This is an update to my blog post from last year.
Here some facts for context, should anyone read this sometime down the road:
- Today is 8 June 2018
- Latest Flatpak:
0.11.8.1, released today (0.11.8.0 was released yesterday)
0.10.4 “Stable” released on 14 February 2018 (last old stable was 0.8.9)
- Latest Snapd:
2.32.9 released 21 days ago
Because Flatpak comes in two types, regular release (0.11.x) and “Stable” (=LTS, 0.10.x), the latest Stable release counts as well. With Flatpak 0.11.8’s hotfix only released 4 hours ago, it could not have passed the QA of any serious distribution, so 0.11.7 counts as latest for now.
Green means the latest version is in an official repository.
Yellow means that either the latest version is in an add-on repo or the package is in an official repository but with some problems.
Red means either not available at all or in some barely maintained (or even abandoned) add-on repository.
|Arch Linux||Extra / Latest release||AUR only / Latest release|
|Debian||Latest in Stretch||Outdated everywhere (even Sid)|
|Fedora||Latest release||Outdated and clashing with SELinux|
|Gentoo||Overlay with latest release||Overlay outdated|
|openSUSE||Latest in TW / Latest LTS in Leap15||Outdated / In add-on repo only|
|Ubuntu||Latest in Bionic||Latest in Bionic|
Flatpak is continuing to go strong. In case of Mageia it graduated from the development Cauldron branch into a proper Mageia release, even though they forgot to package 0.10.4 and only ship 0.10.3, so while more users can no use Flatpak packages, they went from green to yellow because of that update oversight.
openSUSE’s conservative Leap releases also carry Flatpak now, not only their rolling release, so things actually improved while staying green.
Weirdly enough CentOS, while shipping Flatpak and not Snapd, does not even ship the last Old Stable release.
Positive developments for Snap have been that it graduated in Fedora from a totally broken build in a user repository to the main one. There are problems with SELinux (which is enabled by default on Fedora) but I don’t know how serious they are, so I give them the benefit of the doubt and rate it yellow instead of red.
In Arch Linux Snapd got demoted from the Community repo to AUR, however that at least carries the latest release.
In an attempt to increase the adoption rate of Snap, Canonical hired people to package Snapd for competing distributors. To a degree it seems to have paid off because Arch, Fedora, and openSUSE packages at least have some outside contributors, however only the AUR package is not outdated. Even Debian’s Snapd package is no longer the latest release. So while Snapd managed to cut the number of red cells down, the Debian packagers also dropped the ball and now they’ve lost their green table cell.
Just like last year, smaller distributions seem to gravitate more towards Flatpak than Snapd (like OpenMandriva).
So while things changed here and there, IMO Flatpak is still the way to go, especially for those software vendors that target professional users with Flatpak being supported by CentOS/RHEL, Debian, openSUSE Leap, and even the current LTS release of Ubuntu. Snap packages OTOH are only 100% supported by Ubuntu. Even other distributions that carry it do with some downsides.