| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 1029, 24 July 2023
Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
At the beginning of the month we reported the Murena organization was launching the Fairphone 4 with a de-Googled version of Android for North American markets. This week Jesse Smith takes one of these repairable Fairphone devices, paired with Murena's operating system, for a test drive and reports on his experiences with the phone. Then, in our Questions and Answers column we talk about sandboxing options available for portable packages such as Snap and Flatpak and share tools used to lock down portable applications. Do you limit the access of Snap or Flatpak applications on your machines? Let us know if you lock down these portable packages in this week's Opinion Poll. In our News section this week we touch upon a plan which would allow Redox OS to borrow drivers from Linux (and other operating system) to allow the young operating system to work with more equipment. Meanwhile we talk about Debian publishing updated install media which include bug fixes for Debian 12. We're also pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Murena on Fairphone 4 in North America
During the first week of July we reported Murena had launched a new mobile phone in the North American market. Specifically, the Fairphone 4 is now being sold in the United States.
The Fairphone 4, which retails for $629 USD, is intended to be upgradeable and repairable. It's trivial to pop off the back of the phone and replace the battery, swap out the SIM card, and upgrade the storage. Armed with nothing more than a tiny screwdriver we should also be able to replace (or upgrade) any malfunctioning parts and Fairphone sells spare parts through their on-line store. the idea is to make it easy for people to repair their phones or replace batteries rather than purchase a whole new device.
What Murena brings to the table is a de-Googled operating system (called /e/OS) which removes all the proprietary applications and telemetry usually associated with Android and replaces these pieces with open source, privacy-respecting equivalents. Murena also supplies it's own cloud services (based on Nextcloud), offers a one-tap VPN service, and offers anonymous access to both the Google Play and F-Droid software repositories. In short, Murena's operating system offers all the same applications and services that people expect from Android without all of the spying, advertisements, and proprietary components associated with most Android devices.
The combination results in an environmentally-friendly, repairable smart phone which should be more secure and respect user privacy without sacrificing much in terms of cost, functionality, or convenience. I wanted to give this platform a test run to see how it would hold up and Murena kindly offered to let me borrow a device.
What is in the box?
Inside the box I received from Murena there was, of course, the Fairphone 4, a quick-start guide, and a little booklet which talked about Murena's cloud services and how to migrate to them from other providers. There were also some stickers and an offer to send old phones back to Fairphone to be recycled. There are no charge cables or USB cables in the box.
The items in my Fairphone 4 box
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The Fairphone 4 has a pretty solid set of specifications. The hardware includes a 64-bit octo-core processor running at 2.2GHz. Fairphone 4 can ship with 6GB or 8GB of RAM along with 128GB or 256GB of storage. The device I was test driving had the lower specifications for memory and storage. 20GB of the storage space was set aside for the operating system, leaving me with about 108GB of free space.
The phone offers 5G networking and is carrier unlocked, making it portable between services. Murena is reportedly confirmed compatible with T-mobile, Mint mobile, Speed Talk, and a handful of others in the United States and may be compatible with other networks. The phone offers eSIM and an expansion SIM port along with a microSD slot for additional storage. The device has a replaceable battery and, with a tiny screwdriver, we can swap out other parts too.
The phone, the battery, and the rear panel
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The Fairphone includes front and rear facing cameras (48 megapixels and 25 megapixels) weighs about 225 grams and has a 6.3 inch screen with a resolution of 2340x1080 pixels. The device can be charged or connected to a computer via a USB-C cord. The phone cannot charge from a wireless station.
At the time of writing, the Fairphone 4 is available in the USA, but not yet for sale in Canada.
Unlike most phones I've used recently, the Fairphone places its volume and power buttons down the right side of the device rather than dividing them to either side.
Booting the Fairphone the first time brings up a configuration wizard. The wizard walks us through a series of steps such as enabling accessibility options (changing the font size, screen resolution, and magnification). We're also asked to pick our language from a list, select our time zone, and set the clock. We have the option of connecting to local wireless networks.
The wizard asks if we'd like to enable location data for applications. We're also given the chance to enable a fingerprint locks or a PIN to protect our device.
One feature I had not encountered previously was the option to use 2-button, 3-button, or Gestures for navigation. A little animation plays demonstrating what this means. When 3-button navigation is enabled we see three buttons across the bottom of the display (Back, Home, Apps). The 2-button option appears to show just Back and Home. When Gestures are selected then no buttons are shown and we instead use swiping motions on the screen to navigate between windows and tasks. Gestures are a central theme of UBports and have been popularized by recent versions of iOS.
The final screen of the wizard offers to create a Murena cloud account or sign into an existing account. I'll talk about the cloud services available to us later in this review.
Murena 1.12 -- The home screen with application launchers
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Default applications and settings
Murena ships with a pretty familiar line-up for applications. On the home screen we find a phone dialing app, a text messaging app, a web browser, and a camera. We're also given a calendar, calculator, clock, and an address book. There is a file browser, photo gallery viewer, and an e-mail client. Browsing further we find a map/GPS application, audio recorder, a note taking application, and a music player. There is a settings panel, and a task tracker.
These apps all worked well for me. They all seem to be stable, well organized, and fairly simple to use.
Murena 1.12 -- Exploring the pull-down menu and quick settings
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The Settings panel is a mixed experience, in my opinion. The operating system offers a lot of settings, providing us with the ability to tweak almost every aspect of the platform. However, this means there are a huge number of items to browse through in order to find what we want. There is a search function, but it sometimes returns multiple items, which doesn't always help. For instance, let's say we want to disable vibrations and tapping sounds when we press buttons. Most of the settings to do this are predictably found under the Sound page of the Settings panel. However, if we want to disable feedback vibrations when we type that leads us into the System screen, then to Languages & Input, then to On-screen keyboard, select a keyboard layout, then Preferences. That's a lot of screens to just to get the phone to stop vibrating after I already turned off vibrations under the Sound page.
Murena 1.12 -- The settings panel with default light theme
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The software centre
Murena's software centre is called the App Lounge. It has a modern look and feel, not unlike Google's Play Store or GNOME Software in its style. Featured items are shown on the front page and we can tap buttons to browse categories or perform text searches. There is also a tab for updates which shows new versions of available packages.
Murena 1.12 -- Selecting the KDE Connect software in the App Lounge
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The App Lounge connects to both the Google Play Store and the F-Droid open source software repository. The first time we launch App Lounge we can select whether to use our Google account to access Google Play Store packages or we can access the Play Store anonymously. When we are looking at detailed descriptions of applications, items in the Play Store are shown with a publisher name while items from F-Droid are marked as such. This helps us verify the origins of software. Each app is given a user rating indicating its popularity and a privacy rating indicating its tendency to track the user and phone home.
I like the App Lounge and find it both responsive and reliable in the current version (1.12) of /e/OS.
Special privacy features
Murena places a focus on privacy. By default their mobile operating system ships with a privacy widget which is displayed on the screen to the left of the home screen. This screen shows us privacy options with toggle switches. The three key privacy toggles are "block trackers", "fake location", and "hide IP address". The block trackers option attempts to thwart tracking modules built into applications we might install from the App Lounge. The fake location tool will report a made up location to applications requesting our position. The option to hide our IP causes traffic to be routed through the Tor network.
