What are the technical limitations of packaging gnome-shell as a snap?

I’m wondering why it hasn’t been done,yet and wanted to explore the technical rationale for not doing so. This interests me because I feel the Ubuntu desktop could eventually become composed from Ubuntu Core. What in particular is standing in the way of an “Ubuntu Core Desktop”? I’d really love to see it happen.

Thanks guys.

@popey mentioned on his YouTube channel (after I asked about it) that this is more difficult than one might expect, and Canonical really wanted to do it at one point.

Even though snaps are quite innovative, they are quite slow. It takes loads more time to open up ‘Calculator’ on Ubuntu 19.10 than on Ubuntu 16.04!

On a technical level the security design of core (around IoT, embedded, cloud) and missing pieces in snapd are standing in the way … while there is some proof of concept work (whole desktop in one snap running as root on top of mir), you actually want proper integration with the underlying system and some user management.

some of these bits need to be worked out/planned (or simply need the creation of new snap interfaces) before we can actually run something like gdm, have proper session management and full integration with logind and systemd --user.

It is definitely something being looked at though … :slight_smile: