Installing Fedora Silverblue 30

This post is intended to be more of a How-To with tips and things I’ve found since playing with Silverblue. I decided to post this as a separate thread to focus on the installation and usage and less on general discussion. I will be updating it as I add more information to it and will post when I’ve made edits.

DISCLAIMER! This OS is still being developed, and while it works well, there may be bugs. The information I’m posting here may also be out of date by the time you read this, and also may not work on your system like it does on mine. This post is for information and for those who are willing to be adventurous and possibly help out with providing info and future tips.

For a video run-through of Silverblue which includes a brief explanation of how it works, as well as an install and usage demo, see my video here : https://youtu.be/BkrGij4LNC0

Install methods

NOTE on hard drives

In all cases below, this distro on an SSD drive is significantly faster to process major OS system upgrades. This is due to how the image layers work. When a new layer is applied, there are MANY hard links that are added wherever a file has been updated. It’s quite fast on an SSD but slow on traditional mechanical hard drives.

— On a Virtual Machine

The install in a VM seems to give different performance results from different people. I’m not sure if this has to do with the version of VirtualBox used, or if VMWare perhaps yields better performance… I personally found very slow performance during the initial setups and upgrades using VirtualBox 6 on a new and powerful computer. This was in comparison to my 10-year old PC which ran much faster on hardware.

— Installer black screen or blinking cursor

If you boot your live USB and see the text scroll by, followed by your system landing at black screen or a blinking cursor, and after some time you never reach the Anaconda installer GUI, you may have a finicky ACPI system like I do. A workaround for this is to boot your live USB, and when you see the GRUB options to install, or check media and install, select the top option and press ‘e’ on your keyboard. You will then see the grub options. Find the line that has the word ‘quiet’ in it, and add the following after it:
acpi_osi=! aspi_osi='Windows 2009'
And then press F10 to continue booting. If your bootup is successful, carry on and read the paragraph below on changing kernel arguments.

— As single OS

There are no issues installing this on a formatted empty drive. In both BIOS and UEFI system, the installer sets up everything it needs to boot and run without issues.

— Dual/Multibooting on a BIOS system.

I installed it on hardware with an existing Arch Linux installation by leaving free space on the disk. During the installation, I allowed the Fedora installer (Anaconda) to automatically create the needed partitions and write the bootloader. After rebooting, the Silverblue GRUB menu appeared and gave me the option to boot into either Silverblue or Arch Linux. Success.

— Dual/Multibooting on a UEFI system.

This is a known issue with Silverblue, but I found a workaround.
Silverblue requires 3 partitions for UEFI

  1. UEFI (esp) partition (fat32)
  2. /boot partition (ext4)
  3. LMV partition

Within the LVM group, you will have a root and /home partition. SB sets this up for you.

The issue is that the installer fails to use a pre-existing UEFI partition. And you cannot have more than one partition with the esp flag set. This bug is known and is being fixed.

The workaround is to create a new 1GB fat32 partition, and then a 1GB ext4 partition. Set up fedora but instead of choosing “Automatic” at the partitioning section, choose “Custom”. Here you will set your /boot to be the 1GB ext4 partition you created, and set /boot/efi to be the fat32 partition. The rest can be automatically configured by the installer for the LVM group.

After doing this, you can set your system to boot into the Fedora UEFI by either pressing your “boot options” key for your system or setting it as default in your motherboard settings. You will then be presented with Silverblue’s GRUB menu which should include your other distros. If it does not show your other distros, it should do so after the first system updates are installed.

— Changing kernel arguments

At this point if you’ve booted up and would like to make changes to you kernel arguments, you can do this through the terminal. If you ended up having to use the acpi_osi tricks from earlier on, you will need to do this to be able to boot normally every time.

Open a terminal and type rpm-ostree kargs --editor

You will now see a vi editor with text that looks like this:

# Please enter the kernel arguments. Each kernel argument# should be in the form of key=value.
# Lines starting with '#' will be ignored. Each key=value pair should be
# separated by spaces, and multiple value associated with one key is allowed.
# Also, please note that any changes to the ostree argument will not be
# effective as they are usually regenerated when bootconfig changes.
resume=UUID=54a86682-a3aa-4d1e-b5f7-3b8dce107dd2 rd.lvm.lv=Fedora/sysroot rd.lvm.lv=Fedora/swap rhgb quiet root=/dev/mapper/Fedora-sysroot acpi_osi=! acpi_osi='Windows 2009' snd_hda_intel.power_save=0

The bottom line is your kernel arguments. As you can see in the example above (mine), I needed to add the acpi_osi arguments in order to boot properly. I also added the snd_hda_intel argument to stop my sound card from going to sleep because it would make a popping noise whenever my system played a sound as it was being turned back on.

To make your changes, use your keyboard arrows to scroll to the end of the line, and press i on your keyboard to insert text. Type your text and press ESC to stop inserting.
Type :wr! [enter] to save changes
Then :q [enter] to quit.

Conclusion

This should get you up and running. My video has more info on upgrading etc. I wlil be editing this and adding more in the future and will try to answer questions here as best I can. Good luck to you!

-dorian

2 Likes

Hey sorry I didn’t get the notification right away. You can install gparted with

rpm-ostree install gparted

Thanks, Dorian, I figured it out myself after paying more attention to your video. So far I’m liking it! I look forward to more vids from you on Silverblue!

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