Murena 1.12 -- Viewing account storage usage and privacy toggles
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Along with these higher-level privacy tools there is a module in the Settings panel which provides more information and some flexibility for these features. We can see which apps are trying to track us, for example, and block application access to certain resources. This module will also help us try to select from which country our IP address should appear to be.
The toggle switches are pretty easy to use and, while I would like to see an easier way to identify which applications were trying to track us rather than just how many trackers were blocked, I feel like these are all welcome privacy features.
Murena 1.12 -- Using a fake location and seeing it reflected in the weather widget
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Cloud features and file sync
Murena offers optional, cloud-based services to help users migrate away from the Apple and Google ecosystems. When our phone is signed into a Murena account it automatically synchronizes files, photos, contacts, notes, mail, and calendar appointments. (We can turn off synchronization for specific items in the Settings panel.) This allows us to share a calendar with all our mobile devices and with desktop applications such as Thunderbird. We can also synchronize files and contacts with any device which has a Nextcloud client application installed.
Murena offers a web portal where we can sign into their cloud services to see files, contacts, and notes which have been uploaded from our phone. Their Nextcloud-based service also has an on-line copy of OnlyOffice to help us work on documents and spreadsheets.
The Murena cloud services web interface
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I like the way the on-line web service is set up and found it easy to navigate. It's also nice to have tasks and calendar items automatically synced to my desktop machine so I do not need to pick up my phone to see what is coming up later in the day on my calendar.
The Fairphone is listed as being compatible with a handful of American cell networks. It can work with other networks too. I was able to test and confirm the device works on the Telus/Koodo in Canada, for example. I was able to send texts, make phone calls, and use mobile data. It was a smooth experience with /e/OS.
The Fairphone 4 is highly responsive and its interface is snappy. I like how quickly it boots, launches applications, and performs tasks. It is a slick device and I enjoy its performance.
I could not find a way to disable the screenshot shutter sound. The camera application has a toggle to turn off the shutter noise, but it doesn't apply to screenshots. I looked up how-tos on this topic since my other phones haven't made noises when taking screenshots once shutter sounds were disabled. From what I can find, the option to toggle shutter sounds is vendor-specific and the only way to work around it on /e/OS seems to be installing a third-party screenshot tool. This is the first phone I've run into with this quirk and I'm not a fan of the sound effect having no clear toggle to disable it.
The Fairphone 4 is larger than most other smartphones I have used over the years. For example, it's close to a centimetre wider, a few millimetres thicker, and around two centimetres taller than my Galaxy S9. This might be beneficial if someone is looking for a larger screen and the phone still fits fairly well in my pocket. However, my thumb (which can roam over the screens of most of my past phones) can't reach all the corners of the Fairphone. This makes it a little less comfortable for me to use one-handed, but easier to use two-handed as I have long fingers and there is more space between on-screen elements.
One of the few issues I had with the Fairphone 4 was that it is unable to recharge on a wireless charging station. I find the charge port is typically the first component to fail on my phones and it is too easy for a USB cord to pop out during the night, so I mostly use wireless charging these days. I figured I'd adjust my routine with the Fairphone and plug it into my computer via a USB-C cord to charge it while working. The phone has a battery than can perform light work for around two days so I wasn't concerned about it needing to juice up for long periods of time.
However, I found the Fairphone was unable to draw enough power from my computer's USB ports to recharge. My S9 and Pinephone can recharge quickly using the same ports, but the Fairphone was unable to draw enough power and I watched its battery very slowly drain even when it was plugged in. This happened even with all apps closed. I next tried to enable the battery saving mode, but it's disabled in the Settings panel.
Eventually, I had to buy a charging block and plug the Fairphone into a wall socket using a USB-C cable in order to give it enough current to recharge. This was the one notable inconvenience of my trial and not a big deal, it's just outside of my usual experience with my past three devices.
I really like what Murena is trying to do with their focus on open source software and privacy. They make an unusually polished, de-Googled experience which is still compatible in virtually every way with the existing Android ecosystem. The Fairphone is a great idea, in my opinion. Too many phones get thrown away these days due to dead batteries or a malfunctioning component. The Fairphone addresses this problem really well by making it easy to pop open the device and replace a component at a reasonable price.
Often times devices and operating systems which exist outside the mainstream struggle to be polished, performant, or to be compatible with existing apps. Murena running on the Fairphone doesn't have these drawbacks. It's basically Android, but with more privacy features and Google's cloud services swapped out for Nextcloud. The Fairphone is far from under powered, in fact it's sporting approximately the same CPU and memory as my laptop and is pleasantly fast.
I had a little trouble getting the device to charge from a computer's USB port, but otherwise the experience was fantastic. The phone is fast, we have access to virtually all the apps in the Android ecosystem, and I like that F-Droid is enabled by default.
I also like the Murena cloud services. They're optional and opt-in, making them non-invasive. I appreciated being able to synchronize all my devices - sharing tasks, contacts, and files.
Finally, I really appreciate that this phone feels like a phone and computing device that is designed to be useful for me rather than an advertising platform for a large company. Whenever I have the misfortune to use other people's Android phones or iPhones, I always feel as though the goal is to see how much the device can annoy me before I stop using it. The pop-ups, the ads, the nagging prompts to enable things on those phones are frustrating and time consuming. This phone feels like it is there to make my life easier, and its repairable nature means it can continue to do so for the next five years without requiring me to buy another device.
In short, I think Murena's Fairphone offering is a solid product. It's a decent price, offers the power and flexibility of Android, with an added set of privacy protecting tools. Plus the phone is repairable and the software is supported for five years. This makes the device ideal for people who are environmentally or privacy focused as well as people who would like to keep their devices running for longer periods of time rather than upgrade steadily.
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Visitor supplied rating
Murena has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.5/10 from 15 review(s).
Have you used Murena? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Redox OS considers borrowing drivers from Linux, Debian updates install media for Bookworm
One Summer of Code contributor to Redox OS, a modern, open source operating system which is not in the Linux or BSD families, has put forward an interesting idea to greatly expand application and driver support for the young operating system. "The availability of support for various apps and drivers (for various hardware and software) is crucial for the general adoption of any general purpose operating system like Redox OS. Some of us developers are working on improving the core of Redox OS (like the Kernel), which should create a solid base on which high quality native drivers and apps can be created with ease. Some others are working on porting (and adapting) various open source drivers and apps (written for other OSes) such that they can work with Redox OS. This work is super important and helps Redox OS progress forward.
But in the meanwhile, there's a potential shortcut to enabling wide driver and app support for Redox OS, without having to manually port and adapt drivers to Redox OS. (which can be helpful, both today and in the future). The shortcut, in simple words, is to use our host machine running Redox OS, to run a virtual machine (VM) that will run another OS (like Linux or Windows) as the guest, and we then cleverly use the drivers and apps that can run on that guest OS to help cover up for the missing drivers and apps on Redox OS." The plan goes into further details and mentions other situations where similar approaches have worked.
