Thoughts on Flatpaks and AppImages

Linuxembourg

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I've recently purged my Lubuntu of all the snaps I had installed, and the snapd/etc stuff that allows any snaps to run. It seems the snap versions of applications are bloated both in terms of installation size and RAM use.

Are Flatpaks and AppImages considered to be similar to Snap packages? Is there any advantage to installing them when the traditional package is available?
 


craigevil

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Flatpaks are huge. As they install all of the needed libs. The only good thing about flatpaks is they are sandboxed. For example I installed the Bitwarden flatpak, with all the necessary libs that flatpak installed it was almost 1GB. The same goes for almost any flatpak.
I guess if you can't find the app you want in any other for a flatpak isn't bad. They run just as fast as an app installed the normal way unlike snaps.
Personally I do not have flatpak or snap on my system.
I do have a few Appimages.
Appimages on the other hand are pretty neat. They are usually smaller than installing the app.
 

f33dm3bits

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I'm not bothered with Snaps, Flatpaks or AppImages because all the packages from the standard repositories work just fine.
 

Linuxembourg

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Appimages on the other hand are pretty neat. They are usually smaller than installing the app.
How do they manage to be smaller when they contain all the dependencies? Excuse my ignorance in advance.
 

craigevil

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That I am not sure about. I just know that they usually are.
For example I am on arm64, I use a Discord appimage, the appimage is only 82mb, while the installed .deb is 232mb.
 

Condobloke

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I must admit to being a bit ignorant of the possible ramifications involved here

I do not use snaps. period.

I am reluctant to use flatpaks because of their size. As @craigevil said above, flatpaks are huge. Bloody big !
I wonder if our reluctance to install them stems from the days when we were particularly mindful of how much space we used up?....small hard drives etc...?

I have used a couple of appimages. Easy to install. Takes a very small amount of space. The resulting app works. Whats not to like ?

We have been led to believe that snaps have some security implications. that was started by Clem when LM19 (?) was released. I can only assume that Clem doesn't get his knickers in a knot for no reason.

I will continue watching here with great interest.
 

Tolkem

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Are Flatpaks and AppImages considered to be similar to Snap packages? How do they manage to be smaller when they contain all the dependencies?
Flatpacks can eat a lot of resources; RAM, CPU and disk space. Appimages are self-contained so you get 1 file = 1 app. For example, LibreOffice appimage is around 300mb, it has everything to run, if you install it, it needs around 600-700mb os disk space, that's twice the size of the appimage. I use around 20+ appimages and they all work fine. Just make sure to download from github or some similar site. You might want to read here https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=8584 this link contains a list of appimages which have been already tested by people, including me, as well as some tips & tricks. And this is a must read for anyone wanting to use appimages https://docs.appimage.org/user-guide/index.html

Tried an AppImage once and faced countless "error while loading shared library...."
I've never had this problem. What's the name of the appimage? Like I said I use 20+ appimages and they all work fine.
 

Condobloke

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On the Porteus site...
*] WARNING: I seriously advise you against the indiscriminate use of AppImages. Please, be careful and ALWAYS check your download sources. Always try to get it from the author's website and avoid using AppImages from dubious origins at all costs.

Good Advice
 

Condobloke

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KGIII

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If you use Ubuntu, you might as well start coming to grips with Snaps. As I dislike Snaps a great deal, I'll eventually have to figure something out.

Snaps will be more and more integrated and necessary for many things. Right now, you can't even sign up for extended support (on modern versions) without using a Snap.

I can't find it, because I don't recall the thread title/subject, but an AskUbuntu post (today, maybe yesterday) had a post from an official Ubuntu member that covered this pretty well. More and more parts of Ubuntu will be Snaps - as in integral system components will be Snaps.

Snaps are here to stay. I'd guess that by the time the next LTS comes out (22.04) you will need Snaps to have a properly functioning Ubuntu/official flavor.
 

Linuxembourg

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Thank you all for the great advice. Especially so @Tolkem

@KGIII I can't say I am particularly enamoured by that news. I will almost definitely migrate from Lubuntu to a non Ubuntu distro on that basis. What is the justification for using snaps for integral system components?
 

f33dm3bits

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I will almost definitely migrate from Lubuntu to a non Ubuntu distro on that basis.
Have a look at Arch if you are planning to migrate to a different distribution because with Arch you only install and configure the system components and software that you want to use, If you find Arch to difficult you can always try an Arch based distribution.
 

