Bluefin is now Generally Available

That’s a mouthful! Project Bluefin has been my passion project for going on three years now, and thanks to a bunch of awesome people we feel it’s time to move to general availability (GA) and out of beta. Our young dromeasaur is ready!

This Fedora 39-based version (which we call gts) and it’s been baking for 6 months. It is designed to be installed on a device and follow Fedora’s releases in perpetuity – we accomplish this by maintaining the image in GitHub as a community. It is designed to be as “zero touch” as possible by providing a curated GNOME experience.

We fiercely invest in automation and distributed work, which is one of the many reasons why Linux and Open Source have devoured the industry. We want the same thing for our desktops.

You’ll receive the update automatically or click on this button to manually run an update:

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What is this thing?

Content creators, please feel free to do a better job than me, a tour would be fantastic, we’re just outta time! There’s nothing new I feel we need to say except “it’s ready to recommend to a friend now” and we purposely documented our journey in order to bring more context to things.

The only major change I’d like to point out from the video is that we’ve decided to not move to tuned this cycle and will instead follow Fedora’s upstream decision on power management. Check the introductory thread for more information, it’s up to date with all the features, as well as some of the dedicated pages that cover our major features:

Features

  • Ubuntu-like GNOME layout.
    • Includes the following GNOME Extensions:
      • Dash to Dock - for a more Unity-like dock
      • Appindicator - for tray-like icons in the top right corner
      • GSConnect - Integrate your mobile device with your desktop
      • Blur my Shell - for that bling
      • Tailscale GNOME QS for tailscale integration
  • Ptyxis terminal for container-focused workflows
  • Tailscale - included for VPN along with wireguard-tools
  • GNOME Extensions Manager included
  • GNOME Software with Flathub:
    • Use a familiar software center UI to install graphical software
    • Warehouse included for flatpak management
  • Quality of Life Features
    • Starship terminal prompt enabled by default
    • Input Leap built in
    • Solaar - included for Logitech mouse
      management along with libratbagd
    • rclone and restic included
    • zsh and fish included (optional)
  • Built on top of the the Universal Blue main image
    • Extra udev rules for game controllers and other devices included out of the box
    • All multimedia codecs included
    • System designed for automatic staging of updates
      • If you’ve never used an image-based Linux before just use your computer normally
      • Don’t overthink it, just shut your computer off when you’re not using it

Applications

  • Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Extension Manager, DejaDup, FontDownloader, Flatseal, and the Celluloid Media Player.
  • Core GNOME Applications installed from Flathub:
    • GNOME Calculator, Calendar, Characters, Connections, Contacts, Evince, Firmware, Logs, Maps, NautilusPreviewer, TextEditor, Weather, baobab, clocks, eog, and font-viewer.

More Information

For Developers

And as always, keep giving us your feedback! Everyting in the documentation is wiki-enabled so if you see something that needs to be added, feel free to jump on in!

Caveats and Gotchas

Bluefin is a deinonychus, and may snap at you occasionally. Three year olds can get feisty of so there might be issues that you discover that we haven’t seen before. Filing issues is always appreciated.

  • Built in support for Framework laptops will arrive sometime this week. It will mostly work out of the box but setting the kargs and the little things haven’t quite landed yet.
  • Dual Booting on the same drive is not recommended by us or upstream Fedora. Use a second drive and use your system’s BIOS menu to boot into the other OS. For convenience we have a ujust bios command, this will reboot you into the system’s BIOS menu.
  • Support for older Nvidia firmware is “best effort” - we’ll try but sometimes it’s out of our hands
  • We prioritize gts issues (Currently Fedora 39) over latest issues (Currently Fedora 40).
  • Our support for zsh and fish is only partially complete, contributions here gladly accepted!
  • Rolling back releases may not work (38 → 39 → 38 works, 39 → 38 doesn’t)
  • Wayland doesn’t work when running under qemu-kvm (Ongoing troubleshooting and investigation)
  • We will remove kmods if they are blocking builds. (This is rare and shouldn’t happen, we are investigating a long term solution)
  • Initial setup of tailscale should be done with the CLI, after that the graphical extension works fine.
  • Downloads will continue to be image based and inefficient until container diffs are implemented upstream. Use ujust toggle-updates if you’re bandwidth starved.
  • (We’ll add major gotchas here over the next week or so)

Getting F40

For you advanced users check the the Administration Guide to rebase to F40, or you can substitute gts for latest in the ISO URL if you want to grab a latest ISO directly. Note that F40 is still new and will likely undergo churn over it’s initial release, which is why we recommend gts for most users.

Future Plans

Like the rest of Universal Blue we’re now confident that the cloud native desktop model is a generational leap over traditional Linux clients and ready to replace them for general desktop usage and container-focused development. Custom images can cover other use cases and we’re looking forward to seeing what you create!

Here’s what’s on our radar:

Yafti

If you’ve been around you might have noticed that the first run wizard is missing. This is the thing that let you choose apps, etc on first boot. It will be returning as a configuration app. We’ll announce when it’s ready! In the meantime ujust --choose in the CLI is what we’ve got, give it a whirl.

systemd-sysext

For 2024 we will be investigating integration with systemd system extensions to bring more extensible experiences to our setups while keeping the the image small and light. In practice this means we want to move to a world where you’re just on a stock Bluefin image, and turning on developer mode atomically bolts on all of the things that are currently in a dedicated bluefin-dx image. We also want to bring the containerized Bluefin CLI experience as a sysext as well.

Find out more about this stuff from this presentation by Andy Randall, who has been a fantastic mentor!

We consider this setup The Final Shape, and is the intended endstate for our design. But it’s not here quite yet, and don’t worry if it’s confusing, it’s quick moving tech and it’s a lot to handle. Enjoy Bluefin as is in the meantime.

And of course, you’ll find us at the integrating Fedora’s tech as fast as we can muster in the F40 and testing branches.

AI and Machine Learning

ujust ollama and ujust pytorch are just the start of our AI feature work. (Thanks @anold!) We’re looking for folks involved with OSS machine learning to give us feedback and pull requests. Since we include both Nvidia host drivers and ROCm, we feel we’re well aligned with Fedora’s 2028 Strategy, warm up those GPUs!

Other

Our focus will continue to be our build infrastructure. For 2024 we want to finish generating SBOMs for all of our images. We’ll also continue to participate in OpenSSF events and implement best practices as we learn them!

Sponsor

If Bluefin is useful to you feel free to send us a couple of bucks to chip in for our GitHub and Cloudflare bills:

Dedication

On a more personal note, I’d like to dedicate this release of Bluefin to Craig Maloney and Kris Nóva, who had an immeasurable impact on my open source journey and a source for inspiration when times got tough. You are missed. Rest easy, friends.

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14 Likes

Congratulations! I know a lot of work was needed to push this over the finish line!

The link is 404.

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My desktop just got updated automatically, neat. Congrats bluefinners.

4 Likes

Here’s a great video on system extensions:

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@j0rge ,
Hope you don’t mind I cited you in a post in LinkedIn:

The work you guys are doing is revolutionary!
Really.

2 Likes

Would saying “just like an iPad …” be a correct statement?