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Snapping at Canonical's Snap: Linux Mint team says no to Ubuntu store 'backdoor'

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Updated The developers of Linux Mint have expressed concern with Canonical's Snap Store and the way it is forced on Ubuntu users who try to install popular packages like the Chromium web browser.

 

Linux Mint has editions based on either Ubuntu or Debian, so Canonical's decisions have a direct impact on the open-source operating system. Linux Mint 20, expected this month, is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

 

The Snap store is an alternative to traditional deb packages for installing applications, and one which Canonical promotes as superior. The approach is different, using container technology, and you can find a full technical explanation here.....................

 

Mint gets fresh: 'A self-installing Snap Store which overwrites part of our APT package base is a complete NO NO'

 

The Mint developers are resistant, though, saying Snap comes with too much Canonical baggage, and in particular seems tied to the official Snap store. "When snap was announced it was supposed to be a solution, not a problem. It was supposed to make it possible to run newer apps on top of older libraries and to let 3rd party editors publish their software easily towards multiple distributions, just like Flatpak and AppImage. What we didn't want it to be was for Canonical to control the distribution of software between distributions and 3rd party editors, to prevent direct distribution from editors, to make it so software worked better in Ubuntu than anywhere else and to make its store a requirement," said Clement Lefebvre on behalf of the team.

 

"I don't think the points we're raising here are well understood by the community. I hope we'll talk with Ubuntu and the Snap project about this. We're very interested in your feedback as well. A self-installing Snap Store which overwrites part of our APT package base is a complete NO NO. It's something we have to stop and it could mean the end of Chromium updates and access to the snap store in Linux Mint."....

 

https://www.theregister.com/2020/06/02/linux_mint_team_snap/

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saturnian

Yeah, I'm not thinking of snaps as bad or good, but I don't want any part of all that right now. I purged/removed everything snaps-related after installing Kubuntu 20.04 LTS. (Also got rid of the muon and plasma-discover packages, and a lot of other stuff.)

 

I've kinda been keeping tabs on this situation. Fortunately, I don't use Chromium or anything else that would have to be installed via snaps. I'll have to dump Kubuntu if Canonical pushes any harder with this stuff, but for now it's easy enough to just clean the stuff out.

  • Agree 1

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sunrat

I consider containerised applications to be a plague on Linux and it's whole ecosystem. And snaps are the worst. If I wanted to use containerised applications, I'd use Windows.

I've tried a couple of Appimages and they were something like 5 times the size of installing the same application from the standard repo. Never found any apps that need them as there has always been a the same or equivalent available natively.

Hopefully Mint will focus on LMDE in the future and tell Ubuntu to go jump.

  • Agree 1

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raymac46

I'm already installing Chrome in Linux Mint because the grandkids are used to using it for their remote schoolwork. As a result Chromium is somewhat redundant.

That said, I don't have major issues with re-enabling snapd. In my view using a containerised app is no worse than say ripping out the FOSS graphics stack to use Nvidia drivers, or installing proprietary codecs. Your mileage may vary of course.

There are lots of distros out there that still let you get Chromium from a repo.

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saturnian
14 hours ago, sunrat said:

Hopefully Mint will focus on LMDE in the future and tell Ubuntu to go jump.

 

I have mixed feelings about this. Maybe it's better for Mint to stick with the Ubuntu repos; I don't know. I'm attracted to distros based on Debian Stable so I'd be ok with it if they decided to focus on LMDE. I've been playing around with Emmabuntüs Debian Edition; Emmabuntüs used to be based on Xubuntu LTS; the current release uses Buster repos, and it looks pretty good to me.

 

It'll be interesting to see what the Mint folks decide to do. Also I know that it isn't unusual for Canonical to back off from controversial moves they've made. And it isn't unusual for Canonical to make controversial moves, lol.

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securitybreach
Just now, saturnian said:

Also I know that it isn't unusual for Canonical to back off from controversial moves they've made. And it isn't unusual for Canonical to make controversial moves, lol.


Right... Amazon... 👍

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raymac46

I would certainly be OK with Mint switching to Debian. The only reason I use and install Mint is to get the Cinnamon desktop, which is great for users migrating from Windows and/or using Linux in addition to Windows. I believe that Mint does Cinnamon best.

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