Flatpak

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Flatpaklogo.png


Overview

Flatpak is a distro independent method for packaging and distributing Linux software.


Using software distributed by Flatpak has a couple of distinct advantages:

  • Software that is not compatible with current system libraries will still work when packaged as a Flatpak
  • Delta upgrades make upgrades more network efficient in the long-term


There are some other considerations to be aware of:

  • Flatpaks are not updated as part of your system updates, they must be updated separately
  • Only themes that have been ported to Flatpak will work with Flatpaks
  • A large set of shared runtimes will need to be installed to use Flatpaks


Installing Flatpak

Flatpak is available in the Manjaro repos as flatpak and can be installed with your favorite package manager or using the command

pamac install flatpak


Using Flatpak

Managing Flatpaks via Discover

Kdediscover.png


One way to manage your Flatpaks is with the application Discover from the KDE project. You can install the package discover with your favorite package manager or the command:

pamac install discover


Once installed you can run Discover and you will be able to browse, install and update Flatpaks with a familiar store interface.


Tip: Discover can also install and update software from the Manjaro repos if you install the package packagekit-qt5


Managing Flatpaks via Gnome Software

Gnomesoftware.png


One way to manage your Flatpaks is with the application Gnome Software from the Gnome project. You can install the package gnome-software with your favorite package manager or the command:

pamac install gnome-software


Once installed you can run Software and you will be able to browse, install and update Flatpaks with a familiar store interface.


Tip: Gnome Software can also install and update software from the Manjaro repos


Managing Flatpaks via the CLI

Finding and Installing Flatpaks

You can use the command flatpak search to search for available Flatpaks. For example, if you wanted to install VLC here is what it might look like:

flatpak search vlc
Name                                                Description                                                                Application ID                               Version              Branch               Remotes
MakeMKV plugin for VLC                              Provides MakeMKV features for direct Blu-ray playback in VLC.              org.videolan.VLC.Plugin.makemkv                                   3-18.08              flathub
Bluray Java menus (BDJ) plugin for VLC              Provides Bluray Java menus (BDJ) support in VLC.                           org.videolan.VLC.Plugin.bdj                                       3-18.08              flathub
VLC                                                 VLC media player, the open-source multimedia player                        org.videolan.VLC                                                  stable               flathub
FDK-AAC Encoding Plugin for VLC                     Provides better AAC encoding and HE profiles support.                      org.videolan.VLC.Plugin.fdkaac                                    3-1.6                flathub

From this output we can see that VLC and some related applications via Flatpak. To install VLC, we would use it's "Application ID", shown above with the command

flatpak install org.videolan.VLC


This will install the application as well as any required run-times. Once the application is installed you should be able to run it from your menu as you would with any application.


Displaying Detailed Flatpak Information

You can get more details about a specific Flatpak using the command flatpak info. For example:

flatpak info org.videolan.VLC
VLC - VLC media player, the open-source multimedia player   
          ID: org.videolan.VLC
         Ref: app/org.videolan.VLC/x86_64/stable
        Arch: x86_64
      Branch: stable
     License: GPL-2.0+
      Origin: flathub
  Collection: org.flathub.Stable
Installation: system
   Installed: 81.4 MB
     Runtime: org.kde.Platform/x86_64/5.12
         Sdk: org.kde.Sdk/x86_64/5.12 
      Commit: 87a8e23cefe6c3f4962d303d3724db399872e68379a52b7553089f5540c9a883
      Parent: 8f0c0e0bd79bfeb8748bb53e8476ee1f2deffc0e131ea5fb2890505e449df8a2
     Subject: Update shared-modules for udev (d3f66ebc)
        Date: 2019-05-06 13:30:44 +0000


Getting installed Flatpaks

To show a list of all the Flatpaks and run-times that are currently installed you can use the command:

flatpak list


Updating Flatpaks

Updating your collection of Flatpaks is a simple process. Simply run the command:

flatpak upgrade


Removing Flatpaks

You can remove Flatpaks with the command flatpak uninstall. For example:

flatpak uninstall org.videolan.VLC