This operating system may be the future of how Linux based OSes function.

What is Fedora Silverblue?

A desktop version of Fedora based on Fedora Workstation, which the user's applications run in containers (Flatpaks for user-facing GUI apps and Podman for development/CLI-facing).

(Some) apps that I use and how they are installed and run

Recently I've managed to make my desktop workflow capable of running almost entirely in containers (of various kinds).

Name How it's installed Notes
Chromium rpm-ostree (host) Un-containerised, due to unavailability as a Flatpak
vscode Flatpak Installed from FlatHub
FL Studio toolbox container + ~/.wine folder I installed Wine as a dependency in a seperate toolbox container, wired up the .desktop file to inteface the wine command to launch the container
emacs iitoolbox container emacs is installed in a container due to portability and on-boarding of iimacs.d configuration
Safe Surfer Desktop AppImage Only available format

Challenges with Wine

FL Studio was a minor challenge to get working. A caveat of Fedora Silverblue is that Wine is incapable of being installed on the host system (due to only supporting 64-bit apps).

Here's the solution:

# create the toolbox container
toolbox create -c wine

# enter the container
toolbox enter -c wine

# install wine
sudo dnf install -y wine
Setting up the Wine environment
# launch the installer
wine $HOME/Downloads/flstudio_win.exe
Installing FL Studio in your home folder from inside the toolbox container
[Desktop Entry]
Name=FL Studio 20
Exec=/home/YOURUSER/bin/fl.sh
Type=Application
StartupNotify=true
Path=/home/YOURUSER/.wine/dosdevices/c:/Program Files (x86)/Image-Line/FL Studio 20
Icon=79E5_FL64.0
StartupWMClass=fl64.exe
Create the .desktop file:$HOME/.local/share/applications/FL Studio 20.desktop
#!/bin/bash

/usr/bin/toolbox run --container wine /usr/bin/env WINEPREFIX="/home/YOURUSER/.wine" /usr/bin/wine "C:\windows\command\start.exe" /Unix "/home/YOURUSER/.wine/dosdevices/c:/users/YOURUSER/Start Menu/Programs/Image-Line/FL Studio 20.lnk"
Create the launch script: $HOME/bin/fl.sh

Now FL Studio should be available in your app launcher.
Hopefully one day, FL Studio may be available as a Flatpak (I've been trying to get that to work over here, having issues with Wine in a Flatpak).

OS Architecture

Fedora Silverblue rocks a read-only root filesystem. All user data is stashed in the seperate partition of /var/home and all persistent data is in /var.

To me, the separation of the OS and user-data makes so much sense and is how it should be.

The OS & user-impact

Fedora Silverblue is intended to be a modern simple rock-solid-stable user-facing operating system with focus on everyone-has-the-same-thing consistency via the technology rpm-ostree.

Because of rpm-ostree and Flatpaks, the consistency of working with common and same libraries helps developers to keep users happy as their apps would be running and behaving as expected.

Migrating from Fedora Workstation

Currently there isn't a migration path or a plan for one yet, which is unfortunate. The OS's layout a fair bit different so there may be a bunch of planning for this to be a possibility.

Backing up and restoring data

I used rsync (to ensure that everything was copied) to copy data to an external drive. After the installation, rsync was also used for restoring the data back (the same command but in reverse).

Final thoughts

I've been really happy with Fedora Silverblue (and Fedora in general). I'm really excited for it to be something that any person can use, taking out any pain that may be had with traditional Linux distributions.

Give it a try!