Thoughts of a Mate NOOB

Greetings,

I'm not a Noob to Linux but everything I've done has always been via Virtualbox for a few days. I've played mostly with Ubuntu flavors. Less of a fan of Mint, more of a fan of Budgie. Somehow Mate hit the sweet spot and stuck.

I've used Mac most of my life, switched to Windows 10 since intro, and so here are my thoughts from that POV. Mate on a two year old Celeron Mini PC.

  1. In general I really like the stability improvements. I've only frozen once over the last two weeks (?) and that's an extremely good sign. Can't recommend an OS if it's not as stable as what it's replacing.

  2. The speed jump in my scenario is amazing. Linux enthusiasts love to deploy the 'rescue' term and that's EXACTLY what this was. Wow.

  3. In general Mate is presented in a logical clear way. I was able to find most things without breaking a sweat. (I previously found Budgie hiding too many settings.)

All this said, here are some issues I (personally) would like to see go away. And I recognize some of these notes are directed at Mate while others are at Ubuntu and still others are directed Linux in general.

  1. I guess I could say that when something is missing in Mate that is included in basic operating systems everywhere, time to fix that. Recently I realized there was no easy way to do an 'About this PC'. I had to go to stumble upon 'Neofetch' and hit the terminal to install it. That's not optimal. It should be native.

  2. From comments I've seen everywhere system scaling is lacking. Yes there are tricks to kinda sorta get around this. But again -- simple scaling should be native.

  3. Time and date in the panel should be default.

  4. This may be more difficult to make default but a system temp reader would really help. I was able to install something or other in the panel and it works fine.

  5. This is a kind of wacky idea but perhaps you should consider installing alias apps in the menu. Suppose you went to system tools, right? And in it you saw an app greyed out. You hovered over it and it explained what it was and offered an install option. Click that and software boutique opens. In this way Mate could decrease the number of apps that come pre-installed -- and yet -- indicate likely suspects. I bet a lot of people don't need RhythmBox but would like to know it exists.

  6. The entire Google keyring thing is handled poorly. Personally I think the entire feature should be erased. It's accidental nagware. If Google forces that message, then when first installing Mate some message should encourage you to leave the passwords blank and re-visit the issue later. Speaking of passwords --

  7. -- I absolutely RESENT this modern password thing where MY system tells me IT doesn't like MY password. LOSE THAT. If I want to make a slight alteration to my system, or use a simple password -- it's MY choice. Sheesh...

  8. I don't know the platform agnostic name for this feature but I know Ubuntu calls it 'Activities'. I simply want a FAST way to switch which window I'm using. Mac has it, Win10 has it.

My fave way to do this is 'hot corners'. If I put a pointer in the top left corner, it shows all open windows. From there I can either close some windows or switch to any one of them. LOVE IT. But if put a pointer in bottom right, all windows go away for a moment and I can see the desktop. Once you have (something like) this you'll never use an OS without it. Honest.

(The other way is via touchpad gestures. Three fingers up could show all open windows, three fingers down would reveal the desktop.)

  1. I believe the best way to have happy PCs is to run preventive measures. In Mac it was running a fsck. In Windows it's called an SFC. I've researched both and on Ubuntu it's not so easy. Whenever a user has to run a pile of terminal commands (versus just one) I believe Linux loses. I'd like a native app for each.

People on the web mistake lots of criticism and notes as negative. Understand if I was ditching Mate because of this list I'd say so. I'm not. I'm really really impressed.

But OSes always try to improve. These are just some suggestions.

there is skippy xd which exposes the windows and you can set it up with brightside for hotcorners there is a post here on the forum on how to do it, another way is to bring in the activities overview that XFCE has available it will work with MATE but is much messier

1 Like

Thanks Bernie. I'll give it a looksie.