Linuxembourg

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Have a look at Arch if you are planning to migrate to a different distribution because with Arch you only install and configure the system components that you want to use, If you find Arch to difficult you can always try an Arch based distribution.
I will probably take my time anyway, as I am new to Linux. From what KGIII says, it sounds like I have some time. Essentially I want something lean and mean, but I need to be careful not to choose something that will leave me out of my depth.

I quite like the idea of using Debian, but I'll check out Arch too when the time comes.
 

Tolkem

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What is the justification for using snaps for integral system components?
As far as I know, Ubuntu won't be leaving their Debian based packaging format. There is Ubuntu core which I understand uses snaps only http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-core/ and is intended for devps not regular users https://ubuntu.com/core This is an interesting article on that topic too https://www.cio.com/article/2914850...-deb-packages-here-is-the-complete-story.html though a bit old (2015) since these rumors have been around for a while now.
 

craigevil

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Debian is relatively easy to install. Not quite as easy as Ubuntu/Mint, but not as difficult as Arch.
Manjaro is pretty simple to install.
https://endeavouros.com/ is pretty much a graphical Arch installer.

Anyway back on topic. Flatpaks and Snaps use more storage space, more ram, tend to run slower.
If you can;t find the package in your distros repos , or can't build it from source, or if there isn't and Appimage , basically only use them as a last resort. Snaps use less storage, but Flatpaks are sandboxed .

You might take a look at https://flatkill.org/
And https://www.linux.org/threads/information-about-snap-packages.30592/
 

Tolkem

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Have a look at Arch if you are planning to migrate to a different distribution because with Arch you only install and configure the system components and software that you want to use
The same can be done using a netinstall. Debian, openSUSE, Ubuntu and a number of distros provide such medias. Arch is great, I used to run arch a couple of years ago but the HDD died and I felt too lazy to reinstall the whole thing again, so I installed MX-Linux at that moment, now I'm using Q4OS https://www.q4os.org/ a Debian based distro too, it has two branches; stable and testing, as you may guess one is based in Buster and the other one in Bullseye respectively. I started with Q4OS 3, Centaurus, but now I'm running Q4OS 4, Gemini, with plasma as the DE. If you like Plasma and Debian, this distro is just perfect as it allows you to choose whether to install a minimal, basic or full-blown Plasma desktop, depending on that you'll end up with a set of tools and apps according to your choice. I chose minimal and got Plasma plus a few apps; konsole, konqueror, dolphin and system settings + a couple of Q4OS tools; Q4OS software center and Q4OS desktop profiler. Then I installed my own selection, which are not that many either, besides I run 20+ appimages which cover most of my needs. By the way, Arch.iso ships now with an installer, is a script https://archlinux.org/packages/extra/any/archinstall/, haven't tried it yet but seems like it is easy to use according to what I've read https://github.com/archlinux/archinstall, Archbang offers a similar approach too https://archbang.org/. Seems they finally realized it is the 21st century. One arch based distro I really enjoyed was antergos, too bad it died but it was a superb distro.
 

Condobloke

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I started with Q4OS 3, Centaurus, but now I'm running Q4OS 4, Gemini, with plasma as the DE. If you like Plasma and Debian, this distro is just perfect as it allows you to choose whether to install a minimal, basic or full-blown Plasma desktop, depending on that you'll end up with a set of tools and apps according to your choice. I chose minimal and got Plasma plus a few apps; konsole, konqueror, dolphin and system settings + a couple of Q4OS tools; Q4OS software center and Q4OS desktop profiler. Then I installed my own selection, which are not that many either, besides I run 20+ appimages which cover most of my needs.
That sounds very interesting...well thought out!
 

f33dm3bits

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I used to run arch a couple of years ago but the HDD died and I felt too lazy to reinstall the whole thing again.
Yes those can do the same but I felt that while installing Arch the Archway gave me more control over my installation compared to when I installed Ubuntu from the alternative(net) installer. Arch takes me about 30 minutes to install now days so I am not bothered by doing it manually, the reason they have that way of installing is that people asking for support on the Arch forums are able to actually answer questions(unlike here, where you have to ask the most basic questions before getting anywhere) when asked something because they know how their system is built and setup. I did try the new Arch installer which you mentioned in a vm the other day and just like many of the Arch based distribution installers it lacks features and it's choices are limited so I'll stick to installating Arch the Arch way like I have been doing. However I have tried a lot of Arch installers and Arch based distributions this past year, the only installer that I can actually recommend if you want to use one is Archlabs.
 
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