Updating Snap Bases

This is a bit of a dayjob post, but as I maintain a bunch of snaps in my own time, I figured it’s not out of place here. Typically when I (or indeed any developer) uses snapcraft to build a snap, a snapcraft.yaml drives the process. I’ll integrate some kind of CI or build system, and start publishing to the Snap Store. Usually, once created, the yaml doesn’t need much in the way of changes. [Read More]

Snapcraft Clinic Successes

On Thursday I mentioned we were restarting the Snapcraft Clinic. Basically we stand up a regular video call with engineers from the snap and snapcraft team & us from Snap Advocacy. Developers of applications and publishers of snaps are invited to join to troubleshoot. There was nothing especially secret or private discussed, but as we don’t record or stream the calls, and I don’t have direct permission to mention the applications or people involved, so I’ll keep this a little vague. [Read More]

Snapcraft Clinic

At work we have a forum where developers can discuss packaging Linux applications, specifically as snaps. Sometimes developers just want to pair through a problem to get it either resolved for themselves, or for whatever is blocking to be handed off to the right people. One strategy for supporting developers we found effective was via regular live video conference. So last year we started the Snapcraft Clinic. On a semi-regular basis we dedicate time to join with anyone who has technical issues with snapping, to help them. [Read More]

Jamming with Sonobus

Before last week, I’d never heard of SonoBus. While on holiday I’d packaged up Spot - a Gtk Spotify client, which I wrote about recently. The next day I made a snap of SonoBus too! I did this because while there were binary builds for Windows and Mac, there was no binary release for Linux, other than in the Arch User Repository. For those that, like me, didn’t know about SonoBus, it’s an “easy to use application for streaming high-quality, low-latency peer-to-peer audio between devices over the internet or a local network”. [Read More]

Spotty Connection

I had a few days off work this week. It was very enjoyable to spend a bit more time with the family, doing some jobs around the house, going for walks, and generally nothing else, thanks to The Event. However, in the quiet moments I still find myself browsing around, stumbling on new software I know will be enjoyed by my friends on Linux, and feel compelled to package it up, as a snap. [Read More]

Snapcraft GNOME Extension Update

This is an early PSA aimed at developers who publish snaps in the Snap Store. They can probably skip this preamble, but for anyone else here’s some backstory in case you’re bored interested. Preamble Snaps are confined software packages for Linux. They were originally designed / intended for IoT use cases so are optimised for size, bundling dependencies, are compressed on disk and auto update. They can also be used to package server software, like NextCloud, and desktop software like Signal Desktop. [Read More]

Building Nothing

Last week I wrote a blog post titled null which did rather well! Note the giant (for my blog) spike on the right of this goaccess graph. That’s the Hackernews effect. It was super to see the conversations over in the comments there. Quite proud to get 3 blog posts and one git repo on the front page of HN in the first month of the year. Don’t expect me to keep that momentum up, but we’ll come back to that another day. [Read More]
null  snap  linux 


I quite like to break things. While I’m not a QA or security professional, I have developed a knack for doing “stupid” things with software which causes it to malfunction. Some developer friends of mine have lamented that they didn’t show me software before they released it. Because I sometimes find annoying bugs immediately after they release. Here’s some fun examples of pushing the boundaries of software, sometimes by doing things a little “out there”, beyond what the developer expected or tested. [Read More]
null  snap  linux 

Hush Keyboards with Hushboard

Yesterday while surfing the ASCII highways of IRC (yes, IRC) a URL linking to a MacOS application scrolled by my screen. Unclack is a small MacOS utility which silences the microphone of the user when they’re typing. The purpose is to prevent the noise of typing being passed through to other participants when on a Zoom / Skype / Jitsi call. Neat. They don’t make a Linux version, and I couldn’t see anything similar, so I did what I usually do in this instance, throw the idea towards my friendly local coder, Stuart Langridge. [Read More]

Snap Tips

As you may or may not be aware, I work for Canonical on Snapcraft and Ubuntu. I use Ubuntu as my daily driver, and spend a lot of time maintaining snap packages, and listening to developers and users talk about software packaging, publishing, delivery and use. Over time I’ve collected a bunch of virtual notes in my head. Much of it has been turned into documentation, but often the information is rather spread out. [Read More]