The Future of Fedora? How to Install Silverblue

We occasionally keep up with new Fedora releases but this past weekend I spent some time installing Fedora Silverblue on a very old rickety laptop.  Let’s just say that the results have been really impressive so far.  This old laptop runs with a core I3 processor with only 4G of RAM and a previous installation of Fedora 33 Workstation caused it to grind to a halt. Since installing Silverblue however, this craptop has been given a new lease on life. How is this possible?

The Silverblue project has been kicking around since 2018 and Silverblue is billed as an immutable operating system. What exactly is an immutable OS? In a nutshell, an immutable operating system will have root mounted read-only, and this brings a high level of security and stability to the OS. If you want to read more about other immutable operating systems, this article on Medium gives a nice overview and comparison between MicroOS, Nitrux and Silverblue.

The system itself uses atomic updates and is lightweight and robust, which allows you to (as I quote the Team Silverblue) “concentrate on your work and not on the operating system you’re running.”

Read more about the project:

Silverblue features

A few features that come out of the Silverblue box include:

GNOME version 3.36 – which includes a new Extensions management application as well as various bug fixes.
EarlyOOM – The Early Out of Memory Manager is enabled by default
A variety of Flatpak applications have been pre-installed.

How to install Fedora Silverblue

1. Download a Silverblue image:

From the Silverblue download page, you can choose your architecture between x86_64, aarch64 (ARM architecture) and ppc64le.

2. Create a bootable USB drive using Fedora Media Writer

On the Silverblue download page you’ll find the instructions on how to use the Fedora Media Writer in order to create a bootable USB drive.
Once the bootable USB drive has been created, reboot into the USB image and follow the instructions to install the OS. I went with a clean install and deleted all existing partitions and kept the default partitioning scheme for the Fedora Silverblue installation.

Post Silverblue Installation

Once Silverblue is installed, log in, and enjoy your freshly installed OS. You should now make sure everything is up to date.

Launch a terminal and run the following command, accept the upgrades, install and reboot:

rpm-ostree upgrade

Installing software on Fedora Silverblue

On Fedora Silverblue, Flatpak is installed as the package manager. You will have to enable Flathub however in order to be able to install packages from Flathub, or through the familiar Software Center in Fedora.

1. Install the Flathub Repository
Browse to the following link and download and install the Flathub Repository file.

Alternatively you can also simply run the following from the command line:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Once this is done you will be able to install apps from The idea behind using flatpaks instead of dnf is to keep OS changes and dependency management to a minimum. This results in a cleaner OS that is less prone to dependency/corruption issues.

Is Silverblue the future of Fedora? I don’t have a crystal ball but it certainly feels like the future of operating systems.



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