Intent to provide chromium as a snap only

A follow-up to that other thread

Today, chromium updates are built and published for every supported Ubuntu release except trusty (currently xenial, artful, bionic, cosmic) shortly after they are made available upstream. That’s both time- and resource- consuming, and it’s also not trivial to keep it building on older Ubuntu releases.

This cycle, we are actively working on building the chromium snap from source (it is currently built from the debs) and bringing it on par with its deb counterpart, with the hope that we can stop pushing deb updates altogether, and make the snap the one and only officially supported way of always running an up-to-date chromium.

This is work in progress, but it can already be tested (amd64 only for now, but all supported architectures will be built eventually):

snap install chromium --channel=candidate/from-source


snap refresh chromium --channel=candidate/from-source

Chromium is a very complex piece of software with a very large user base, so we need a lot of testing and feedback before we can be confident that the snap can replace the deb. And this is where you can help!

If you’re not using the snap yet, please take some time to install it and use it for your daily browsing and web development activities, and report any issues you encounter, either in this thread or by filing a bug.

You can easily copy your existing chromium profile over to the snap by doing the following:

mkdir -p ~/snap/chromium/current/.config
cp -R ~/.config/chromium ~/snap/chromium/current/.config/

Thanks in advance!


While I suspect this may be a bug for snapd rather than the individual Chromium snap, I think it’s worth mentioning here: the existence of read-only snapshots of the home directory makes the sudo snap refresh chromium command fail every time (as reported here).

It appears that the refresh process attempts to update the contents of the snapshots but inevitably fails due to the fact that the snapshots are read-only. The user is stuck using the version of the Chromium snap that they initially installed.

I’m very new to this snap subject and maybe did not understand your issue.
my Question to you is - Why sudo?

As a snap is a self-contained app why is it owned by root?

It’s self-contained but it can do stuff to your wider system based on the interfaces that you grant it or are granted automatically (see snap interfaces, you can use snap disconnect foo:plug bar:slot to disallow certain connections). You actually don’t need sudo but it will ask for your password if you don’t.

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Which means that a snap is owned by root.

That’s unfortunate indeed, but not a chromium-specific issue, all snaps are affected because the problem lies in snapd’s refresh mechanism. Let’s hope zyga gets around to fixing it soon.

This is not strictly necessary, provided you log in to an Ubuntu One account first. See the corresponding documentation.