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Adding OS extensions to the host system
Fedora CoreOS keeps the base image as simple and small as possible for security and maintainability reasons. That is why you should in general prefer the usage of `podman` containers over layering software.
However, in some cases it is necessary to add software to the base OS itself. For example, drivers or VPN software are potential candidates because they are harder to containerize.
To do this, you can use https://coreos.github.io/rpm-ostree/[`rpm-ostree install`]. Consider these packages as "extensions": they extend the functionality of the base OS rather than e.g. providing runtimes for user applications. That said, there are no restrictions on which packages one can actually install. By default, packages are downloaded from the https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/repositories/[Fedora repositories].
Example: Layering nano and setting it as the default editor
This example shows on how to install the text editor `nano` and add a script to `/etc/profile.d` so that it is set as the default editor for all users. The parameter `--allow-inactive` is useful if the package is added to the root image in a future Fedora CoreOS release. In such a case, the parameter prevents that the service would fail.
In the future, we will have a more Ignition-friendly method of doing this with stronger guarantees. See upstream issues https://github.com/coreos/butane/issues/81[butane#81] and https://github.com/coreos/fedora-coreos-tracker/issues/681[fedora-coreos-tracker#681] for more information.
# use nano as default editor
- path: /etc/profile.d/nano.sh
overwrite: true
inline: |
export EDITOR=nano
To start the layering of a package, you need to write a systemd unit that executes the `rpm-ostree` command to install the wanted package(s). By default with `rpm-ostree install`, changes are queued for the next boot. The `-A/--apply-live` option can be used to apply changes live *and* have them persist.
variant: fcos
version: 1.4.0
# installing nano as a layered package with rpm-ostree
- name: rpm-ostree-install-nano.service
enabled: true
contents: |
Description=Layer nano with rpm-ostree
# We run before `zincati.service` to avoid conflicting rpm-ostree
# transactions.
ExecStart=/usr/bin/rpm-ostree install --apply-live --allow-inactive nano
ExecStart=/bin/touch /var/lib/%N.stamp