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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

user $ pamac install flatpak

Using Flatpak

Managing Flatpaks via Discover


Managing Flatpaks via Gnome Software


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:

user $ 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

user $ 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:

user $ 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:

user $ flatpak list

Updating Flatpaks

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

user $ flatpak upgrade

Removing Flatpaks

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

user $ flatpak uninstall org.videolan.VLC

Removing Flatpak Support

If you no longer wish to have support for the Flatpack in your system you can remove it from the system by simply removing the package flatpak with your favorite package manager or with the command
user $ pamac remove flatpak

To also remove any installed Flatpaks you need to remove the directories containing them. These are /var/lib/flatpak and ~/.local/share/flatpak. For example, you could use the command

user $ sudo rm -r /var/lib/flatpak
user $ rm -r ~/.local/share/flatpak