Red Hat Summit 2019 – event report
Red Hat Summit is an annual conference for Red Hat customers, partners, and open source contributors. I was part of the Community Central space, specifically the Fedora and CentOS booth.
The main reason I visited Summit was to show people Fedora Silverblue – a Linux workstation build on top of rpm-ostree focused on container-based workflows. With Silverblue, instead of managing individual packages, your system is an immutable image that’s been tested and delivered as a whole. Applications are decoupled from the OS, running in containers and/or Flatpaks.
People liked the upgrade experience, especially how it’s immune to some potential errors that traditional package-based systems have. When upgrading your system, a new image is downloaded on the side and the system reboots into it. In case anything goes wrong, the system can return to the old image. With Fedora, however, this feature might be a bit less important because the DNF upgrade experience in the few recent releases has been working just great. :-)
Anyway, what I loved about the event was – well at least what I noticed – how peoples’ perspective of open source changed. Two years ago at the same event, many conversations I had were about what Fedora is and how open source works. This time I haven’t had a single generic open source conversation, and people were coming to the booth saying they love using Fedora. I even talked to a few people who were using Silverblue as their primary driver.
The most common reason people said they love using Fedora for was the package ecosystem and DNF. Two quotes I’ve written down: “It just works. Everything I need I can search for and install with DNF. And it’s up-to-date.” and “The upgrade experience has been very good – I no longer do complete reinstalls with new releases.” That just made me very happy to be part of the Fedora community. Great job, everyone!