What is all this about using "snaps"?

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What is all this about using "snaps"?

Postby dcihon » 2018-06-02 14:05

It doesn't look like this is a good thing from what I have read in this forum.
It looks like it is getting some use in solving some users issues.
I have several questions and more to come.
I would like to hear from the more knowledgeable "gurus" here.
If I use these will I be able to get questions answered here?
It sounds like from what I have read I am subjecting my system to possible security risks. Does anyone know about that?
Why is this getting so popular?
Thanks for the input.
I hope this sparks some helpful discussions on the subject.
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Re: What is all this about using "snaps"?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-02 17:36

dcihon wrote:It sounds like from what I have read I am subjecting my system to possible security risks. Does anyone know about that?

Any software is installed directly from the supplier and configured as specified by the supplier.

This means that software run from snaps/flatpaks/appimages may have different compilation options applied to the binaries (if any) and also may run other programs or perform other actions, as seen in the recent furore about the hidden bitcoin miner:

https://blog.ubuntu.com/2018/05/15/trus ... snap-store

The reason why this happens is because these formats bypass the distribution packaging mechanism and all of the checks and balances inherent to that paradigm, this article explains the issue better than I can:

http://kmkeen.com/maintainers-matter/

dichon wrote:Why is this getting so popular?

Because it's a quick and easy way of installing shiny new shit and most people are pretty lazy.

EDIT: including me: https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=3168 :mrgreen:

dichon wrote:If I use these will I be able to get questions answered here?

If your question is interesting enough I will (attempt to) answer it :|
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Re: What is all this about using "snaps"?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-06-02 18:14

Snaps are Ubuntu's way of porting the newest, shiniest software for their users. They present them as a secure, containerized way of distributing software, but what they actually are is just a lazy way to reduce maintenance. Standard way of packaging software in Linux has always been though package maintainers. Through Snaps, developers push their software as is. The best thing? They work across all distros (or should, at least). But they are made to work best with Ubuntu (Snap-store).

On the other hand, Flatpaks are Red Hat's way of providing the same thing. One big difference with Flatpaks is the number of repos. There are more repos for Flatpaks, and it's more decentralized. As with Ubuntu's snaps, flatpaks too have the target audience: GNOME users. Not surprisingly, since Fedora defaults to GNOME, flatpaks are optimized to be used with GNOME Software. Fedora devs even have plans to shift to Flatpaks for distributing desktop programs, while keeping the core OS as an image which will be upgraded separately.
The project has been called Project Atomic Workstation. It's not a bad project, providing a stable base with rolling userspace has been difficult for Linux for a long time. I might even switch to Fedora if it succeeds.
To conclude, they are the same thing, just a different package. Flatpaks have some peer reviewing and are more secure as Flathub doesn't accept duplicates, like snap store does. In the end, you just have to pick your poison :)

My preference are Flatpaks, if that helps any.
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Re: What is all this about using "snaps"?

Postby debiman » 2018-06-03 07:24

snaps, flatpaks:
linux has finally caught up with windows:
instead of using shared libraries and intelligent package management, every app is just responsible for itself.
except even windows uses shared libraries, so it's actually worse than windows.

people too young and/or clueless to remember why shared libraries and package management were and still are a revolutionarily good thing, float the idea of "not having version compatibility problems anymore".
storage is cheap (but i daresay it will run out nevertheless, with this philosophy).

probably also affects cpu and memory, but i couldn't say how.

my system is snappy and lean and i have no need/desire to use even one snap/flatpak.
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