* * * * *
Just over a month after the release of Debian 12 "Bookworm", the Debian project has published updated install media labelled 12.1. The new media provides package fixes for Debian 12, but is not a new version of the distribution. The project's announcement states: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the first update of its stable distribution Debian 12 (codename bookworm). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 12 but only updates some of the packages included."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Flatpak vs Snap sandboxing
Playing-in-the-sand asks: Which package format offers better sandboxing, Flatpak or Snap?
DistroWatch answers: One of the attractive features both Snap and Flatpak packages offer is the ability to place running applications in a sandbox. What this means is the application has limits on the sorts of actions it can perform and the information it can access. The application can try to do whatever it wants, within the boundaries of the "sandbox". Anything outside of the sandbox is inaccessible to the application.
The Flatpak and Snap technologies each provide methods for limiting what their packages can do. For example, we can prevent a Snap or Flatpak package from being able to play sound, access files in certain locations, display information on the desktop, or communicate with other applications we are running on the desktop.
While it is technically possible to set sandbox limits on both portable package types from the command line, the syntax is not particularly intuitive and the official documentation for both package formats is less than ideal in terms of practical examples. For this reason, users of Flatpak and Snap packages will usually make use of graphical, point-and-click utilities which make it easy to set limits on applications.
For Flatpak users sandboxing is typically accomplished with the Flatseal application, itself available as a Flatpak. The Flatseal application displays installed Flatpak packages down the left side of its window. Over on the right is a long list of permissions we can grant or deny for the selected application.
The list is long and sometimes subtle. For example, we might toggle off the ability for an application to play sound and be surprised when it can still produce audio. However, a closer inspection will reveal the application could still send audio data to PulseAudio to be played, so we need to disable that option too. In other words, the Flatseal interface is straight forward, but the interconnected pieces of the many security options might not be immediately obvious.
Locking down Flatpak permissions with Flatseal on Debian
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People using Snap packages will likely find the easiest way to adjust permissions is through the Software application. Snap integrates automatically with the software centre on Ubuntu and related distributions. When we install an application or visit its information page within the software centre, a button near the top of the page labelled Permissions appears. Clicking this button pops up a window where we can toggle sandbox permissions for the selected application.
The list of Snap permissions is shorter than those presented by Flatseal, but I find the options are labelled well and are, perhaps, more clear in their meaning. The labels next to each toggle are displayed in what I would consider to be more clear language. On Flatseal, for example, we will see options like "Fallback to X11 windowing system" or "PulseAudio sound server" while for Snap we see options like "Play audio" and "Access files in your home folder". The latter feels more easy to understand with less technical knowledge while Flathub's long list of options perhaps affords more flexibility.
Adjusting Snap permissions with the software centre on Ubuntu
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The original question asked which package format offers "better" sandboxing, but didn't specify better in what way. Both Snap and Flatpak offer sandboxing, both offer fairly fine-tuned controls, both can be handled using command line and graphical desktop utilities. Both work, helping to isolate applications and protect privacy. Personally, I find the Snap options easier to understand and I think they're more beginner-oriented. On the other hand, Flatseal is nice in that it doesn't rely on a specific software centre and it offers more fine-grained permissions.
Both formats offer flexible, powerful sandboxing. Both sandboxes offer similar capabilities to limit applications. I think which one is more attractive is a matter of personal taste rather than technical merit.
* * * * *
Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Patrick Schleizer has announced the release of Whonix 17, a major update of the project's Debian-based distribution designed for advanced security and privacy via its fail-safe, automatic and desktop-wide use of the Tor network. Whonix uses a heavily reconfigured Debian base inside multiple virtual machines, thus providing a substantial layer of protection from malware and IP address leaks. It is designed to be run inside a virtual machine. This is the distribution's first stable release based on Debian 12: "Whonix 17 has been released. Major changes: port to Debian 12 'Bookworm'; update Tor Browser to 12.5.1; use Tor packages from Debian stable instead of Tor Project repository; enable zsh by default for new builds (might get reverted depending on ticket Qubes-Whonix issue 8343; replacing initramfs-tools with Dracut; renamed Qubes templates; renamed 'whonix-gw-16' to 'whonix-gateway-17' and 'whonix-ws-16' to 'whonix-workstation-17'; stop using abbreviations for Whonix templates issue 1778." See the release announcement for further information, upgrade instructions and known issues.
Neptune is a GNU/Linux distribution for desktops. It is based on Debian's Stable branch. The project has released Neptune version 8.0 which is based on Debian 12 and which features version 6.1 of the Linux kernel. The project's release announcement reads: "We are proud to announce the release of Neptune 8.0 (Juna). This is the first major release of version 8.0 based on Debian 12 (Bookworm). This version comes with the latest major underlying changes from Debian 12 (Bookworm). The Linux kernel has been updated to Version 6.1 to provide support for new hardware and better compatibility with current hardware. Additionally, KDE Plasma has been upgraded to version 5.27 along with all KDE applications present in version 22.12.3. In Neptune 8.0, we rely entirely on the software management of Plasma Discover, which is now mature enough for us to provide it with Flatpak support and the Flathub repository. As a result, the package management tool Muon has been removed. Other software updates include Chromium 115 as well as Thunderbird 102 and VLC 3.0.18."
Neptune 8.0 -- Running the KDE Plasma desktop
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Network Security Toolkit 38-13644
Network Security Toolkit (NST) is a bootable live disc based on the Fedora distribution. The toolkit was designed to provide easy access to best-of-breed open source network security applications. The fistribution's latest release is based on Fedora 38. The release announcement appears on the project's home page: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release: NST 38 SVN:13644. This release is based on Fedora 38 using Linux kernel: kernel-6.3.12-200.fc38.x86_64. This release brings the NST distribution on par with Fedora 38. This is mostly a maintenance release with improved NST WUI functionality. Below is a summary of the feature improvements included in this release: Access to the Open Vulnerability Assessment Scanner (OpenVAS) and Greenbone Vulnerability Management (Greenbone GVM) has been refactored to run as a docker container providing the full-featured vulnerability scanner. The latest Greenbone Community Edition container is used. An acceleration overlay and control was added to the geolocation of Dash Cam videos. See the graphic below: NST Map Data Layer - Dash Cam Track With Acceleration Overlay. The NST WUI ARP Scan has been enhanced to support the configured Name Service (NS) switch hosts resolver. An article on NST WUI ARP Scan usage can be found here. As always, the networking and security applications included have been updated to their latest version which can be found in the manifest."
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 2,890
- Total data uploaded: 43.4TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Do you adjust Snap or Flatpak sandboxing settings?
In this week's Questions and Answers column we talked about sandboxing Snap and Flatpak applications using convenient, graphical user interfaces. We'd like to hear if you make use of sandboxing utilities to lock down your portable applications.
