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Canonical want help testing their Steam snap package for Ubuntu

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Do you game on Ubuntu or one of their flavours like Kubuntu or Xubuntu? Canonical want your help in further testing of the Steam snap. For anyone confused: there's many different types of packages on Linux. There's deb, rpm, flatpak, snap, appimage and more. Snap is what Canonical (who make Ubuntu) are rolling with.

Writing on their official Discourse forum, developer Ken VanDine mentioned they're hoping to have the snap of Steam out of Early Access soon and available to everyone.

In the post VanDine mentioned they've been "working feverishly to resolve issues and ensure it works well" and testing has been done across "the most popular Steam titles which should ‘just work’ based on reports on ProtonDB". But now they want more people to get involved to give their reports on how games work.

Details on how to get involved can be seen in the forum post.

The overall feeling you get from looking online is that snaps aren't particularly popular. However, is it just a case of a few people shouting above the rest? VanDine answered a few of my questions on that and more in an interview with GOL last year.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Misc, Steam, Ubuntu
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Purple Library Guy Mar 18, 2023
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: slaapliedjeEvery corporation has an agenda... to make money. Canonical's best way to make money is to try to get as much vendor lock-in that they can, without pissing off the community enough that someone switches to a different distro. Snap and them being the only ones who can host a snap store is their method of lock-in.
That's just nonsense. Canonical make zero money from desktop Ubuntu users. They make money, like Red Hat/IBM do, by offering paid support and services. Snaps make that hugely easier for their actual customers, and for themselves as maintainers. They might also have made money from the Ubuntu Phone, which snaps were largely created for, but they ran out of money before that could become a thing.

Snaps only come from one place to solve the discovery issue that PPAs have, and which Fedora users experience from flatpaks where they have access to some flatpaks but not all of them. All the snaps are available in one place - accessible by default for Ubuntu users and trivial to add for users of other distros (except Mint, who put up additional barriers in the way of user choice).
slaapliedje might be overstating, but so are you. Doing it up a bit too brown there, especially when we started this Snap conversation with the exact bit that got Mint annoyed.
Scytale Mar 18, 2023
At this point I have to ask why a community should help make their commercial product better for free while it doesn't help the ecosystem.
Pikolo Mar 18, 2023
If they do this, I'll have to change my mount points and backup procedures :(
I store my Steam games on a second drive. It's mounted on /opt, but in my experience snaps can't access stuff outside of /home unless installed in classic mode. I don't particularly want to change my mount to within /home - /home gets backed up, while the games shouldn't be
Linuxwarper Mar 18, 2023
Quote"Anyone can create an alternate store that supports snaps. The API is completely open as is snapd. Having a centralized store is actually one of the strengths of the ecosystem. ISVs want that single trusted source for apps. I think the tremendous success we’ve had with ISVs adopting snap is in no small part due to this concept. And I ask, is it really a problem? Snap is completely open, anyone can see what’s being executed on your system. The internals of the store that handles metadata just isn’t interesting."

This quote is from interview. If having a centralized store is good, why do we need to have a snap and a flatpak store? Why can't we have one (Flatpak)? And why is it not a problem? Wouldn't Flatpak or Snap become better if everyone was focused one one of them, instead of having dev resources and attention to bugfixes and improvements being divided between the two? Developers resource are finite, it's one of the major reasons why Linux developers (WINE and others) couldn't keep up with Microsoft ecosystem changes to the degree that WINE compatibility became stable and less volatile, as it has become with Proton.


Last edited by Linuxwarper on 18 March 2023 at 8:40 am UTC
elmapul Mar 18, 2023
i dont know, this fragmentation of package formats always cause issues for me.
for example, i couldnt find any tutorial on how to install plugins on vlc snap, libre office snap, and even retro arch had issues.

i end up having to install multiple versions of the same software in order to avoid issues.
because sometimes the snpa version has the features A,B,C, and the flatpak B,C,D and the app image C,D,E and the deb, D,E,F...
or the bugs instead of the features.

speaking of it, for example, recently i had to install another version of VLC just to make the fluidsynth plugin work.
gimp also caused issues with the lack of .ora support. (this format is very convenient if you want extract data from an gimp, just convert it to ora and you have all the frame data and time stamps you could wish in an machine/human readale format)

as for retro arch, i cant remember, i think i dont have some shaders instaled for some reason, they should be included by default but they arent anywhere.
or maybe it was video playback?

not to mention when an essential feature dont work, like hardware decoding for videos...
CatKiller Mar 18, 2023
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Quoting: Purple Library Guyslaapliedje might be overstating, but so are you.
Nope. The bullshit from the tinfoil hat-wearing 4chan/Reddit/Phoronix crowd is bullshit. If you want to use snaps, use snaps; if you don't want to use snaps, don't use snaps. Either way, snaps resolving their issues is a good thing.


