Easily Run Ubuntu Snap Packages on Other Linux Distros

When Ubuntu 16.04 LTS came out a lot of people were talking about Snap packages –  everything from how great they are to installing Ubuntu 16.04 if you want to try them out. This was considered to be the killer app by some, and it’s not hard to see why (if you’re into that).

However, recently Canonical has made a move some would call “bizzare;” it has made Ubuntu Snap packages workable on all Linux distributions by way of installing snapd. This is great news! So, how do you get it working?

Getting Snap packages working on Debian is actually easier than you’d think. Since Ubuntu takes from Debian, a lot of the technology is similar.

sudo apt-get install snapd

Alternatively, you can just wget this package here and install it.

wget http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian/pool/main/s/snapd/snapd_2.0.8+1_amd64.deb

or

wget http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian/pool/main/s/snapd/snapd_2.0.5+1_i386.deb

followed by

sudo dpkg -i snapd*.deb

Note: this will only work with Debian Sid.

snapd-arch-linux-snapd-package

Like Debian, the Arch maintainers have decided to include snapd into one of the main repositories. Installing on Arch no longer requires using the Aur. Instead, just enter the following to get it running on your Arch box.

sudo pacman -S snapd

snapd-fedora-copr-repo

Unlike the previous two operating systems, Fedora doesn’t have any RPMs packaged for Snapd. This is probably due to the fact that Fedora is going with Flatpack. Still, if you’re wanting to use Snaps, this is the easiest way to get it installed.

Before anything can be done, Copr needs to be installed.

sudo dnf install 'dnf-command(copr)'

Once Copr is on the system, you’ll need to enable the repository we’ll be taking Snapd from.

sudo dnf copr enable zyga/snapcore

Then, just update your software sources.

sudo dnf update

Finally, install Snapd.

dnf install snapd

Once Snapd is installed, you’re still not done. Fedora comes with SELinux, so some settings need to be changed.

sudo gedit /etc/selinux/config

This command will open the SELinux config in the Gnome editor. Find SELINUX=enabled in the configuration file, and change “enabled” to “permissive.” After that, save, then reboot to apply the setting.

If you’re using a Linux distribution that isn’t mentioned, you’ll probably need to download the source code and build it yourself. Each distro is different and has its own steps in this process. Head over to this page and scroll down. The build instructions are very thorough. Good luck!

Using Snapd is identical to how it’s used on Ubuntu. More information on that here. Listing all the Snappy packages is simple. Just enter this command:

snap find

or this one

snap find snappackagename

snapd-find-snap-package

This will list all available packages. When you’ve found a package you want, install it. For example, if I find “telegram” with Snapd and want to install it as a Snap package.

snapd-install-snap-package

sudo snap install telegram-sergiusens

Then, just like that, Telegram is up and running. Easy. It’s not all about installing packages, though, right? What if you’ve decided you hate Telegram. How do you remove it? Removing snap packages is as simple as entering a single command.

sudo snap remove telegram-sergiusens

Some other useful commands include list, refresh, abort and run. List allows you to see all installed snaps on the system, run allows you to run the given snap command, and refresh updates all installed snaps. View these commands and more by entering:

snap --help

Snap packages are really neat, and ever since they came to the desktop, more and more people have been embracing them. That’s why the release of Snapd is so exciting. We no longer have to be on Ubuntu to reap the benefits of the hard work. Maybe in two or three years a majority of software on Linux will be installed this way. Install it today and take the plunge!

How do you feel about Snap packages coming to other distributions? Tell us why in the comments below!

Image credit: watchdog.org

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