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The Silver Hat on the Block

Kelvin Thompson
Retired military Dev (and past Certified Engineering Technologist). From COBOL on an IBM370, to Pascal with in-line Assembler and Python, my focus is Go and Blockchain Development.
・3 min read

Fedora is a nice distro. It feels clean and snappy. I enjoyed using it before, but I have to give my head a shake to remember the how. Things are quite different from the Ubuntu/Debian distros, at least as far as administration. DNF takes getting used to. And the Silverblue rpm-ostree is another aspect to think about.

One of my pet peeves about the Fedora install is selecting the drive to install to. Having the one-click option of many distros is nice, but that's just a minor detail. No, what I sigh at is the unnecessary repetition: select disk, hit done, hit reclaim space, delete all, reclaim space, then finally begin install. Really? I'm nitpicking, but silly stuff like that is just unnecessary and annoying. On a different note, as a feature, I would love there to be an added "Silverblue" with the "fedora" at the bottom of the install screen. It got me again, for a moment, like previous times, second guessing whether I had indeed downloaded Silverblue or the fedora Workstation version. Advertise the goodness you are offering!!

Ok, enough of that. Once the install is complete and the system rebooted, I have to modify the base image a little. There are some things that I always want as part of my system like Google Chrome. I am a Google-ite. I use the Google-verse and enjoy it thoroughly, so I want Chrome and to login.

rpm-ostree install google-chrome git cockpit toolbox

You want to install the few items all on one command line, as the full procedure can take awhile. The message "checking out tree ...." can spin for quite some time, so be patient, grab a coffee or tea. After that you need to reboot.

systemctl reboot

Awesome, now we're running the new "base image" we just created by adding the layer of those installs.

In addition to what I consider my core items (Chrome, Git, Cockpit and Toolbox), there are other programs that I want on this, my laptop. I like Cheese for my simple webcam needs, gnome extensions of course. I also like to have VSCode (I use it locally for other things too), Gitg and Meld on my machines. And the gnome addons for gstreamer that weren't auto installed (H264, etc.) for my other hobbies.

I really recommend finding a hobby if you don't have one. When you need to get away from what you are currently embedded in, sometimes you need to focus on something entirely different for a bit to re-track your brain rather than the un-focus provided by going for a walk, for instance. Why not both?!

I use Zim Desktop Wiki for my notes, though I will be moving all of those to my GitHub account (especially thanks to the new VSCode git features) and backed up to my GitLab. I prefer VLC for my audio/video, and I use Inkscape and Krita for my illustrating. Shotwell for photo stuff, and of course SweetHome3D since I'm renovating some things. And KiCad for prototyping electronic stuff for the lab and shop, and fun (have to look for it at flathub.com since it's not available in the local Software center. I only install Blender3D on my Beast, as it has some horsepower.

Just have patience (again) as the "Software" center usually takes an abominable time to install software. Really annoying. Sometimes you have to wait until the one package is installed before you can even see the other packages available until it finishes and rewrites the app screen. Really? Not a reflection on the OS.

This time I am not going to install Docker, as I have on all my other systems. Podman is the alternative that Fedora prefers, and it's automatically installed, so I want to learn that. I am very aware of the controversy over which is better, etc. I want to know both.

You can either use Toolbox, or Podman. I haven't investigated too close yet, but:

toolbox create --container
toolbox list
toolbox enter

Once you're inside the container, the 'exit' command will pop you out.

Or, as I did, looking for a vscode and python image:

podman search vscode
podman pull docker.io/tegieng7/vscode-python
podman images

As I said before, I want a secure OS base and to continue my blockchain development (and use other software) in containers.

Now I can get back to VSCode in the container, install the addons I use: IBM Blockchain Platform (check the dependencies it may list -- Docker, Docker-Compose, Nodejs, NPM for sure), Docker, Python, SonarLint, vscode-pdf (good for viewing a pdf of instructions or whatever), and Code Runner.

I will continue with this series on my progress with the Hat.

I will also make a series of posts on my blockchain development adventure as I go along.

Cheers!

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