Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

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Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Danielsan » 2020-09-10 16:37

Unfortunately I have no choice and for the virtual class of my kid I must use Zoom. So far I have been using Zoom flatpak version but the problem is that I am experiencing a lot of frozen that aren't reported on logs, may be flatpak the culprit?

I am wondering if using the deb version provided by Zoom itself I can solve all those issue that are driving me crazy... I would really avoid it but I want my son working on Linux rather than Windows. It is not only and ideological issue it is also that with XFCE4 I prepared a setup that is completely distraction-free and tailored for his needs, he also prefers working on Linux because everything he need is on his hands easily.

What do you think?
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Bulkley » 2020-09-10 17:01

Any ideas why the Flatpak is causing problems?

I tried to find an appimage or equivalent that would run as a stand-alone in ~/.user. So far, I haven't found it.

The package for Debian looks exactly like the package for Ubuntu. zoom_amd64.deb That always makes me nervous.

What I do when faced with a choice such as yours is to start by cloning my system to another drive and testing it to make sure it works. (I keep an old hard drive for the purpose.) Then I install the deb with gdebi which should warn if there is a problem.

Good luck.


Edited to add: AppImageHub. It looks like they have Zoom.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby sgosnell » 2020-09-10 17:25

I've been using the .deb file that Zoom provides, and mostly without issues. I've seen no freezing or hanging, it seems to work well on Buster and Sid.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby sickpig » 2020-09-10 18:24

Danielsan wrote:I am wondering if using the deb version provided by Zoom itself I can solve all those issue that are driving me crazy.

the flatpak has a disclaimer that it is not officially supported or represented by zoom. But zoom has officially provided a .deb. Why install officially unsupported package? How does that make sense over installing official version?
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Bulkley » 2020-09-10 19:21

sickpig wrote:the flatpak has a disclaimer that it is not officially supported or represented by zoom. But zoom has officially provided a .deb. Why install officially unsupported package? How does that make sense over installing official version?


The so-called "official version" is not in Debian's repository. I don't mind using non-Debian software but I'd prefer it be kept out of root access so that it can't cause unforeseen conflicts. As noted above, Zoom appears to be using the same package for both Debian and Ubuntu. Maybe that works . . .
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Danielsan » 2020-09-10 20:18

Bulkley wrote:Any ideas why the Flatpak is causing problems?

I tried to find an appimage or equivalent that would run as a stand-alone in ~/.user. So far, I haven't found it.

The package for Debian looks exactly like the package for Ubuntu. zoom_amd64.deb That always makes me nervous.

What I do when faced with a choice such as yours is to start by cloning my system to another drive and testing it to make sure it works. (I keep an old hard drive for the purpose.) Then I install the deb with gdebi which should warn if there is a problem.

Good luck.


Edited to add: AppImageHub. It looks like they have Zoom.


I think might be flatpak because there are just Firefox and Zoom (flatpak) running and I checked out at the logs and I didn't see any kernel or system issues/panics, at this point I think is flatpak and the way it has access to the webcam and the audio. I'll take a look at the appimage file and see if the version is compatible with the school requirement. But I think I'll use the deb provided by Zoom, I can't afford all these blocks and interruptions.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Danielsan » 2020-09-10 20:20

sickpig wrote:
Danielsan wrote:I am wondering if using the deb version provided by Zoom itself I can solve all those issue that are driving me crazy.

the flatpak has a disclaimer that it is not officially supported or represented by zoom. But zoom has officially provided a .deb. Why install officially unsupported package? How does that make sense over installing official version?


While I can use proprietary software in a isolated environment I will always prefer this solution, Zoom on flatpak works quite well but I have at least two frozen per week, it is very annoying.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby sunrat » 2020-09-10 21:02

I used the .deb package last time I used Zoom and it worked perfectly. Would never use any containerised package when a .deb is available. If a software purveyor provides a package and says it's for Debian and Ubuntu they may have actually tested it on Debian and Ubuntu.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby sickpig » 2020-09-10 21:38

Bulkley wrote:The so-called "official version" is not in Debian's repository. I don't mind using non-Debian software but I'd prefer it be kept out of root access so that it can't cause unforeseen conflicts. As noted above, Zoom appears to be using the same package for both Debian and Ubuntu. Maybe that works . . .


Who said the deb version is in official repos? Does something being in flathub equate to it being in debian's repos? And it is out of root access as long as you are not running zoom as root. A .deb is just an archive
you can easily open and inspect the location of the files which will be extracted to your system.

Danielsan wrote:While I can use proprietary software in a isolated environment I will always prefer this solution, Zoom on flatpak works quite well but I have at least two frozen per week, it is very annoying.


