LibreOffice Snap as default in 19.10

It is somewhat odd that some (seemingly random) GNOME apps are shipped as Snaps by default since 18.04 LTS. GNOME Calculator for instance, takes too long to load and is not ideal for a quick usage app. Plus, it’s not the kind of an app that requires constant updating, so doesn’t serve much of a purpose as a Snap.

Instead, if LibreOffice is shipped as default, it stands to benefit from major updates to LibreOffice, which never go to the .deb versions in the repo. Plus, it is the kind of application which people expect to open a bit slowly if anything. It might be a great idea to ship LibreOffice as a Snap in Ubuntu 19.10. Thoughts?


Part of the reason for shipping ‘simple’ apps as snaps was to test the whole infrastructure of seeding snaps, maintenance of them and the upgrade process from Ubuntu release to release. Ideally it should be transparent to the user what packaging system is used. So if it’s slower in some circumstances, that’s really a bug and should be fixed.

It’s entirely possible that larger, fast changing applications may switch to being snap by default in the future, and Libre Office seems like a good suggestion, before that happened, we needed to prove that everything works with a much smaller, less critical set of application.

Indeed the very first application to be seeded was in Ubuntu MATE and was pulsemixer. An application that almost nobody will use, but it was needed to bake something small into the image, so we could test the process.


LibreOffice, Steam and especially Firefox would be a good start as a testbed for snaps. Gnome Calculator seems like a very unlikely choice though.

Maybe it is possible to ship gnome as a whole at some point. But splitting it up just adds loading times to your desktop without any perceived benefit.


It is absolutely bad idea.
User can add LibreOffice PPA to get bleeding edge versions. Let the user decide which version to use.
By using snaps you force user to pay by network bandwidth and large amount of disk space.
Having this snap mounted at any time will slow the boot time of the system.

The next bad thing is that removable media access is disabled by default (see ). But the access to removable media is must have for the people who work with files from external USB flashes, HDDs or SSDs along with files from remote (SSHfs, SMB/CIFS, FTP, AFP) and local filesystems (/home, /, /media)…

You can let them know here.

My biggest problem with Snap is that it can’t handle reading files from /tmp. I have Firefox beta & LibreOffice as Snaps in one of my laptop. When I just want to open the file, it won’t open up. I have to save them, then open them.

I’d love to see Steam as Snaps.


Yes, not being able to read from /tmp is a bummer for instance when trying to open a file received in Evolution.

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The idea is appealing, but we are moving cautiously here (as @popey already mentioned). The LibreOffice snap has a number of known bugs and shortcomings (access to files in /tmp is one of them), and before replacing the deb packages by the snap as the default, we must ensure that the snap is on par with the debs.

We are definitely moving in that direction, one step at a time.

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You’re crazy !

No snap competes with a deb package, how dare you think for a second that LibreOffice could ever be by default when even a program as basic, simple and light as the Gnome calculator is already bad as a snap package?

It is necessary to do exactly the opposite: return to the deb package

Currently, there is NO powerful snap package!

Please definitively abandon the idea of putting new snaps by default.

just because you have been asked to stop your endless and repeated rants about snaps in another thread does not really mean you should now hijack other threads with the same repeated noise, please stop, we all know you do not like snaps, you have stated that often enough across the whole forum to make everyone and his aunt aware of it …


Ok, enough @sibe39 - I’ve suspended your account here for a month.

Hopefully you’ll appreciate that your constant rants are unhelpful to everyone.

We already heard your arguments, and are working on solving the problems you’ve highlighted. Now, you’re just being disrespectful.


I have several non-technical friends who I switched to the LO snap at 18.04 who don’t know it, don’t care, and I haven’t heard a complaint yet. I keep them all on LTS releases so knowing that their office suite is up to date is a huge help as it is probably the most important app after the browser for the casual user. One of the thing that impressed me on my recent upgrade to 19.10 was how seamlessly the transition to snap went for chromium. It is my second browser, but I do use it on a regular basis and if the impression holds up I’ll continue to recommend snaps to the others for critical tools. I just hope that as other programs transition to possible snap as default status, they migrate as seamlessly as chromium did.


If you manage to get snaps to access /tmp reliably I don’t see why not. LO is definitely the sort of app that benefits from regular updates, just like a web browser. As it stands though, anything I open from Evolution or open from a Firefox download doesn’t work if the target app is a snap. Or at least this is true of libreoffice.

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The question about whether or not LibreOffice Snap will be default in 19.10 is now moot.

Folks are welcome to discuss snaps and LibreOffice in other threads. Gentle reminder: Lots of strong feelings out there, so be considerate and respectful of folks who disagree…and flag folks who deny hard data instead of arguing with them.

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