More Different: Embracing SilverBlue

I started using computers when my dad got one for the family some Christmas in the 90’s. It had Windows 3.11, I remember the second 1 being a big deal for some reason.

I quickly learned that clicking did things, and soon I was clicking on computers at my dad’s John Deere dealership trying to fix problems as they came up. I never was an expert, these were the days before internet and I had no one to tell me what to look for, I just pushed buttons until something worked.

I took computers seriously after my first year of Bible college. It was 2003 and I bought myself an iMac G4. It was a beautiful computer. I have worked in web design and IT since 2006 and was a loyal Mac user until 2016. At which point it had become clear that Apple only cared about their mobile platforms and their mobile platforms were a long ways from replacing MacOS.

It was also then that Windows 10 and the Windows Subsystem for Linux became the new hotness. And, I wanted to play PC games. I switched to Windows.

But now Microsoft is making you attach a Microsoft account to even your pro-licensed Windows 11 install and my faith in big tech is in the gutter. I don’t want more online accounts, I don’t want more telemetry. So I made a clone of my laptops hard-disk, made an install USB of Fedora SilverBlue 36 and proceeded to wipe the drive.

I have no regrets: SilverBlue has an immutable filesystem just like ChromeOS, MacOS since Catalina and the new SteamOS 3.0. This called to me. It’s harder for me as a user to screw up an immutable install. It’s also harder for malware to penetrate the system; they don’t have access.

My experience is that Fedora 36 Linux is pretty much ready for the masses. When you boot there is a web browser (Firefox), App Store (Gnome Software), Settings app, and a file browser/desktop environment that is familiar and capable.

My laptop is the FrameWork DIY and everything worked out of the box. Including the fingerprint reader.

I have some nitpicks, but time has shown me that there is nothing so perfect it can’t be improved upon. Gnome, the default desktop environment, has a window management that is superior to what MacOS has to offer, but is more limited than what windows offers in terms of tiling.The file browser doesn’t have a preview pane, and the column options are far less robust than what Windows has to offer. The settings app settings that are available by default are pretty limited. And well, you can’t just download apps off the internet the same way you can with MacOS and Windows, beginners are going to be limited to what they can find in the software app.

None-the-less, if you email files through gmail in your web browser and listen to music on spotify, maybe occasionally mark up a pdf and print stuff. I really do think SilverBlue could be for you.

I feel personally gratified to be using an open-source operating system on a 10/10 repairable laptop that should last me a long, long time.


The customization I ran on my laptop to increase the list of available software, get my old wifi card working and add my favorite app, 1Password.

# Install 1password and gnome tweaks
$ sudo rpm-ostree install gnome-tweaks

# Wifi card
$ sudo rpm-ostree install$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
sudo rpm-ostree install$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
$ systemctl reboot
$ sudo rpm-ostree install broadcom-wl

# An Ubuntu Container
$ toolbox create -i

# Making my capslock a control key
$ dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/input-sources/xkb-options "['caps:ctrl_modifier']"

# Adding more software repositories
$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists fedora oci+
$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub
$ flatpak update
$ flatpak update --appstream

By Jaime

Happily married and proud father, most often found in Málaga, Spain.