Ubuntu Shipping Firefox as Snap!

I don't like the idea, I feel like having two or more package managers is just a bad idea. I believe that Flatpak and Snap is solving a problem that's just not there. I don't want a future where a person needs 10 package managers to install software.

I really hope ZorinOs will still ship Firefox as a apt package because I don't want to wait 30 seconds for a browser to startup. Maybe ZorinOs should have something like Linux Mint, they have a Debian version.

I want to know what you guys think about Snap and Flatpak as a whole, I think AppImages are useful for sharing software which you're only going to use once. So at least AppImages do something useful.

Sources:

1 Like

I remove both snapd and flatpak from my copies of Zorin OS.

1 Like

Will ZorinOs still ship Firefox as apt package? I really don't like the idea of third party software manager.

Is it a snap?
Because on My Zorin 16; it came preinstalled as apt. I removed Snapd without needing to remove any Snap Packages, first.

2 Likes

What doesn't ZorinOs use ubuntu repositories? Ubuntu will ship Firefox as Snap next release.

Thanks to those Snap and Flatpak boo-bee traps hidden in Software, I now got quite efficient to install/uninstall apps from command line as well as in Synaptic :wink:

2 Likes

Oh, you are referring to the Future. I did not understand.

Yes, well Ubuntu is Forcing Snap down everyones throat in spite of breakage and in spite of Canonicals Promise not to do so.
But Gnome and Canonical are known and notorious for

  • Breaking promises
  • Pushing broken things (Wayland!)
1 Like

Well, time for mass-migration to MX? :grin:
At least there is no systemD nor Snap.

2 Likes

Both snap and flatpak package all the runtime dependencies of an app. I regard this is as good thing as it ensures apps are much more portable and avoids "dll hell". They take up more hard disk space, but hard disks are massive these days.

From:

The first big difference is that Snap is a project of Canonical that in the future intends that all Ubuntu programs will use this technology . While Flatpak is not associated with any Linux distribution and its goal is to improve the installation of the programs in Linux. ...

Then there is the main difference between both: the way of distributing the packages. Snap packages can only be distributed through the Canonical store, i.e. they are linked to it . This brings some advantages like improved security but limits the developer. Conversely, Flatpak is not connected to any shop and this makes each developer the owner of the shop’s distribution . This is more in line with the open-source philosophy.

I like flatpak as a user. I'm less keen on snap because it is tied with a company. Fedora seem to be pushing flatpak.

I'm a programmer who has worked with Windows and Linux. However, my Linux experience has always been niche (non-gui) and the companies I have worked for have used Windows as the primary desktop OS, logging in via SSH (command line only) for source builds. This is the first time I've ran linux desktop as my primary and only desktop.

As a personal project, therefore, I've been looking into AppImage. Currently they are used only for download and run. However, each AppImage carries with it meta about the app, such as Category, icon and description. I therefore I expect in the future, when supported, AppImages can easily be installed.

1 Like

MX is a strong contender. Mint needs work, but as always, I strongly support the Ethics of the Mint Devs.
That said, I use Zorin OS, in spite of Systemd because it actually generally just Works on all my machines and because it is Solid, Fast and ZorinGroup has a history of being lightning quick with fixing update issues.

When it comes to benchmarking CPU loads - Zorin wins out against every single Distro I tested it against except for Antix.
And Antix is a whole 'nother animal anyway.

3 Likes

I see antiX as an untamed version of MX.

2 Likes

.dll.... You are thinking Windows...:wink:
It does avoid dependency problems.
...er... Most of the time. Often enough, it doesn't.
In addition to this, most dependency issues are actually caused by the user trying to install OutDated or No Longer maintained software. This is remarkably common - but they do not know as new users and it's hard to find a date on some things.
Lastly, Snap carrying all that bloat may seem fine - except when its sandboxed nature makes the app not Work. At all.

3 Likes

Shared objects then. :slight_smile:

The phrase "dll hell" was common.

2 Likes

Your reply caused me to check out sandboxing in Flatpak and Snap.

https://docs.flatpak.org/en/latest/sandbox-permissions.html

I actually think it is a good idea. Not annoying like Android, where you have to click "yes" anyway, but publicly declares what permissions are required (otherwise they are denied).

1 Like

It seems like a good idea. Much like how, on paper, Wayland seems like an Amazing idea.
Yet, to this day, Wayland still Does. Not. Work. In spite of being released in 2008.
Sometimes, that is just the way it is.

Snap sounds good. In principle. But it has large problems, security holes, prone to bloat and - The sandboxing nature (Whether a "true" sandbox or not) causes them to simply - Not Work.

Honestly, a lot of Windows Marketing makes it sound good. Though I agree with you 100% that the "Hi. Let me set up a few things. Sit back and relax, I will take care of everything" messages are utterly beyond creepy.

1 Like

I don't know enough yet to comment on Wayland. I don't know, for example, what it takes to construct and test behind the scenes and to make it work on all devices. Perhaps if the whole project is dogmatic and bureaucratic, I would agree with you. But it's great discussing such things as a way of learning.

I don't have a problem with "app bloat" in terms of disk space. I think it may be an issue in terms of downloading. New applications should clearly be designed with sandboxing in mind.

1 Like

That's nothing compared to the "choice" you get for update and the enforced signup to a microsoft account:

  1. Let's get started
    or
  2. Skip for 3 days (or remind me later)

It's not a choice at all. This was the final nail for me.

2 Likes

Snap or flatpak may be good for some games, software that is completely self contained and need not access other peripherals. Apt is the way to go though.

Since Linux already sandboxes all applications and double sandboxing only breaks things, it doesn't make sense to use either. If the sandboxing wasn't seperate from the kernel, actually integrated with the existing sandboxing mechanisms, this would be a sound alternative. It seems like the snap and flatpak devs couldn't get it to work with the kernel so wrote their own... breaking any kind of connection to the host. Fix this and they'll be worth looking at. But why do cocanical's job for them. They have resources, let them figure it out as it fails.

You can still get Firefox by deb even with Ubuntu going this route. Mozilla isn't about to leave all the other distros behind because Ubuntu decides to monetize. Look at red hat... perfect example.

3 Likes

Hear! Hear!

2 Likes