[Poll] Opinion on snaps and if you would like to see them as default

Hi, I believe MATE userbase is conservative and mature when it comes to computing in that they prefer time-tested, working solutions than 'shiny new things'. However, I'm just curious to know (esp after seeing the LM's reaction), what you all feel about 'snap' packaging system. Do you like it? hate it? don't have any preference either way? are interested in trying out? had bad experience? etc. I just created this poll (my first, and a learning experience :slight_smile: ) to know more about it.

In my limited experience, I feel that open source community has not been all that fair to Ubuntu. I see that Ubuntu team come up with something and most of the time, if not always, open source community jump on them painting them as villains and come up with alternate solution instead of collaborating and improving. In the end Ubuntu just abandons the project they started; Unity, touch devices, Mir, Upstart etc. Although I am not expert, I do not want snaps to fail, just because some in the community dislike/hate Ubuntu/Canonical. Let me know what you think.

  • I like (or would like to know about) snaps. I do not mind applications (including core applications) offered as snaps by default.
  • I do not like snaps. I do not want applications (including core applications) offered as snaps by default.
  • Cannot decide.

0 voters

It was the reason leaving ubuntu went to mint (where supposed not allowed but exist a manual installation guide ) and now i'm with Manjaro.All Distros have snap!!!

So, if I understand correctly, you do not even want the distro to offer snap support, let alone enable it? May I know why? Is is because you do not like continuous churning (esp when .deb exist and stable), or you find it technically flawed or on moral grounds that Ubuntu/Canonical is wrong in keeping server-side closed or any other?

Not enamored with SNAPS, although I see their application in specific instances. But definitely not keen on UM shipping apps as SNAPS, esp. apps that need to be used/integrated with other apps. Incompatibilities, UI differences, etc, are my reasons.

Similar to systemd it's adding lots of complexity for often modest gains. I thought Windows had demo'd the dangers that lurk in this approach ...

Snap is nice :slight_smile:

It allow linux users to install some apps on different distros.
I'm now running some similar software on my ubuntu mate and a redhat 8 computer that was not possible before snap.
The target of snap is to make apps running on multiple distros with single dev, many users do not need it as they are working around the same distros mostly.

The only bad points I see are :

  • the snap directory inside home profile -> should move somewhere else (there is a way to hide it - create ~/.hidden and write the word "snap" inside)
  • the snap snapshots (a manual config is needed to keep only the last snap app, by default this eats bytes on the disk)
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I cannot choose a vote because i like snaps but i do not specially want to see apps offered as snaps by default. I think that the main format in a debian-based distro must be the deb packages. But i like to have the possibility to install OTHER apps in a snap format. It's the same for flatpaks (that i do not use) : keep the original packaging format by default and offer the choice to install other apps, or other versions of an app with snap, flatpak, etc.


I don't hate snaps, but I prefer deb packages. They just launch faster even though Welcome and Software Boutique made significant progress in 20.10 in that regard. However, Foliate as a snap is stil painfully slow to launch on my machine. I won't boycott specific software because it is only available as a snap though.

If the point is to provide a package that works on every distro, I wonder why specifically Ubuntu MATE Welcome and the software boutique are packaged as a snap since hardly nobody will install them on another distro. Don't get me wrong, they're great apps but they don't really feel distro-agnostic (and who would install the software boutique to install deb packages from the Ubuntu repos on Fedora ?).


Just to add that, when I speak of snap, it also means and/or flatpak. That is because I am not able (at least for now) to distinguish between the two and evaluate one over the other. I do not have preference between the two. It is just that snap is native(!) to Ubuntu.

My interest in these 'universal' packaging is mainly due to, cross-distro applicability, dependency handling and in case of snaps automatic updates (and rollbacks as needed).

I am interested in packaging and am learning how to do it (both deb and snap). Man, it is hard! Not necessarily writing a debian control/rules file or a snapcraft.yaml but actually continually monitoring the package and keeping it up-to-date. One has to watch out CVEs, patch as needed, rebuild, test and stuff like that. And when I was fiddling around this, I also noticed there are lots of packages that need maintainers (many are not properly maintained/updated, many requesting for handover, many orphaned). And this issue is across distros. I was thinking, why this has to be like this? Let's consider there are 10 distros, it is safe to assume that we will have at least 10 (or more) package maintainers putting same amount of efforts to maintain the same application for 10 different distros! The program itself is 'universal' in the sense, when it runs it is same across all those distros (say firefox, it is firefox no matter which distro I use), all the effort that is put, is actually in packaging! And it gets worse if those distros have long term support where the package maintainer(s) will have to maintain multiple versions of same application. Instead, if those 10 guys discuss and agree on snap (or flatpak), it will require only a fraction of them, say 2 to maintain that application which will run on any distro. The remaining 8 can pick up any other application(s) (orphaned ones!) so we as users get more applications readily available. If we agree on snap (and/or flatpak) it also helps in cases where developers do the packaging say Google Chrome. Instead of a deb/rpm package, we can have snap/flatpak which then will work on any distro.

