Fedora Atomic Desktops, the new family of immutable Fedora spins

Fedora Atomic Desktops

Just today We talked of an immutable system, the Ubuntu Core Desktop, to confirm that it will not arrive this April and may not arrive during 2024. For its part, Fedora has announced Fedora Atomic Desktops, a new family of turned which aims to take advantage of the momentum of Silverblue to offer a group of immutable options for the popular Linux distribution. On social networks, like Mastodon, they use the word "newish", which is nothing more than another way of saying that it is new... more or less.

The basis of the story or the main actor is Silverblue. In recent months he has gained popularity, and because of this other turned have gone a step ahead and offered a version that implements rpm-ostree. According to explain, it has reached a point where it is difficult to talk about them at the same time. Therefore, the decision was easy: create a new brand that will serve to talk about the topic and the future turned «Atomic».

Fedora Atomic Desktops includes old acquaintances

The project Atomic started 10 years ago, but it was not until 2018 that Fedora Atomic Workstation was released, a desktop client implementation that later became Silverblue. In 2021 Kinoite arrived, and more recently Sericea and Onyx. The Fedora Atomic Spins catalog would look like this:

  • Fedora Silverblue.
  • Fedora Kinoite.
  • Fedora Sway Atomic (what was Fedora Sericea).
  • Fedora Budgie Atomic (what was Fedora Onyx).

The reason for having created a brand is because more are expected to join turned to the list. Currently there are 4 more that do not yet have an Atomic variant, among which Vauxite with Xfce stands out. They also hope that others with Pantheon (elementary OS desktop) or COSMIC (from Pop!_OS) will enter the family.

It's good to have a brand to facilitate conversations; Without it, it is difficult to refer to something specific. On the other hand, you gain in precision:

«Third, this nice branding term is also a more precise way of talking about how rpm-ostree works. Fedora's atomic spins are not really immutable. There are ways to avoid the read-only aspects of the implementation although it is much more difficult. The nature of the operating system, where updates are only deployed when successfully built and can be rolled back or rebased between host mainframes, is better described by atomicity than by immutability. Atomic is also how many of the contributors working at rpm-ostree prefer to talk about it. Rebranding provides an opportunity to change the language surrounding this technology«.

The most popular spins keep their name

The Atomic brand will accompany the new things that arrive, but Silverblue and Kinoite keep their name. It wouldn't make much sense to change it to something that is already recognizable, and doing so would only create confusion. Can you imagine that they change it and someone finds this article or one of the many videos on the internet? The case of Onyx and Sericea is different. They are much newer options and there won't be as much confusion.

In the future, the new turned Atomic will be named Fedora “DE-name Atomic”, and to give a few examples, Fedora Deepin Atomic or Fedora Cinnamon Atomic could arrive at some point in the not too distant future.

What is an rpm-ostree system

On an rpm-ostree system such as those in the Fedora Atomic Desktops family, the root file system is composed of Immutable file trees generated from RPM packages. These file trees are read-only and can be updated atomically by applying a new tree. This allows for consistent and reversible system updates, which is useful for production and container environments. In other words, an important part of his philosophy is immutability.

Of course these turned will coexist with normal versions, that is, those that manage the software with RPM. The most recent is Fedora 39 and it arrived last November.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: AB Internet Networks 2008 SL
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.