#349 Trademark Approval Request: Shells.com
Closed: deferred 8 months ago by bcotton. Opened a year ago by nwotnagrom.

Trademark Request: Shells.com
We would like to request permission to offer Fedora Workstation as an OS option for our users. We offer virtual cloud computers which can be accessed from any web-enabled device. So, for example, users will be able to work from a cloud computer running Fedora Workstation on an iPad or Google Chromebook just by opening up a web browser and logging into the site.

We do not have any plans to make any modifications to the OS outside of minor configuration changes such as the wallpaper (have a Shells logo) and changes to the sleep/screen saver default settings since the cloud computers are always on. The Fedora Workstation OS will be one of a few OS options where our users can select the OS they would like their Shells to run.

When a user installs a Shell, they would have the following options which we would also include Fedora (these are our current options): (image may not have posted properly)

Screen_Shot_2021-01-05_at_8.35.28_PM.png

Benefits for Fedora:
- This will give users an opportunity to “test-out” Fedora without having to make any major changes to their hardware. They can just open a browser window, purchase a Shell, and select Fedora as an option
- I think this is also a great opportunity for newbies to have a chance to take the leap into Linux
- We can also link from the Fedora site directly to a landing page which will automatically load a Fedora machine for the user once they have signed up.


I spoke with the folks at Shells.com, and I think this is a great idea and support it.

I actually do have some concern with changing the wallpaper — we're really proud of our beautiful wallpapers and it's really the primary visible indicator that a system is running a Fedora OS.

Well, another way that this could be solved is to reconfigure the logo overlay extension to have a dual-brand Shells.com and Fedora wordmark, maybe?

I am okay with keeping the Fedora wallpaper as is. This will make it easier on all fronts! Thanks for the feedback.

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue priority set to: Next Meeting (was: Needs Review)
- Issue tagged with: trademarks

a year ago

HI- Hope all is well. Just wanted to check in on the status of this request. Thanks again for all the support!

Hi @nwotnagrom! We discussed this in our Thursday meeting. We'd like a specific list of configuration changes you plan on making, and a couple more test accounts (ideally with a live demo of Fedora Workstation loaded).

We also have community interest in the Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop spin as an option, and possibly other environments as well.

@mattdm thanks for the reply! We will put together that list and let me see how quickly we can get Fedora Workstation on to Shells. Will let you know if we have any questions along the way. We just added KDE Neon so adding Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop should be pretty straightforward as well!

Hello - I wanted to send the latest update and continue our discussions. Hope all has been well. We have now added both Fedora 33 Workstation and also a Fedora 33 without the graphic environment (which can be used for server configurations). The following script represents the image that we created to produce them:

https://github.com/Shells-com/linux-scripts/blob/master/oscfg/fedora.sh

Let me know how you would all like to proceed! Thanks again for the time to go through this with me.

Thanks! I also got the three test account codes you sent me. Council, who is most interested in checking this out?

Thanks! I also got the three test account codes you sent me. Council, who is most interested in checking this out?

I'll take one, please.

Also one note, we are still working on it to make it more user friendly, but you will be sent a password for the specific machine when you first open your Shell. You will also have the option to change the password in the "Reinstall" settings of the admin console which I would recommend.

@mattdm Hi! Just checking in to see if the Council had a good opportunity to see how Fedora was running on Shells? Would love to keep the discussion going! Thanks again for all the support.

I gave one of the test accounts to @bcotton, and I'll take another look myself today. Any other council members want trial access to see what it looks like here?

@nwotnagrom the config script looks good to me. I'm having some trouble authenticating to my demo shell, though. Should I go through the normal support channel or contact you directly?

@bcotton You can contact me directly at alex@shells.com. If you are having issues with a password, one thing to note is that the system will send you an email with a password after sign up which you would use to login to the OS.

We got the problem sorted out. For the record: the "Fedora Custom" image isn't working currently, but if you choose "Fedora Workstation", it works quite well. :-)

@bcotton That is great it is working well!!!

@nwotnagrom I'm looking at the preparation script, and the main thing that has me concerned is the added "shells-helper" binary. This is, of course, non-Fedora software (which means we're out of the easy case of https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal:Trademark_guidelines#Virtual_images_or_appliances_with_unmodified_Fedora_software), and it's unclear to me what the license is, or even what it is or does.

I also have a general concern with calling it "Fedora Workstation" when it's not installed directly from the Fedora Workstation media; I can see it getting out of sync with something done in the Workstation creation and causing confusion there.

@mattdm Thanks for the feedback. Let me get back to you on your concerns quickly. We can modify it to state "Fedora beta" or something like that if that helps in the meantime. We had mainly added it so the team could see it and test it.

@mattdm nice to meet you here. Hi to the rest of Fedora community.

My name is Zlatan, and I work for Shells (and one of the two Shells devs who work in that GitHub repo).

We open sourced the shells-helper now:
https://github.com/Shells-com/shells-helper

If there is anything more we can do, please do tell us and we will do it.

I will also use this opportunity to invite Fedora community to actually maintain their own image build there. We have Manjaro already doing it and openSUSE is preparing their images as well (multiple of them for multiple different DEs). I will accept any merge request from Fedora community - this way you maintain the polish of your own OS and you can change any default that you see suitable for Fedora users. And you avoid me ruining it somehow. :)

I am happy to connect with anyone and help with exploring how Shells can be a good member of Fedora community with helping you setup Fedora quickly at conferences to do training/courses to just having Fedora tested by devs and first time users (and all other possible things).

