Get Involved with Fedora Bootable Containers

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

For quite a while now, we’ve had image-based Fedora Linux variants—starting with Fedora Atomic Host and Atomic Desktop. The original variants evolved into Fedora CoreOS, Fedora IoT, a whole family of Fedora Atomic Desktops, and the awesome Universal Blue project. Bootable containers make it much simpler to create and collaborate on image-based Fedora systems. Here’s how you can get involved.

If you’ve used one of these image-based Fedora systems, you know how easy they are to update, upgrade, or, if things aren’t working quite right, to roll back. However, creating your own custom image-based Fedora system has always been a bit tricky, requiring special tools, processes and infrastructure.

Over the past couple of years, the tools and methods available for building image-based systems in Fedora have evolved. They now natively support OCI/Docker containers as a transport and delivery mechanism for operating system content. 

With these changes, and the introduction of bootc, we now have the tools to build image-based systems using ordinary Containerfiles and regular OCI-container build tools. We also have the infrastructure to define, build, deploy and manage Linux systems. 

For instance, the Fedora IoT WG has plans to deliver two bootc containers for Fedora IoT users. There is a cut down minimal version for users to use as a base to build their own vision of Fedora IoT. There is also a second image to deliver the traditional Fedora IoT user experience.

Taking the Initiative

We have a great opportunity to enhance collaboration among image-based Fedora variants, and to empower other projects and individual users to create their own Fedora-based derivatives by working together on bootable container technologies

That’s why I’m excited to announce that we’ve proposed a new Fedora Community Initiative to seize this opportunity. This initiative aims to bring together the Fedora working groups that build and promote image-based Fedora variants.

The contributors working on the proposed initiative will:

  • Identify opportunities to share base images
  • Identify and work through Fedora Infra issues
  • Document use of bootable container tools and processes
  • Promote the use of Fedora bootable containers with blog and mailing list posts, social media, and coordination with Fedora Marketing Team
  • Reach out to projects outside of Fedora proper that might want to collaborate

Check out the initiative wiki page for more information. You can learn who to reach out to if you’d like to get involved in the effort, in the context of one of the Fedora variants. You can also join the discussion on Fedora’s matrix instance in the fedora-bootc room, or on Fedora discussion by following or posting with the bootc-initiative tag. Finally, check out this doc page to kick the tires on Fedora bootc for yourself.

Fedora Project community


  1. zirm

    it would be fantastic if we could install fedora on any tablet/smartphone to end android/ios monopoly!

    • Didek

      Containers are on top of the Linux still, so phone needs to be supported in the mainline Linux kernel or be close for support.

    • nickname

      I would love this solely to have a phone that doesn’t have an expiration date until the hardware dies.

      • chris

        Until hardware dies (involuntary sniff/sigh re 3G!) is ~tenet of FairPhone (incl. via Murena /e/OS) and Purism communities, and DivestOS FWIW;HTH.

    • Yes! I have been thinking along the same lines for over a decade. At time of writing, you can purchase a premium tablet for over a thousand pounds GBP or dollars US and find no easy way to run an alternative OS where everything works as with the case with a laptop.

      • chris

        Not sure if more mainlining or web-USB guide+installer (like GrapheneOS) will easily resolve quirks, but presuming there’s plenty of secondhand (including ex-corporate) Microsoft Surface devices esp as people miss bypass to install Win11, sub-reddit r/SurfaceLinux suggests a decent Linux tablet needn’t be far away. (Not to ignore StarLite and potentially Juno’s ~OEM ones, though upcycling is important to get closer to sustainability.) Best wishes

    • chris

      Fedora can be run in androids already without OCIs (which might require modifying the android kernel, and that, like running a custom ROM or foresaking the android app universe, is not something many of those billions of users will try, even if a tooling were possible for building Generic System Images to flash android devices, probably even if we offer the pocket computer/D[esktop]eX[erience] like MaruOS did and UBports etc do).
      So perhaps what you need to motivate usage for freedom on phones and to contest android’s dominance (of both linux and smartphones users) is to offer Fedora as ~a privacy app where people run FOSS unofficial social media clients (like those in F-droid) that cannot raid your android accounts, contacts, identifiers, phone info etc. (Interacting with android notification management could be important.) Let’s hope something similar might have been pitched for Flock [to Fedora conference]!

  2. Moan

    Taking this opportunity to ask here what is the reason that video sites don’t work with Fedora? I’m usually a Pop!_OS user and been for years but i tried Fedora and i could not make any sense for example from Twitch error code.

