Flatpak: Install and use it on Ubuntu

Flatpak is a system for building, distributing, and running sandboxed desktop applications on a Linux system. It allows the developers to create a complete application package that includes all the required libraries and dependencies to run an application.

Flatpak provides the complete environment to run an application on a Linux system. It is similar to other universal approaches such as snap (by Canonical) and AppImage to distribute applications on Linux.

In this article, I will discuss Flatpak and the steps to install it on Ubuntu.

Benefits of using Flatpak

Flatpak is a next-generation application format using which have the following advantages –

  • You can install and run applications on any Linux distribution
  • Package maintainers can focus on their end goal to innovate the application instead of wasting their time in releasing and maintaining the same application for different distributions
  • It makes the system stable because Flatpak applications and runtimes are contained to not interfere with the system
  • Root privileges are not required when installing a Flatpak application or a runtime
  • For developers, it offers decentralized hosting and distribution of application
  • It can be easily integrated into your desktop environment
  • Flatpak provide delta updates which mean only changed files are downloaded for updates
  • It provides forward compatibility that means you can run the same application on different versions of the same distribution
  • Provides a consistent application environment makes it easier to detect bugs and to do testing

How to install Flatpak in Ubuntu

To install Flatpak on Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) or later, run the following command in your terminal –

sudo apt install flatpak

OR if you are using an earlier version of Ubuntu then official Flatpak PPA is the recommended way to install Flatpak –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexlarsson/flatpak

Next update the local package database using –

sudo apt update

Finally, use the given command to install Flatpak on your system –

sudo apt install flatpak

How to add Flathub in Ubuntu

Flathub is the best place to get Flatpak apps. It is an app store like the snap store which comes default in Ubuntu.

To enable Flathub in your system use the given command –

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

This may ask you to enter your password, enter it.

Next, if you don’t have Flatpak integrated by default, you need to install the GNOME software plugin to install the app from GUI. Use the given command to download and install the plugin –

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

Once installation is complete reboot your system to make changes effective.

Installing apps from Flathub

Open Activities and search for Software when the icon appears click on it. Now search for an application in the software app.

You can choose the software source in the given interface, choose Flathub as given in the image below to download an application from it.


Ok, that’s all for now I hope you understand what is Flatpak and how to install and use it in Ubuntu. Now for any queries write us in the comments below.

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