Gnome OS Adopting systemd-sysupdate

May 20, 2024

Gnome OS is about to undergo a major under-the-hood change that promises enhanced security.

You may have never heard of Gnome OS. There's a good reason for that, as Gnome OS isn't a traditional operating system. Instead, it's an OS used for the testing and development of the Gnome desktop environment.

Many see Gnome OS as a way to kick the tires of the latest Gnome release, while a new iteration is still in the development phase. To that end, you can't install Gnome OS on a hard drive. Instead, the best way to test Gnome OS is via Gnome Boxes.

But what is this profound new change coming to the reference OS? It's transitioning to systemd-sysupdate. The primary reason for this change is to provide enhanced security that extends from the bootloader on up.

According to the official announcement, Gnome OS will also see closer integration with systemd and advanced support for image-based design, which brings about immutability, automatic updates, factory resets, and more.

The migration to systemd-sysupdate is far from over. The development team still has to address several issues, upstream their work, and deprecate the ostree variant of Gnome OS. As of now, there is no timetable for when this work will be completed.

To stay up-to-date on the progress of the change, make sure to keep on eye on Codethink as well as This Week in GNOME.


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