Silverblue remixes?


#1

Are there any plans for a Silverblue remix program, similar to the existing Fedora Remix program (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Remix)?


#2

Doesn’t Silverblue already include random non-free software, by its very
nature?


#3

It’s no more non-free than Fedora itself. Really, maybe the pieces I want - the release production / ISO builder infrastructure - are already there and I just need to do a little research. I’m thinking of something like ArcoLinux where you have a bunch of scripts to make ISOs.


#4

In a way (for now the only way). You can create your own rpm-ostree image. For non-desktop and ease of use, you can use https://github.com/coreos/coreos-assembler. For instructions on how to do it without the CoreOS assembler, here’s a slightly older post from the Project Atomic blog https://www.projectatomic.io/blog/2017/12/compose-custom-ostree/, some information in the original OSTree docs: https://ostree.readthedocs.io/en/latest/manual/buildsystem-and-repos/, and @dustymabe’s blog on it as well: https://dustymabe.com/2017/08/08/how-do-we-create-ostree-repos-and-artifacts-in-fedora/


#5

Doesn’t Silverblue already include random non-free software, by its very
nature?

What? Why do you think that? That will never happen as long as I work on the project at least.


#6

Proprietary flatpacks, containers, etc since Silverblue isn’t a real
distribution, but really a collection of tools to pull in other stuff.


#7

By this logic, all distros are non-free because they let you run any programs you want, including proprietary applications. An operating system is fundamentally something you use to run applications, proprietary or not l.


#8

Sure, but traditional distros are not designed to pull in random containers
and flatpacks.


#9

Flatpaks it uses are about just as random as the package repos; it’s still on a moderated and curated service (Flathub), so it’s definitely not “random”. Of course, a large amount of the software there is still FOSS (proprietary software is tagged as such). Most containers are built on free software and are pretty decidedly not “random”, either.

In addition, GNOME Software on Workstation asks if you want to enable proprietary repo sources. I’m not complaining (IMO it’s perfectly fine), but that’s arguably closer to “include random non-free software” than Flathub is.

In addition, the stark majority of Fedora users will end up with rpmfusion non-free enabled, if not just for NVIDIA and ffmpeg.

Also, Silverblue is definitely a real distribution., Every distro is inevitably a collection of tools to pull in other stuff, and Silverblue still even supports rpms via rpm-ostree.


#10

Flatpaks it uses are about just as random as the package repos; it’s still
on a moderated and curated service (Flathub), so it’s definitely not
“random”. Of course, a large amount of the software there is still FOSS
(proprietary software is tagged as such). Most containers are built on free
software and are pretty decidedly not “random”, either.

Flathub contains proprietary software such as Skype.

In addition, GNOME Software on Workstation [asks if you want to enable
proprietary repo
sources](https://www.reddit.com/r/Fedora/comments/8dz7er/did_fedora_change_
its_policy_about_free_software/). I’m not complaining (IMO it’s perfectly
fine), but that’s arguably closer to “include random non-free software”
than Flathub is.

In addition, the stark majority of Fedora users will end up with rpmfusion
non-free enabled, if not just for NVIDIA and ffmpeg.

I noticed that as well, and I certainly complained about that being enabled as
well. That said, I doubt most users will use it, and I doubt that “the stark
majority of Fedora users” are even using GNOME.

Also, Silverblue is definitely a real distribution., Every distro is
inevitably a collection of tools to pull in other stuff, and Silverblue
still even supports rpms via rpm-ostree.

Naturally, I never meant to say that it isn’t a “real” distribution, but that
it’s not a traditional distribution.


#11

Proprietary flatpacks, containers, etc since Silverblue isn’t a real
distribution, but really a collection of tools to pull in other stuff.

That’s a gross mis-characterization of the project. It is fully backed by the Fedora council, uses the same RPMs as found in Fedora, does not ship any proprietary software, and is subject to the same guidelines as any other Fedora project.

The statement “…really a collection of tools to pull in other stuff” could be applied to any distribution available; rpm, apt, emerge are all tools that are used to “pull in other stuff”.

Just because you are able to use Flatpaks or containers to install/run proprietary software on the host is not an indictment of the entire process. You are able to do the same with yum or dnf; just find a repo where someone maintains the proprietary software and go get it.