You can see the results of our previous poll on linking together multiple devices with KDE Connect in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Do you use sandboxing tools with Snap or Flatpak?
|Yes - I use GUI sandboxing tools: ||150 (11%)|
| Yes - I use command line sandboxing tools: ||25 (2%)|
| No - but I do use Flatpak or Snap: ||440 (32%)|
| No - I do not use Flatpak/Snap: ||758 (55%)|
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 31 July 2023. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Weekly Archive and Article Search pages. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Fairphone 4 (by Pumpino on 2023-07-24 01:17:55 GMT from Australia) |
I love the idea of the Fairphone 4, but in practice, there are many negatives. To begin with, the hardware is terrible. The phone weighs a massive 225g, has massive bezels and a large waterdrop notch, the battery is small for a 6.3" phone, the display is LCD, the chip is old, I suspect the camera is ordinary, and it's expensive.
Sure, it might be updated for 5 years, but Samsung offers superior hardware and updates for a similar period, for the same price. People can keep their Samsung for 5 years too.
2 • Flat or Snap (by GrumpyGranpa on 2023-07-24 01:41:53 GMT from Australia)
Flatpak, Canonicals Snap (with propriety backend) or Appimages. Which do we choose.
Flamewar debate opened.
For people who do not use Ubuntu, who uses Snaps and why do you use it over Flat or Appimages?
3 • Snap, Flatpak & Appimage (by Greg Zeng on 2023-07-24 01:56:40 GMT from Australia)
Distrowatch again opens discussion into a flaw within Linux: Snap versus Flatpak. The third universal compiled-code package for Linux is Appimage. Application creators for Windows, Android, and Apple can easily make compiled ready-to-run applications. Coders for Linux have three contradictory and competing compiled codes. Each has inbuilt 'container' protection. All vary in sensitivity to the user and system settings. Each has inbuilt 'protection' from upgrades, user, hardware and malware disturbances.
Snap is the least popular of the three, due to their restricted authorization process, which determines what is allowed to be in their official libraries ('repositories'). The other two are less authoritarian, so third party coders are more attracted to Flatpak and appimage. All three have application offerings not available to the other two containers. FreeFileSync is available in Flatpak, Windows and PCLOS RPM, but not in any other formats. Slimjet and most other applications are not available in appimage, Snap, nor Flatpak.
Hardcore Linux administrators care not for these ready compiled applications. Most seem to prefer to compile individually from raw source code. This shortage of ready-to-run compiled applications explains the disfavor for Linux by the public, compared to the other three competing operating systems.
4 • Flatpak issue (by Vinfall on 2023-07-24 02:44:02 GMT from Hong Kong)
To me, Flatpak is favorable. Snap is the last resort besides compiling myself. One annoying thing of Flatpak is the size. From my experience (back to 2021), it would install to /var by default, which would take up A LOT of space. To make matters worse, by then I was following the Securing Debian Manual (https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/securing-debian-manual/ch03s02.en.html) and using separate partitions like /home, /tmp, /var etc. Normal apps could possibly survive but emulators like RetroArch would consume all of empty space of /var and trigger disk warning. There are hacks (https://github.com/flatpak/flatpak/issues/2147) though but eventually I stopped using Flatpak unless AppImage is not available.
5 • Flatpak/appimage/snap (by WolfAMA on 2023-07-24 02:47:36 GMT from United States)
I think it's funny that most people refuse to use that stuff, but yet the minority that do are the most vocal about it. These are things that we don't need, yet due to a vocal minority, distros shove it down our throats.
6 • Fairphone 4 (by Pumpino on 2023-07-24 03:17:14 GMT from Australia)
I should add to my comment above that GrapheneoS is a better option for a lot of people. It runs F-Droid to install opensource android apps and you can install the Aurora store to anonymously download other apps from Google's play store. It runs the necessary libraries for that in a sandbox, and no other Google services run, so privacy is maintained.
7 • fairphone (by GrumpyGranpa on 2023-07-24 03:35:16 GMT from Australia)
My issues with the fairphone4
1) way too expensive for a phone even if it is upgradeable
2) no headphone jack
3) too large to use comfortably. Eveolution has not provjded me with 3 inch thumbs
4) limited availability to a few countries
I would probably use a Fairphone3 as it is a little smaller and cheaper and has headphone jack as well as more support for alternate Roms, or the Teracube phone which is also upgradeable and can run LineageOS.
8 • Fairphone (by Borgio3 on 2023-07-24 07:31:48 GMT from Italy)
Interesting thread, but i don't use smartphone since june 2022. I decided to be free.
9 • Debian breaking nosystemd systems (by Hank on 2023-07-24 07:58:17 GMT from United States)
Without any consultation, Debian upstream has deliberately gone ahead to update libgudev-1.0-0 to 238 series that breaks any Debian based distro not using udev and systemd.
My sid systemD Free setup which had been running major issue free for more than 4 years destroyed without warning or need.
Shame on you Debian Governance devs who seem to have no signs of a conscience, just following the herd led by IBM red hat..
Many had hoped for a clear stance on support, information and developer cooperation with downstream as indicated in the debian declaration regarding alternative init systems.
Which is, it seems still not worth the paper it was written on.
10 • @9 Debian breaking nosystemd systems (by GrumpyGranpa on 2023-07-24 08:32:46 GMT from Australia)
Can you elaborate exactly what broke? Did you loose data?
SystemD is of course another can of worms within the linux community.
I suppose in your case you will need to swap to Devuan or another SystemD free distro like Artix.
11 • Fairphone (by pierre4l on 2023-07-24 08:49:17 GMT from France)
I bought a Fairphone 3+ secondhand over a year ago. I'd already preferred it over the Fairphone 4 for a few reasons, not only price. The smaller size, headphone jack, fingerprint reader and lack of a notch were all plus points for me. I was upgrading from a 3G phone to 4G so no need for 5G.
Initially I was horrified at the size and weight of the thing. It's too big for any of my pockets. Came with the standard green rubber case which is known for having stretching issues, but I sorted that out by glueing bits of card around the inside. Found an old sunglasses case I'd abandoned for twenty years which fits perfectly as a protective sleeve, and allows just the very top where the notification light is to remain visible. That light is another thing the FF3 has going for it - I find it invaluable. I'm a light phone user so battery life is very reasonable, up to 4 days, with the recharging regulated to between 50 and 95% capacity.
Software-wise, I'd been thinking about installing e/OS (Murena) but instead went with iodéOS, maintained by a French team (I'm in France) but fully usable in English (most of their communications are English or bilingual). I was desperate to get everything Gurgle-related, not least that very irritating bouncy search bar on the home screen, off the phone immediately. Had to figure out the precarious flashing procedure but managed to get it right and have been very pleased with iodéOS since then.
It's Lineage-based but with additional privacy features (now open-sourced), it gets out of my way, is regularly ahead of other OS options with Android version updates, and unlike e/OS is more geared towards keeping my data on my phone and not in the cloud, which is my preference. I hardly install any apps, I'm anti-app, but have a few things from F-Droid, which is also installed by default, and a couple of things from the Aurora store, downloaded anonymously.
