Samueru ,

Flatpak usually ships very outdated drivers.

I've been in the support channel for yuzu linux, and you would not believe all the issues people have with games freezing, etc that are instantly fixed by using the appimage instead of the flatpak.

Also flatpaks are non-xdg compliant, since it creates the useless ~/.var directory. And they have said over and over that they won't fix that. So fuck them.

Not to mention all the issues people have with their theming and integration into the system.

Appimages are just simpler and better, the other day I was thinking how many issues would be fixed if Steam shipped as an appimage.

  • It would allow for shipping a patch glibc with EAC
  • It would allow for moving all the nonsense that steam puts in the home user dir, since appimages support a portable home.
  • It would allow for shipping the 32bit libraries instead of having to install them system wide.

And depending on how you go about, appimages will even take less disk space than flatpaks or native packages even though you don't get shared libraries with those, because they are compressed which reduces their size significantly.

Like for example the LibreWolf appimage is 110MiB while a the native package for librewolf 300MiB.
Same with LibreOffice, the appimage is 300MiB while the native package is 600 MiB.

It also makes it easier to downgrade if you run into an issue, like I had to had an older appimage of ferdium because the latest version is affected by an electron bug that broke its zoom functionality.

Chewy7324 ,

Interestingly I've currently crashing issues with running CS2 through Steam native on NixOS, while the Steam flatpak works like it should.

The part about drivers is true though, as GPL is the reason I'm using native Steam.

Samueru ,

You don't have steam-runtime instead of steam-native on nix?

Chewy7324 ,

I mean the native NixOS package of Steam (instead of flatpak), not that the Steam package uses native libs.

I believe Steam on NixOS always uses the Steam runtime, because NixOS isn't FHS compliant, thus apps wouldn't find any libs. No, I don't think there's steam-native on NixOS.

gamma , avatar

Others have mentioned disk usage and desktop integration. There is some truth to them, but shared runtimes keeps disk uasge down (although worse than native apps). Desktop launchers now search /var/lib/flatpak/exports/share/applications by default, but I'm still having issues with themes in one or two niche apps.

Trust is the big one. The benefit of your distro's packages is that they are maintained by a limited number of maintainers. Flatpaks have a much, much larger number of maintainers, which is where sandboxing comes in. Flathub now marks apps with lax permissions as "potentially unsafe", which is a huge step in communicating this to the average user.

Most desktop apps can get away with having next to no access, as long as they support the appropriate XDG desktop portals.

Ultimately, your mileage will vary, as there are many classes of application which are ill-suited to being sandboxed. Program launchers, programming languages, IDEs, file managers are a few.

duncesplayed ,

I feel like this should be required reading for a lot of Linux users.
That article is a couple years old now, but I think is even more true now than it was when it was written.
Having a middleman (package maintainer) between the user and the software developer is a tremendous benefit.
Maintainers enforce quality, and if you bypass them, you're going to end up with Linux as the Google Play Store (doubly so if you try and fool yourself into thinking it won't happen because "Linux is different")

sebsch ,

What could be wrong with random foreign executables in your system?

shea ,

just like every other executable downloaded from the Internet, man. doesn't seem too scary

sebsch ,

It is. I like Linux exactly because I trust the packages from the distribution. Everything else is an attack vector and untrusted

Edit: you install random binaries from the internet? Oo

therealjcdenton , avatar

They dont integrate well into your system like they should, (theming, bookmarks, storage, etc), and to fix that you gotta do some work arounds that should be done automatically

Churbleyimyam ,

What I find most annoying is the extra drive space required. It makes backing up and restoring my computer so much more annoying. The upside of this is that I've ended up learning how to install from source so I can avoid them when a deb package is not available!

cygon ,

I'm a little put off by the inconvenient command line and the mandatory bells and whistles (flathub is nice and all, but must it be baked into the main executable rather than having the package manager as an optional thing on top?).

So far, AppImage just looks superior to me. Works without installing a runtime into my system, no need to become root and integrate an app into a system-wide managed package repository, I can just run it.

pingveno , (edited )

One of the use cases I would like to have used Flatpak for is Visual Studio Code. Unfortunately, I found the isolation to be too onerous for developer needs. Take the Rust compiler toolchain. There's no way to access that from VSCode. There are ways to add on tools to the VSCode environment, but that feels like a kludge when I already have everything installed and set up. And if the toolchain isn't available for Flatpak, tough luck. Other features just simply don't work. I eventually switched to using the Ubuntu builds from the VSCode developers.

Edit: The Rust compiler toolchain can be added onto Flatpak because there is a packaged version of the toolchain, but it's not the host environment's version. Other tools like the fish shell might be entirely unavailable.

Presi300 , avatar

Unless you are using like a 64GB drive, not really. Ig flatpaks are as bit more annoying to start from the terminal

BigTrout75 ,

Endlessly reading on social media that is not a good from Linux "gurus". LOL

It's been great for me, but I wish it had a official gui for permissions management.

Communist , avatar

Are you aware of flatseal?

If you are, is there an issue with using it for you?

BigTrout75 ,

Flatseal is good, just not official.

Communist , avatar

I'm not sure why/if that matters honestly, aside from discoverability I guess.

isVeryLoud , avatar

It's as official as it gets. The XDG team provides the underlying infrastructure, and the community provides the tools.

samc , avatar

I wish there was an option for an android style system where, when an application wants to use a permission for the first time, you get a pop up asking you to grant that permission.

Or, more generally, just some way to ensure that (a) a flatpak isn't granted the permissions it wants automatically and (b) I can then manually grant those permissions as conveniently as possible

mcepl , avatar
QuaffPotions ,

As a basic end-user I have not been too happy with my experience with flatpaks. I do appreciate that I can easily setup and start using it regardless of what distro I'm using. But based on standard usage using whatever default gui "app store" frontends that usually come with distros, it tends to be significantly slower than apt, for instance, and there seems to be connection problems to the repos pretty often as well.

ganoo , avatar

That definitely used to be the case, but I haven't had any connection issues in the last year or more.

linearchaos , avatar

Flat pack install OBS? works awesome! Try to install plug in afterward not so much.

Unmapped ,

The main reason I don't use them is because when I move my nixos config to a new machine as far as I know you cant get them to auto install. I have to remember which ones I had installed and redo them manually.

Which is why if for some odd reason I don't want to just install from the nix pkgs repo. I use app images. I can keep them in a directory which I can just copy over to the new machine with my nixos config files.

excitingburp ,

GPU drivers. It uses the Ubuntu 22.04 (LTS) userspace side of drivers. Could be incompatible with your kernel. Had all sorts of graphical weirdness with my AMD GPU with flatpak Steam.

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