It’s ultimately the choice of the person using any distribution. Silverblue does not encourage, promote, or require users to download and use proprietary software. This kind of FUD does nothing to help grow the project or community and appears to only poison the well.


#12

The statement “…really a collection of tools to pull in other stuff” could
be applied to any distribution available; rpm, apt, emerge are all
tools that are used to “pull in other stuff”.

That would be true if they used a source which provided proprietary software
by default. Technically, it is true of Fedora proper, as it includes
proprietary firmware.

Just because you are able to use Flatpaks or containers to install/run
proprietary software on the host is not an indictment of the entire
process. You are able to do the same with yum or dnf; just find a repo
where someone maintains the proprietary software and go get it.

There’s an extra step there which is not necessary here.

It’s ultimately the choice of the person using any distribution. Silverblue
does not encourage, promote, or require users to download and use
proprietary software. This kind of FUD does nothing to help grow the
project or community and appears to only poison the well.

This really ignores the purpose of Remixes, of course… Anything which is Free
Software can be packaged in Fedora proper, so one would never need to create a
Remix in order to add more Free Software. You would, however, need a Remix to
add non-free software.


#13

I admittedly did not know the definition of a Fedora Remix and I now understand that Remixes can include non-free software.

However, my original comment was directed at your characterization that Silverblue is either designed to use non-free software, includes it by default, or otherwise encourages the use of non-free software. It’s just Fedora RPMs delivered in a different way.

The same tools that exist in Silverblue (flatpak, podman, ostree, etc) exist in Fedora Workstation and other popular distributions. If you imply that Silverblue is at fault for allowing users to use non-free software, then the same fault can be levied against the other distributions that provide the same tools.


#14

However, my original comment was directed at your characterization that
Silverblue is either designed to use non-free software, includes it by
default, or otherwise encourages the use of non-free software. It’s just
Fedora RPMs delivered in a different way.

This is not true, many of the packages available through flathub, while they
are available as RPMs, are not available in Fedora, as they are non-free. Many
are not available as RPMs at all.

The same tools that exist in Silverblue (flatpak, podman, ostree, etc)
exist in Fedora Workstation and other popular distributions. If you imply
that Silverblue is at fault for allowing users to use non-free software,
then the same fault can be levied against the other distributions that
provide the same tools.

Fedora Workstation is a Spin (or whatever the proper term for promoted spins
is, I’m sorry to say I’ve forgotten) of the distribution known as Fedora.
While these tools may be available in Fedora, they are not the primary tools
to install package, that would be dnf or frontends to the package manger
itself.


#15

Agreed, but Silverblue doesn’t require you to use any of them. It’s a choice of the user.

Workstation is not a spin; it is a product of the Fedora project. See the first line of the Workstation wiki page.

Spins are, quoting https://spins.fedoraproject.org/:

What are Spins?

The default desktop environment of Fedora is GNOME, but if you prefer an alternative desktop environment such as KDE Plasma Desktop or Xfce, you can download a spin for your preferred desktop environment and use that to install Fedora, pre-configured for the desktop environment of your choice.

I agree that flatpak and other container tools are not the primary tools for installing packages, but even when using dnf (on Workstation) or rpm-ostree install (on Silverblue), it is still possible to install non-free software with them.

I view Silverblue as the equivalent of Workstation; it uses many of the same RPMs but is delivered in a different format. Perhaps we are talking past each other or getting lost in the details, but I don’t see a fundamental difference (in terms of requiring non-free software) between the two experiences.


#16

Workstation is not a spin; it is a product of the Fedora project. See the
first line of the Workstation wiki
page
.

They’re all “products”. I had to dig up the thread from the -devel list, the
official name for Workstation and the like is ‘Edition’, an artificial
difference between Spins that Fedora wants to promote and those it does not.

I agree that flatpak and other container tools are not the primary tools
for installing packages, but even when using dnf (on Workstation) or
rpm-ostree install (on Silverblue), it is still possible to install
non-free software with them.

Not by default, other than firmware, you would have to go and find a non-free
repository and then enable it by putting a file in /etc/yum.repos.d/.


#17

That would be true if they used a source which provided proprietary software
by default.

That would have been relevant if Flatpak used Flathub by default. It doesn’t though, and you’re free not to add Flathub just as you’re free not to add RPMFusion.

Edit: grammar


#18

You ask all the right questions!