  1. There's a «about this PC» native thing.
    Menu, system tools, MATE system monitor, system tab.
  2. There are always ways to improve an OS. But it requires people and time. MATE is a small team.
  3. A matter of preferences I guess.
  4. A matter of preferences too. Not everybody wants thermals displayed in the system tray. It takes 10 seconds to install psensormanually.
  5. A matter of preferences then again. I Wouldn't like to have my menu bloated with apps I wouldn't like to use and already know about. There aren't that many software installed and I use rhythmbox for music, podcasts and radio. I assume lots of folks like a default media player when they use/try a distro. Here's rhythmbox. Don't like it ? sudo apt remove -y rhythmbox. Pleasing everyone with the default packages is just an impossible task. If you want a Linux experience where you decide if every single package should be there or not, Arch Linux and Gentoo are made for you.
  6. I don't know about that so I can't comment.
  7. To me, recommending new users to choose a decent password is not a bad idea.
  8. You can switch between windows using alt+tab. It's fast.
  9. Do you need to run a file system checker every day ? Learning something like fsck takes 5 minutes of your time. Just save the command you entered somewhere, should you need it ever again. Then, having a native software for this could help new users. Still, who's gonna make it ? I don't understand why the usage of command line tools would make Linux lose. CLI tools are usually very powerful and gratifying to use.
    I made this thanks to a pile of command lines:
    Capture du 2020-10-01 10-41-36
    I know nothing about coding and made this with yad some months after switching to Linux. I'm often led to change those settings. Imagine how user unfriendly would it be to have to open a native GUI for every single one of those ?
    I'd have to fiddle with the MATE cpu frequency monitor applet, go to the sound settings/output tab, go to preferences, display settings for the refresh rates, go to MATE Tweak/window tab to switch between window managers and there's no GUI for setting up my Wacom tablet, so I'd have to use the terminal anyway. And this, everytime I want to switch.
    Here, I just hit a keyboard shortcut, takes me 5 seconds to switch between all the settings I want. Clicking on validate without choosing anything switches back to the default settings. Try this on Windows 10...
    Do I lose anything in user-friendliness vs having to open 5 windows to enter my settings ? Nope.
    Fiddling with terminal utilities involves a bit of learning but reveals to be gratifying, useful and opens a world of endless possibilities.

Glad that you're impressed with Ubuntu MATE. This is a great distro.

5 Likes

@ Utsuro

There's a «about this PC» native thing.
Menu, system tools, MATE system monitor, system tab.

Kinda buried. There is an About in the Menu (I think) and it just shows the user. I'd move that system tab there.

There are always ways to improve an OS. But it requires people and time. MATE is a small team.

-- which is why I said not all of these notes apply to Mate specifically. And scaling isn't just a whimsical wish or preference on my part. It seems Ubuntu users bump into this too much from my Googling. Proper OSes have it. But yeah this is a note for the great canonicals in the cloud. :wink:

Time and date in the panel should be default.

You said that's a matter of preference, which is correct, since I did not make myself clear. I meant to say the option to add the date or day number should be easy to do, hopefully with preferences available under the clock.

Not everybody wants thermals displayed in the system tray.

Strawman. I didn't ask for that. Merely the option local/native.

A matter of preferences then again. I Wouldn't like to have my menu bloated with apps I wouldn't like to use and already know about.

Yes but I don't like the system loaded with options I won't use and need to go to their source to uninstall. My way greyed out apps could be right clicked and removed -- since the app was never there in the first place. Faster.

To me, recommending new users to choose a decent password is not a bad idea.

You strawman'd me again. I don't mind a recommendation. I mind that it won't let us ignore said recommendation.

You can switch between windows using alt+tab. It's fast.

Not really. Two keys, then some roaming. Lots of keys. Much faster with hot corners.

Fiddling with terminal utilities involves a bit of learning but reveals to be gratifying, useful and opens a world of endless possibilities.

As you say that's a matter of preference. Most computer users find anything outside of a mouse click frustrating. Which is why iPhone OS and Android are so popular.

Thanks for feedback on feedback.

1 Like

Just wanted to say I felt perhaps a different distro would meet more of my needs. I'm giving Zorin a close look.

Funny thing. One reason I kinda gave up on playing with Linux some 4 years ago was that I found the distros had a way of breaking themselves. Even if I just let them alone.

Ubuntu Mate was rock solid. Zorin? Had to reinstall it once already. Not cool. If it breaks again, I'll be dropping back by.

Again thanks for all the help.

Hey @DaltWisney - thank you for taking the time to provide some feedback, these kinds of things are very valuable to people working on making things better.

