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Thread: Deb or snap

  1. #1
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    Deb or snap

    It now seems that almost every package has the option to be installed as as a Deb or a Snap. Deb is the older way and can have a problem with dependencies while Snap is guaranteed to have all the dependencies, but seems to be bloated as dependencies are duplicated in each package. So what do people prefer Deb or Snap?

  2. #2
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    Re: Deb or snap

    I strongly dislike snaps:
    * They are slow to start up
    * They don't always work, can't read/save files sometimes
    * They fill up df, lsblk, mount command output with garbage
    * They won't necessarily get updated when vulnerabilities in libraries get fixed

  3. #3
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    Re: Deb or snap

    Thread moved to Ubuntu, Linux and OS Chat
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  4. #4
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    Re: Deb or snap

    I do not have any snap packages on my Xubuntu 20.04 and have removed snapd so the complete snap system is gone from my installation. This is just my personal view of the snap system and I am very well aware than many other users do not have any problem installing and using snaps.

    I originally installed chromium using apt, not realising at that time that even doing that installed the snap version, and I did not look in detail at the terminal output when installing; big mistake!
    Only when I attempted to connect chromium to parts of the filesystem not allowed by snaps did I realise that I actually had a snap version. I also did not like the totally automatic and forced upgrade of snap versions with no control by the user.

    So I removed the snap and everything else related to snaps and in the case of chromium I now use a PPA version, a .deb package, which is working with no difficulties or problems.

    The current snaps have, I believe, moved on and there are ways to make or allow the applications to connect with the filesystem, or at least with the users home folders, though I may even be incorrect about that, and I don't have any snaps to test that theory.

    There have been numerous discussions on the merits (or not) of snaps which you can read in great detail using Advanced Search at the top right of every forum page using snap as search term searching for Titles only. That way you can make up your own mind.
    Last edited by ajgreeny; August 10th, 2021 at 08:19 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Deb or snap

    @ajgreeny How do you get that chromium PPA? I thought the PPAs had been discontinued.
    I use one web site that appears to work better in chromium than in firefox.

  6. #6
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    Re: Deb or snap

    Sorry, I should have said where the chromium comes from but forgot when I finished the post.

    The PPA I use is https://launchpad.net/~saiarcot895/+...u/chromium-dev which has versions for all current supported Ubuntu versions.
    Curently in 20.04 it is supplying Version 92.0.4503.0 (Developer Build) Ubuntu 20.04 (64-bit) which means it is a higher version than the snap which shows in the repos, though not in my repos as I have removed snapd so chromium is not showing, only chromium-browser from the PPA.

  7. #7
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    Re: Deb or snap

    Thank you for the link. I will use that.

  8. #8
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    Re: Deb or snap

    debs are smaller and have better integration with the system but tend to be outdated. So if I want something to be always up to date my first choice would be a ppa, if that doesn't exist and I don't want to or can't compile from source then I would look for a flatpak. Flatpak. I don't like the fact that snap mounts a whole bunch of volumes at startup and all the time and managing access seems to be complicated, flatpak is much cleaner and you can easily control access with a unified gui (flatseal)
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; August 11th, 2021 at 12:18 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Deb or snap

    Quote Originally Posted by ajgreeny View Post
    Sorry, I should have said where the chromium comes from but forgot when I finished the post.

    The PPA I use is https://launchpad.net/~saiarcot895/+...u/chromium-dev which has versions for all current supported Ubuntu versions.
    Curently in 20.04 it is supplying Version 92.0.4503.0 (Developer Build) Ubuntu 20.04 (64-bit) which means it is a higher version than the snap which shows in the repos, though not in my repos as I have removed snapd so chromium is not showing, only chromium-browser from the PPA.
    Actually I would suggest the beta ppa over the -dev one. I don't use chromium myself but in answering a few threads on UF I temporarily installed it for some tests. It seems that some people use Chromium because it supposedly supports vaapi hardware decoding for intel and amd gpu so I tried to enable that. Turned out vaapi worked in beta but not the dev branch. In any case, vaapi now works in firefox and all chromium based browsers (google-chrome, brave-browser and Vivaldi except maybe Opera,--though I haven't tested it) so that may be less of a reason to use chromium (of course people might have other reasons)
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; August 11th, 2021 at 12:19 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Deb or snap

    Don't forget snaps have security benefits, so running things like a browser in a snap achieves a higher level of security than running the same package from deb.

    As snaps run in containerized environments they tend to use more resources, so I personally avoid them on boxes with 2GB of RAM or less (few boxes have that limited RAM anyway), even consider not using them with 4GB - but they do have security benefits that make them worth of consideration if you've a machine with a decent RAM size.

    In the end, it's your choice. (pros & cons as with everything)

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