Please, do not use snap into UBUNTU, it's too early

One major problem with migrating deb packaged software to snap packaged is the lack of ability to supply custom AppArmor profiles, which is especially an issue with security-critical software like a web browser.

Until this is fixed, full migration (removing deb in favor of snap) is irresponsible and will break security minded environments. In my case, I will no longer be able to use chromium on Ubuntu.

Can you give some specific on what you are looking to do? The bug report mention blocking access to user files, which you basically get by default with the snap which has its own private user dir (just disconnect the interface that let you access your normal user files)

@seb128

(google translate)

Be assured that I do not want to fud. It’s even hurtful that you can think that. I spend the majority of my free time for opensource projects with great respect.

I support Ubuntu since version 8.04 with great luck.

I know exactly when the calculator was added as SNAP. There are many messages that we have received from users on the forums complaining about snap.

I have also completed a bug report on this slowness but only with the items that I can have and remains waiting for any requests.

On the help forums, snap issues are quite common and the help requests that come with it. That’s just why we had to report a current concern about the arrival of chromium that might cause this to happen with other major software. obviously it’s a lack of information about it.

It seems to me that this is an appropriate space to communicate incomprehension between the developers and the daily users. Where else to do it?

I hear that you are concerned about some remaining dysfunction and really thank you for it.

This post will obviously allow you to bring explications on the proposed changes and for us not to passively undergo them.

Sorry if you found the comment offensing, I was not speaking about your intend but about things you are writing.

It would be a more reasonable position to state “please don’t replace debs by snaps without making sure those have no regression in performance or usability” than to write that “snaps are not ready for normal users” (written like that it implies the technology is not ready which damages the reputation of a good project and hurts the feeling of a good team which is working hard on it, when the reality/problems are not with “snaps” but with “some snaps” which are mode demanding/need work)

Remember also in those conversations with users that debs are not perfect, it’s not uncommon for upgrades to hit a packaging error which can let the system is a buggy state/not booting for example.

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(google translate)
I have nothing against snaps but they shouldn’t be imposed.
Inexperienced users use Ubuntu Software to install new applications and often choose to install the snap instead of the .deb out of ignorance, then the snap is updated and the user finds himself with many Megabytes occupied by the various versions without understanding why.
Ubuntu Software should better highlight the snap packages to avoid these problems.

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There you assume they would be better served by the deb, but maybe they do want the snap because it’s more uptodate, or maybe the snap for that software is directly maintained by upstream and better maintained.

You have a valid point that snaps by default keep previous versions installed and that those take disk space which can be problematic for some users. The answer there is probably to talk to the snap team about allowing to set the number of revision to 1 (instead of 2 which is the default and lower limit now)

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I can agree to some point. On the other hand you miss the great advantage of switching back to previous version if something went wrong.

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Personally I’ve got mounts and symlinks and can probably turn any child-safety locks off without too much risk, but I’d say “widest possible usage case” includes being able to save to a flash drive without needing to find a setting and change it. That’s likely to confuse and inconvenience non-experts, and shouldn’t be pushed as a new normal.

Putting aside that snap auto updates are not user controllable I don’t understand why such updates don’t present a user notification . Can’t fathom the reason there, users should always be notified of any update…

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No thanks! I only want to care if the update goes badly or I have to make a decision, software is updating faster and faster these days, last thing I want to care about is worrying that each time I install software the amount of my notifications will keep increasing over time.

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Interesting. I guess Ubuntu is taking a different approach that what Debian did. For example, here’s Debian chromium’s versions https://qa.debian.org/madison.php?package=chromium&table=debian&a=&c=&s=#

They seems to have decided that if upstream breaks using new unsupported features, they will simply not update it. That obviously has tickled down to Ubuntu https://askubuntu.com/a/890625/169736 and their “solution” was snap.

Pretty sure it’s because the software FTBFS in the instances where it hasn’t been updated.

Debian maintainers can’t hope to patch every piece of software, and that sort of long-term breakage would normally lead to it being dropped from the repositories.

One area where I think both snap and flatpak are too immature: qt apps.

There is no way (no obvious way, at least) to configure the theme. This is not just a matter of aesthetics. For example, in hidpi screens this means that all qt applications installed as snaps are barely usable, since the default font is too small and there is no way (no obvious way, at least) to change it. I usually do that by means of qt5ct. There is also qgnomeplatform, which is not packaged for Debian. Anyway, neither of these solutions seem to work inside the sandbox. This is not because the QT_QPA_PLATFORMTHEME=qt5ct, QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR=1 is not exported, I think, but because qt5ct is not installed in the sandbox, am I wrong?

Do you know of any workaround?

Today I wanted to install Anki and:

  1. The deb package has a broken dependency. That has already been reported in launchpad some time ago but unresolved as of today.

  2. So I thought, well this kind of breakage of relatively complex, relatively unmaintained, packages is one of the very reasons for snap to exist. And it did fare better but still borderline usable.

I ended up installing from sources.

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i dont know if someone Already anwserd this the way i will.

What i see on most systems there is no problem with long startup after first start. Problem is the way snap is made its first startup of aplicaiton will always take time but after that it should be realy close to normal. i used multiple distributions and including Virtual machines in both vmware and virtualbox

On small set of devices(non that i encountered) snap opens slowly every time for unknown reason.

