How to rebase to Fedora 30 Beta on Silverblue

Silverblue is an operating system for your desktop built on Fedora. It’s excellent for daily use, development, and container-based workflows. It offers numerous advantages such as being able to roll back in case of any problems. If you want to test Fedora 30 on your Silverblue system, this article tells you how. It not only shows you what to do, but also how to revert back if anything unforeseen happens.

Switching to Fedora 30 branch

Switching to Fedora 30 on Silverblue is easy. First, check if the 30 branch is available, which should be true now:

ostree remote refs fedora-workstation

You should see the following in the output:

fedora-workstation:fedora/30/x86_64/silverblue

Next, import the GPG key for the Fedora 30 branch. Without this step, you won’t be able to rebase.

sudo ostree remote gpg-import fedora-workstation -k /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-30-primary

Next, rebase your system to the Fedora 30 branch.

rpm-ostree rebase fedora-workstation:fedora/30/x86_64/silverblue

Finally, the last thing to do is restart your computer and boot to Fedora 30.

How to revert things back

Remember that Fedora 30’s still in beta testing phase, so there could still be some issues. If anything bad happens — for instance, if you can’t boot to Fedora 30 at all — it’s easy to go back. Just pick the previous entry in GRUB, and your system will start in its previous state before switching to Fedora 30. To make this change permanent, use the following command:

rpm-ostree rollback

That’s it. Now you know how to rebase to Fedora 30 and back. So why not test it today? 🙂

Fedora Project community

23 Comments

  1. Leslie Satenstein

    Please provide some more information about silverblue and the beneficial reason for switching to it.

    I I’m very satisfied with Fedora 30 and earlier versions. Fedora software for me always work(ed) reliably and efficiently.

    Currently with the beta version of Fedora 30, I have coexisting with KDE, the gonome 3.32 and the up-and-coming deepin interfaces.
    Will I be able to do the same with silverblue?

    • Information about Silverblue is provided in the first paragraph and first link. I can also recommend this official page of Team Silverblue – https://silverblue.fedoraproject.org/

      The KDE is not available on Silverblue now, it’s possible that it could be layered, but I’m not sure. In the future there will probably be ostree image of Silverblue containing KDE.

    • Stephen

      I use Silverblue, and have since F28. One of the benefits I would say is in the upgrade of your OS. Since this is an immutable OS based on ostree it provides for a better upgrade experience and has consistently since I started using it. I’ll give you a personal example from today even, a friend of mine who is a Fedora user as well, mentioned how painless the upgrade was and the added comfort of being able to select the previous commit if something goes wrong as a clear benefit of Silverblue over the traditional workstation.
      You can install Deepin and Pantheon as well as awesome, i3, sway, openbox and more. I was playing with Deepin this morning in fact.
      Silverblue uses flatpaks as it’s main source of user applications. For more flexibility, you can also layer packages like you would install with dnf but using

      rpm-ostree install

      instead. If you want more discussion on Silverblue, come over to the fedora discussion site https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/top.

  2. lnxdork

    I have silverblue from Fedora 29, and had to run:
    ostree remote refs fedora-29
    and
    rpm-ostree rebase fedora-29:fedora/30/x86_64/silverblue

  3. Leslie Satenstein

    Hi Michal
    Is there a two column presentation where one column contains SilverBlue as the distro, and the other column, the current Fedora version?
    Then, we can see the pros and cons of switching.

    My internet search “what is fedora silverblue” directed me to installing descriptions, but not offered the “why and benefit” reasoning. Is it purely a “container oriented” Fedora release? If SB is that great, why not transition Fedora to it for Fedora 31.

    Here is where I use my imagination to mention the following:
    Newer desktop computer systems have between 6 to 8 cores and lots of ram.
    Other desktop systems for graphical design or bitcoin are with 16 or more cores.
    My own desktop system is one with 8 cores and 16 threads.

    Is SB a design where parallelism is introduced to reduce processing time?

    ==============
    You may edit my message to remove this text or correct incorrect assumptions or negativity. You are invited to email me directly or to email me with some links to where I can better inform myself about the pros-and-cons.

    • Along with the discussion forum I mention above, there is also info on Project Atomic that is the pre-cursor to Silverblue.

