Fedora 33 approaching EOL; Fedora 34 templates available

Fedora 33 is scheduled to reach EOL (end-of-life) on 2021-11-30, and new Fedora 34 templates are now available for both Qubes 4.0 and 4.1.

We strongly recommend that all Qubes users upgrade their Fedora 33 templates and standalones to Fedora 34 before Fedora 33 reaches EOL.

We provide fresh Fedora 34 template packages through the official Qubes repositories, which you can install in dom0 by following the standard installation instructions. Alternatively, we also provide step-by-step instructions for performing an in-place upgrade of an existing Fedora template. After upgrading your templates, please remember to switch all qubes that were using the old template to use the new one.

For a complete list of template releases that are supported for your specific Qubes release, see our supported template releases.

Please note that no user action is required regarding the OS version in dom0. For details, please see our note on dom0 and EOL.

Note for 4.1 release candidate testers: Qubes R4.1-rc1 already includes the Fedora 34 template by default, so no action is required.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.qubes-os.org/news/2021/11/11/fedora-33-approaching-eol-fedora-34-templates-available/

It feels like we were discussing Fedora 32 EOL just yesterday.

Is Fedora really worth the trouble of having to migrate and rebuild so often?

If you skip every other Fedora version you have to (usually) upgrade once a year. And if you do the in-place upgrade (copy the VM before you do it so you can keep a copy of the old fedora around for troubleshooting) upgrades are pretty seamless as well.

I feel that about once a year, I would want to upgrade my OS version anyway, be it Fedora, Ubuntu or anything else (let’s face it: there is not much “anything else” in the “normal person / non-technical expert” desktop user market. Maybe Debian, but then you have the drawback of quite old software versions which people usually don’t like. They want the shiny new stuff.)

An alternative could be to go with rolling releases but these can become quite unstable if users don’t regularly install updates. I therefore consider them not suitable for the majority of users.

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I see what you’re saying–releases are typically supported for 400 days or so, so if I install the latest one as soon as it’s released, I should be fine for a year. But releases don’t immediately make it onto Qubes, so how long does it typically take for a new template to be released?

  • 32 was released end-Apr. last year, templated mid-July last year, and has been EOL since the end of May.

  • 33 was released end-Oct. last year, templated end-Feb., and will be EOL end-Nov.

  • 34 was released end-Apr., templated mid-Nov., and will be EOL next May.

Someone who installed 32 as soon as it was released here had to install 33 or wind up using 32 past its EOL for six months if they wanted to skip it, which I don’t think is good security practice (not a Fedora user; could be wrong). This is just one data point though, but basically what I’m getting at is that once you factor in how long it takes a release to be made into a template, you can’t skip like you’re suggesting.

Not a criticism of the time devs take to template a release, but I can’t help but wonder if making two templates a year is worth the effort when Fedora use is essentially a historical accident like ‘QWERTY’ keyboards. Maybe converting something to templates doesn’t require as much time and effort as I imagine.

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/End_of_life

I also feel that frequent Fedora EOLs is a trouble and time-waster. I solved it by using Fedora only for those qubes that do not require extensive customization. So I replace their templates every time and benefit from a refresh and compartmentalization for all those qubes every new version. For other qubes I am using Debian.

Just to be clear, I don’t have a dog in this fight–I use a mix of Debian, microkernels, and other distros (hopefully OpenBSD soon). Issues with Fedora don’t impact me materially.

I just see Fedora getting new releases and EOLs so often, I can’t help but wince at the amount of migrating and rebuilding typical Fedora users must go through–and I shudder to imagine what it’s like for those with many tiny templates for the extra compartmentalization. At least there’s Salt.

Since Fedora is the default template, wouldn’t this make Qubes even more challenging than it already is for newcomers? Wouldn’t having Debian as default make more sense at least from this perspective?

2 Likes

I set all my Fedora VMs to the new F34 template. Almost everything seems to be working fine, only 1 issue. Sys-usb based on Fedora 33 could mount my external USB hard drive formatted in NTFS just file, without installing any special driver for NTFS. When using Fedora 34 it suddenly can not.

Regarding the Fedora vs Debian discussion, I actually prefer Fedora so I can use the latest software versions without having to wait for a new OS version.