3 versions of Bitwarden in the Software "Store"?

I always thought of the Software app in Zorin as the same as the App Store in iOs or Google Play in Android - a safe place to get the latest version of software for your device.

So I was suprised when I went looking for Bitwarden in my Zorin 16 Core system and found 3 of them listed. Two of them appear to be the same version, but the load size is very different and one is called Bitwarden CLI, something I've never heard of before. So should I use one of these (and which one?) or download the program from Bitwarden's web site?

All of the Bitwarden apps have the same version number (2023.2.0) but the download size size of the first is 118.6 Mb and the second is 85.8 Mb and the third (Bitwarden CLI) is 24.3 Mb.

Please see the 4 attached screen shots (Software search for Bitwarden, then details for the first, second and third listings). If you answer this please keep in mind I am a newbie to Linux and Zorin. Thanks.

You should definitely download either the DEB or AppImage from Bitwarden's site.


The first thing you need to look at is the Source.
You will notice that in the sources for each, you will see that it is offered as a Snap Package or a Flatpak package.

Snap and Flatpak are both separate alternative methods of installing software. They are both different than the Standard Apt (.deb) package management that you primarily will use on Zorin OS.
The two key differences are:

  • Both will carry along any and all dependencies whether you have those dependencies already installed by APT or not. They will not refer to your installed APT dependencies, but only rely on the ones that they bring with them.
  • Both are Sandboxed, which is an additional sandbox to your Linux system already being sandboxed. This effect means that even if you have all the necessary modules from the Standard APT on your system, some Snap or Flatpak installed software cannot communicate with the rest of your Linux System.

These differences above have their Pros and their Cons.

  • A higher level of Isolation and sandboxing can create more security.
  • Carrying dependencies with means you can often have the latest package.


  • A higher level of isolation can interfere with application workflow and capability. It also has been shown to create new security holes of its own that can be exploited.
  • Carrying dependencies with means more bloat and less storage space. Often, redundant packages build up quickly creating a Space Hog.

The Standard APT package Manager that comes with Zorin OS handles the vast majority of software you will install. It relies on the Debian based *.deb packaging and it is what will be the most familiar to you. These will show in Software store with Zorin OS as that Source, not Snapcraft or Flatpak.

Are Snap / Flatpak Safe?
Generally, yes. Some things can be Bleeping Computer Annoying, but still safe.
None of those are compromised packages, nor has your Gnome Software been infiltrated by a malicious actor.

They offer you options. Choices. Alternatives. For a newcomer to Linux, that can be confusing at first. But always remember that you are Capable of Learning New things. Move forward boldly. You can decide with testing and research on your side where you stand on the Snap and Flatpak alternatives.

For me, personally, I remove Snapd and Flatpak from my build of Zorin OS, which also removes having them offered in the Software Store.
Their cons heavily outweigh their pros, for me.


Any app with CLI means Command Line Interface - which is a terminal run (text based) application only. GUI is Graphical User Interface.
I use many of them such as Inkscape (Both CLI and GUI).


Thank you for a very thorough explanation. You mentioned the APT package manager for Zorin. On the Bitwarden website under downloads the linux download is a ".AppImage" file. Is that the download for the APT manager, or must it be a ".deb" file?

Generally, Appimages are Stand-Alone applications that run the app without any installation.

The appimage package manager is not installed on the system by default. You would have to install it.

Appimage is similar to snap and flatpak, an attempt by developers to create a prepackaged software that can be OS independent (as long as it's a Linux system).

You probably know this already, but if you do choose to install with a .deb file instead of the .appimage file, then the .deb file is also available on Bitwarden's website (under "More desktop installation options".

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