Personally I also miss an "About" menu item, mainly because of muscle memory from other OSes. Not the end of the world but yeah, could be a quality of life improvement, or one less paper cut :slight_smile:

So since you took the time to share your thoughts, I thought I would do the same, here are a few humble things to keep in mind while searching for an OS to settle on:

  1. If it's your daily driver, stick with a stable OS and desktop environment. In my personal experience, Ubuntu Mate has been set and forget on several computers around the house. This includes the wife's, the 2 old laptops for the children, and the living room media center kinda device. Not a single re-installation needed in more than 5 years, even after upgrading releases. I even use Mate for gaming although some people say there are better choices.
  2. If it is for learning Linux, or learning the absolute latest etc, choose perhaps a rolling release, something like Arch if you're really into it, or Manjaro which is more human friendly. Do not expect worry free updates in the long run, although your experience may vary.
  3. Keep in mind that no distribution will ever be perfect to your workflow, - maintainers need to choose defaults, and can never please everyone. Best to choose one that is good according to point 1 and 2, choose the desktop environment of your liking (Gnome, KDE, Mate...) and then tweak that last few things that get in your way :+1: Soon you'll be feeling right at home.
  4. Whatever you choose, get involved with the communities behind the projects, as you have done just here with this thread, its always an enriching experience.

There you have it, numbered bullet list and everything :smiley:

3 Likes

That was the most impressive part. :yum:

I absolutely got the feeling that Mate may sometimes exchange current OS 'flash' for rock solid stability. At the end of the day I'm the type of user that doesn't want to open the terminal or synaptic unless I have to.

The reason is not old dog/new tricks issue. (As an extremely rude individual at another board once said.) It's instead that I have no desire to take OS backwards steps. Normal installing/uninstalling is handled in basic ways with Mac OS and Windows 10.

I've gathered 'snap' installs are a rather controversial topic these days. I've also gathered the user must take backward steps (terminal, synaptic packages) to remedy the situation. That, to me, is a non-starter. For clearly the entire point of Software centers was to make the complex simple.

If there are valid security concerns of Snap stores -- the Linux pros need to apply pressure to Canonical to fix this. Not ask noob users to take backwards steps. Unless Linux has no interest in winning switchers from Mac and PC.

When someone comes up with a good idea and you try it -- and love it -- you can't be talked out of it.

A simple example is in Windows 10 I stumbled upon is the ability to click things once to open them instead of twice. In one day that saves this user probably 50-100 clicks. I don't need this feature as default but I do need it available.

And again -- to not have an easy way to view all open apps at once (Hot Corners via the pointer or three finger gestures) is a deal breaker for me. Once you drive automatic you're not gonna drive stick again, IMO.

Thanks for your thoughts.

I wouldn't call alternative methods of installing software in Ubuntu MATE as a "regression." Remember, as compared with installing software on Windows, on a Linux machine it is going to be different in the same way that installing software applications on macOS or the Chrome OS is different. On Ubuntu MATE, the "Software Boutique" is for the basics. "Software" and "Synaptic" are for accessing the full set of applications in the Ubuntu repository.

Here are some things to consider:

The Software Boutique contains a curated selection of applications available for Ubuntu MATE. It lets you:

  • Select from the list of Ubuntu MATE's recommended software, tested for the distribution.
  • Use simple tools to manage software packages installed on your system.
  • Install a software center or package manager with even more powerful ways to obtain additional software for your computer.

That last point is particularly significant:

  1. There are several ways to obtain software from the software catalog. Ubuntu MATE's own Software Boutique is a carefully curated selection of the best-in-class applications from the Ubuntu repositories, chosen because they integrate well, complement Ubuntu MATE and enable you to personalize your computing experience.
  2. When you first install Ubuntu MATE, the Software Boutique is the main graphical application you will use to install software. Other applications are also available to explore the complete Ubuntu software catalog.
  3. You have full access to the entire library at any time using the command line, but in order to obtain software from the complete software catalog using a graphical application that lets you browse through it, you will need to enable one or more of the software center applications from within the Software Boutique .
  4. If you don't find what you're looking for in the Software Boutique, install one of the available Software Centers to explore the complete Ubuntu software catalog. Choose the "More Software" category using the icons across the top of the Software Boutique 's main window.
  5. The selection labeled simply "Software" installs a graphical application (the Gnome Software Center) that lets you browse, install and update additional software applications and system extensions from the Ubuntu software repositories.
  6. The Synaptic Package Manager is a graphical package management application that lets you install software onto your computer and manage the software that is already installed. It allows you to search, install, upgrade, and remove packages using the software repositories. It also lets you add more software sources, modify repository settings, view changelogs, and even lock a package to a specific version.

For additional information about installing additional software applications, see the User Guide section dedicated to it: https://guide.ubuntu-mate.org/#applications-software

4 Likes

But I would. That, of course, is a personal opinion, but I can explain how I'm not talking only of my interests.

