Snappy vs Apt packages on Ubuntu 18.04

Canonical has been pushing forwards with the new Snappy format which offers significant benefits over their deb-based equivalents. Recently a large number of default gnome applications have been ported to Snap and some ubuntu-based distros such as KDE Neon disclosed that they “plan on adopting Snaps by default for their rolling operating system”. Unfortunately on Ubuntu Desktop the situation is a bit unclear.

I was hoping to get some insights from the community/developers concerning the transition to Snaps on Ubuntu 18.04:

  • Do you expect that in a fresh install of Ubuntu 18.04, the snappy versions will be installed by default?
  • If yes, how do you intend to handle the upgrades?
  • Finally currently there is no good way to replace a deb-base package with its snappy version. To make things more complicated, not all package names on apt match extract the ones on snap. Will you offer any mechanism to replace deb programs with snaps and handle automatically the install/uninstall/import config processes?
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Can you explain what might be these significant benefits?

An oldie but a goodie, Mark on ‘why snaps’; there are other things which are big advantages for the developer, as it’s (relatively) easy to make a snap package, low latency for users getting new versions of things, there’s a lot of them.

https://snapcraft.io for a detailed account of the developer side of things.

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I think @jon.snow’s questions are answered in https://community.ubuntu.com/t/snaps-have-priority/113
Also Ubuntu Desktop Team Priorities
And Plans for Snaps on Desktop
And Ubuntu MATE will ship a Snap by default in 17.10
And others…

Feel free to look around a bit at the many threads already on this topic in various places, then come on back and summarize or index the current news.

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Yes, we’ve been working towards shipping some GNOME apps in the default Ubuntu Desktop as snaps. Handling upgrades is still being sorted out. It’s similar to the case of handling replacing a deb with the snap. Ideally for leaf applications (those packages with no reverse depends) should be unique. So we should remove the deb package when the snap version is installed.

To sum up the answer, yes we plan to ship some default apps as snaps in 18.04 but we there’s still plenty of work to do before we get there.

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Sure , I’m interested in the sandboxing and “rolling release” capabilities. But I think that’s a bit out of topic. :wink:

@ian-weisser great references. It would be awesome if Canonical provides an update on what they plan to do. Lots of interesting info is spread here and there. :slight_smile:
@kenvandine great to get some insider input and also to see that a mechanism for removing the debs is in plan. Could you tell us if there are any plans for handling the configuration too?