GNOME Software Moving Forward With Disabling Snap Plugin

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 11 July 2019 at 07:53 AM EDT. 139 Comments
While currently Ubuntu makes use of GNOME Software as their "software center" (or "app store") with Snap integration, as we wrote about recently Canonical has begun writing their own Snap Store. Given this and that they don't plan to use GNOME Software in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and thus have taken their developers away from working on the upstream support, GNOME developers are planning to disable the Snap plug-in for GNOME Software.

Canonical's in-development Snap Store will obviously be focused just on their own Snap effort and not supporting the likes of Flatpak. Due to the likelihood that the GNOME Software Snap plug-in will quickly suffer from bit-rot and pose a maintenance burden to GNOME developers with little to no return, it's certainly reasonable that they would at least disable this plug-in.

"The existing snap plugin is not very well tested and I don't want to be the one responsible when it breaks. At the moment enabling the snap plugin causes the general UX of gnome-software to degrade, as all search queries are also routed through snapd rather than being handled in the same process. The design of snapd also means that packages just get updated behind gnome-software's back, and so it's very hard to do anything useful in the UI, or to make things like metered data work correctly. There's also still no sandboxing support years after it was promised, which means on Fedora running a snap is no more secure than "wget -O - URL | bash", again much unlike Flatpak."

More details in this mailing list post by Red Hat's Richard Hughes.
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