Firstly you call them 'alternative' methods. It's as easy to call them 'less elegant' or 'more difficult' as well.

I will present to you 3 tiers of installing apps on any platforms.

PAINLESS TIER

The easiest is demonstrated in iOS and Android. You go to a store, you push a button, and the OS handles the rest. Typically you do not need to do a restart. And typically updates are handled automatically. This PAINLESS method works for novices and experts alike, and is optimal.

SOME EFFORT TIER

Macs and PCs allow this 'outside of store' paradigm. You go to a website, download, and follow the install instructions. They can be a little frustrating to the noob because, well, they're not as intuitive as a 'phone' store.

You download something, but simply by clicking or do you right click? Then it downloaded itself -- but where again? Do you double click that? Oh, yes, but then you're interviewed. Where would you like this installed? Mind if I put a shortcut here or there? Can we send you a newsletter. Is this just for you or all users? And in some cases -- it's okay if we slide another software in beside this you never asked for, right? All this baloney creates anxiety for the average user -- and understandably so.

EVEN MORE EFFORT TIER

Linux says, hey, don't panic: there's the terminal and synaptics. Linux says don't worry all sorts of options exist with these alternatives.

I say bye bye regular computer users. The trend is phone point and click. Almost too simple. The terminal and packages nonsense is wonderful for you enthusiasts but ridiculous for normal users.

Don't get me wrong. I used the terminal in Macs and do so in Windows. But in a limited way. I find that when the OS forces you to use a terminal it's a system failing. Like running an SFC in Windows. Why? Why isn't it a setting that either automatically triggers or at least gives you a switch to flip?

I think Linux users get lost in "but look what it can do!!!" when I'm only discussing "but look how cumbersome it is to do!!!" Those are DIFFERENT topics.

Again -- I've gathered from various sources that even 'snap' apps in the Boutique are security risks. So even the simple solution is compromised. Not good.

By the way -- and this is critical -- hit any Linux board and you'll see the following. User says I have a problem. Linux pro says 'put this in the terminal' to fix it. User comes back with 'that didn't work'. Pro says 'Try uninstalling this package and installing this one instead and then put this command -- '. Rinse and repeat.

That 'activity' creates Chromebook users. I simply cannot recommend any Linux distro to anyone who has to touch the terminal more than in rare circumstances. And anything beyond a secure software store just won't happen.

Understand I, personally, am okay enough with where Linux is. But I'm not a 'normal' person when it comes to computing.

I don't think I mentioned the terminal in any part of my previous post. If I did, I apologize. My intent was not to provide you with more painful options than the Software Boutique, but rather, to highlight the fact that the Software Boutique gives you access to other one-click installation methods like the Software Center which uses the Ubuntu software repositories. To install an application from the "alternative" Software Center would qualify for your PAINLESS TIER.

  • Open the Software application.
  • Select the application to install by searching or by selecting from within a category, whichever is easiest for you.
  • Click the Install button.
  • Use the application. No restart required for the vast majority of software applications.

As for security in general, the Ubuntu software repositories include thousands of applications in hundreds of categories, suitable for just about any professional or recreational pursuit, and most are free of charge. When you use Ubuntu MATE, those applications, as well as security updates, driver updates, application updates, software upgrades, and operating system upgrades, are all available from trusted sources so you won't need to search the Internet for software. No more risking malware, junkware, or ransomware as a result of downloading from the wrong site! Ubuntu's software catalog is the ultimate in a trusted source!

Regarding Snaps, there is some controversy about the level of security of snap packages. I would submit that the snap store is no less secure than the Android or Windows store. In fact, although I am not an expert in this area, I would be willing to bet my Chromebook that the snap store represents a much less risky source of software than either of those options. The Linux Mint team has recently drawn negative attention to snap packages, not because of security, but because (it seems) they don't like getting software, specifically the Chrome browser ONLY via a snap. Their response was a bit knee-jerk in my opinion when rather than package Chrome themselves and make it available in the Mint repository, as some other distributions do, they removed the ability to install ANY snap packages.

In the end, we may disagree as to whether using the Software Center to get one-click access to applications is more or less difficult than other methods. That is one of the advantages of using Linux. It's your choice. You can choose to use it or not, for whatever reason you choose, and for whatever purpose you want. You can even change it, and make it work exactly they way you want it to without fear of violating a license agreement or copyright law or proprietary restriction!

