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My immutable Fedora

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Red Hat

For many years now, I’ve been using immutable versions of Fedora. I remember that I started to play with immutable Fedora back in 2015 when Fedora Atomic was new. I liked the idea since the first time I’ve read about it, but in the beginning, I did not spend too much time making it work on my setup because it seemed a little bit too complex. At DevConf.cz 2016, I met Patrick Uiterwijk, who was running his spin of Fedora Atomic. We had a long chat on it, and he explained to me his workflow. Soon after, I started to use an immutable version of Fedora on my personal laptop, but I was not daring to use it on my work laptop. When I left Red Hat at the end of 2017, my personal laptop became my only laptop for a little while, and the immutable Fedora became my only OS. Since then, I’ve been using only immutable Fedora on my computers. In June 2020, I took the time to clean up my build process and files, and I moved all the needed bits to a new git repo that is now openly available and can be found here .

If you are wondering what’s an immutable OS and why it’s different from a “mutable” (or “standard”) OS, the short version of it is that with an immutable OS, when the OS is running, the OS filesystem is in read-only mode. Therefore no application can change the OS or the installed applications. This aspect has many implications, one of which is that you can not upgrade or alter the installed software, but you need to “re-install” the whole OS while the OS is not running. This feature can seem more a problem than a feature, but as we will see, it’s not, and actually, it does bring a lot of advantages.

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