Introducing the Fedora Atomic Desktops Family: Atomically Updated Distributions

Fedora Project announced on unifying the naming of custom builds of the Fedora Linux distribution, which use an atomic update model and a monolithic system layout. Similar distribution options are separated into a separate family Fedora Atomic Desktopsthe assemblies in which will be named “Fedora desktop_name Atomic”.

At the same time, for already recognizable and long-existing atomic assemblies, it was decided to keep the old name, since they have already become recognizable brands. Eventually, Fedora Silverblue based on GNOME and Fedora Kinoite KDE-based ones will retain the same names. Atomically updated builds of Fedora CoreOS and Fedora IoT, not intended for workstations, will also continue to be distributed under the old names.


At the same time, relatively new assemblies Fedora Sericea And Fedora Onyx will be distributed under the new names Fedora Sway Atomic and Fedora Budgie Atomic. New names will also be assigned when new editions appear, such as Fedora Xfce Atomic (Fedora Vauxite project), Fedora Pantheon Atomic, Fedora COSMIC Atomic, etc. The change is expected to reduce confusion caused by giving atomic revisions arbitrary names that do not reflect the atomic nature of the build and the desktop being used.

Fedora atomic builds are delivered in the form of a monolithic image that is not separated into individual packages and is updated as a single unit by replacing the entire system image. The base environment is built from official Fedora RPMs using the rpm-ostree toolkit and mounted in read-only mode. To install and update additional applications, a system of self-contained flatpak packages is used, with which applications are separated from the main system and run in a separate container.

Meanwhile, Ubuntu developers changed plans for the atomically updated Ubuntu Core Desktop distribution, which is not ready in time for the spring LTS release of Ubuntu 24.04. Ubuntu Core Desktop is built on the Ubuntu Core platform and includes only applications packaged in the Snap format. The developers decided to take their time and not release a raw product. The approximate release date for the first version of Ubuntu Core Desktop has not been announced; it is only noted that the release will be completed after all existing shortcomings have been eliminated.

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