5 Likes

Oh ok, so:

«Some effort tier»:
01- Search for website1. Make sure it's the official one. You don't want malware.
02 - Go to website1.
03 - Find the *.exe download link for the software.
04 - Download software1.exe.
05 - Search for website 2. Make sure it's the official one. You don't want malware.
06 - Go to website 2.
07 - Find the *.exe download link for the software.
08 - Download software2.exe.
09 - Search for website 3. Make sure it's the official one. You don't want malware.
10 - Go to website 3.
11 - Find the *.exe download link for the software.
12 - Download software3.exe.
13 - Go to Downloads folder.
14 - Care about security ? Sure. Verify the checksums of the 3 *.exe you just downloaded.
15 - Double click on software1.exe.
16 - Validate the UAC prompt.
17 - Wait for the installer to launch. Be prepared to click «next« about 3 times and then «finish» during the next ~45 seconds.
18 - Go back to Downloads folder.
19 - Double click on software2.exe.
20 - Validate the UAC prompt.
21 - Wait for the installer to launch. Be prepared to click «next» about 3 times and then «finish» during the next ~45 seconds.
22 - Go back to Downloads folder.
23 - Double click on software3.exe.
24 - Validate the UAC prompt.
25 - Wait for the installer to launch. Be prepared to click «next» about 3 times and then «finish» during the next ~45 seconds.
Done.
NB: software1 has an integrated auto-updates feature. Software2 and software3 have not. Enjoy repeating those steps every time you've found out there's an update for those two.

«Even more effort tier»:
01 - Open a terminal using ctrl+alt+t or super+t.
02 - sudo apt install -y software1 software2 software3 (or ins software1 software2 software3 because I'm too lazy to type sudo apt install -y every time I want to install something from the repos and found out about .bashrc aliases). They're in the repos. Should be ok for security.
03 - Enter your password.
04 - Wait for a moment. Software will auto-update.
Done.

Personally, I woud go for the «even more effort tier», seems easier to me. Maybe I'm wrong !

My opinion:

We get it that you don't like the terminal and are reluctant to use it. It has no 256x256 fancy colourful icons nor a one-click install, nor a fancy progress bar. To each his own. Still, you can't say it requires more effort than downloading software the usual Windows way. That's just dishonest.

I don't get the crusade against the ways to install software in Ubuntu MATE. It's like «hey I'm the new guy. if you want to get more users you gotta copy this or that from the OS that came with my computer, you know, the one I don't like anymore and just want to get away from».
People like the terminal here, it's simple (if you're willing to learn things), it's efficient and powerful. Software Boutique is as «user friendly» as the Microsoft Store gets (and I'm pretty sure it's less hated than the MS Store) and Synaptic is a solution as well if you made a bet with your friends not to ever use the terminal for whatever reason. Yes, it can break things if you think it's funny to click where you should not. But the same thing happens when downloading software on Windows. Click where you should not and you get malware/virus.

If I remember correctly, the GNU/Linux desktop market share goes below 2% (1.74% at the moment it seems). How many of those use Ubuntu MATE ? 0.3% ? Do you think that installing software the same way as Windows and MacOS would make those numbers jump to new heights ? Are we going to get way more people to burn distros isos on flash drives, boot on live sessions, install distros on bare metal because some genius found the «perfect way» to install software for «new users» ? I'm ok with GNU/Linux being a niche operating system. There's nothing wrong with that. Doesn't mean it's bad. It's the best choice for my use case. Want more people tu use it ? Tell them about it. Use whatever floats your boat.
I tend to install Ubuntu MATE wherever I can and people never complained about it being user-unfriendly or not being able to get things done. I've seen a few Windows 7 computers with 2gb ram being unable to open a browser last year because of Windows Update and the antivirus eating CPU and ram. Thought that OS was user-friendly. Meanwhile Ubuntu MATE would fly on it. That's what I often read here as well. People will install it on friends or family systems and know things will mostly be fine. Find the desktop layout you're at home with or tweak your own and you're good to go !

Grabbing new GNU/Linux users is not all about user-friendliness. GNU/Linux is different and not in a wrong way. That's one of the reasons why people switch to it. «Regular users» just don't want to adapt and mostly just don't care at all about their operating system. To make this change and grab tons of new users, you'd have to shove it down their throats, investing billions in marketing (remember the ribbon interface in Office when it came out ?). Who's gonna invest ? Oh and remember ? You get GNU/Linux distros for free (really, not just letting you use something for free and then making money with the data they collected on you) !

