Silverblue vs. Kinoite | Differences in Initial experience

So I’m compiling data for a near future project with Fedora Silverblue & Fedora Kinoite in a mixed rollout environment.

Fedora Silverblue has the initial Welcome screen + Tour as is expected with the Gnome release ( Fedora WS included)

This is the lead up to installing third-party repos which to many new users, is the bane of their first experience : Typical replies

How do I get Nvidia drivers, Can’t play video, where do I get apps, how do I get XYZ app” etc…

Which has been remedied with the inclusion of a toggle to install Third party repos. Which also includes Flathub. Flatpaks being pivitol to the Silverblue experience.

After Log In :

But the repo cannot be queried from Software Center and you do need to install it from Flathub :

or the Terminal :

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So going to Flathub and installing the repo is still required :


Is this a bug in Fedora Silverblue? Something to have another pair of eyes to look at seeing as Flatpaks are crucial to the Silverblue experience. (Fedora Flatpaks are available as expected)


Fedora Kinoite brought a different experience . . .

While after install and reboot of the machine, I was immediately greeted with a log in :

Upon log in, I’m straight way on the desktop and notice the icon on the bottom right corner with an up arrow :

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So my assumptions of this being the “Software Center / Updater” where found :

After install and a reboot, going back to the Desktop, and finding the Discover GUI once again, looking to install apps, and possibly to a full upgarde of installed packages, I’m left with just the Discover GUI and access to the Fedora Flatpak repo.

While this is ok, there are some app in the repo to use straight way, there was no inclination of adding 3rd Party repos for drivers or Flathub like in Gnome’s initial landing page.

Is this a feature that can be added to Fedora Kinoite?

Not just for serviceability of apps and drivers, but for consistency with the Main Fedora distribution, Silverblue. This would create an “Ease of Use” environment for the user and more seamless update process.

Upon searching Discover I found the ability to add Flathub from the settings :

This really brought the app to life. Also, showing up Gnome’s Software Center in search queries as a better tool for finding apps. ( More on this later… )


This was an observation of initial installs of both Silverblue & Kinoite. I think a more consistent experience should be implemented by the parties involved. If the main distro experience has options available, the Spins should adhere to as well.
As someone who has never used a KDE Spin, but has been on Fedora for a while, My expectations fell short. Fortunately, I am aware of what and where in respect to packages and drivers, but many will not or will not be compelled to search and dismiss the experience. (More on this to follow… )

This post is a reflection point, possibly the powers that be can chime in on what will happen in the future or help needed to complete these task & features. My team is looking forward to their rollout, and another party a review. Thanks for your hard work !

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For being the first release of Kinoite, I find it remarkably good. I am sure the next few releases will have many improvements. Discover is actually pretty good this release and is still a work in progress. I agree there could be some common OOTB experience between editions and spins along with good documentation for getting started.

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I will be using this thread to note some more things, Discover vs. Software Manager is next since it’s usually what the user immediately interacts with.

my initial experience :
silverblue is bloated as opposed to kinoite which is minimal indeed.

true that.

discover worked like a charm but software center kept throwing errors.

pat on the back for @Timothée but sadly kde is just not my flavor.

looking forward to a fedora rpm-ostree spin with xfce.

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I actually have some end user feedback to add with my next post. The users have never used Fedora Silverblue but are technical and were briefed about a software center (As a tool to install /manage software + updates). I will post the Silverblue results first, and the Kinoite results to follow.

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Too bad there was a bug in enabling the third party flathub repo during the Welcome app run through and Software manager settings. I think that probably had a big impact on your feedback from the new user experience. Is there a similar Welcome app for KDE that could be added for Kinoite?

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My years in QA/QC + Customer Service has shown me that even the most minute things will disway a user. . . but this was incredible.

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This section will be dedicated to the continued observations and initial experience with a small test group of 10 users ( Holidays prohibited a larger group ) for Fedora Silverblue :

Early observations :

Software Center does not immediately display the availability of an update but prompts the user none are installed.

After about 10 mins, An update list appears !

Note : ( During this time, the users browsed the software center, looked through Explore, Installed tabs querying the Software Center for apps until the updates came up I will not cover the browsing now, as those results would not be fair considering the prompt to update, and the lack thereof )

After the restart and update, The users head back to the Software Center and begin browsing for apps again ! Postman is a common tool of use for this team so it was the first most searched for.

So far so good !

A few of the group notice the top right corner, and the app coming from Flathub !

Other users went with a different app first, Spotify ( while they communicated their success with finding a third party app through chat ) and this was not successful. Bringing in nothing through the search results.

At which point all communicate that Spotify is not found, some of the users head to Flathub and search for the app to verify it’s availability. Finding the landing page for Spotify with the command line options to install it

Only to find that it does not find the app. This process continued with several apps, GIMP, Discord, Steam & Zoom. . . ( results redacted to save space ) What’s more interesting is that choosing Steam should work, since it was added as part of the Thrid Party Repos option from the initial install.

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Zoom was a curious case, as it showed up in the Software Center, and was available from Flathub !

Note : A couple users decided to use the terminal, and also found Zoom available from Flathub

Gnu Image Manipulation Program & Inkspace brought up a results for Fedora’s Flatpaks repository :

Note : ( This lead to conversation about packages that are specifically packaged by Fedora being “better”, “discoverability” or “should be prioritized” )

Google Chrome was also confusing. It’s repository is also part of the Third Party Repos from initial install but, It did not show up in the Software Center, or produced strange results.

