[CFT] Ubuntu MATE 17.10 + pre-install snap

Ubuntu MATE is pioneering pre-installed snap support by being the first distro to ship a snap by default. For the Ubuntu MATE 17.10 release the pulsemixer snap, a console based mixer for PulseAudio, will be installed by default.

The daily images of Ubuntu MATE 17.10 are now seeded with the pulsemixer snap. We encourage you to download the currently daily image, install it and ensure pulsemixer works correctly.

Pre-installing snaps by default in the desktop images was an outcome of the Ubuntu Rally that took place in New York a couple of weeks ago. Installing the pulsemixer snap by default in Ubuntu MATE 17.10 is being used as a pilot and what we learn will help the Ubuntu Desktop team with their efforts to ship snaps by default in Ubuntu 18.04.

Adding pulsemixer to the default Ubuntu MATE 17.10 has not significantly affected the size of the iso image. We chose pulsemixer because it is a small, useful application, that has never been available in the Debian or Ubuntu archives.


We had been looking at doing something like this in Ubuntu Budgie. It is awesome to see that you have gotten it working and have a method to get this type of thing done. We (UB) are extremely interested in this as we have certain apps that make sense to be sent out as a snap!


The capability to ship snaps on iso images landed very recently, here is the merge proposal for livecd-rootfs:

If you read the comments on that merge proposal you’ll see that it will eventually be possible to define snaps that should be shipped by default via seeds. For now a hard coded list is exported directly in livecd-rootfs as SNAP_LIST.


Interesting. Any apps in particular which are the focus? We’d love to help make that happen, and if there’s any blockers along the line we can find the right people to help unblock if necessary.

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@popey ell the primary (test) was going to start with our welcome screen. And then considering some 3rd party defaults for things like mail clients, browsers, etc. And anything we develop in the future would likely be a snap. The only real blocker was more so “how” to do this properly (pre-install snaps) without getting real hacky.

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@Wimpress Any Pi images yet?

@jamiebennett The Ubuntu MATE images for the Raspberry Pi need significant reworking to replace the Raspberry Pi Foundation kernel with the Ubuntu kernel.

6 posts were split to a new topic: Pulsemixer testing on 17.10 upgraded from 14.04

Here is what we’ve learnt from adding the pulsemixer snap to the Ubuntu MATE 17.10 images:

  • During the call for testing several testers attempted to run pulsemixer from the live image. Snaps do not run in the live image currently, this was a cause for confusion and could be blocker for some snaps in the future.
  • The current mechanism for adding snaps to the image doesn’t support classic snaps. We also wanted to include micro and teleconsole but were unable.
  • The snaps are embedded in the image only. Anyone upgrading for an previous major release, or an earlier 17.10 alpha/beta, didn’t get pulsemixer added to the system.

This is due to there being no way to say this is classic, right?

I guess this is due to having them added in livecd-rootfs instead of having a seeding mechanism that things like do-release-upgrade could rely on, right?

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That is correct.


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Goodday gentleman… I’ve been rereading this thread, and was just sort of looking to inquire what the current status is. If there’s any sort of documentation on how to start looking at this type of thing. We are really keen to snap our welcome application for 18.04. I’m also trying to get this nailed down so that I can sort of figure out what the process will be to deal with things like upgrades from previous versions of Ubuntu (as per @Wimpress previous comments). Is there a more accurate thread to follow the development of this?

If this app were to crash how would the user install the debug symbols to help the developers debug the issue?