In a move to streamline its offering of desktop environments, Fedora has introduced a new family of Linux spins dubbed Fedora Atomic Desktops. They encompass four main spins:
- Fedora Silverblue (GNOME Desktop)
- Fedora Kinoite (KDE Plasma Desktop)
- Fedora Sway Atomic (previously known as Fedora Sericea, Sway Window Manager)
- Fedora Budgie Atomic (formerly Fedora Onyx, Budgie Desktop)
This rebranding effort aims to provide clarity and coherence to Fedora’s use of rpm-ostree technology, which allows for atomic updates and rollbacks, enhancing system stability and reliability.
The need for a new branding approach emerged as more Fedora spins began to adopt rpm-ostree, complicating discussions around these versions’ unique features and benefits.
The term “Fedora Atomic Desktops” will simplify these conversations and accurately reflect the atomic nature of these immutable systems – where changes are applied in whole, coherent units, allowing for easy rollbacks and ensuring system integrity.
In short, this term will serve as an umbrella for all immutable Fedora spins from now on. However, if you’re new to the concept of rpm-ostree, let’s take a moment to introduce it.
Rpm-ostree stands at the core of Fedora Atomic Desktops. This hybrid image/package system combines OSTree, an upgrade system for Linux-based operating systems, with RPM, Fedora’s standard package management system.
It enables users to enjoy a read-only (immutable), versioned filesystem for the operating system, with the flexibility to overlay additional packages or even replace components as needed, all while maintaining the ability to roll back changes in a fail-safe manner.
We can not fail to mention that obviously, Fedora also has plans to expand the Atomic family to include more desktop environments, such as Vauxite (Xfce) and potentially others like Pantheon or the upcoming and highly-anticipated from the Linux community, COSMIC.
Lastly, Fedora Atomic Desktops will stand alongside Fedora CoreOS and Fedora IoT, which utilize rpm-ostree to cater to different computing needs, from desktops to servers and IoT devices.