After waiting around ( in hope of syncing the repos ), searching other software and looking through the options including a reboot, the users went back to Flathub and found the “Quick Setup”

Prior to installing the Flathub repo from the Software Center looked bare… :

After the install it comes to life :

Google Chrome still not producing the correct results :

Spotify search is buggy, as it’s full name brings up no results, but removing the “y” does produce results.


This was the end of inital experience testing with Software Center on Fedora Silverblue. I am publishing this in the forums in the hopes that these features and functions can have a harder look some time down the line. It’s clear that Software Center is not accepting to the installed repos or The Third Party Repos toggle simply doesn’t work internally. While it does show the availability of the repos in Software Center sandwich menu, it’s clear it’s availability does not work.

If this was a video game I would say “It’s immersion breaking” meaning, that while it’s not something you can’t work around, it should work.

Fedora and Linux as a whole will be experiencing a wave of new users, many of which have experience with Software Stores and Non Terminal app installations. The Gnome Software Center needs work. @mattdm if in your spare time you read this, We’d like to help if possible. If you can add resources for us to reach out to with tips, or help that would be great.

P.S : It’s interesting to see mixed results from apps that either were available or not from Flathub. Made us wonder if the Software Center was filtering results. Also, the Fedora Flatpaks being some what available was confusing…


Fedora Kinoite and the Discover Software Center is next !

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Today was a far more interesting day as we were able to reach a larger group for the Silverblue install ( 75 people today, bringing it to a total of 85 ) , while also covering Kinoite to the whole group.

This post is about the Kinoite Experience.

Upon install and first log on, the users were greeted with an update fromo the task bar.

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Discover prompts the user of the available update and they proceed through.

Upon completion, the users all rebooted and land back on the desktop and open Discover once again. A large majority of the group assume that since they were not prompted with “Third party software toggle” that there would little to no software available.

To the surprise of many, Discover did a better job to immediately present the user with available software and discoverablity, feeling like more Fedora packaged software was available.

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The Users were nearly unanimous in their amazement with Discover. Some feedback for icons on the apps instead of “zip folders” was suggested but they were ready to install what they could find if needed. Proceeding to Flathub was their next step and completing it with ease.

Which immediately brings Discover to life with icons for apps as well. Discover does a great job of it’s immediate presentation of what it offers.


I will be sharing some user gripes and feedback together with a round up of this User Experience in another post.

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I recently tried both Kinoite and Silverblue. I decided to use Silverblue because I found it like macOS, which I use primarily at home and work. Kinoite, at least for me, was too Windows-like, and not in a good way. I didn’t like the way it looked, and I found it confusing. Silverblue was easier for me to set up and navigate around in. I’m not a Linux expert, so the similarity to macOS made for a smoother transition to Linux. I didn’t have any trouble enabling the 3rd party repositories or getting flatpaks from the software center. I also find it more attractive and pleasing to the eye. Totally subjective opinion, of course. I do not find Silverblue to be bloated. In fact, I think its pretty lean and mean in terms of what the initial install looks like.

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Hello @apollo18 ,
Welcome to discussion.:fedora:.org.
I use Silverblue too, have since it was F27 I think. Glad you’re enjoying it.

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Glad you found an experience you like ! So, I have a question for you, after enabling the “Third Party Repo toggle” during initial install, did you use the Software Center and find apps you like? Did you instead add more repos to help you install difficult to find apps?

This is a good point, but was never brought up in any of my or my team’s observation.

I used the terminal to install Gnome Tweak Tool, but the other things I was looking for (Thunderbird, Geary, Gnome Extensions…) I found in the Software Center. One thing about Silverblue is that it does seem to lack some of the software available on other versions of Fedora, or on other distros like Ubuntu. For example, I wanted to install Blue Mail but the RPM doesn’t work and seems incompatible. I am coming from Clear Linux, which has much the same problem. However, the Clear Linux desktop is dead, and Silverblue seems to be thriving. I dont know how to install additional repositories to look for more software.

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@apollo18

Thanks you for your feedback ! it is well received . :clap:

Because you are on Silverblue, .rpm packages are not installed in the same fashion as you would on say, Fedora Workstation. You can create a container with toolbox and install Blue Mail in it.

This way you are not layering BlueMail onto your Silverblue image.

To enable repos for Silverblue is the same as for Fedora Linux Workstation. You can copy the repo file into /etc/yum.repos.d/ or you can use sudo ostree remote add <remote url>. For instance if I wanted to add the Fedora updates remote for F35 I would enter the following … sudo ostree remote add fedora-updates 'https://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/mirrorlist?repo=updates-released-f35&arch=x86_64'

I think you missed some key points here,

Software Center on Silverblue is bugged compared to Fedora Workstation, Software is not easily discoverable, which leads to these pain points. Things i have noted in my previous posts…

I dont have the technical skill to do that, unfortunately.

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Hello @apollo18 ,
To create a Toolbx (also known as toolbox) container is as simple as toolbox create.
You then “enter” that container environment (which shares your home directory and your user namespace) simply by toolbox enter. You will notice when you first run the create command about needing to pull an image for it, just answer with yes since it won’t get built for you otherwise. Once entered you will be at a bash prompt inside the container environment where you can use dnf as you would with typical Fedora Linux Workstation or Server. Get a toolbox created and enter it, come back here, I’ll leave notifications on for responses.

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Gotta get to work but I’ll try it tonight and report back. Thanks for being willing to help!

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OK, I’m thinking ahead here about what I want to do. If I create the Toolbox, how do I install the RPM that I download from https://bluemail.me? Can I run it from my Favorites with a double click on the icon like any other program on Silverblue, or will I have to start it from the Bash prompt every time I want to use it?