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You can now support the Flatpak package format on Open Collective

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Flatpak is the next-generation of packing applications and games for Linux and now you can directly support it.

The idea behind Flatpak is that anything packaged up with it will work across multiple distributions, with a stable environment for everything thanks to common libraries to link against and developers can add any dependencies they need right into the package to ensure it works everywhere. Sandboxing is another prominent feature and one of the main goals of Flatpak packages, to increase security by isolating applications from each other with sandboxing and giving limited access to your operating system.

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There's also Snap packages supported by Canonical as another next-gen format for Linux, but one of the problems there that we've seen people talk often about is how the back-end supporting it all is proprietary and tightly controlled whereas Flatpaks are fully open source. You can learn a lot more about Flatpak at this link.

For Flatpak installs you can use the Flathub website, which is the most convenient but anyone can host their own repository too.

Just recently the team announced they've setup an Open Collective effort to gather more funding, so now you too can help push forward this newer packaging format. Open Collective is pretty slick, as it keeps all the finances open so you can see what goes in and out for it. So if you think Flatpak is important for the future, you can go support it.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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38 comments
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Zlopez 29 Jul
  • Supporter Plus
I think the flatpaks are really great (I'm using distro, that is made for use with flatpaks), but there is one issue with Flathub regarding games, the runtimes (shared libraries between flatpaks) are updated continuously so you still have the same issue like with current Linux OS, the libraries will be incompatible in a few years. You can still make your own flatpak with old runtimes though, but they will be rejected by Flathub for security reasons, which is understandable, but it lacks the purpose of distribution by Flathub.

I would say that for game distribution the stable environment like Linux Runtime Containers provided by Steam is a must.

From current multi-distro packaging solutions the most useful for games is probably AppImage, which allows you to just package everything inside it and you don't need to install anything on the host machine to run it. There are few caveats however:

1) Often some libraries are missing inside AppImage, because there were on the OS of packager and he didn't found they are actually missing

2) No integration to distribution, at least not any I was able to found in past
Lofty 29 Jul
Quoting: ZlopezI think the flatpaks are really great (I'm using distro, that is made for use with flatpaks), but there is one issue with Flathub regarding games, the runtimes (shared libraries between flatpaks) are updated continuously so you still have the same issue like with current Linux OS, the libraries will be incompatible in a few years. You can still make your own flatpak with old runtimes though, but they will be rejected by Flathub for security reasons, which is understandable, but it lacks the purpose of distribution by Flathub.

I would say that for game distribution the stable environment like Linux Runtime Containers provided by Steam is a must.

From current multi-distro packaging solutions the most useful for games is probably AppImage, which allows you to just package everything inside it and you don't need to install anything on the host machine to run it. There are few caveats however:

1) Often some libraries are missing inside AppImage, because there were on the OS of packager and he didn't found they are actually missing

2) No integration to distribution, at least not any I was able to found in past

ootb appimage does not support sandboxing ? or am i mistaken. And by that i mean typically as a default not that "it could in theory and it's upto the dev" kind of affair.
I don't have a horse in the race but here is an article worth reading as devil's advocate.

https://flatkill.org/2020/
F.Ultra 29 Jul
Quoting: PublicNuisanceI don't have a horse in the race but here is an article worth reading as devil's advocate.

https://flatkill.org/2020/

Yes this "next generation" packaging is really the stone age packaging while rpm/apt is the real next-generation. That said, for games the security issues are basically zero (basically but not to 100%) since few games have open external ports or handle random files/data that you feed it like it is for applications.
Quoting: F.Ultra
Quoting: PublicNuisanceI don't have a horse in the race but here is an article worth reading as devil's advocate.

https://flatkill.org/2020/

Yes this "next generation" packaging is really the stone age packaging while rpm/apt is the real next-generation. That said, for games the security issues are basically zero (basically but not to 100%) since few games have open external ports or handle random files/data that you feed it like it is for applications.

I guess if one wanted to go far enough they could say that most games are closed source so we don't really know what they have or what they could be doing so are a security risk themselves. Although until FOSS gaming catches up a bit I doubt they're a risk I could totally give up.
Quoting: Zlopez2) No integration to distribution, at least not any I was able to found in past

The tool 'appimaged' integrates appimages into the system (menus, etc) in a very slick way. Hopefully at some point its included by default with a distro.

Here's a link to it: https://github.com/probonopd/go-appimage
WorMzy 29 Jul
Quoting: F.Ultra
Quoting: PublicNuisanceI don't have a horse in the race but here is an article worth reading as devil's advocate.

https://flatkill.org/2020/

Yes this "next generation" packaging is really the stone age packaging while rpm/apt is the real next-generation. That said, for games the security issues are basically zero (basically but not to 100%) since few games have open external ports or handle random files/data that you feed it like it is for applications.

lol, I've never seen rpm/deb described as 'next-generation'. I can kind of see it with rpm, but deb is something that deserves to be consigned to history as a terrible mistake that future generations should learn from.


Last edited by WorMzy on 29 July 2021 at 11:13 pm UTC
twinsonian 29 Jul
Everyone has an opinion so here is mine.

I have used all three technologies quite a bit and personally I find Flatpak to be by far the best all around experience. The only con can be the initial install sizes. Flathub is nothing short of amazing and flatpaks just work.

Appimages are great too. I dont really have a complaint either way with them. I think they need more spotlight so users can actually understand them. The first time I used an appimage I was confused on how to actually uninstall the application since I didnt realize it wasnt actually installing anything. All in all I think appimages are great too. Its too bad they havent taken off.

My experience with snaps has been hit and miss most of the time with things not working quite right -- usually due to permission issues (snap doesnt have access to controller or many snaps requiring --classic). Also, since Martin Wimpress has left Ubuntu it *feels* like they are just stagnant. I don't have anything against snaps but I never use them unless forced on an unbuntu install.
PopeRigby 30 Jul
Quoting: PublicNuisanceI don't have a horse in the race but here is an article worth reading as devil's advocate.

https://flatkill.org/2020/

Reponse from one of the Flatpak developers: https://theevilskeleton.frama.io/2021/02/11/response-to-flatkill-org.html


Last edited by PopeRigby on 30 July 2021 at 4:55 am UTC
superboybot 30 Jul
I think Flatpak is fine (and to a lesser extent Snap, especially on distros that include it by default), but I don't really see the point unless it offers a package that isn't in your repo. AppImage is cool though, as a preservation method.

But other than that, what problem is it solving? It seems that some people use them for many (most?) installed packages. I find it a bit strange. For instance, why is Firefox even offered on Flathub? Are there distros that don't have Firefox in the repositories?
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