F29 System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants!

= Proposed System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants! =
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* Matthew Miller <mattdm fedoraproject org>
* Mohan Boddu <mohanboddu fedoraproject org>

Start using the VARIANT and VARIANT_ID fields in /etc/os-release for
Spins, Labs and the base container image rather than just the main
Fedora Editions.

== Detailed description ==
Right now, we use the VARIANT field (and machine-readable VARIANT_ID)
in /etc/os-release) only for the main Fedora Editions (and Fedora
Cloud Base, because of its history as an edition previously). This
means we can't tell the difference between a KDE desktop spin, a
container image, or just a generic netinstall constructed into a
custom system unlike any of our various flavors. Let's start using it

== Scope ==
* Proposal owners:
Update the fedora-release package with subpackages for the various
non-edition outputs. The "convert-to-edition" script may also be
extended to handle non-editions, but this is not a required part of
this change proposal.

* Other developers:
Maintainers of spins and labs will need to add the appropriate
fedora-release-… subpackage to the appropriate kickstart file or comps

* Release engineering:
Release Engineering owns the fedora-release package.

* List of deliverables:
Workstation and Server deliverables already contain this, and so are
not affected. The KDE Plasma Desktop Spin will be changed. There is no
overall change to the list of deliverables itself.

* Policies and guidelines:
There was a previous decision to only do this for Editions. This
change would update that. We would also update the Spins documentation
to add this as a new step in that pricess.

* Trademark approval:
not needed for this Change


Re: F29 System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants!

By Kevin Kofler at 05/17/2018 - 09:52

Jan Kurik wrote:
While I agree that this needs to be handled the same way for Editions and
Spins (because I think this distinction is arbitrary to begin with), I think
we should actually drop those fields in the Editions instead of trying to
fill them in everywhere. A Fedora installation can be customized in many
ways. In the end, what you get is and should be Fedora, no matter what media
you initially installed from. Any VARIANT distinction is just meaningless.

Kevin Kofler

Re: F29 System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants!

By Josh Boyer at 05/15/2018 - 12:28

Variant definitions seem like they're really only valid for things like
install media and container images. They express intent well enough for
what the spin or Edition is for, but after installation the package set
deviates widely. We can't assume something that has the Server variant in
/etc/os-release is actually representative of anything Fedora ships as
Server without doing a package comparison along the way. If we're using
variant to count anything, I think we need to scope it only to "initial


Re: F29 System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants!

By Stephen Gallagher at 05/15/2018 - 12:49

On Tue, May 15, 2018 at 12:29 PM Josh Boyer < ... at fedoraproject dot org>

So we *can* rely on this indicating a minimum level of functionality on the

Re: F29 System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants!

By Matthew Miller at 05/15/2018 - 13:22

On Tue, May 15, 2018 at 12:49:44PM -0400, Stephen Gallagher wrote:
We could do something similar for the spin subpackages as well -- do
you think that should be part of this initial plan?

Re: F29 System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants!

By Josh Boyer at 05/15/2018 - 13:15

On Tue, May 15, 2018 at 12:50 PM Stephen Gallagher < ... at redhat dot com>

I have nothing against using variants or applying them to describe minimum
functionality. Minimum function is good and we should retain that.

That's different from counting "we have 87 Fedora Server installs!" based
on variant though. I'm simply suggesting that in our statistics gathering,
we take any measurement there with a grain of salt. With a mutable package
set post-installation, there are any number of combinations that can
falsely provide what the machine is. For example, it is trivial to install
Server and then add KDE to it. Now you have something identified as Server
that is really more of a Workstation (and a KDE one at that), simply
because the user chose to use the Server iso to start with. Variant is an
artifact creation-time suggestion, not a description of a system or it's
actual usage post-install.


Re: F29 System Wide Change: Let's Label Our Variants!

By Matthew Miller at 05/15/2018 - 13:23

On Tue, May 15, 2018 at 01:15:53PM -0400, Josh Boyer wrote:
Oh, absolutely. I think, though, even if it's salted a bit, it's still
a pretty good indicator of intent.