Default 'Browser' is just Firefox without branding and telemetry disabled. I hear people always say FF on Android is poor but for me I've found it good enough, it's quick, it syncs with my other Firefox devices, just has an interface with some options that aren't easy to find or optimized. And touching on last week's main topic, KDE Connect is absolutely invaluable for file transfers and a host of other functions. Saves me having to rely on slow bluetooth or to plug the phone in physically to a Linux PC.
iodéOS even allows you to uninstall default apps. I've found most of the default selection usable, but replaced the overly basic Gallery app with Simple Gallery Pro, and Magic Earth with Organic Maps. Amongst the quirks and niggles, finding the GPS position in mapping apps seems a bit rough, I've known the data connection to crap out requiring a reboot to fix it, and flipping between dual SIMs sometimes produces annoying results such as the SMS app switching to SIM 1 even though SIM 2 should be default.
I have the FF3+ model with the updated camera modules. Initially my photo results were very disappointing but after tweaking some settings in OpenCamera it's quite passable, at least in normal conditions. Panorama mode can produce some brilliant results but requires patience. 4K video is possible but I stick with HD. Zooming is not intelligent and doesn't produce good quality.
One thing not really discussed in the review is Fairphone's primary aim, of sourcing parts from suppliers with fair labour conditions and avoiding conflict minerals. Yes, you can buy a Samsung phone perhaps cheaper and get a few years of updates and whatnot, but that's not the point. Fairphone offers a fairtrade alternative, with aims to support devices for 7 years and provide replacement parts. Comparing most standard manufacturers alongside is not a fair comparison, although Nokia have dipped their toes into this market recently.
I dislike phones and tablets, the Gurgle and Apple duopoly and all the privacy implications. It's easy to criticize Fairphone or Murena or iodé or anybody else in the field for not being perfect, but they're at least trying to make a difference.
12 • Sandboxing (by FengLengshun on 2023-07-24 08:54:11 GMT from Indonesia)
For Flatpak obviously I use flatseal. I tried to only use KDE's integrated flatpak kcm in the settings, but it's just not enough yet. I heard that Gnome Software Settings have an integrated permission settings as well, but I haven't looked into it.
The Snap GUI is much clearer for me. But I still can't get over the ~/Snap unhidden folder. I only use Snap in my Ubuntu Server to install Docker and NextCloud. I probably wouldn't mind using it more if they have more of the apps that I want, but a lot of non-commercial devs focuses on Flatpak, so.
I don't really care for AppImage, I just find them to be annoying to manage so I try to avoid them when I can. I'd rather use Conty which combines a bunch of apps into a single binary, and I can build it with a CI. Plus, they have the simplest user-level sandboxing IMHO - it's a bit basic, but it's really useful in preventing homedir littering without having to use boxxy.
And of course there's Nix which is a little bit weird in terms of sandboxing. All of their files are immutable and their packages are wrapped. The main aim doesn't seem to be to restrict access to user/system files, though, just for the app to be resilient and reproducible.
13 • Stuff we don't need... (by Friar Tux on 2023-07-24 13:50:37 GMT from Canada)
@5 (wolfAMA) "These are things we don't need..." I have to disagree with you on that. It would be great if we had all programs and apps in a universal format - able to be downloaded and used on any Linux system. The amount of work and manpower that would save. We definitely need that.
Anyway, my format of choice is AppImage. I like the whole "one file equals one program" idea. They are easy to store and can be moved from distro to distro rather quickly, when the need arises. So far, I've been able to avoid Flatpak and Snaps, which I find quite under developed. For one thing, they, both, do not pick up your global theme of choice (AppImages do). This leaves you with that ugly dark grey coloured theme. (My main theme is a teal coloured, non-flat theme, so it's a bit of a jolt when this ugly dark grey pops up.) My distro of choice is Linux Mint/Cinnamon, so when I need a particular app/program, I first try the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager. If I can't find it there, I will hunt for a DEB version. If that isn't available, I'll try AppImage. Finally, if I can't still can't get what I need, I'll (*drags feet*) use Flatpak - maybe, perhaps... (Of course, once I find a DEB version, or AppImage, I save a copy on an external drive so my hunting is reduced to a minimum next time.)
14 • Software Chain (by jc on 2023-07-24 21:11:36 GMT from Austria)
Using Devuan / MX : Software obtained following methods: Synaptic Package Manager, DEB version, AppImage, or source compile. If software is not available by one of these methods, I use alternate software or deem that software function not really required. I refuse to use flatpak or snaps.
15 • Flatpaks and ... (by nsp0323 on 2023-07-24 22:19:16 GMT from Sweden)
Don't use them and never will. Besides, there's nothing "universal" about them. snaps depend on systemd and flatpaks on cgroups. So, none of them can run on my system, and I'm happy with that.
16 • blended apps (by dubbleclicker on 2023-07-24 22:25:33 GMT from United States)
BlendOS is doing some innovative things with apps, immutability, system portability, etc.:
"With native support for Android apps and Linux apps from Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Kali, Alma, Rocky and more, blendOS gives you access to tons of apps... Just double-click on an APK, DEB or RPM to install it."
However, its browser - which is how you get most apps - is extremely slow to launch, which is a deal breaker at the moment.
17 • Murena (by tuxayo on 2023-07-24 23:44:22 GMT from France)
> What Murena brings to the table is a de-Googled operating system (called /e/OS) which removes all the proprietary applications and telemetry usually associated with Android and replaces these pieces with open source, privacy-respecting equivalents
It's worth mentioning that the alternative to the Google services is the microG project.
https://microg.org/ (which has it's own ROM https://lineage.microg.org/)
Without that, /e/OS won't have much difference in privacy and libre software vs many ROMs.
Also it's worth mentioning that by default there is still a non libre map/navigation app called Magic Earth installed. It's not clear why it's still here now that Organic Maps (Maps.me fork) is there since two years. And before that there was simply Maps.me.
18 • flatpak snaps (by GrumpyGranpa on 2023-07-25 00:47:19 GMT from Australia)
Seems the invisible push to systemD is found in many places, even Snaps. I think we should ask the question why are we being pushed to systemD not just by large distros like Redhat but also from Canonical with its Snaps and also Debian which aaccording to @9 which broke his system after an upgrade.
Sure, there are alternatives. But even Arch uses systemD. Debian uses systemD. Every major distro uses systemD except for Devuan, Artix and a few others.
Snaps is only available if you use systemD......why? Who thought that would be a good design decision?
Snaps also uses a proprietary backend, it is not fully opensource.
When large corporations control the direction of software, including linux, nothing good can come of it.
Maybe we need to get back to basics instead of making things ever mkre complicated.
19 • Re: Murena (by Pumpino on 2023-07-25 02:22:39 GMT from Australia)
@17 tuxayo. GrapheneOS is superior to MicroG. It lets you run Google Play Services sandboxed, so you can download from the play store using Aurora Store without signing into your Google account on your phone. It creates an issue with any paid apps, of course. My banking apps and Maps work fine on my Pixel 5. The issue is that only Pixels are supported and that Graphene only provides updates for as long as Google does, whereas LineageOS maintains devices for years.
There's also CalyxOS, but it only supports older Pixels, the Fairphone 4 and the Xiaomi Mi A2.
20 • Murena (by GrumpyGranpa on 2023-07-25 04:41:32 GMT from Australia)
GrapheneOS is only available for the newer versions of Pixels. If you have an older Pixel like 2XL and less, forget about it. Want a privacy respecting OS, sorry. What about CalyxOS, same, earlier models are no longer supported.