Last edited by CatKiller on 18 March 2023 at 11:10 am UTC
soulsource Mar 18, 2023
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: soulsourceA Mozilla developer posted about Snap (and Flatpak) just recently, and I think it's a very interesting read.
Especially since it was Mozilla that asked Canonical to replace the repository version of Firefox with the snap.
I wasn't aware of that, thanks!
In case someone else is searching for an official source (which is surprisingly hard to find), you can read up on it here.
Koopacabras Mar 18, 2023
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: slaapliedjeEvery corporation has an agenda... to make money. Canonical's best way to make money is to try to get as much vendor lock-in that they can, without pissing off the community enough that someone switches to a different distro. Snap and them being the only ones who can host a snap store is their method of lock-in.
That's just nonsense. Canonical make zero money from desktop Ubuntu users. They make money, like Red Hat/IBM do, by offering paid support and services. Snaps make that hugely easier for their actual customers, and for themselves as maintainers. They might also have made money from the Ubuntu Phone, which snaps were largely created for, but they ran out of money before that could become a thing.

Snaps only come from one place to solve the discovery issue that PPAs have, and which Fedora users experience from flatpaks where they have access to some flatpaks but not all of them. All the snaps are available in one place - accessible by default for Ubuntu users and trivial to add for users of other distros (except Mint, who put up additional barriers in the way of user choice).
slaapliedje might be overstating, but so are you. Doing it up a bit too brown there, especially when we started this Snap conversation with the exact bit that got Mint annoyed.
they don't make money directly from users, but if Ubuntu wouldn't be so succesful, because (cough cough) users made it popular. I'd bet it wouldn't have high usage in corporate environments or ISV's wouldnt even consider it . I wouldn't call snaps a lock-in tho. But slaapliedje is right they have priorities.. 1st Devs, 2nd IVS's 3rd Corpos (I'm not sure if this is the right order) and the least of their concerns is users. imho


Last edited by Koopacabras on 18 March 2023 at 3:06 pm UTC
Tuxee Mar 18, 2023
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: Tuxee
Quoting: sudoerWell done corp world... a container in a container. Unneccessary complexity for the sake of corp agendas. Does Proton even work with this.

What "agenda"?
Every corporation has an agenda... to make money.

Not shit, Sherlock. But "agenda" sounds so much more sinister and secretive than "make some money and - maybe - grow". And since we are talking about Canonical something fishy must go on.

Quoting: slaapliedjeCanonical's best way to make money is to try to get as much vendor lock-in that they can, without pissing off the community enough that someone switches to a different distro. Snap and them being the only ones who can host a snap store is their method of lock-in.

Canonical makes money with support and services for commercial customers. Exactly like Red Hat. Their Steam efforts are just pursued to keep Ubuntu visible as "the" desktop distro that plays well with their customer services. And there is zero lock-in since pretty much every software I can think of is also available via other channels. Snap is a convenient (YMMV) alternative in the Ubuntu ecosystem. That's all.
Purple Library Guy Mar 18, 2023
Quoting: Koopacabras
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: slaapliedjeEvery corporation has an agenda... to make money. Canonical's best way to make money is to try to get as much vendor lock-in that they can, without pissing off the community enough that someone switches to a different distro. Snap and them being the only ones who can host a snap store is their method of lock-in.
That's just nonsense. Canonical make zero money from desktop Ubuntu users. They make money, like Red Hat/IBM do, by offering paid support and services. Snaps make that hugely easier for their actual customers, and for themselves as maintainers. They might also have made money from the Ubuntu Phone, which snaps were largely created for, but they ran out of money before that could become a thing.

Snaps only come from one place to solve the discovery issue that PPAs have, and which Fedora users experience from flatpaks where they have access to some flatpaks but not all of them. All the snaps are available in one place - accessible by default for Ubuntu users and trivial to add for users of other distros (except Mint, who put up additional barriers in the way of user choice).
slaapliedje might be overstating, but so are you. Doing it up a bit too brown there, especially when we started this Snap conversation with the exact bit that got Mint annoyed.
they don't make money directly from users, but if Ubuntu wouldn't be so succesful, because (cough cough) users made it popular. I'd bet it wouldn't have high usage in corporate environments or ISV's wouldnt even consider it . I wouldn't call snaps a lock-in tho. But slaapliedje is right they have priorities.. 1st Devs, 2nd IVS's 3rd Corpos (I'm not sure if this is the right order) and the least of their concerns is users. imho
I have actually noticed a pattern where a new distro comes along done by a company, emphasizes the desktop, becomes very popular on the desktop, leverages that popularity to do server stuff etc. where there's some money, pays less attention to the desktop, and gradually loses popularity, which does them little harm because their server business remains intact . . . until the next desktop-oriented distro comes along, becomes very popular, and eats some of their lunch. Well, I say a pattern but it's only happened a couple of times.
Right now the "next" desktop distro (Pop!OS) is based around hardware sales instead, more like Apple, so that may play out differently. Unfortunately as far as I can make out I don't like it much--too innovative for my taste.
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