Beginner’s Guide To Install Flatpak in Linux Distributions

This article includes detailed information regarding how to install Flatpak in Linux distributions. It’s actually common for Linux users to use different package manager based on their OS variants like APT, YUM, and so on, however in case if the desired package is not available in official repos, they require to use PPA or RPM packages. And in order to simplify the installation of applications on Linux distributions, Flatpak really helps a lot, this post will easily help you installing this simplified package manager on any Linux machines.

What is Flatpak?

Flatpak is technically a framework that offers desktop applications for various Linux distributions. This platform is created by smart developers who have a long term history of working and tweaking Linux computers, means Flatpak is simply and open source projects that includes various terms within itself. Take a look on some of its terminology:

Flatpak: A simplified system for building, distributing and running desktop applications for Linux distros.
Flatpak application: Applications that can be installed using flatpak command GNOME Software, and KDE Discover.
Runtime: An integrated platform to offer basic utilities required for a Flatpak application to function.
BaseApp: Integrated platforms for frameworks.
Flatpak Bundle: An specific file-export format that includes a flatpak app or runtime.

What are the advantages of Flatpak?

Flatpak can actually be used by all kind of desktop applications available for Linux, and mainly aims to be as agnostic, no matters how the applications are developed. Also, such applications will have no specific requirements regarding which programming languages, build tools, toolkits, or frameworks, etc can be used. So, here are some of its basic advantages:

  • Flatpak apps are just app which can be distributed among all Linux desktop variants available in market.
  • All apps are developed and tested in an environment which is similar to what the users mostly prefer to use.
  • The build tools used by Flatpak are quite simple and easy to use.
  • All apps are made available to users with Flathub. https://flathub.org/
  • The runtimes offer platforms of common libraries over which the users can rely.
  • Offers an easy approach to bundle your own libraries as part of your app.
  • Flatpaks are frequently being developed to be compatible to all new versions of Linux variants.
  • It’s completely an open-source project and is developed by independent community with no boundary.

How to install Flatpak in various Linux distros?

After getting through all above discussed details and advantages of Flatpak, obviously it’s a simplified way to install applications on any Linux desktop computers, no matters what variant you are using. And now we will discuss how to install Flatpak on your machine, and later can add Flathub repository through which a large number of applications can easily be installed.

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Installing Snap Package Manager in Linux

Installing Flatpak on Ubuntu or Linux Mint

Flatpak is actually installed by default on Ubuntu and Linux Mint versions ranging from Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.3 and later versions. However, the older users can still install the package manager by running this command:

sudo apt install flatpak

Installing Flatpak on Debian Linux distros

For Debian Buster and newer versions, flatpak package is available and can be installed by running this command:

sudo apt install flatpak

Alternatively, the users who are running GNOME, can also install the Flatpak plugin for GNOME software by running this:

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

However, the people who are still using older versions of Debian Linux versions, should add a PPA and install flatpak by running the command series here:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexlarsson/flatpak 
sudo apt update
sudo apt install flatpak

Installing Flatpak on Fedora or RHEL

Although, the latest versions of Fedora Workstation comes pre-installed flatpak package, still the older users can install it using the command here:

sudo dnf install flatpak

To install the package manager however on RHEL systems, run the following:

sudo yum install flatpak

Installing Flatpak on OpenSUSE

These Linux variants users can install the package manager easily by running just a single line here mentioned:

sudo zypper install flatpak

Installing Flatpak on Manjaro or Arch Linux

And when it comes to users who are running Arch Linux or Manjaro versions, they should run this command:

sudo pacman -S flatpak

How to include Flathub Repository to install apps?

After you have successfully installed and enabled Flatpak on your Linux distributions, it’s necessary to add Flathub repository to start installing various applications or packages. To add the repo, you just need to run this command for all Linux variants as here mentioned:

$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Various syntax and examples to use Flatpak

Here includes various tasks like searching an app, installing apps, updating those, and many more. Let’s take example of each possible tasks that a user can do.

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Searching an application

Syn: flatpak search app_name

Ex: flatpak search libreoffice

Installing an application

Syn: flatpak install [app_name] [app ID]

Ex: flatpak install flathub org.libreoffice.LibreOffice

Executing a flatpak application

Syn: flatpak run [app ID]

Ex: flatpak run org.libreoffice.LibreOffice

Listing all flatpak apps on system

Syn: flatpak list

Uninstalling an application

Syn: flatpak uninstall [app ID]

Ex: org.libreoffice.LibreOffice

Updating flatpak packages

Syn: flatpak update

Checking Flatpak version details

Syn: flatpak –version

Final Thoughts

Installing Flatpaks in Linux variants is quite easy and helpful as well to install applications on systems in a simplified way. And this article might have helped you to learn how you can access installed flatpaks on your Linux machine. Do share this tutorial with your friends. If you have any question, you can click to Visit Our Discussion Board.

Nishant

Nishant Verma is a senior web developer who love to share his knowledge about Linux, SysAdmin, and more other web handlers. Currently, he loves to write as content contributor for ServoNode.