Besides, people who want an upgradeable phone will not go and buy a Pixel.
GrapheneOS may be the best privacy respecting Android OS available, but their supported hardware is so limited as to make their system irrelevant. The percentage of Android users who use an alternate rom than stock is already tiny, then of those who decide to use a privacy rom like calyx or graphene is again even smaller.
Limiting hardware support smakcks of elieism. Why do they not support Pixel 2XL? Is there something wrong with the phones hardware? No. It's just some a big middle finger to users who don't want to spend $500+ on a phone. You can still buy a brand new Pixel 2XL for about $200.
If there any Graphene devs reading, it would be nice to hear why you no longer support older models when infact LineageOS does.
21 • AppImage of course (by StephenC on 2023-07-25 05:11:28 GMT from United States)
Debian stable provides nearly everything I need as a native package. A couple of items I have as AppImages. One app that I use has a Windows portable app version, a portable MAC version, and a Linux AppImage. So three apps and a data file on a thumb drive. No installation needed but I can use my data on nearly any computer without installing anything. That is what "portable" really means. Flatpak and Snap are not portable since they need a runtime installed. I see no advantage for using Flatpak or Snap over a native package.
Too bad Mint's package updater requires Flatpak even if flatpak apps are not installed. Fortunately I was able to neuter Flatpak so that the package updater still runs, but no flatpacks are visible or able to be installed.
22 • Flatpak (by Charlie on 2023-07-25 06:15:23 GMT from Hong Kong)
People underestimate the value of Flatpak/snap because it is not designed for them.
We old Linuxers know how to install a package, know what dependency is (even without the need to deal with it), that's not the case for first time users.
Last time I saw a long thread in openSUSE's mailing list, discussing Libreoffice's dependencies and what packages may be missing for it. At that time I found with Flatpak you won't get these questions.
Yes it's resource consuming but no one cares about it in layman's world. Many promote Linux by saying you can make good use old computers. The fact is, most people wouldn't use grandpa's computer. They use the latest and coolest PC for gaming.
23 • @13 Friar Tux: (by dragonmouth on 2023-07-25 12:41:27 GMT from United States)
Out of curiosity - What apps do you use that are not available with Software Center or Synaptic but are available in AppImage?
I keep reading the posts that say "I need AppImage/Flatpak/Snaps to get apps that are not in the distro repositories" but nobody ever mentions which apps they are. It cannot be that so many people are using esoteric applications.
In close to 20 years of Linux use, Synaptic never failed to fine all of the dependencies for a package, including LibreOffice. If you prefer Flatpak/Snaps, say so. Don't use the "dependency resolution problem" as a straw man.
24 • Portable apps (by Jesse on 2023-07-25 12:49:47 GMT from Canada)
@23: "I keep reading the posts that say "I need AppImage/Flatpak/Snaps to get apps that are not in the distro repositories" but nobody ever mentions which apps they are. It cannot be that so many people are using esoteric applications."
Well, yes, it is possible so many people are using apps not in the main repositories. They don't even need to be esoteric application, they could just be proprietary ones. There's no Signal, Spotify, or TeamViewer in the main Debian repositories, for example. Even with non-free enabled. And Debian has one of the largest repositories in the world. Those are just the first three examples of common, popular applications I picked off the top of my head. There are dozens more like Slack, Brave, Zoom.... You get the idea.
Plus there is also the issue of which _version_ is available. For example, I do a little gaming in my spare time. I like open source games like Wesnoth and SuperTuxKart - both fairly popular. You know what they have in common? You need to be using the same major version number across all players for the games to work properly. My distro has the _previous_ major version while anyone using a more cutting edge distro or Windows is running the latest major version. So if I want to play with other people I need to install the newer version and the easiest way to do that is via Flatpak since my distro doesn't package it.
25 • @24 (by Reyfer on 2023-07-25 13:25:45 GMT from Venezuela)
Jesse, I respect your opinion, but saying that Flatpak is necessary to get those apps is misinformed.
I don't "need" Flatpak to install these on Debian
Spotify: From https://www.spotify.com/de-en/download/linux/ "Spotify for Linux is also released as a Debian package. Our aim is that it should work with the latest Long Term Support release of Ubuntu, but we will try to make it work for other releases of Ubuntu and Debian as well.
You will first need to configure our debian repository:
curl -sS https://download.spotify.com/debian/pubkey_7A3A762FAFD4A51F.gpg | sudo gpg --dearmor --yes -o /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/spotify.gpg
echo "deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list
Then you can install the Spotify client:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install spotify-client"
So, again, where is the "need" for Flatpak?
26 • Amen to that... (by Friar Tux on 2023-07-25 13:42:06 GMT from Canada)
@24 (Jesse) Thanx, better said than I could have. Might also add LibreWolf to that list. My main reason for preferring AppImage, though, is that they are truly portable as opposed to Flatpak and Snap. (See @21 (StephenC)) AND, my repeated rant about Flatpak and Snap not picking up my preferred themes.
27 • Flatpak and Snap (by Zaphod on 2023-07-25 14:18:32 GMT from United States)
The two operating systems that I use daily are Void Linux, which uses Runit rather than SystemD and is compiled against Musl libc, and FreeBSD. That makes software portability very important to me.
The thing with these "universal" package formats is that they are encouraging a culture of not actually caring whether the software is truly portable, because the flatpak/snap/AppImage an run "anywhere". Except that everywhere winds up being "mainstream Linux distros". Portable to me means being able to compile and run on anything that looks vaguely like Unix without having to significant;y rewrite portions of it. We have a different definition of "portable". I'm encountering more and more breakage due to portability issues than ever before these days, and I really think part of it is the mad rush to containerization of applications creating lazy developers. Let's not bother checking if it compiles against a different version of libraries, the IDE automatically links to the flatpak provided ones, right?
28 • Flatpak (by Jesse on 2023-07-25 15:54:25 GMT from Canada)
@25: "I respect your opinion, but saying that Flatpak is necessary to get those apps is misinformed."
I think you should go back and read what I wrote. I never said Flatpak is necessary to get those apps I mentioned. I didn't even say portable package formats are necessary to get the apps I listed. I have no idea where you got that idea.
What I wrote was "So if I want to play with other people I need to install the newer version and the easiest way to do that is via Flatpak since my distro doesn't package it."
Flatpak is often the _easiest_ method to get newer versions of software or software not in the repositories. It's not _necessary_, but it is frequently the most appealing option.
29 • Your do-it-all appimage (by Ted H in Minnesota on 2023-07-25 17:09:58 GMT from United States)
21 • AppImage of course (by StephenC on 2023-07-25 05:11:28 GMT from United States
@21 You wrote:
"One app [appimage] that I use has a Windows portable app version, a portable MAC version, and a Linux AppImage. So three apps and a data file on a thumb drive. No installation needed but I can use my data on nearly any computer without installing anything."
OK, sounds interesting! Just what is the NAME of that appimage, please?
