The State Of Flatpak vs. Snaps On Various Linux Distributions
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 9 February 2017 at 08:16 PM EST. 39 Comments
KDE --
Motivated by KDE Plasma Leaning Towards Focusing On Flatpak Over AppImage/Snaps and this lengthy, contentious forum thread, a KDE contributor has taken a closer look at the Flatpak versus Snaps versions available in different Linux distributions.

KDE contributor Markus Slopianka sought to clarify the adoption of Flatpak vs. Snap in modern Linux distributions. He looked at the state of Snap and Flatpak in the releases of Arch, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Mageia, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

He found that generally the latest Flatpak version was available on all of the latest distribution releases. However, he found that Snap was only using the latest version in Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty and Debian Stretch. Snap support in Ubuntu was out-of-date, Fedora doesn't have the support in the main repository on F25, the Gentoo Snaps were outdated, the openSUSE support was outdated, and on Mageia the support wasn't even available.

Slopianka wrote on his blog post, "given these results alone, I’m quite frankly pretty puzzled how the jury could still be out and that’s completely ignoring the centralized nature of Snap."

He even argues that distributing apps via AppImage on Steam would make more sense than Ubuntu Snaps due to Canonical's central repository approach for Snaps, "Distributing AppImages via Steam makes more sense than Snap (Steam has the same centralized nature as Snap). Not only does every somewhat mainstream distribution ship Steam in some non-free repo, it would also allow us to distribute applications to Windows and macOS."

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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