Fedora Onyx running the Budgie desktop has been proposed with the next Fedora 39 to join the family of Fedora’s immutable OSes.
There has been a growing trend towards using immutable operating systems in recent years. Unlike traditional OSes, which can be modified or updated over time, immutable OSes are designed to be unchanging and immutable.
This means that once an immutable (unchangeable) OS is installed, it remains in a fixed state and cannot be modified. Or at least not in the way most users are familiar with.
Fedora is a distribution that cannot complain about the lack of immutable variants. Along with the flagship Fedora Silverblue, users can also choose between Fedora Kinoite, which includes the KDE Plasma desktop, and Fedora Sericea, relying on the popular Sway tiling window manager.
It is possible, however, that from the next release of Fedora 39, they will be joined by the brand-new addition called Fedora Onyx. But don’t be concerned if you haven’t heard that name. It has yet to make its way. Here’s what it’s all about.
One of the significant new features in the recently released Fedora 38 was the adoption of Fedora Budgie as the official Fedora Spin. As the name implies, this is Fedora, which includes the Budgie desktop environment by default.
Joshua Strobl, the lead developer of the desktop environment, also known to many from the Solus project, is one of the main driving forces behind the Fedora Budgie spin.
Now he’s coming out with a new proposal, Fedora Onyx, which you might think of as immutable Fedora Budgie, from the next Fedora 39 release to be included as an official Fedora immutable variant. It is a new name in the Linux ecosystem, aiming to attract users drawn to immutability and atomic capabilities, relying on the Budgie desktop environment.
Users of Fedora Onyx will receive a similar user experience to Fedora Budgie Spin, with a smaller package set to encourage users to more heavily leverage flatpak to curate their own desired experience.
To implement immutable capabilities, Fedora Onyx will rely on using rpm-ostree – a hybrid image/package-based system for managing the filesystem of Linux that use the OSTree version control system to maintain an image-based representation of the operating system. An approach widely used primarily in containerized and cloud-native environments.
As expected, this narrows the pool of potential distribution users quite a bit. Why? Because the average Linux user has not yet embraced the idea of entrusting their desktop to an immutable OS. At the very least, its use involves advanced technical knowledge and expertise in the subject matter.
However, we are obliged to say that, for the moment, this is only a proposal. It needs to be approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee to become a reality.
If that happens, with the upcoming Fedora 39 scheduled for release in late October, users will also get the brand new immutable variant Fedora Onyx, relying on the Budgie desktop.
You can get more details by visiting the proposal made in the Fedora Project Wiki.