30 • Flatpaks and Snaps (by Sam Crawford on 2023-07-25 18:46:15 GMT from United States)
I run Flatpaks on all my linux desktops. If I install Debian, then I only have Zoom and VueScan in my Flatpaks.
If running openSUSE, I also install VLC and Clementine and/or Rhythmbox as Flatpak apps because that's one way around openSUSE's multimedia codecs limitations.
In any case, I leave the restrictions alone and don't adjust any Flatpak settings.
31 • Flat (by Sam Crawford on 2023-07-25 18:50:42 GMT from United States)
What I forgot to add in the comment above, #30, is that I install Zoom and VueScan as Flatpak apps because they don't have a repo where I can update them using apt or zypper.
Using "sudo flatpak update" is much easier than having to download an update and reinstalling every time the apps are updated.
32 • @13 Friar Tuck (by WolfAMA on 2023-07-25 21:14:04 GMT from United States)
"These are things we don't need..." I have to disagree with you on that. It would be great if we had all programs and apps in a universal format - able to be downloaded and used on any Linux system. The amount of work and manpower that would save. We definitely need that." You must be new to Linux and confusing 'What we need, with conveniance'
I've been on Linux since 1996.We have it easy these days. We don't need to compile from souce much these days. You just load up a package manager, search for what we need and it's right there. Simple, easy and convenient. Appimages et al are truly not needed.
My personal opinion, which no one asked for, but will get anyway: If someone is so dependent on snaps/appimages/etc people may as well stay away from Linux. Use an OS made for convenience like Windows.
33 • I think we're on opposite ends here... (by Friar Tux on 2023-07-25 21:58:43 GMT from Canada)
@32 (WolfAMA) I moved to Linux for convenience - is what Windows is NOT. However, I do not like mucking about with compiling. My preference is download what I need and get right to work. True there are some that like to tinker. I do not. I do like repositories and Software Managers since it makes it easy and convenient to get my work done. I believe AppImages are needed, for folks like me, since I don't have to relocate and reinstall software whenever I get the "fat-finger syndrome" and need to reinstall my OS. I can keep the "one file = one program" on a USB stick and "Copy To" a folder of choice and I'm back to work in less than half an hour. (By the way, DEB file are similarly kept on a USB stick, but I actually have to install those, which takes a bit long, but oh well.
I like convenience, that's why, to me, it would be nice if all apps/programs came in AppImage format. All we would need is one central website where everyone could get what they needed for whatever distro they have. That way the manpower at each distro could be used to work on that particular distro. But, that's just me, wishing.
34 • "We have it easy these days" (by EH2 on 2023-07-26 01:35:22 GMT from Mexico)
@32: Power tools are not really necessary to get most jobs done, there's always a manual tool that will do any given job perfectly, all you need is knowing how to use the tool, knowing how to maintain the tool, some elbow grease, and time.
But power tools sure get the job done faster, don't you think? Sure, they're more expensive, and they draw power from the wall, and so on. But for many people, that's a worthwhile tradeoff - I can get the job done right now, with minimal fuss, minimal manual know-how, and with time to spare to do something else - or even go on with the next steps of the same job.
Snaps, Flatpaks, et al are the same thing. Sure, they're bloated, they don't play nice with all themes (for the time being), among other drawbacks. But I install the damn thing and it runs and I use it and what do you know, I finished what I needed to do without a fuss.
Not everyone is gonna have the time to tinker, especially with deadlines hanging over their head. Not everyone is gonna benefit from the lengthy process of learning high-level Linux, especially if they have other stuff they should be studying or updating themselves on. But you know what benefits everyone? Being able to get the job done without depending on f'ing Microsoft.
35 • Flatpaks again... (by EH2 on 2023-07-26 01:46:06 GMT from Mexico)
I once mentioned here that I hadn't heard anyone mention why was it that Snaps or Flatpaks were so bad we all had to avoid them. And a few people responded, with varying degrees of patience, a bunch of drawbacks that to me sounded more like nitpicks or tradeoffs - the issues often came with a related advantage, or were things that would eventually be polished as the software got updated over time.
I've made a couple old computers run perfectly with low footprint distros that have everything that's needed for productivity, without Snaps or Flatpaks et al. None of those computers can run anything with, say, KDE Neon or something with similar system requirements, because they're old. The computers I've installed those kinds of distros on have more than enough space to have Flatpaks installed without issue. So I think that as long as there are communities willing to maintain distros and repos aimed at old computers, there's no problem with stuff aimed at newer hardware sacrifice a tiny bit of resources for the sake of speed and convenience for the user.
Also, WolfAMA... We've long passed the time in which Windows was convenient. There's nothing wrong with making Linux better for everyone, because everyone needs Linux, whether they know it yet or not.
36 • snaps (by GrumpyGranpa on 2023-07-26 02:38:35 GMT from Australia)
Snaps is not 100% opensource. It has a proprietary backend.
Snapd is hardcoded to use Canonical's servers for obtaining snaps and the metadata associated with them. And the source for the backend servers is not available.
Flatpaks are 100% opensourceas are Appimages.
If people want to be under the control of Canonical, it's their choice.
37 • @34 & 35: (by dragonmouth on 2023-07-26 11:54:08 GMT from United States)
"Snaps, Flatpaks, et al are the same thing."
They are like power tools built to operate on slightly different, mutually exclusive standards. With some kludging they can be made to work together but most of the time it is a PITA.
"...bunch of drawbacks that to me sounded more like nitpicks or tradeoffs..."
To you they may be "nitpicks & tradeoffs" but to others they may be real issues.
Just as you would like your opinions accepted for what they are, do not belittle the opinions you do not agree with.
38 • "Tradeoffs" or "real issues" (by EH2 on 2023-07-26 16:00:22 GMT from Mexico)
@37: In the second post I made (which I only made because I thought my browser messed up and ate the other one...) I do point out that I've been able to get systems working fine without Flatpaks, because there are distros out there with well-maintained repos (your mileage may vary on that) that one can rely on.
I will concede that if I don't explain my position, I can't expect people to read my mind through the network. I'm not on the side of people who say Snaps or Flatpaks etc. are "the future" and want to get rid of managed packages and distro-specific repositories. I'm acquainted with a former Ubuntu and Debian contributor that's voiced his distaste for packages and even with his expertise I just cannot agree.
However, I also firmly disagree with people who think we "don't need them" when they very much satisfy real needs and resolve real issues, even if obviously not everyone's. I just don't see why we can't have both, especially with a community willing and able to keep both coexisting without much issue, while also avoiding the namecalling and the claims that "there can be only one".
(Also when I said Snaps and Flatpaks are the same thing, I didn't mean to say they were exactly the same thing, just that they fill the same niche in different scenarios and with different pros and cons, like how Snaps have a proprietary backend while Flatpaks don't, etc.)
39 • snaps/flatpacks/ packages etc.. (by Otis on 2023-07-27 12:19:59 GMT from United States)
@38 "I just don't see why we can't have both, especially with a community willing and able to keep both coexisting without much issue, while also avoiding the namecalling and the claims that 'there can be only one'."
