APC Australia

Next-gen app distributi­on



Flatpaks, Snaps, AppImages: they all seek to make it easier for developers to ship software in a distributi­on-agnostic manner. Whereas Snaps rely on a central app store, anyone can set up their own Flatpak remote. The Flathub repo is a good place to find popular apps. Flatpaks are OSTree images too, which is why the two integrate so nicely in Endless OS. When you download your first (non-trivial) applicatio­n on Endless OS (or your first Flatpak on another OS), you’ll find the download is very large. This is because it depends on a large runtime (e.g. Gnome) Flatpak. Once you have this you won’t need to download it again for Flatpaks, which depend on it. These runtime Flatpaks are updated incrementa­lly, so subsequent large downloads should be a rarity and (unlike deb packages) there are no issues with requiring a particular version.

Fedora’s Silverblue desktop distributi­on brings atomic upgrades to the Fedora ecosystem. Here, a hybrid packaging system, RPMOSTree, is used so that the base OS image can be modified in layers. This is useful for installing low-level packages such as drivers and shells. Convention­al desktop programs are installed this way, and there’s also support for containeri­sed workloads.

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