 29 is released I’ll be switching to Rawhide. Or maybe before, if the hotspot mode of the WiFi adapter on my desktop starts working. :wink:


This is great news, however I see this defaults to gnome.

Considering I would like to use i3wm, do you think it’s a good idea to use the default atomic host and install i3wm on top?


I’ve installed i3wm on top of Silverblue in the past as a proof of concept, but that means you are carrying around all the GNOME stuff at the same time. Yes, you can go in and rpm-ostree override remove a bunch of packages, but that kind get pretty hairy as you try to figure out all the GNOME packages and dependencies required.

Optimally, someone could create an i3wm version of Silverblue, similar to what has been done with KDE/xfce here:

If we can get enough contributors to maintain these kinds of versions of Silverblue, perhaps we can convince the powers that be to start supporting them with proper resources/infrastructure.


How hard would it be to make an “everything DVD” net install ISO for Silverblue (and presumably Atomic Host / Fedora CoreOS)?


I am not sure to understand the concept, you mean a system with everything installed ? Or a install who has a mirror aside ?


Do you mean being able to choose the WM at install time? Then the net install pulls the correct ostree image?


I would love to see the installer ultimately support choosing your own desktop environment/WM.

This goes along with the idea of having some officially supported versions of Silverblue that have the necessary resources and infrastructure backing them.

Imagine having multiple refs for each option:


We may not even have to ship all the options on the install disk; we could have the installer fetch the “alternate” refs from the network at install time.


Yes, Right now, there are three ways to install Fedora Workstation - you can boot the LIve versioon with a fully functioning GNOME desktop and install to the hard driver, you can download a DVD image with most of Fedora on it and install the desktop you want, or you can download an “everything” net install that can install any desktop but does so over the internet.

What I’m proposing is the same thing for Atomic Host and Silverblue - the ostree based versions. This would obviously be for F30 - there’s a fair amount of work to be done. But you’d download a small “net install” ISO, burn it to a USB driver, boot it, and it would come up in the installer with a menu that allowed you to install anything in the ostree repositories.


As far as I know, the only distro providing i3wm out of the box with fully functioning features is Manjaro. Though i3wm is a popular trend in the Linux communities, most distros still focus on delivering DEs and ignore tiling window managers.

This sounds good. I will try to do i3wm on top of Atomic Host, when I have time. Maybe it helps.

I think Silverblue is going in the good direction and has huge potential, but a lot of stuff needs improvements, like getting more mirrors. Also, this would make a huge difference:
AFAIK rpm-ostree also doesn’t have a “search” function, like dnf.

I think focusing on Rawhide makes more sense than focusing on stable releases. Archlinux showed how far a distro could go, if you just focus on making the latest packages work… And they don’t have the sponsoring that Fedora has.

I am excited to see how this projects develops in the next years.


FWIW I got fedora atomic host 29 plus i3 work with these packages

● ostree://fedora-atomic:fedora/29/x86_64/atomic-host
               Version: 29.20190107.0 (2019-01-07T00:53:15Z)
            BaseCommit: 822093aa47c985d24d5f3a40ad213d68f7734be3bff872c757d39315048691a4
          GPGSignature: Valid signature by 5A03B4DD8254ECA02FDA1637A20AA56B429476B4
       LayeredPackages: i3 mesa-dri-drivers xorg-x11-server-Xorg xorg-x11-xinit

granted this is very minimal and does not have any graphical display manager so the i3 needs to be started using exec i3 from ~/.xinitrc and running startx from console


Hello @milos
I was able to install i3WM on my F29 Silverblue installation and it worked fine right away. The only thing for me was I hadn’t looked outside of Gnome for some time so I needed to get reoriented in the desktop philosophy of WM’s like i3, minimalism. The one thing I really liked was the way it made you focus more on the different tasks you were trying to accomplish.