I wanted to continue discussion from the Debian in dom0 and Alt RPM Distro (CentOS, RHEL, Suse, Oracle Linux) in dom0 tickets. To keep discussion on track, this thread is to discuss RPM based distros only.
The short Fedora release cycle is a drag on development, but sticking to a Red Hat adjacent distro has many benefits:
- A lot less work than switching to Debian or Nix.
- Efficiency gains from using the same distro in dom0 and VMs (via UBI or Fedora CoreOS/IoT).
- A lot of money is poured into RHEL compatibility.
- We can use Gitian to make the existing system reproducible.
CentOS Stream surfaced as a top choice for a few reasons:
- CentOS signs both packages and repo metadata.
- The CentOS community is repositioning itself as the integration point for multiple RHEL derivatives.
- Stream roughly correlates to latest minor release of RHEL.
- CI pipeline Fedora -> Stream -> RHEL.
- Not RHEL-beta: Red Hat, FB, AWS, Oracle, VMWare, SuSE, etc will still deliver some patches to their own customers before they are cherry picked for CentOS.
- New major version every 3 years, support for 5 years.
- The CentOS blog claims Red Hat backports drivers for 3 years … but there isn’t a quantitative way to measure hardware support.
- Oracle provides a binary release based on newer kernels…
The biggest sticking point was that RHEL/CentOS has fewer packages than Fedora. The push to CentOS Stream is about streamlining the pipeline from Fedora to RHEL, so it should get easier to push Fedora packages we rely on downstream. I don’t know much about their community, but AFAICT CentOS Special Interest Groups are independent from Red Hat. The Virtualization SIG was highlighted in various blogposts and is probably the best place to start.
However, how much of that could be solved feature gating development? I was able to find many of the packages from @fepitre’s coprs (epel-8-qubes, epel-8-python38) in EPEL and AppStreams (see 8.3.2011 or search via pkgs.org). Some vendors (like Salt) want you to use their repos directly. I was able to find even more (albiet older) packages on CentOS’s Pagure/Git hosting.
Once the GUI layer gets moved out of dom0, the dependency on OS packaging becomes much smaller. At that point Fedora Silverblue is likely the next best choice. I won’t recap explain all of Silverblue here, but it is a container focused immutable OS that uses Git to manage the OS layer. But we can still install and use DNF, so the transition would be easier than a purely functional distro like Nix.