Fedora Silverblue: not only for your grandma

I have migrated my grandparents to Fedora Silverblue, previously they used CentOS. I was impressed how everything worked well and I like where Fedora is going overall. Less pre-installed software, I am hoping for more packages to be dropped - Evolution backend, on-line accounts, Maps and others. Overall, it works great.

Setting up Fedora Silverblue was easy, installation smooth. Then I had to ensure screen does not lock (they hate this):

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.screensaver lock-enabled false

Timezone was not right, I had to misclick during installation:

timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Prague

I have found out that the default policy is not to automaticaly update OS without askint, what I want is auto updating without any question because they would never confirm it:

grep Update /etc/rpm-ostreed.conf

This configuration should stage updates for automatic installation (I mean boot). This finishes the configuration:

rpm-ostree reload
systemctl enable rpm-ostreed-automatic.timer --now

Now, I want to access those workstation via ssh, but my parents are stuck behind home firewalls. I came up with a solution - reverse ssh tunelling. I enabled ssh, generated keys and connected to my server:

systemctl enable --now sshd
ssh xssh@xxx.zapletalovi.com

A new user service will be started to create the tunnel:

mkdir -p ~/.config/systemd/user

I am forwarding both ports 22 and 5900:

cat ~/.config/systemd/user/reverse-ssh.service
Description=Reverse SSH connection
ExecStart=/usr/bin/ssh -g -N -T -o "ServerAliveInterval 10" -o "ExitOnForwardFailure yes" -R 40122:localhost:22 -R 40159:localhost:5900 xssh@xxx.zapletalovi.com

To enable the service:

systemctl --user daemon-reload
systemctl --user enable --now reverse-ssh

Unfortunately, I was not able to get VNC running. After I enabled Remote Desktop in Gnome, I could not find any VNC client that would work. The best I could achieve was a frozen screen when connected on my LAN. Maybe I will find one later on, there are some developments in Fedora 35.

That should do it, ideal OS for elders - no reboots into dnf, no viruses, just internet and a printer. Upgrading to major Fedora releases should be also easy and I can do it via ssh:

ostree remote refs fedora
rpm-ostree rebase fedora:fedora/XX/x86_64/silverblue

To revert to the previus version, simply pick the previous boot entry and perform rpm-ostree rollback. Which reminds me - Fedora 35 is out, I should probably upgrade them now.

twitter.com linkedin.com
google.com/+ facebook.com
flickr.com youtube.com