An Overview of the Fedora CoreOS Community

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The acquisition of CoreOS by Red Hat has made waves in the tech community. While the situation is rather dynamic at the moment, the technologies of the CoreOS Container Linux and Project Atomic are likely to provide a better computing space in the future.

Earlier this year, Red Hat acquired CoreOS Inc. For the past few months, the Project Atomic team has been evaluating different technologies in the CoreOS Container Linux and Project Atomic spaces. In order to provide a unified container operating system landscape and address potential challenges in the transactional update for two similar communities, Container Linux and Atomic Host have decided to merge the future development of the two projects; so efforts are on to bring the two great communities together.

Fedora CoreOS maintains its commitment to the user experience that Container Linux today provides, which includes an automatically updating, minimal, monolithic, container-focused operating system, designed for clusters but also operable standalone, optimised for Kubernetes but also great without it. It’s also an opportunity to revisit some of CoreOS’s early technical decisions and learn from them.

The Atomic community has learned over the years, and integrates some of the innovative technology developed by Red Hat and the Fedora community. The details of what the Fedora CoreOS will look like are still uncertain. Some Container Linux technologies, such as Ignition, are essential components of Fedora CoreOS. Others, such as update_engine, will probably give way for existing projects in the Fedora and Red Hat ecosystem or to new tools. The Fedora CoreOS team also plans to build on the packaging and maintenance work done every day in the Fedora project. Most of all, the community is excited to build Fedora CoreOS together with the dedicated and enthusiastic Fedora community, whose long experience building developer and user communities at scale provides a wonderful opportunity to grow the container OS ecosystem.

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The last major release of Fedora Atomic Host will most likely be Fedora 29 Atomic Host. After Fedora 29, the community recommends using Fedora CoreOS for any deployments. Considering that the use cases for Fedora CoreOS and Atomic Host will probably overlap, as the community narrows the focus of Fedora CoreOS efforts will be made to minimise disruptions but there may be some use cases that are left unaddressed.

The mailing lists, IRC channels and GitHub organisation will most probably be retired once the last releases reach their end of life. The community will maintain Container Linux at least up to 2020, and for at least a year after Fedora CoreOS is available. In-place upgrades from Container Linux to Fedora CoreOS will not be possible, but plans are afoot to provide tooling and documentation to make the transition as straightforward as possible. Existing Container Linux communication channels — the issue tracker and the coreos-user and coreos-dev mailing lists — will remain unchanged for the lifetime of Container Linux.

Fedora CoreOS will serve as the community upstream of Red Hat CoreOS, wherein it will strive to embrace the full range of use cases supported by Container Linux today. Red Hat CoreOS will provide a focused operating system dedicated to enabling deployments of Red Hat OpenShift at scale.

Do visit the new website at https://coreos.fedoraproject.org. The project is just getting started, so there’s not much there yet, apart from an initial FAQ. Please join in the discussions on the new discourse board, the dev mailing list at coreos@lists.fedoraproject.org and on the Freenode IRC in #fedora-coreos.

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