So you do not trust the packaging format in which it is packaged but you will use the product itself which is going to capture your video, keystrokes and audio. The disclaimer on https://flathub.org/apps/details/us.zoom.Zoom
"
NOTE: This wrapper is not verified by, affiliated with, or supported by zoom.us.
"

So essentially the isolated version that you are using is not verified by the product vendor and how it has been modified before its packaging is unknown. Yet it is considered as a safe alternative to the native .deb provided and supported directly by the vendor. Quite interesting.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Danielsan » 2020-09-11 12:58

sickpig wrote:
Bulkley wrote:So you do not trust the packaging format in which it is packaged but you will use the product itself which is going to capture your video, keystrokes and audio. The disclaimer on https://flathub.org/apps/details/us.zoom.Zoom
"
NOTE: This wrapper is not verified by, affiliated with, or supported by zoom.us.
"

So essentially the isolated version that you are using is not verified by the product vendor and how it has been modified before its packaging is unknown. Yet it is considered as a safe alternative to the native .deb provided and supported directly by the vendor. Quite interesting.


You missed the point, the Flathub version is basically the tar version available from Zoom wrapped inside a flatpak container. It is not safer than the current deb but at least doesn't have root access on your system.

Regarding the use of Zoom I don't have choice this is what my son's school requires unfortunately. Honestly I don't trust Zoom and thus Flatpak is a better solution rather than the official Zoom deb, but surely there is something that freezes the laptop when there is the combination of Zoom+Flapak+drivers and I cannot afford all these interruptions on his classes; otherwise the alternative solution is using the Windows partition...
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby sickpig » 2020-09-11 15:31

Danielsan wrote:You missed the point, the Flathub version is basically the tar version available from Zoom wrapped inside a flatpak container. It is not safer than the current deb but at least doesn't have root access on your system.


do you mean all the debs installed on your system have root access? does installing a deb give it root access?

You missed the point.

installing a deb just extracts the files it contains on your system. root access is needed only while installation because your user account does not have permission to copy the files, say for instance to /usr.
that does not mean that the installed package will forever run as root! or the package has root access. No the package runs with your user account access.

zoom's flatpak permissions:

Code: Select all
us.zoom.Zoom permissions:
    ipc                    network                pulseaudio              x11       devices
    file access [1]        dbus access [2]        bus ownership [3]

    [1] home
    [2] org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver
    [3] org.kde.*


this has access to your home where most your important data is. This flatpak has access to the same resources normal vendor provided debian would.

so what did you achieve by installing flatpak?

you have unnecessarily suffered the poor quality of the zoom flatpak app.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby sgosnell » 2020-09-11 19:35

Flatpaks just don't work that well, IMO. A native install is much better. And as pointed out, software installed as .deb packages do not get root access unless you specifically run them as root.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Bulkley » 2020-09-11 20:04

The issue here of installing a deb package isn't root access as such. We were talking above about installing a non-debian deb package. It may not have been through the rigorous testing that official Debian packages have. Installing non-official packages can lead to unpredictable conflicts and, in a worst case scenario, a broken system. DontBreakDebian Been there; done that. :roll: My preference is some form of sand-boxing.

In Danielsan's case his son's virtual class is important. In this case I'd install the zoom_amd64.deb using gdebi. I'd keep a written record of everything gdebi did so that it could be removed if necessary.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby sickpig » 2020-09-11 20:56

Bulkley wrote:The issue here of installing a deb package isn't root access as such. We were talking above about installing a non-debian deb package. It may not have been through the rigorous testing that official Debian packages have.


And has the zoom flatpak gone through your rigorous testing? Their github page has plenty of outstanding issues the present issue might be included in it.

Bulkley wrote: Installing non-official packages can lead to unpredictable conflicts and, in a worst case scenario, a broken system. DontBreakDebian Been there; done that. :roll:


Chroot is better solution than suffering poor quality inefficient apps. .deb as of now is more performant and resource efficient than sandboxed apps.

Bulkley wrote:My preference is some form of sand-boxing.


check the permissions the zoom flatpak has above. What sandboxing has it achieved? You are granting it all the permissions zoom's official .deb would have.

Flatpak only makes sense when you need to install the latest version of something which is not available in stable.
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Re: Zoom Client Dilemma - DEB vs FLATPAK

Postby Danielsan » 2020-09-12 13:44

sickpig wrote:
Danielsan wrote:You missed the point, the Flathub version is basically the tar version available from Zoom wrapped inside a flatpak container. It is not safer than the current deb but at least doesn't have root access on your system.


do you mean all the debs installed on your system have root access? does installing a deb give it root access?

You missed the point.


I kindly disagree:

Code: Select all
ls -la /opt/zoom/ZoomLauncher
-rwxrwxr-x 1 root root 219288 Sep  7 02:33 /opt/zoom/ZoomLauncher

Unfortunately it has root access.

You have unnecessarily suffered the poor quality of the zoom flatpak app.


This is Debian testing, the issue may lie in flatpak itself...
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