This is particularly useful on OSTree based operating systems like Fedora CoreOS and Silverblue. The intention of these systems is to discourage installation of software on the host, and instead install software as (or in) containers — they mostly don’t even have package managers like DNF or YUM. This makes it difficult to set up a development environment or install tools for debugging in the usual way.
Toolbx solves this problem by providing a fully mutable container within which one can install their favourite development and debugging tools, editors and SDKs. For example, it’s possible to do
yum install ansible without affecting the base operating system.
However, this tool doesn’t require using an OSTree based system. It works equally well on Fedora Workstation and Server, and that’s a useful way to incrementally adopt containerization.
The toolbx environment is based on an OCI image. On Fedora this is the
fedora-toolbox image. This image is used to create a toolbx container that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the operating system by providing access to the user’s home directory, the Wayland and X11 sockets, networking (including Avahi), removable devices (like USB sticks), systemd journal, SSH agent, D-Bus, ulimits, /dev and the udev database, etc..
See our detailed guide.
Press queries, including requests for comments and interviews can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toolbx is Free Software and is developed in the open. Code can be found on GitHub.