    I know that on other Linuxes the videos do work for these streaming sites.

    • From Fedora Project -> Mission and Foundations:

      Advancing software and content freedom is a central community goal, which we accomplish through the software and content we promote. We choose free alternatives to proprietary code and content and limit the effects of proprietary or patent encumbered code on the Project.

      From -> Get the Facts Here:

      Big Media describe DRM as Digital Rights Management. However, since its purpose is to restrict you the user, it is more accurate to describe DRM as Digital Restrictions Management. DRM Technology can restricts users’ access to movies, music, literature and software, indeed all forms of digital data. Unfree software implementing DRM technology is simply a prison in which users can be put to deprive them of the rights that the law would otherwise allow them.

      What does this mean for the future? No fair use. No purchase and resell. No private copies. No sharing. No backup. No swapping. No mix tapes. No privacy. No commons. No control over our computers. No control over our electronic devices. The conversion of our homes into apparatus to monitor our interaction with published works and web sites.

      If this type of invasion of privacy were coming from any other source, it would not be tolerated. That it is the media and technology companies leading the way, does not make it benign.

      Users of free software are not immune to DRM either. They can be locked out, and their computers won’t play the movies or music under lock. Products can “tivoize” their code (remove their freedom through DRM), delivering it back with malicious features and blocking removal. The RIAA and the MPAA are actively lobbying Congress to pass new laws to mandate DRM and outlaw products and computers that don’t enforce DRM. DRM has become a major threat to the freedom of computer users.

      When we allow others to control our computers and monitor our actions we invite deeper surveillance. With our personal viewing, listening, reading, browsing records on file, are we not to be alarmed?

      • Moan

        ??? a huge wall of text? What i could kinda pick is that possibly some sites are not free and their video services are blocked? Twitch, Kick and so on? Using free Fedora? YouTube did work though so what’s up with that?

        • Yes, you understood correctly, some sites do not use “free” codecs when distributing their media. I think YouTube supports multiple codecs and it will choose a free codec (VP9) when possible:

          You can install the non-free codecs on Fedora Linux so that DRM content will play (typically via rpmfusion), but those codecs are not installed by default for essentially ideological reasons.

      • Richard

        Agree completely.

        The surveillance state and its mentality must be rolled back completely.

        This is happening across the West as a means to control and suprress free communication and ideas. Its got to stop. They are pushing age verification on everything too as a means to do this.

        We NEED more privacy and anonymity. Not less. Anyone’s legal activities is nobody else’s business, especially the state.

        I use Linux and Fedora for exactly these reasons– more choice, more privacy, more security options.

        Keep pushing on these fronts

  3. ArgentumIpsum

    I hope more of the atomic variants will make container images that are slightly stripped down bases for customization. Images like the uBlue ones that come preconfigured for a particular use-case are super convenient especially for newer linux users. Ooh, they’d be great for making atomic variants of the Labs too!

  4. ETrUSCANdigitalnomad

    I discovered the interesting Fedora based AuroraOS with optional drivers nVidia and Asus. … May be possible to read an article on your next issue of these FedoraMagazine news?

  5. RG

    That is good to hear…. I see now that is using these bootc containers. I had to build an image lately and I discover a lot of changes. There were some tools like mkkisso and lorax that no longer work, libvirt has some modular changes. Virt-builder with bash scripts is simple enough for me but I cannot fully automate for cloud nested virtualization, there is always an error. Virt-install with anaconda’s kickstart files seems like the direction into which everything is moving but kickstarts come with their own complexity. Good to know about boot containers but are they simpler… will see…

    • tmoney

      Actually, look at RHEL/Fedora’s image builder which uses as the backend engine. That is the direction we are going for traditional package mode builds rather than virt-install + kickstart.

      For image mode builds, podman and a container native build workflow is using bootc for the container builds, then calls on bootc-image-builder to turn that container build into the various image types (qcow, vmdk/ova, ami, and similar).

Leave a Reply

The interval between posting a comment and its appearance will be irregular so please DO NOT resend the same post repeatedly. All comments are moderated but this site is not monitored continuously so comments will not appear as soon as posted.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The opinions expressed on this website are those of each author, not of the author's employer or of Red Hat. Fedora Magazine aspires to publish all content under a Creative Commons license but may not be able to do so in all cases. You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary permission to reuse any work on this site. The Fedora logo is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc. Terms and Conditions