We've seen these fights with just about every change in Linux, covering nearly every aspect of Linux distro general development right from the beginning. The first one to catch my (naive) attention was about licensing and the definition of "free." It went on and on about so many other issues that it came close to characterizing Linux as a snake eating its own tail. Remember the systemd wars?
I think we settle into the "both" or many solution most often, as the nature of Linux seems to cultivate that, thank the heavens.
Number of Comments: 39
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|• Issue 1048 (2023-12-04): openSUSE MicroOS, the transition from X11 to Wayland, Red Hat phasing out X11 packages, UBports making mobile development easier|
|• Issue 1047 (2023-11-27): GhostBSD 23.10.1, Why Linux uses swap when memory is free, Ubuntu Budgie may benefit from Wayland work in Xfce, early issues with FreeBSD 14.0|
|• Issue 1046 (2023-11-20): Slackel 7.7 "Openbox", restricting CPU usage, Haiku improves font handling and software centre performance, Canonical launches MicroCloud|
|• Issue 1045 (2023-11-13): Fedora 39, how to trust software packages, ReactOS booting with UEFI, elementary OS plans to default to Wayland, Mir gaining ability to split work across video cards|
|• Issue 1044 (2023-11-06): Porteus 5.01, disabling IPv6, applications unique to a Linux distro, Linux merges bcachefs, OpenELA makes source packages available|
|• Issue 1043 (2023-10-30): Murena Two with privacy switches, where old files go when packages are updated, UBports on Volla phones, Mint testing Cinnamon on Wayland, Peppermint releases ARM build|
|• Issue 1042 (2023-10-23): Ubuntu Cinnamon compared with Linux Mint, extending battery life on Linux, Debian resumes /usr merge, Canonical publishes fixed install media|
|• Issue 1041 (2023-10-16): FydeOS 17.0, Dr.Parted 23.09, changing UIDs, Fedora partners with Slimbook, GNOME phasing out X11 sessions, Ubuntu revokes 23.10 install media|
|• Issue 1040 (2023-10-09): CROWZ 5.0, changing the location of default directories, Linux Mint updates its Edge edition, Murena crowdfunding new privacy phone, Debian publishes new install media|
|• Issue 1039 (2023-10-02): Zenwalk Current, finding the duration of media files, Peppermint OS tries out new edition, COSMIC gains new features, Canonical reports on security incident in Snap store|
|• Issue 1038 (2023-09-25): Mageia 9, trouble-shooting launchers, running desktop Linux in the cloud, New documentation for Nix, Linux phasing out ReiserFS, GNU celebrates 40 years|
|• Issue 1037 (2023-09-18): Bodhi Linux 7.0.0, finding specific distros and unified package managemnt, Zevenet replaced by two new forks, openSUSE introduces Slowroll branch, Fedora considering dropping Plasma X11 session|
|• Issue 1036 (2023-09-11): SDesk 2023.08.12, hiding command line passwords, openSUSE shares contributor survery results, Ubuntu plans seamless disk encryption, GNOME 45 to break extension compatibility|
|• Issue 1035 (2023-09-04): Debian GNU/Hurd 2023, PCLinuxOS 2023.07, do home users need a firewall, AlmaLinux introduces new repositories, Rocky Linux commits to RHEL compatibility, NetBSD machine runs unattended for nine years, Armbian runs wallpaper contest|
|• Issue 1034 (2023-08-28): Void 20230628, types of memory usage, FreeBSD receives port of Linux NVIDIA driver, Fedora plans improved theme handling for Qt applications, Canonical's plans for Ubuntu|
|• Issue 1033 (2023-08-21): MiniOS 20230606, system user accounts, how Red Hat clones are moving forward, Haiku improves WINE performance, Debian turns 30|
|• Issue 1032 (2023-08-14): MX Linux 23, positioning new windows on the desktop, Linux Containers adopts LXD fork, Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ form OpenELA|
|• Issue 1031 (2023-08-07): Peppermint OS 2023-07-01, preventing a file from being changed, Asahi Linux partners with Fedora, Linux Mint plans new releases|
|• Issue 1030 (2023-07-31): Solus 4.4, Linux Mint 21.2, Debian introduces RISC-V support, Ubuntu patches custom kernel bugs, FreeBSD imports OpenSSL 3|
|• Issue 1029 (2023-07-24): Running Murena on the Fairphone 4, Flatpak vs Snap sandboxing technologies, Redox OS plans to borrow Linux drivers to expand hardware support, Debian updates Bookworm media|
|• Issue 1028 (2023-07-17): KDE Connect; Oracle, SUSE, and AlmaLinux repsond to Red Hat's source code policy change, KaOS issues media fix, Slackware turns 30; security and immutable distributions|
|• Issue 1027 (2023-07-10): Crystal Linux 2023-03-16, StartOS (embassyOS 0.3.4.2), changing options on a mounted filesystem, Murena launches Fairphone 4 in North America, Fedora debates telemetry for desktop team|
|• Issue 1026 (2023-07-03): Kumander Linux 1.0, Red Hat changing its approach to sharing source code, TrueNAS offers SMB Multichannel, Zorin OS introduces upgrade utility|
|• Issue 1025 (2023-06-26): KaOS with Plasma 6, information which can leak from desktop environments, Red Hat closes door on sharing RHEL source code, SUSE introduces new security features|
|• Issue 1024 (2023-06-19): Debian 12, a safer way to use dd, Debian releases GNU/Hurd 2023, Ubuntu 22.10 nears its end of life, FreeBSD turns 30|
|• Issue 1023 (2023-06-12): openSUSE 15.5 Leap, the differences between independent distributions, openSUSE lengthens Leap life, Murena offers new phone for North America|
|• Issue 1022 (2023-06-05): GetFreeOS 2023.05.01, Slint 15.0-3, Liya N4Si, cleaning up crowded directories, Ubuntu plans Snap-based variant, Red Hat dropping LireOffice RPM packages|
|• Issue 1021 (2023-05-29): rlxos GNU/Linux, colours in command line output, an overview of Void's unique features, how to use awk, Microsoft publishes a Linux distro|
|• Issue 1020 (2023-05-22): UBports 20.04, finding another machine's IP address, finding distros with a specific kernel, Debian prepares for Bookworm|
|• Issue 1019 (2023-05-15): Rhino Linux (Beta), checking which applications reply on a package, NethServer reborn, System76 improving application responsiveness|
|• Issue 1018 (2023-05-08): Fedora 38, finding relevant manual pages, merging audio files, Fedora plans new immutable edition, Mint works to fix Secure Boot issues|
|• Issue 1017 (2023-05-01): Xubuntu 23.04, Debian elects Project Leaders and updates media, systemd to speed up restarts, Guix System offering ground-up source builds, where package managers install files|
|• Issue 1016 (2023-04-24): Qubes OS 4.1.2, tracking bandwidth usage, Solus resuming development, FreeBSD publishes status report, KaOS offers preview of Plasma 6|
|• Issue 1015 (2023-04-17): Manjaro Linux 22.0, Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0, Arch Linux powering PINE64 tablets, Ubuntu offering live patching on HWE kernels, gaining compression on ex4|
|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Full list of all issues|
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Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.