Flatpak, snap, appimage

What is the view of developers about flatpak, snap or appimage

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This for general information and to make all users aware of our IRC channels.

For faster answer most of the time ask developers directly on #openmandriva @ Freenode IRC.

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I’m not sure if we have a unified view of those, but my view is that all 3 of them are a really bad idea. They send us back in time to before shared libraries were invented, and right into Windows-ish maintenance hell.

Essentially, they make every application packaged using them bundle all the libraries it wants to use. That causes lots of duplication (100 applications using libjpeg = 100 copies of libjpeg, instead of one system version) – and even if we ignore the space implications of that, the even bigger problem is maintenance. With a traditional linux system, everything links against system libjpeg, so if a major bug in libjpeg is found (let’s say a particularly bad buffer overrun that allows a remote attacker to get access to your system), we release an update to libjpeg and everything is fixed.

With flatpak, snap, appimage and similar stuff coming into the picture, we release a libjpeg update, but all the flatpak/snap/appimage applications you’re using are still vulnerable - they come with their own version of libjpeg and they don’t get the fix we released for the system lib.

That said, they can have their uses, if I were making a binary-only application I’d probably release it in one of those formats because it increases chances of the application running on all distros. But of course that just makes it a bad workaround for an even worse problem (the real problem being the lack of source availability for that application).

I’m certainly not opposed to making all 3 of them work in OpenMandriva so people can use applications released that way (but people need to be aware that they’re asking for trouble including security bugs) – but ideas that some proponents have brought up, like replacing our normal packaging, or pulling in Open Source applications in those formats instead of packaging them properly, are insane at best and malicious at worst.

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I found how to install flatpak and flathub in Mageia, which is a similar codebase, and did so. I got no error messages… but when I try to install a flatpak package, I get two choices: to save the file, or to open it in Kate. Neither is an installation procedure. I’m hoping to find something better.

Hi.

As you can read in bero post, most of us think that snap/flatpak are insecure and we assume that users may use them at their own risk.
I dont know if you are talking now on OpenMandriva or on other distro.
Anyway:

  1. snap is not supported and not provided by OpenMandriva
  2. appimage is suggested to use - if you really need to use external software, at least appimage is single binary.
  3. flatpak is provide by OpenMandriva but you use it at your own risk.

To install flatpak on OMV you need:
as root

dnf install flatpak

and now it would be good to add some repository with flatpak packages. The most popular and probably official is flathub. You will add it by command:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

System restart is needed.

Now you can install flatpak package from command line for example lmms by command:

flatpak install flathub io.lmms.LMMS

You can browse flathub repo here: https://flathub.org/home

Also if you want install flatpaks in GUI or browse flathub repo in GUI, then you need install discover app by command as root:

dnf install discover

There is also a third option - manual download flatpak packages by the browser.
What you write about is a problem of the browser itself, which does not recognize the downloaded format properly.
Therefore, you should download the flatpak file through your browser and then install it using the console or using the GUI discover.

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