Your «linux board» argument works for Windows as well. I've seen countless times where people would troubleshoot some stuff online and be told to try «obscure» command line/powershell solutions in vain. Rinse and repeat.

@Utsuro You forgot the "Reboot your computer" step between each install step. LOL.

1 Like

Lol, yeah, and I avoided the security step on purpose as well where MS is not ok with the *.exe you downloaded and you have to click on «more info» and «execute anyway». It's the pinnacle of user-friendliness. No wonder Windows 10 has such a high market share.

The terminal is a common install option offered by Linux Experts, often offered as 'simple'. And you mentioned it here --

No 'you' don't. I clearly stated more than once that the 'normal' user won't use the terminal, and that I am not the normal user. Normal people have no idea what Linux is.

That 'his' refers not to me but the vast majority of people who might consider Linux over Windows 10.

Strawman. I said the Software Boutique is optimal for normal users, especially if all downloads are secure. It gives the user of Mac or Win10 an attractive solution.

Strawman. Actually the Boutique is optimal and already included. My concern is that Linux itself is warning such stores are bad news because of Snap, to the point Mint won't use Snap any longer. If this snap issue were resolved within said stores, Linux would suddenly have the best download and update options of the lot.

Because of your biased blindfold you failed to put that together.

Your goal is not only to land new users but have them, in turn, inspire others to consider Linux. I'm not here because Mac sucks and so does Windows. I'm here because I have a Celeron Mini PC that bloated Windows slows down too much.

I wouldn't put any Linux on my other 3 Windows PCs... yet. My feedback is why.

At the moment my impression of Linux is only for older hardware and computing experts. That is, I wouldn't tell someone with a zippy new PC who's clueless on maintaining Windows to forego Windows and try a Linux dual boot -- with the eventual intention to install any Linux over Windows. I also wouldn't tell a clueless Windows user with dated hardware to consider either.

Why not? Already explained above. If you don't like the feedback, fine.

Not my loss.

as far as snap store security goes it is every bit as secure as anything you would get from the windows store, snaps are usually sanboxed preventing them from doing harm to your system even if they were malware, they are probably the most secure packing format available for anything imo, mint only doesn't like them because they don't have control over them, nothing security wise that I'm aware

2 Likes

Agree completely, esp regarding LM's reaction. Although now they have announced that they will package Chromium by themselves.

I'm trying to read about security issue in snaps but not sure if these are just clickbait articles or have anything solid? Even when information is solid are these flaws just part of software development process (bugs) which can be fixed or a serious security flaw in the very design of snap packages? Are they less secure vis-a-vis flatpaks?

I'm using snap packages as much as possible, just to test, and so far nothing to complain. As normal user I cannot say anything related to security but I haven't had any issue that would make me feel not use it. Only issue if I may say is that snap versions seem to take longer than deb versions to launch but then, I haven't done any accurate test using timer.

If properly handled and becomes mainstream, I think snaps (and flatpaks as well, users would not know if delivered via Software Center) are the solution the normal user is looking for.

Had that issue too with snaps taking way longer to launch than native packages. Used to uninstall Software boutique/Welcome snap and replace it with the PPA. Now in 20.10, it loads much faster, to the point I don't feel that need anymore. Happy with the improvements.

1 Like

The security issue with Snaps, FlatPaks, and AppImages is about the same and is more a matter of of possibility than reality. You can think of it like the Windows or Android scenario.

  • Like Windows apps and the Android store, anyone can create an application and package it up and offer it as a Snap, FlatPak or AppImage.
  • Those universal packages, like with Windows apps downloaded from a developer site or Android apps not created by Google, the apps offered in Snaps, FlatPaks, and AppImages are not reviewed by the distribution with the same rigor as packages in the distribution's official repository.
  • For Ubuntu (and Ubuntu family derivatives like Ubuntu MATE), Snaps get some attention, since it is a Canonical effort, but it is is still possible that a poorly-developed or malicious package gets into the Snap store.
  • The likelihood that a malicious package makes it into the Snap store is low because they are typically developed by Linux users who know the consequences.
  • The likelihood that a malicious package stays in the Snap store for any significant length of time is also very low because this is Open Source and that means that there are a lot of eyes on these kinds of things and malicious code, apps, and activities tend to get identified and addressed quickly. That's possible because with Open Source development, everyone with the skill is authorized to fix problems, not just the developers.
2 Likes