Thoughts on Snapd

Hello guys!

Do you use snap to install packages in your system?

I’ve be wondering if it’s a good idea to use snap to install packages, specially regarding performance and storage usage; against installing it the regular (pacman, aurman…) way.

Snapd has been a trending topic for me lately. I’ve come to know it recently, even though I’ve been in the Linux world for quite a while.

So, my experience with it has been great, but I get that feeling like “it’s too good to be true”. There must be a downside to it.

I don’t really have any Snaps installed here. But I’ve used them quite a bit when using debian based stuff or playing on Solus. I see nothing wrong with them, some are pretty cool. But most everything in Arch I find in the archive or AUR so I haven’t needed any.

I’ve used Flatpak (a similar approach as Snapd) to install software in openSUSE. One downside is you may be dealing with a 2nd package manager if you want to do version upgrades, package removals, etc. If you use a launcher such as docky or plank some of these programs will no longer pin to the dock, and the software icon may appear less crisp in application menus and taskbars.

A little of what I know …

Snap and Flatpak are fake portable programs, the two modes create and run in sandbox which in turn creates a “loop1, loop2, loop3” partition for each application, in other words if you have 10 snaps there will be 10 more partitions for the system manage, read and etc … and all this process of shortcuts and fake links can rather leave the system slow, these programs are swelling and depending on the app it can be much larger than one installed in the standard way, Linux knows how to deal a lot well with large volumes of programs installed and in the garal the performance should not be affected except problems or the type of disk and certain settings, if what you like and need exists in Appimage try with this package template, this is a true portable program, do not need extra program for installation or removal, just a permission to simply delete or delete if it is the case, I always create an appimage folder in the home and put everything I need there, Krit a is a good example, wheel in Openbox without intricate dependencies of KDE in the system, in the github ofical Appimage there is a lanaçador that can create shortcuts for your applications. (I do not use it, I prefer to invoke the app dretfully in the folder)

A reference for staff you do not know. (the “core” base and a program)

I’m not saying that Snap or Flatpak are bad, is not it, the point is that they are not as portable as they claim to be … at least not in that sense of practicality and total volume added to the system, different from an appimage that can run directly from a USB drive.

Yeah I’d prefer to install from the AUR or compile myself.


Snaps & flatpaks take up large amounts of space compared to normally packaged programs because they must include all the libraries required to run them.

I use flatpaks[1] in Debian stable to get shiny new software but there’s no point doing that in ArchLabs because all the versions are new anyway.

There is also the fact that snaps & flatpaks come with an unknown set of compilation and configuration options and may contain unknown files and other programs unlike the official packages whose configuration and content is known and public.

See also

[1] Snap comes from Ubuntu, flatpak is from Redhat; Redhat > Ubuntu so I use flatpaks :slight_smile:


Ah, glad I searched before asking about this. Just confirms my initial thoughts :slight_smile:
Thanks HoaS for the explanation. IIRC, even though they (snaps) may contain unknown files and libs etc, my understanding that they (unsure about Flatpacks) are “supposed” to be somewhat chrooted (I think that would be correct term, though very much could be wrong). And that is “supposed” to keep them safe (isolated?) from interfering with the host system.

I dunno - the concept of using them on a rolling system seems a little odd to me. Yeah, maybe in the instance you mentioned, HoaS - on some distros it very well would make sense.