Same with dependency handling, I have some bad experience with install failures, unmet dependencies etc. These new packaging system (if I may include appimage also here), promise to fix. Just grab one package click and done.

Also, about auto update. Some people are mad about snaps updating by themselves. In my case though it is an advantage. I put UM/LM for my family and friends and the software center + auto update is the best solution for this use case.


Having responded to the poll, then read the comments, it's apparent that the selections are somewhat problematic. I don't think this poll should be used as-is for decision-making about the direction of the distribution. It could be improved and restarted with additional options. Some observations:

  • Some options people describe in the comments are not available in the poll. (Like Snaps but don't want to see them offered/installed by default.)
  • We have some people who respond that they don't like Snaps AND HAVE LEFT for another distro. They are no longer a user and their vote should not count as feedback to use to improve Ubuntu MATE, assuming the decision has been made that Snaps/Flatpaks, etc. will be offered in some fashion.

@goinglinux, fair enough. I also felt that the choices I provided are limited after reading comments. I wanted to split 'like snaps' choice as below,

  • I like (or would like to know about) snaps. I do not mind applications (including core applications) offered as snaps by default.
  • I like (or do not mind) snaps but do not want applications offered as snaps by default. Snaps should not replace debs.

But apparently, one cannot edit polls after initial 5 mins.

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I dont't wand an app who make my life difficult , and i want to have the ability to remove it with 1-2 terminal commands. About distros supporting simply i dont care !


This poll is a poll. It is not an official poll set up by wimpy.

On snaps etc.
I may be badly informed, but I like the fact that Flatpaks (which I use) do not update automatically, whereas snaps do. :penguin:

That is a central point of comparison for me, and the reason why I prefer Flatpaks to snaps. I rely on Flatpaks on my daily driver. I have also used one application as snap, and then a Flatpak. The snap was buggy, the Flatpak is running well up to this day. It is possible that the person who made the snap did not build it as well as was required. That I cannot tell, but I thank them for their work anyway. :slightly_smiling_face:

I prefer Flatpak over snap because Flatpak is supported by many different distributions including Linux Mint, MX Linux, elementary OS, Red Hat, ...

Canonical with snaps is following their own path, which is more or less restricted to the Ubuntu-World.

According to Wikipedia:

A number of Linux distributions support Snap out of the box such as Ubuntu (and e.g. Kubuntu), Manjaro, Zorin OS, KDE Neon, Solus and Li-f-e. Snap is also available for many other distributions such as Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Elementary OS, Fedora, GalliumOS, Kali Linux, Linux Mint, OpenEmbedded, Parrot Security OS, Pop!_OS, Raspbian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and openSUSE.

A number of notable Desktop software development companies publish their software in the Snap Store, including Google, JetBrains, KDE, Microsoft (for Linux versions of e.g. .NET Core 3.1, Visual Studio Code, Skype, and PowerShell), Mozilla and Spotify. Snaps are also used in Internet-of-Things environments, ranging from consumer-facing products to enterprise device management gateways and satellite communication networks. Finally, Snap is also used by developers of server applications such as InfluxDB, Kata Containers, Nextcloud and Travis CI.


Honestly, I would prefer if no core apps use snap by default. I don't mind snaps as long as they are not core apps and they are completely optional as long as they are tied to Canonical's cloud and updates are forced.


I was ambivalent, until the snap Chromium.Chrome packages stopped working after an update. At least Firefox still works.

My actual usage makes me prefer appimage over snap or flatpack.

All things consider, I'm not thrilled with 20.04 and will likely stay with 16.04 and hope for better days ahead with 22.04. I was disappointed with 18.04, 20.04 is an even bigger disappointment.

I guess its possible updates will eventually fix things, but half the time things have been worse after I install "updates".

The Mate parts have been slightly improved, its the underlying Ubuntu that is regressing.

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I'm on the same boat as @Fall66. I like the ease of installation of applications when using snap and auto update. The point I don't like is that when a snap updates, its icon is removed from Plank. They slow down boot because they're all mounted on init and I think every software available should let users choose between let's say a .deb and a snap. Like canonical did with Chromium. There's only the snap version on 20.04. That was disappointing because I should be free to choose what piece of software i install on my PC. Those are my general thoughts on snap and there's no option for me on that poll

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It's the automatic update of snaps that horrifies me. As an analogy, I have an Android tablet that keeps updating and rebooting (even though I told it not to). It makes it unusable as a presentation tool.

A lesser issue is the software bloat. As each year goes by, it's harder and harder to use older hardware.

I personally do not have problem with auto update. However, it is not clear to me if there is distinction between security update and feature update. Security update, I want to be automatic. Feature update, hmm... probably would like to choose. But even then, is it really that bad? Is it not same in rolling distos like Arch linux. One can hold off updating for some time but not for very long I guess.

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I like snaps and Canonical keeps improving them. Snaps are gaining theme support and a lot of people want that. I honestly feel Canonical is doing a great job with snaps.