Please stop forcing snaps during upgrade

I just upgraded from 19.04 to 19.10, and all the snaps that I removed gnome-calculator, gnome-characters, etc are back. which I very much prefer from the main repo, since apps like calculators are not things I want to wait around… As a power user, I expect them to open the moment I have pressed enter, and snaps will fast with the recent upgrades, still has an overhead which I don’t want to pay.

It’s becoming incredibly inconvenient that each ubuntu upgrade today forces the reinstallation of these snaps. I end up with 2 calculators and characters. While I’m opening this topic focused on upgrades, on a side note, I also believe having 2 sets of applications on a regular install isn’t productive, only more confusing - though that’s likely a larger discussion since that involves Ubuntu Core.

In general, I don’t think this a good strategy for exposing users to snaps. Users will discover snaps when they come across apps anyway, and IMO 2 sets of apps only causes more confusion among basic users, and for power users who just want the repo based app, forcing a reinstallation while one has specifically removed them is a rather inconvenient.

Would love it if the team could explore alternative strategies here without disrupting the user experience.


I, for one, love snaps and I am all for ubuntu trying some thing new.
Im also a power user so that im very productive on ubuntu and very flexible to change the way I work to maximise my productivity


This just sounds like a feature request in the upgrade tool. Essentially if the user has already removed a snap, and installed the deb of the application, then an upgrade happens they get a thing back that they removed.

However, I’m not sure the upgrade tools have the intelligence to know that you previously removed the snap, and don’t want it back. Further, the point of the upgrade tool is to take you to the new release. Those snaps are part of the new release. I have a feeling if you removed firefox from 19.04 and upgraded to 19.10, you’d get firefox back. Which is a similar use case that you’re describing.


I think a better way during upgrade is to simply have a list with checkboxes that asks the user whether they want to upgrade and install the following applications, or enable functionality not currently enabled e.g. printing, snap, etc.

The tool would have to know which applications are already installed, what software installs are used (flatpak, snap, deb etc). Given the fragmentation and different folders linux apps are installed in that might be difficult to accomplish.

While I don’t disagree this is a good idea, it’s starting to become moot with more and more packages disappearing from the archive in lieu of Snaps, e.g. Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.

I assume the original motivating factor behind this post, back five years ago, isn’t in play now anyway? On a fresh install of 24.04 the only user-facing applications that are pre-installed using snap packages are Firefox and Thunderbird (I installed Remmina myself), while the GNOME Calculator and Characters apps appear to be packaged as Debian packages:

$ snap list
Name                       Version                 Rev    Tracking         Publisher   Notes
bare                       1.0                     5      latest/stable    canonical✓  base
canonical-livepatch        10.8.2                  278    latest/stable    canonical✓  -
core22                     20240408                1380   latest/stable    canonical✓  base
firefox                    125.0.2-1               4173   latest/stable/…  mozilla✓    -
firmware-updater           0+git.5007558           127    latest/stable/…  canonical✓  -
gnome-42-2204              0+git.510a601           176    latest/stable/…  canonical✓  -
gtk-common-themes          0.1-81-g442e511         1535   latest/stable/…  canonical✓  -
remmina                    v1.4.35+git1.e0692befd  6419   latest/stable    remmina✓    -
snap-store                 0+git.97116aa           1134   latest/stable/…  canonical✓  -
snapd                      2.62                    21465  latest/stable    canonical✓  snapd
snapd-desktop-integration  0.9                     157    latest/stable/…  canonical✓  -
thunderbird                115.10.1-1              470    latest/stable/…  canonical✓  -

$ apt list --installed | grep calcu
gnome-calculator/noble,now 1:46.0-1ubuntu1 amd64 [installed,automatic]
$ apt list --installed | grep character
gnome-characters/noble,now 46.0-1build1 amd64 [installed,automatic]
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