Linux finds a lot of uses in computers that aren’t desktops. But there is a problem. What happens if your mission-critical control computer or retail kiosk gets an update and then fails? Happens all the time with Windows and it can happen with Linux, too. The openSUSE project has an answer: MicroOS which bills itself as immutable. Aimed at container deployment, the operating system promises atomic updates with no disk changes during runtime. If an update does break something, the BTRFS file system allows you to roll back to a previous snapshot. [Tyler] installs the OS and gives it a walkthrough in the video below.
As [Tyler] found, there are not many applications installed by default. Instead, you are expected to install flatpaks so the applications live in their own containers, isolated from the operating system and each other.
Of course, this isn’t for everyone. On the other hand, there is something seductive about having a computer that is very reliable even in the face of updates. Of course, you can do snapshots with BTRFS or ZFS anywhere those are supported, but unless you are very careful, you might have problems with dependencies for applications and the wrong update can still ruin your day. The OS supports GNOME or KDE, with system requirements that claim you can run it in 1GB of RAM and 20GB of disk space. We’d imagine you’ll be happier if you have more, of course.
If you are interested in snapshot file systems for the PI, you can play with BTRFS on that platform. We imagine you could develop some super robust system using FUSE, too, if someone hasn’t already done it.