Apr 29 – 30, 2022
Youth Center Smart Lab
Europe/Rome timezone

Toolbx: developing applications on OSTree based OSes

Apr 30, 2022, 2:40 PM


In-Person Presentation (40 min)


Debarshi Ray (GNOME, Fedora, Red Hat)


There has been a recent push towards rethinking how a general-purpose Linux distribution is put together, and a rough consensus seems to be emerging. The core operating system is shipped as an immutable OSTree image and all the applications are Flatpaks. This promises painless upgrades, clear separation between the OS and applications, and secure and cross-distribution applications.

Endless OS, Fedora Silverblue and GNOME OS are prominent examples of this approach.

However, these next-generation Linux distributions present some problems for people who want to set up a development environment on them. The OSTree images containing the core operating system are intentionally minimal and hard to change. They don't even come with traditional package managers like APT or DNF. This makes it difficult to install any development tools, editors or SDKs.

So, how do we, as hackers, dogfood these next-generation Linux distributions and use them to hack on the same applications that we want people to use on them?

Toolbx solves this problem by providing a fully mutable container within which one can install their favourite development tools, editors and SDKs. For example, it’s possible to do "dnf install gcc" without affecting the base operating system.

This talk will focus on Toolbx, and what it offers to hackers using these next-generation Linux distributions.

Presentation materials

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