6 Ideas and Instruments to Improve Your Flatpak Expertise in Linux

Miguel Morata

Slowly and steadily, Flatpak has a rising acceptance within the desktop Linux world.

It’s properly built-in into Fedora and lots of different distributions like Linux Mint, elementary, Solus, and so forth. desire it over Ubuntu’s Snap.

If you happen to love utilizing Flatpak purposes, let me share just a few ideas, instruments, and tweaks to make your Flatpak expertise higher and smoother.

1. Use Flathub to discover new Flatpak purposes

This one goes with out saying.

In case you are in search of new purposes in Flatpak packaging, browse the Flathub web site.

That is the official web site from the Flatpak undertaking and it lists and distributes an enormous variety of Flatpak purposes.

You’ll be able to search for really useful apps within the “Editor’s alternative” part, just lately up to date apps, new apps and in style apps.

flathub website
Flathub web site homepage

You’ll be able to have the applying screenshots, description, developer data, and set up directions on the person utility webpages.

Bonus tip: Make sure that so as to add the Flathub repo in your system. In any other case, you’ll see “no distant refs discovered just like flathub” error whereas putting in purposes from Flathub.

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

2. Use Flatline extension to put in Flatpak from the browser

The Flathub web site supplies command line directions to put in the applying.

There may be additionally an Set up button nevertheless it doesn’t set up the applying for you. It downloads a .flatpakref file and then you definitely’ll have to make use of the command line to put in from the flatpakref file.

apps on flathub
The set up button doesn’t present a fast set up by default

If you must use the command line finally, it doesn’t make sense to obtain the fltapakref file.

You may make issues higher through the use of Flatline. It’s a Mozilla Firefox extension and it makes that Set up button helpful by changing it into appstream hyperlink. Another reason to make use of Firefox?

flatline extension
Flatline browser extension

This manner, while you click on on the Set up button for any utility on the Flathub web site, it is going to ask you to open the hyperlink in an XDG utility just like the Software program Heart.

installing flatpak from web browser
You’ll be able to select to put in Flatpak bundle in software program middle

This additionally signifies that it’s best to have the Fltapak assist built-in into the software program middle.

3. Combine Flatpak with the software program middle (for GNOME)

Aside from Fedora, a handful of distributions present Flatpak assist by default. You will discover and set up Flatpak apps from the graphical software program supervisor.

Not all distros have that. In case you are working another distribution with GNOME desktop surroundings, you’ll be able to allow Flatpak assist within the software program middle.

sudo apt set up gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

Word that Ubuntu has switched to Snap for the software program middle. The above command can even set up a deb model of GNOME Software program Heart. You’ll have two software program middle purposes within the system.

If you happen to allow the Flatpak assist within the software program, you’ll be able to couple it with Flatline and set up Fltapak apps from the net browser immediately.

Not too long ago, there was an unbiased, standalone Flatpak app retailer known as Souk. Nevertheless, it’s not actively developed.

souk app details
Souk GUI software program supervisor for Flatpak

There may be additionally Bauh that may handle Flatpak, Snap and AppImages from a single interface.

4. Handle Flatpak permissions graphically With Flatseal

Flatseal is a graphical utility to overview and modify your Flatpak purposes’ permissions. This makes issues quite a bit simpler than going via the instructions.

Control permissions of individual Flatpak apps
Management permissions of particular person Flatpak apps

It lists all of the put in Flatpak purposes and exhibits what sort of permissions the chosen utility has.

It’s possible you’ll allow or disable the permissions. Please keep in mind that disabling some permissions may influence the traditional functioning of the applying. It is best to know what you’re doing.

You’ll be able to set up Flatseal utilizing Flatpak, after all.

flatpak set up flathub com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

5. Apply GTK system themes to Flatpak purposes

You may need already seen that the majority Flatpak apps don’t change their look as per the present system theme.

Why? As a result of Flatpak apps run inside a ‘container’ and don’t have entry to the host filesystem, community, or bodily units.

You’ll be able to select to put in themes as Flatpak to resolve this challenge. Nevertheless, your favourite theme won’t be obtainable in Flatpak format.

Alternatively, you may make some handbook effort and drive the Flatpak purposes to make use of a given theme. Right here’s how to try this.

Step 1: Give Flatpak entry to the folder the place theme information are stored:

sudo flatpak override --filesystem=$HOME/.themes

Step 2: Checklist all of the themes obtainable in ~/.themes location after which present the folder title of the chosen theme to Flatpak:

sudo flatpak override --env=GTK_THEME=chosen-theme 
Evaluating the theme change for the Flatpak purposes

If you happen to change the system theme later, you’ll be able to change the theme for Flatpak in the identical method.

You’ll be able to revert the adjustments utilizing this command:

sudo flatpak override --reset

Learn extra about making use of GTK theme to Flatpak apps on this article.

6. Replace Flatpak apps and clear them

That is extra for Flatpak unfriendly distributions like Ubuntu. In case your distro doesn’t come baked in with Flatpak and also you don’t have it built-in with the Software program middle, your put in Flatpak apps gained’t be up to date with system updates.

You’ll be able to replace all of your put in Flatpak apps concurrently with:

flatpak replace
update flatpak applications
Replace Flatpak purposes

Not solely it is going to replace the purposes, however it is going to additionally take away any unused runtimes. You don’t have to run this command manually anymore.

flatpak uninstall –unused

Bonus tip: Whereas eradicating a Flatpak utility, you may make it take away private utility information which might be often left behind within the dwelling listing.

flatpak uninstall --delete-data package_name


I intentionally didn’t add extra Flatpak command ideas although I used to be tempted to. In all probability there are just a few extra purposes and tweaks for Flatpak packages. I shared my favourite ones.

If you recognize any good ideas associated to Flatpak packages, do share them with us within the remark part.

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