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    What is immutable Linux? Here’s why you’d run an immutable Linux distro

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    Mauricio Lima/AFP via Getty Images

    First there was the source code.

    And then Linus Torvalds shaped it and called it Linux, and it was great. Currently, operating systems were amorphous and difficult to use, so the light came when Owen Le Brun of the Manchester Computing Center (MCC) said, “Let's create a Linux distribution.'' Since then, most Linux distributions have been based directly on source code and packaging systems. DEB and Number of revolutions. However, there is another approach called immutable Linux that has grown in popularity over the past few years.

    Immutable Linux distributions come with a read-only core system. This means that once the base operating system is installed, it cannot be changed during normal use.

    ALSO: The coolest new Linux distributions are ready to surprise you in 2024

    Patches containing system updates will be executed during reboot. This is called an atomic upgrade and means that all updates are treated as her one transaction. If something goes wrong, you can easily revert to the previous state.

    This architectural approach greatly improves system security and stability by preventing unauthorized changes and reducing the risk of system corruption. Everything is updated at once instead of incrementally like most major Linux distributions.

    why? Because the core system is read-only, it is much less vulnerable to malware and tampering. If nothing can be added to the operating system, it cannot be corrupted. Additionally, immutable distributions use application containerization. This further isolates programs from the core system and from each other. Therefore, even if you are using a problematic application, the application has far less access to the underlying system than, for example, a Windows application accessing Windows.

    Another advantage of immutable Linux is that it offers unparalleled reliability and stability. By maintaining a consistent state, software dependencies remain intact. This reduces compatibility issues caused by updates and changes to legacy systems. result? Achieve more reliable performance with minimal downtime.

    Also: Surprise! Gentoo adds binary support – but there's a catch

    To install your application, use containerized applications and universal package formats, such as: App image, flat packor snap. Although many traditional Linux users dislike this approach, this method of containerized application installation has several advantages.

    First, it is distribution independent. So if you have Flatpak; discordcan be installed and run on any Linux distribution that supports Flatpak.

    These containerized packaging systems also avoid the dependency problems associated with traditional package managers. Traditional package managers often need to update not only the application, but also all software dependencies. Sometimes that's not possible. A container package, on the other hand, contains all the software needed to install and run a program.

    Related article: Best Linux laptops

    It also gives you permission to install many of your own software programs. For example, installing Zoom or Spotify is easy, but installing either on a Linux system can be cumbersome using traditional package managers such as: Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) or DNF.

    Finally, because these applications run inside containers, they are more secure than package-based applications.

    By the way, none of this is all that new. Although some reports claim that an unchanging Linux distribution represents a fundamental change, this is not the case. Sure, you already know about the immutable Linux approach, but you almost certainly didn't know about it. Underneath the Chrome web browser, you can see that ChromeOS is an immutable Linux system.

    ChromeOS isn't the only immutable Linux. for example, steam deck Under the hood we are running an immutable SteamOS version 3.2based on Arch Linux.

    However, Immutable Linux is about more than just hardware. There are many immutable Linux distributions. Some are from major Linux distributors you may already know. fedora silver blue, openSUSE MicroOS, Canonical's upcoming Ubuntu 24.04 will also include an immutable version. Others include: Vanilla OS, Endless OSdeveloper friendly project bluefin.

    Also: Fedora Linux now runs on all but one M-powered Mac.

    Now, immutable Linux distributions aren't for everyone. Less flexible than regular Linux distributions. Additionally, some applications and services do not work well in a containerized environment.

    So why should you consider any of these? Simple. They are all very stable and safe. Even if you've never been a desktop Linux user before, it's easier to install and run than traditional Linux.

    I've been running Linux since version 0.11 came out in 1991. Back then you had to download it from MIT via FTP. Back then you had to compile from C and there was nothing easy about it. Fast forward to today, and you can now run Linux in your sleep. So you don't need “easy” Linux. But many people still do it. For those people, he recommends trying out one of the immutable Linux distributions.

    In particular, if you're new to Linux, we recommend the Fedora-based Silverblue, the Ubuntu-based Vanilla OS, or the Debian-oriented Endless OS. All are easy to use, stable, and safe. We're sure you'll like at least one of them.

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