Stable Atomic Variants like Debian, CentOS Stream, Almalinux, RockyLinux

I would be very interested in more atomic distros, especially 2 that come to mind.

Atomic Debian/Almalinux/Ubuntu LTS

Debian is the king/queen of stability which may sometimes be needed. But an atomic model is also way more stable, which would be the perfect combo.

This combined with a good LTS kernel could deliver a nice experience.

Atomic Alpine

Alpine is the only OS (apart from PostmarketOS) that uses musl instead of glibc, so their entire repos are compiled against musl, which is a huge security benefit. glibc is full of vulnerabilities, which is the reason musl was made.


There are container images for Debian, Ubuntu, Alpine, Almalinux and more. All that is missing is the kernel, and adding necessary packages to run as a host OS.

Could this be done in a ublue repo using bluebuild? I think this has huge potential.

I guess it would still need a new package manager, which may need to be written for every distro.

Endless OS has been shipping an ostree Debian derivative for a long time now (predates ublue by quite a bit) :https://www.endlessos.org/

I can’t find the repos at the moment but all this stuff is landing in CentOS stream or will be, so those should be relatively straightforward.

Yeah this the same problem you’d have with making a Debian spin. There’s no deb-ostree or apk-ostree so in order to get the layering benefits and composability via dockerfiles someone would have to write these.

1 Like

While making any ostree image wouldnt be impossible and shouls be fairly easy. Specially if bootc started supporting other distros which is currently not a thing due to limitation of bootupd.

But making other ostree images shouldbt be complex but it requires specialized tooling(utill bootc is a thing you couldnt just do it wirh oci) and yes a package manager of some sort would need to be written(could be universal one that has support for all of them or one for each package manager already existing)

This a completely non-trivial amount of effort to do. A huge part of the reason that uBlue is able to do what they’re doing, is because Fedora already had the tooling in place, to be able to create uBlue’s offerings in the first place.

I don’t know the state of ostree support within Debian, but I suspect it would require a lot more developer effort to get that tooling in place.

1 Like

Take a look at Vanilla OS Orchid for immutable Debian

3 Likes

Gave EndlessOS a try.

  • their website is extremely weird, their downloads dont loat without enabling Wix Javascript and they embed Facebook trackers
  • they use GNOME 41.x instead of 43 which is worlds better
  • they theme GNOME in very strange ways that are not intuitive
  • the live test mode is broken

No idea what they are doing, but Debian 12 is on GNOME 43 since over half a year.

So I think VanillaOS will be a far better candidate. Last time I used their Distro it was kinda broken too though, lets see.

I also tried VanillaOS Orchid now, at least in virt-manager the “install” button didnt do anything…

I was wondering, we have so many RHEL clones or editions

  • Rockylinux, Almalinux, Oracle Linux
  • CentOS Stream (which is very likely better for Desktop usage)

They have available container images, which makes it even better. Slap on the latest LTS Kernel from their repo, build rpm-ostree on COPR for these distributions, and build an OCI image from that?

OCI images are natively supported in rpm-ostree. As a repo for layering RPM packages the normal repos of these projects could be used.

Is there anything I forgot? This seems like a pretty easy process!

rpm-ostree mentions the use of CentOS ⅙as a host, but the CentOS Atomic SIG seems to be inactive? Project Atomic is no longer existing and they recommend the Fedora based CentOS, unlike a more stable variant.

I wonder, could this be done with bluebuild? I dont know how the Github action works, is it a chroot of the actual pulled in image? Could this be done by adding kernel and rpm-ostree beforehand, and then following the regular steps?

None of them are publishing OCI containers with a kernel. But lots of this stuff is being pushed/merged into CentOS Stream so it’s only a matter of time. No idea on the details of when all that will land.

1 Like

Yes that is true for sure. I wonder how such an image could be combined with a kernel and other packages well. Because afaik from that point on, the bluebuild tools would work.

Waiting for upstream support is likely the best option, especially as official support is a key factor of such a distro.

CentOS Stream would be “very likely to be better for Desktop usage” than what, according to you ?