It’s good to have feelings, it proves you’re human (always good ;), but we should try to be driven for objective arguments and not by feelings. And yes snaps provide more advantages, than debs. This doesn’t mean they should always be used for absolutely everything, because there are cases where debs are still a better approach for practical reasons, and snaps still clearly have to be perfected, has the snap team people say, and has they have been doing.

That is not what was said, at least that is not my interpretation of if. What I believe was said is that there are no plans to replace all deb packages from Ubuntu, and that probably debs will be on Ubuntu and the clear majority for many years. Nobody said that no other package will not be replaced, that would be unwise, because more packages may end up suffering of similar problems to chrome, or of some other good reasons that may justify such replacement.

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We have multi terabyte disks, and before that multi-gigabyte. I don’t see that as a problem, however it does offer the possibility to roll back to a previous version of the software if the new version has bugs that don’t allow the user to use it safely. What’s better for the user? I would say it’s the snap.

Users want software easy to find and install and that automatically update, and that ideally is as recent as possible snaps are a superior way to offer that.

Users may reschedule (up to a long limit of on month if I remember correctly) the update. However I do believe there should be a user friendly way to make this feature available instead of just being an “obscure” cli parameter for snapd.

This is true, in my experience. I used to be ok with that, but I’m liking it less and less. It’s exactly why you’re getting so much flak, on multiple fronts. The vision you have for Ubuntu, as expressed by your actions and in various statements and discussions, it not something I, for one, want to see realised. It’s not where I want Linux to go.
If it were any other distro, I wouldn’t care. I would just switch the handful of boxen I have running it and recommend something else for the relevant use-cases, done. But Ubuntu is not any distro, it’s the public face of Linux, especially for home desktop use. So Ubuntu has the clout to make other distros follow suit and any and all controversy, fear, uncertainty & doubt attaching to it hurts Linux’s mainstreaming. If it were any other time, I’d say, I’m too old for this. But the end of Windows 7 support is near and for the first time non-technical (but privacy-conscious) people are actively looking for an alternative. Thus, I do care.

The question is, can Ubuntu be changed or must it be toppled and replaced as the leading Linux distro, even if that means losing years of progress?

Developers can make one package that runs on many releases of the same distro

… or even different ones, yes. For proprietary software that’s an advantage, but using it for open source software is just cutting corners. Forcing the whole system to be in lock-step, having all components tailored, is an advantage as far as quality & security are concerned.

Currently when an update to LibreOffice or Chromium (as examples) is needed, that’s tremendous work

The thing is, on an LTS release I don’t want updates as in newer version, certainly no big new features, I want backported fixes, security mainly. These are an ungodly amount of work, but irrespective of the packaging format.

Snaps automatically update so users have the latest software without manually updating […] can override this to a great degree

I do not want updates forced down my (or anyone’s) throat, no matter the “degree”. Users need to be educated, not treated like imbeciles. What’s next, automatic forced reboots?

The Snap Store provides delta updates, so users don’t have to download the full snap file every time

That’d be less of an issue, if the snaps weren’t so large in the first place. Also, if “disk space is not an issue, disk space is chap” is valid, then so is “broadband is cheap”. For the record, I think both are real concerns.

The whole thing sounds like you’re trying to emulate how things are done on iOS & Android, Windows & MacOS, app store and everything, throwing away Linux’ traditional strengths. The problem is, people who prefer how things are done on iOS & Android, Windows & MacOS are already using that. You can’t beat those OS’ on their own turf (only), if you try you’ll forever be playing catch-up. You need to offer something different, better.

We have multi terabyte disks, and before that multi-gigabyte
Storage be taken by huger and huger app’s, instead of its owner’s personal data is not ok.
Taking more storage than before for doing the exact same thing is not ok.
Consider everybody has got terabyte disks, not ok.
All these may improve ( snap-chromium is actually lighter than deb ) but still storage is an issue : I can see many recent laptops with not so much storage, following the « cloud-for-anything » trend…

Users want software easy to find and install and that automatically update, and that ideally is as recent as possible
Yes and no. They may prefer software that work for a reliable time, in expected manner, to plan workflows and trainings for themselves and the people they help, or their team if speaking about « work » situation. Hence use of LTS rather than intermediate versions. At work I don’t run after newest versions of all app’s - I prefer have same version of one app’ on any computer ( Ubuntu and else ) for easier maintenance, and time for testing / preparing jump to next version…

inexperienced users use Ubuntu Software to install new applications and often choose to install the snap instead of the .deb out of ignorance
This has been already spotted months ago on gnome-software bugtrackers :
⋅ packaging types are not clearly enough emphasized ( label, icon, any obvious visual indicator )
⋅ snaps are shown in the front, which leads to people installing them without knowing some of the tips’n’tricks regarding snaps settings ( confinement, removable medias, etc )
⋅ sorting by packaging is missing,
⋅ any app’ should always be shown with all its kinds of packaging - and not let user believe only the snap is available ( unless it’s only available as snap, of course )

It seems gnome-software 3.32 solves all or part of these, though.

( forgot links : https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-software/issues/418 or https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-software/+bug/1711801 )

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