Immutable File Systems | Linux Out Loud 65

This week, Linux Out Loud chats about yay or nay for immutable file systems.

Welcome to episode 65 of Linux Out Loud. We fired up our mics, connected those headphones as we searched the community for themes to expound upon. We kept the banter friendly, the conversation somewhat on topic, and had fun doing it.

00:00:00 Introduction
00:03:27 Graphics Tablets
00:11:51 Framework Laptop
00:16:15 Torx Screws
00:22:37 Immutable File Systems
00:46:55 3D Printer Update
00:54:13 Solar Down
00:57:33 Game of the Week
01:04:21 Close

Main Topic



  • Game of the Week- Nile

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Contact info
Matt (Twitter @MattTDN)
Wendy (Mastodon @WendyDLN)
Nate (Website


Great episode (again!). This immutable stuff will get you a lot of remarks :rofl: My two cents: they are a great concept, super for developers (install tons of DE’s in distroboxes and your personal environment stays very clean. I tried a lot of them (Kinoite, MicroOS, Silver blue etc). Also great for mass deployment or inexperienced users. But I think for now containerized applications will have a much bigger impact on Linux (if they solve some of the mentioned issues of course). How about the distro underneath becoming irrelevant? I just need a platform to run the latest applications on, in Flatpak. And a DE, for me KDE. Whether that’s Debian, Suse or Arch is for personal choice, but basically wayyyy less relevant now. Keep on tuxing!

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This time on @mattdln’s CLI corner, he’s back into the terminal with nile!

Peering into the mind of our digital pharaoh we learn about nile. A Linux native Amazon Games client for managing and playing games from Amazon:

Trust Matt to know about a terminal application that esoteric!


^ Rumored to be a screenshot of Matt’s desktop, Dwarven Fortress livestream confirmed!?!?

Stay tuned for more CLI tips from the ASCII king himself… and remember! You can’t spell CLI without avoiding every letter in Matt.

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Hey Guys, The immutable OS segment on 162 was great. I especially liked hearing about Btrfs. More and more I’m thinking of Btrfs as the ‘poor man’s immutable OS’. If someone can be disciplined and take regular snapshots before and after all OS updates and app installs, then they have a kind of immutable OS. I recently found an easy way to work with Btrfs snapshots on Fedora so I may switch soon. Thanks for all the great content! Luv ya! :slightly_smiling_face:

With a song like ‘Whiskey and Vim’ playing in the background, we can expect anything happening :rofl:


Um so many levels of NO to the Dwarven Fortress livestream, and the only way my desktop EVER looks like that is if I am jokingly using eDEX-UI.

cat << 'show_matt_apprecation'
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
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Fwiw: distros like Garuda (I think all DE’s), OpenSuse Tumbleweed and Siduction have automatic snapshotting with Snapper on btrfs enabled out of the box. Works great.

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Cool. Great tip. From what little I’ve heard, those distros are not really for newbies like me. I’ve heard they have various issues that are easy for skilled people to handle, but more difficult for newbies. Even Fedora 38 makes me nervous cuz I tried Fedora 34 before switching to Ubuntu. Fedora 34 was an endless stream of technical problems that were beyond my skills. I switched to Ubuntu and it was much better. I may switch to Fedora 39 when it comes out and I pray it isn’t the nightmare :scream: that Fedora 34 was.

I see your point. Garuda used to have some rough edges, but I haven’t used it enough to give a fair opinion. The last version I used recently was a Gnome try-out and it worked very well. I was super surprised by the polish, tools available and of course everything works out of the box. But it is Arch, so things might break. I have used Tumbleweed extensively, it is one of my all time favorites, but just like with Fedora, you still need to add codecs et al manually afterwards. Most people do very relaxed about it, but for a ‘starter’ it is incomprehensible and perhaps also a bit difficult. Aside from that Fedora has become very reliable, with great support and I am sure it is a good balance between the latest and the stable stuff. I’ve used the KDE spin and Cinnamon, both were stock and straight and gave me no issues whatsoever. Right now I use Siduction (Debian SID with KDE, but very stable so far) and I have just made my own version of Kinoite, the immutable KDE of Fedora. But hey, I’m a self-proclaimed geek every now and then. Feel free to ask whatever you’d like to know and most of all, have fun doing what you do. BTW: Kubuntu 23.04 is excellent as well!

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Thanks for the great info. :slightly_smiling_face: See quote above. Could elaborate on this? I’m a newb so I don’t understand what “manually adding codecs” means. Do you mean I have to manually add all the required Fedora audio and video codecs? You mean that I have to manually add codecs before Fedora can play audio and video files?

Does “manually adding codecs” in Fedora require a bunch of CLI commands? Can it be done with a GUI app?

Also, can I ask what you mean by “et al”? You mean other Fedora required items that require high tech skills and CLI commands to install? Could you give examples?

If Fedora 39 requires a lot of high level CLI skills to make it usable and maintain it, then I’ll definitely not use it.

Thanks for your help! :slightly_smiling_face:

PS: I only use Gnome for my DE, nothing else.

You will only have to add those that are proprietary, they are excluded bcs of the open source nature of Fedora. So sometimes a certain audio or video file might not play. My current easy solution: go to the Gnome software store (is pre-installed) and install VLC or MPV from there; it will automatically install the required codecs. So yes, can do with a GUI and isn’t that hard to do. Et al for me would mean the latest versions of software (if we even need that…) but that is less an issue with Fedora, the software in their repo’s is very much up to date. If you used Debian it would be a possible issue. Example: Gnome itself: with Fedora you have the absolute latest version (i think 44.2?); in Debian 12 that just landed it is still Gnome version 43. Since the days of 34 that you last used Fedora has come an incredible long way; I have used quite a lot of 37 and 38 and it doesn’t need any high level CLI skills. But let me ask you: why would you move away from Ubuntu? Their Gnome seems pretty good to me? And did you ever try PopOS? That’s Gnome, based on Ubuntu, and I hear many many good things about it. Why move back to Fedora? Just curiosity :wink:

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Good question. I’m becoming more and more interested in using the power of Btrfs snapshots. Ubuntu can be set up for Btrfs but it takes lots of terminal commands. I’m a noob so that’s not an option for me.

I’ve looked at different distros and discovered that @Peppe is indeed right! Tumbleweed has all the Btrfs snapshot tools and features built right in. I installed Tumbleweed into a VM, tested it, and all the Btrfs snapshot management features work great and are built in.

Tumbleweed was the only distro I found that has GUI snapshot tools and automatically saves snapshots to the GRUB menu.

I’ll be switching to Tumbleweed. I really like Ubuntu, but using Btrfs snapshots with easy GUI tools is a higher priority for me.

And Gnome looks great on Tumbleweed.

Great choice. Love the Tumblinweeds! And Suse is really solid. W/r to Gnome: last year they were even ahead of Arch/Fedora in updating to the latest, so they are very much on top of it. Have fun!

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