Linux Snaps  What are they? + Advantages of Using them ▷ 2021

Despite the fact that most Linux distributions include a variety of pre-installed programs that cover the user’s needs, there are cases in which the quality or the tools provided by each program leave much to be desired.

In these cases, the best option is to acquire alternatives to these programs, and the safest way to do this is through Linux software repositories, known as Snaps.

These repositories contain a variety of applications and programs that can be installed on the computer to get the most out of it, and Right now we will tell you everything you need to know about these systems.

What are Snaps and what are these package formats for in Linux?

Snap packages on Linux

It is known as Snaps a a universal software packaging system that is designed to work with Ubuntu, and all distributions derived from it, with the aim of facilitating the installation and execution of applications on any distro that supports Snap.

In summary, is a package manager that fulfills the function of hosting, downloading and installing compressed softwares to be executed in the operating system, thus allowing the user to access alternatives to the native applications of their respective distro.

What are the advantages of using Snaps to install programs on Linux?

Delete Ubuntu Snap packages

Snaps are widely used on Linux distributions, so the advantages it offers are well known and extensive, since it provides great ease when it comes to managing and executing program installation packages.

Among the main advantages that we can find when using Snaps in Linux distros we can count the following:

  • Install applications on Linux: It is considered one of the easiest, most accessible and safest ways to obtain software packages to install on our Linux operating system, regardless of the version.
  • Compatibility with a wide variety of distributions: the swaps system is adapted to work on a large number of distributions. For starters, all Ubuntu-based distros are supported, and we can also count Arch Linux, CentOS, and Manjaro, among many others.
  • Automatic Updates: Regardless of the base operating system, the Snaps system offers continuous updates for all available packages, and performs the process automatically.
  • High level security: To keep the operating system safe, the packages are executed in an environment known as a “sandbox”, provided by Snaps and it keeps the packages isolated from the rest of the system.
  • Ease of management for developers: One of the main advantages of Snaps packages is that they include all the dependencies libraries necessary to run, thus avoiding compatibility problems with other dependencies.

Snaps vs AppImage vs Flatpak Which one is better and how are these formats different?

Flatpak packages on Linux

On the early years of Linux, the method used to obtain new software packages was insert some command lines that varied from distribution to distribution, and the operating system performed the entire installation process.

However, due to Linux automation, the availability of software packages compatible with each distribution was greatly reduced, so alternatives were created to easily obtain compatible applications, regardless of distribution. This initiative resulted in three package management systems with global compatibility for any Linux distro.

These are:

  • Snaps: It was born as an initiative created by Canonical for the discontinued Ubuntu Touch distribution on mobile phones and since then it has spread to the most relevant distros. It allows downloading software packages with all the requirements and dependencies included in a single file, and It also has the advantage of allowing updates, without forcing the user to remove the old package before downloading the new one, as is the case with systems like AppImage.
  • AppImage: is an application file image that does not require installation or permissions to function. It was born in 2004 under the name Klik. It offers application packages, which include the executable file, its libraries and dependencies, in a single file, independent of the distribution on which it is run. The AppImage format applications will request execution permissions before being installed, after which they are automatically mounted on the user file system.
  • Flatpak: It was designed to integrate smoothly and seamlessly into desktop environments such as KDE and GNOME, making it easy to interact with the graphical interface tools of the main Linux desktop environments. One of its main differences from AppImage and Snaps, it is the fact that it does not download all the dependencies in a single file, so it will be necessary to download a considerable number of packages, with the advantage that, as they are not compressed into a file, their weight is reasonably less.

While each of the software package management systems has its own advantages and disadvantages, Snaps is still one of the best options for its availability of applications and the work that the user saves from their routine of automatic updates.

List of the main snaps that you should install in Linux to maximize your operating system

Linux is an operating system with great potential that requires the use of the correct programs and applications to bring it out, which is why Snaps is one of the most useful features you can count on.

For this reason, we now present a list of the best Snap software packages that you can get for Linux, to better understand your operating system:

Spotify

Spotify interface on Linux

Linux developers adapted the famous music streaming application to work on Linux terminals, allowing users of this OS to listen to their favorite songs and artists from the computer.

To download Spotify from Snap, open the terminal and enter the download command:

  • sudo snap install spotify

When running the command, Snap downloads a compressed executable file with all the necessary dependencies to launch Spotify No problem. Although the experience may have certain differences with the application for Windows or MacOS, it is at least as satisfying.

Skype

Starting Skype on Linux

The popular video conferencing application is available for Linux operating systems via Snap repositories. Now you can make video calls from your Linux computer and keep in touch with your family or your work team.

The executable command to get the Skype Snap package is as follows:

  • sudo snap install skype –classic

Discord

Discord interface on Linux

It is one of the most popular voice and text chat applications of the moment, and was created with the intention of facilitating player communication during games. As is the case with all applications of Linux, requires a basic knowledge of the command lines to perform the installation by means of Snap. There is no need to worry as Installing via Snap is not a difficult task.

Just open the command terminal and enter:

  • sudo snap install discord

This is all you need to the system begins the installation of Discord and you can easily locate it in your application menu. Now communication during your gaming sessions will not be a problem.

VLC

VLC program for Linux

It is one of the most popular multimedia players that exist, due to its multiplatform support that allows you to allows you to play all existing video formats, as well as audio, on DVD devices and through streaming protocols.

The software package for this application is available in the Snap repository, and to acquire it on your Linux computer you just have to run this command in the terminal:

Code

Cod interface in Linux

It is a programming tool that works as a cross-platform code editor developed by Microsoft. It is available for Linux, and it is a very popular tool thanks to the fact that it is highly customizable and the amount of supports it includes.

If you want to install Visual Studio Code on Linux using Snap, open the command terminal “CTRL + ALT + T” and enter the following line:

  • sudo snap install --classic code

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thanks! 😉

Author: Mario José

Graduated in journalism, specialized in investigation, I seek the truth of all things. Now 100% focused on technology, computing and Internet issues.

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