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A Fresh Breeze » Linux Magazine

A Fresh Breeze » Linux Magazine

Vanilla OS, an immutable filesystem, seamlessly integrates applications from other distributions with an innovative container-based package manager.

If pollsters asked for the Linux word of the year for 2022, “immutable” would definitely make the short list. The term, referring to an immutable filesystem, shows up wherever the topic turns to distributions. The technology is by no means new, but has not seen much use thus far.

For several years, the major commercial Linux vendors such as Red Hat and SUSE have been preparing for a paradigm shift with their enterprise software, focusing on protection both against unwanted intruders and against operating errors or systemic defects. A remedy against imponderables like this is a read-only filesystem mounted at boot time. However, this type of system also changes the format and method of delivering software and the package manager’s position as a central component of a distribution.

Immutable filesystems are no longer limited to enterprise distributions and are beginning to show up on the home desktop. One immutable filesystem that has received advance praise is Vanilla OS [1], an ambitious Linux distribution that cleverly combines existing solutions instead of reinventing the wheel. Although Vanilla OS has only been in development for a few months, the creators, headed by project founder Mirko Brombin [2], recently released the first stable version Vanilla OS 22.10 Kinetic.


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