Call for testing: `stable` branch for Bluefin/Aurora

A Fedora CoreOS stable channel for your desktop?!

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This is currently beta

Greetings! Got some new options for you to play with today! But before we get into that let’s recap how Bluefin/Aurora publishes its versions. Right now we do the following, we publish versions of our images based on Fedora’s releases, currently this is:

latest → Fedora 40 (Always the current version of Fedora)
gts → Fedora 39 (Always Fedora -1)

You can inspect these for yourself using the skopeo tool, or just look them up on github. Additionally we add a date tag so you can conveniently rebase to a specific day:

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This lets users either pin to a specific version so you can gate when you’re moving to a new major release, or you can just stick to the out-of-the-box gts or latest tag and get that hands-off experience we’re striving for.

However, CoreOS does things differently, they don’t really do major versions, they do stable, testing, and next.

As you can see, CoreOS also follows Fedora’s versions, but they do something really neat that we’ve wanted for the desktop. They gate their kernel releases and instead publish it on a biweekly basis. So this is effectively the latest version of Fedora, but with a slower cadenced kernel. This appeals to some of us as it’s an extra quality gate, and it effectively hands the throttle settings to the CoreOS team. So now it looks like this:

latest → Fedora 40 (Always the current version of Fedora)
stable → Fedora CoreOS (2 weeks behind latest, give or take)
gts → Fedora 39 (Always Fedora -1)

Note that you’re not running a different kernel, just the same one you had a few weeks ago.

Use Case

The obvious one is for people who want to follow the latest Fedora release but don’t want to go first, but still want a fresh GNOME/KDE :smile:

We may also move this channel to a weekly publishing cadence, but that’ll depend on how it feels to drive in practice (and that’s where we need the feedback)

Note that Surface and Asus images won’t be provided for these, we wanna keep you on those projects’ specific kernels.

Special Thanks

@m2Giles worked on this over the course of the past few days, hope you enjoy!

Trying it

You’ll likely want to pin your existing image with sudo ostree admin pin 0, check the docs for more info.

Rebase instructions are in the admin guide but the tldr is:

rpm-ostree rebase ostree-image-signed:docker://ghcr.io/ublue-os/bluefin:stable

Adjust to whatever image you’re on, which you can get by running an rpm-ostree status.

When you reboot you’ll be on the older kernel:

Future Work

So why do this at all? If you’ve been following along this entire time you may have noticed that we’re fans of continuous integration.

We think it’s a good thought exercise to see what Fedora/Kinoite built on a CoreOS model would look like. It sounds good on paper, but you never know until you see how it drives on the track. So if you like the leading edge but want it backed up just a tad, kick the tyres and let us know!

Companion Video

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I like the idea and I’ll probably use stable on my work machine.

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Rebasing my laptop now. Honestly I don’t mind the kernel being behind a little bit. I don’t want an older lts kernel but I don’t need to be on bleeding edge either. Something that is middle-tier, get the more recent software with maybe a new kernel every few months or so. If I have a need to go newer, I’ll swap to latest.

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Very cool, I’ll rebase my FW 13. I’ll be curious to see how my AMD 7040 chip likes the older kernel. I had been running 6.5 before switching over to Bluefin so I’m sure I’ll be fine.

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Rebasing my Bluefin laptop, very cool idea. It’s an older XPS 13 9343, so an older kernel is no issue and just a little more peace of mind.

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But just to clarity, its using an “older” kernel for two weeks?

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If I understand correctly, it sounds like:

  • the latest label always has the newest Fedora kernel with the latest (currently F40) userspace packages
  • the gts label always has the newest Fedora kernel with the latest - 1 (currently F39) userspace packages
  • the stable label has the CoreOS-gated kernel with the latest userspace packages.

If we want the CoreOS-gated kernel with the latest - 1 userspace packages, should we be using the gts-testing-coreos label in bluefin-dx versions · ublue-os · GitHub? Or is that label for something else?

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You got it!

We’re hoping to bring the coreos-gated kernel to gts (Fedora -1) after we get some revs on this, it currently doesn’t exist but I think it makes a bunch of sense and fits with the vibe.

That label was a one off test one, don’t use that one.

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Just want to say +1 to the idea of a weekly update cadence instead of daily. That’s how I run my system just to give me some buffer. Honestly I think I would be fine with a biweekly or monthly cadence as well. ChromeOS has a monthly cadence so I don’t think we should be afraid of that.

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rebased on FW13 AMD
Looking forward to using it! Looks like a nice middle ground for normal everyday use!

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In progress here: feat: GTS use coreos matched kernel by m2Giles · Pull Request #1456 · ublue-os/bluefin · GitHub

:smile:

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Does the “stable” base receives less updates, or the amount of updates is the same, just delayed ~2 weeks?

Everything is the same, just delayed. But we’ll be going weekly, so the kernel might be delayed version wise but you’ll still get other updates, you won’t go a full 2 weeks without updates.

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Since we’ve done a bunch of streamlining in the github workflows and are in here anyway we’re going to move gts to a weekly build cadence as well sometime this week. We’ll also be moving gts to the same gated kernel since it’s effectively a kernel pin so not a huge change, more of a philosophical one.

And since Nvidia 555 drivers are now in we’ll just do a rollup release and separate announcement.

It’s coming up on a holiday weekend in the US so a bit of a handwavy estimate on that. Thanks everyone!

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I really like the three choices presented. Latest updates too frequently for me personally, so moving to stable is great. I would definitely put friends and family on gts.

I hope Bazzite can offer an update channel that is on a weekly update cadence instead of a daily update, but I am glad bluefin and aurora offer that now.

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