I have some questions:

  • Why does the Fedora option on shells.com not use the Fedora kernel? I have been experimenting with a shells.com account and see it's basically a Fedora 33 system but you're using a kernel you've built locally on a Gentoo system (or at least with a Gentoo-derived gcc). The environment appears to be a QEMU guest, so I would think the Fedora kernel is usable for that out of the box.

  • Can additional images be created for Fedora? Specifically, I would like to see a Developer image that is not running the graphical environment by default and has the following package groups or packages installed: c-development, development-tools, rpm-development-tools openssl openssl-devel elfutils-libelf-devel

  • Are you updating the images offered? I ask because I noticed the Fedora 33 image I set up was vulnerable to the recent sudo issue. Could providing Fedora stable releases with at least all current security updates applied be a thing? You could date stamp the image as well indicating it has updates bundled up through the following date.

  • Since you're using qemu, can you offer non-x86_64 images as well? I know it would be slow, but I can set my expectations for that. Having a non-x86_64 shell I can quickly get in to with a specific Fedora release would be helpful when debugging build problems, etc.

Thanks.

@dcantrell Thanks for the feedback and let me know if you have additional questions.

1) Shells uses its own kernel+initrd so it can resize the root partition and ensure a smoother boot. We can implement fedora kernel either through standard BIOS boot (which will be slower) or EFI loader, but in both cases fedora will have to provide disk resize. In case of EFI loader we need to define how to proceed, how the partition table will be setup and what options to pass to kernel.
2) Yes! We can definitely add additional images, but it would be great if you could provide the image. If you could send the PR to the https://github.com/Shells-com/linux-scripts and we will merge it immediately!
3) Yes, updated today (2020-02-15). Images are tagged by date.
4) Yes, we can definitely offer other images, such as arm64. Please let us know which archs you would like to see and we can definitely work on it.

FWIW we do have some disk-resize code that's used for cloud images and ARM device images, and it might be possible to repurpose that.

@dcantrell Thanks for the feedback and let me know if you have additional questions.

1) Shells uses its own kernel+initrd so it can resize the root partition and ensure a smoother boot. We can implement fedora kernel either through standard BIOS boot (which will be slower) or EFI loader, but in both cases fedora will have to provide disk resize. In case of EFI loader we need to define how to proceed, how the partition table will be setup and what options to pass to kernel.

I have lost track of the number of times Fedora has written automatic volume resizing. I am risking getting involved again in installation and deployment code :) , but I will point to two things:

The first is lorax. Lorax is a code base that builds all kinds of images. It began life in Fedora and continues to gain support for building various types of images. Lorax builds bootable iso installation images but also bootable disk images for use in cloud and virt environments. I'm not sure if you are using to create Fedora images, but if you are not it is worth looking in to. There are many many MANY years of combined knowledge built in to this code base. https://weldr.io/lorax/livemedia-creator.html

The next is to install cloud-init and dracut-modules-growroot. The package names may have morphed at this point, but the main thing is growroot is available along with a dracut module that lives in the initramfs. If the block device is larger than the filesystem on boot, growroot expands it. This code base has seen a lot of attention and I know a lot of focus has been on ext4 support specifically so it's not just filesystem growth but also shrink, of which ext4 is the only viable option for that.

These are by no means the only options in Fedora. This is a frequent and recurring problem that sees a lot of overlapping solutions for.

2) Yes! We can definitely add additional images, but it would be great if you could provide the image. If you could send the PR to the https://github.com/Shells-com/linux-scripts and we will merge it immediately!

I will take a look.

3) Yes, updated today (2020-02-15). Images are tagged by date.

Thanks.

4) Yes, we can definitely offer other images, such as arm64. Please let us know which archs you would like to see and we can definitely work on it.

aarch64, ppc64le, and s390x as none of those are readily available to the average contributor yet we build for them and package maintainers get bug reports on those architectures.

Thanks.

I have posted a meeting request to the community so we could talk through any specifics by video call! Just wanted to post it here too in case it got missed!

https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/t/meeting-proposal-shells-com-technical-discussion-and-next-steps/27398

We will have a meeting on March 4th at 10AM Eastern Standard Time. We will use the following link for the video call:

https://meet.shells.net/fedora

See you all soon!

Quick notes from today's call

  • The technical blocker is getting Shells to use the Fedora Linux kernel. The customization is due to needing an intitrd to grow the file system. There are tools available for that in Fedora Linux, so we should help them get on those.
  • mattdm is going to start a team to manage Shells images as Spins to help with those kinds of engineering tasks. We expect some of the engineers from Shells will be active participants in the team and the broader Fedora community.
  • One highly-promotable feature is the ability to emuluate non-x86_64 architectures, which could make this service really valuable to the Fedora community

Yes, @nwotnagrom you tagged someone in the meeting as working in the Fedora team; hook us up via email and I'll go over what needs to be done there.

@nwotnagrom in our last meeting, the Council decided to close this ticket for the time being. We definitely remain open to this and encourage you to re-open this ticket once the technical concerns are addressed.

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue close_status updated to: deferred
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

8 months ago

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