    • I don’t think there is any table like this, but here is something from me:
      +———————-+—————+—————+
      | | Silverblue | Workstation |
      +———————-+—————+—————+
      | Easy rollback | Yes | No |
      +———————-+—————+—————+
      | Atomic updates | Yes | No |
      +———————-+—————+—————+
      | Install manager | rpm-ostree | dnf |
      +———————-+—————+—————+
      | Read-only filesystem | Yes, except | No |
      | | /var and /etc | |
      +———————-+—————+—————+
      | Need restart | Yes | No |
      | after update | | |
      +———————-+—————+—————+

      Note: The table looked better with monospaced font.

      But to summary this, the Silverblue is aimed on users that want to use their system as cattle, easily disposable desktop system.

      I myself look at it as system for regular users without much computer experience. I hope that Silverblue will become something more attuned to basic user, who doesn’t want to work with terminal and want to only use GUI.
      It has potential to attract many users who want to try Linux, but want painless switch from their current heavy GUI based OS. There isn’t much distributions that can currently satisfy this need. I can only think of two from top of my head: Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) and Endless OS (similar to Silverblue).

      To answer your questions:
      Is it purely a “container oriented” Fedora release?
      It uses containers a lot (for desktop applications Flatpaks, for basic work it is recommended to use podman and buildah), but it’s not really a pure container oriented Fedora release.

      Why not transition to it for Fedora 31?
      The Silverblue is still experimental concept. It is possible to use it for everyday work (I’m doing this for few months now), but still the concept is experimental. Not everyone wants system, that has read-only filesystem and the system is released as whole image, which needs restart to be switched to. So the Fedora Workstation will stay, because it has different use cases than Silverblue.

      Is SB a design where parallelism is introduced to reduce processing time?
      This is not what the SB is aiming for, it is just a different concept of how to work with a system.

  4. Andreas WERNER

    No prerequisites? No precautions? No preparations?

    Here
    https://medium.com/@alex285/fedora-silverblue-29-rebase-to-rawhide-f30-184d2d49364d
    it is said to pay attention to 3rd-party repos.

    I have installed a lot of layered packages and some local packages.

    Command “rpm-ostree rebase fedora-workstation:fedora/30/x86_64/silverblue”
    throws:
    ……………………………………
    Checking out tree 8c32949… done
    Inactive requests:
    fedora-toolbox (already provided by toolbox-0.0.7-1.fc30.noarch)
    Enabled rpm-md repositories: updates rpmfusion-free-updates rpmfusion-nonfree-updates rpmfusion-nonfree fedora rpmfusion-free
    Updating metadata for ‘updates’… done
    rpm-md repo ‘updates’; generated: 2018-02-20T19:18:14Z
    Updating metadata for ‘rpmfusion-free-updates’… done
    error: cannot update repo ‘rpmfusion-free-updates’: Cannot prepare internal mirrorlist: file “repomd.xml” was not found in metalink

    What to do? How to uninstall RPM Fusion repos?

    Rgds
    AW

    • RPM Fusion doesn’t have Fedora 30 repositories yet. To overcome this you could either disable them in /etc/yum.repos.d/ and set enabled to 0.

      Or if you layered them using RPM packages from RPM Fusion site, you could simply do

      rpm-ostree uninstall

      .

    • GoodMirek

      Indeed RPM Fusion repos are currently an issue. I had to uninstall the package chromium-libs-media-freeworld, only then upgrade from FC29 to FC30 passed.

      sudo rpm-ostree uninstall chromium-libs-media-freeworld

      I was able to reinstall the package from RPM Fusion rawhide, which at the moment identifies itself as FC30. No idea what will happen once FC30 is branched from rawhide and rawhide itself will start identifying itself as FC31.

  5. Thank you for this information.

    The problem with SilverBlue now is.

    1-The documents are incomplete.
    2-Problems with dual boot.

  6. Where can I get the documentation for creating a rpm-ostree base image? Do I have to set up a dedicated server for that?

  7. Leslie Satenstein

    Thank you all.

    I am convinced. (grin)

    I am preparing my system to install SilverBlue along side Fedora 30 (F30 on /dev/sda, SB on /dev/sde)

    I have 6 disks on my computer. F29, F30 Centos 7, [up and coming SB]] OpenSusee, Manjaro

    F29 will disappear, overwritten wth the Official F30 release, (applications will shift left).

    There are reasons for one of each kind of Distro. I write C and I want to do some development with different versions of C compilers (gcc and clang).

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