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Post by lmuserx4849 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:51 pm

I was reading the LM blog. Regarding Flatpak, see the snipppet below. The last 2 bullets are concerning. I don't intend on using flatpak, at this time, but I want to understand where all the pieces are, how it works, and how I can control it.
Compared to packages there are a few subtle differences:

- Flatpak apps use the Adwaita GTK theme (they’ll use Mint-X/Mint-Y eventually, but that wont’ be ready in 18.3)

- Flatpak apps are updated automatically when you log in

- Flatpak apps do not appear in “Installed applications” and are not reinstalled by the Backup Tool when restoring a package selection.

1. Flatpaks are updated automatically. How do we turn that off?

Update: To turn off, go to Menu -> Startup Applications. Turn Off Flatpak - Apply Flatpak Updates. Manually update flatpak update APPLICATION

flatpak remote-ls lists 259 flathub remotes. This appears to be a dynamic list.

Update: flatpak remote-ls lists the contents of the repository. flatpak remote-list lists the repositories.

2. The Backup Tool does not back them up. Makes sense since they probably won't be installed in $HOME, but timeshift will backup.

Reading the man page for flatpak, the flatpaks seem to get installed in the /var/lib/flatpak/runtime (or /app) or $HOME/.local/share/flatpak/runtime (or /app). That would explain why they aren't backed up if you install using the Software Manager, but it won't be true if they are installed from the command line with --user option.

3. Flatpaks won't change where an apps config files are stored, correct? So if the flatpak is remove, the configuration files are still available.

Update: Removing a flatpak app does not remove the app's config files. They are still under $HOME/.var/app/NAME and could be copied.

4. Flatpaks aren't in the PATH, correct?

Update: Correct. They are executed via flatpak run NAME. The name is in reverse dns format.
Can't rely on type -a anymore to determine where an executable is coming from.

5. One of the nice things about appimages is that I can leave my base system untouched, but put the appimage in a local directory and point to it, so I can run multiple versions. Can I have multiple versions of flatpaks?
Last edited by lmuserx4849 on Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:29 am, edited 8 times in total.


Re: flatpaks

Post by lmuserx4849 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:23 pm

Some interesting observations:

1. I did an uninstall of a flatpak app from the Software Manager and a flatpak list still showed it (partial). But uninstall from the command line removed it, but not dependencies. There is a --keep-ref option, which the Software Manager must use.

2. The flatpak app did installed the GNOME flatpak in /var/lib/flatpak/apps. This must be the sharing business, where all flatpak apps can use other installed flatpak apps.

3. Useful command: flatpak list -d
The man page for flatpak lists the subcommands like: flatpak-list(1). The command isn't "flatpak-list", but "flatpak list". The man page is "flatpak-list".

4. The flatpak app configuration files, cache, etc, were under $HOME/.var/app/

I understand flatpak's have limited access to $HOME and devices. How does a flatpak app get access to say, a printer or usb? Is that configurable?

Also how do you debug a flatpak app? Does an app's stderr and stdout get written to the console? What about strace, gdb, etc?

Can options be supplied on the command line for a flatpak app?

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Re: flatpaks

Post by Royi » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:00 pm

I have few questions regarding Flatpak:

1. Is there a way to stop Auto Update?
2. Is there a way to see which Flatpaks have updates (Without actually updating, just to see what's out of date)?
3. Is there a way to update manually just single application?
4. I installed Visual Studio Code from Flatpak. I can run it from terminal using `flatpak run com.visualstudio.code`. The question how can I make it load specific file from terminal (Let's say the file 'Readme.txt' on ~/Documents/)?

Thank You.


1. Stop the process which run FlatPak updates automatically. It can be done using Startup Application (Search for it in Start Menu) in Linux Mint.
4. Use something like flatpak run --file-forwarding com.visualstudio.code ~/Documents/README.md to launch it from terminal opening README.md.
Last edited by Royi on Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hoser Rob
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Re: flatpaks

Post by Hoser Rob » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:20 am

lmuserx4849 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:51 pm
... Removing a flatpak app does not remove the app's config files. They are still under $HOME/.var/app/NAME and could be copied. ...
That's also true for 'regular' apps, and IMO that's a feature, not a bug.

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Re: flatpaks

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:25 am

Royi wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:00 pm
1. Is there a way to stop Auto Update?
Deactivate the flatpak auto-update in autostart settings (regarding Cinnamon).

For the rest: I did not install any flatpak and it will be hard to find out, because you can never say beforehand, which of them gets updates at which time. And the announcement does not say a word about it.

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