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Questions I'm frequently asked, or clarifications I'm requested to make, as a set of notes.

Why is this program a snap and not just in the archive?

This came about during a conversation on Twitter.

For some classes of applications, snaps have advantages over debs in the stock Ubuntu archive.

  • Debs in the Ubuntu archive are subject to stringent processes before they get updated
    • Once a package is in the Ubuntu (deb) archive for one stable release, if the developer needs to update it, to fix bugs or security issues, they must find a packager. That could be themselves, or a 3rd party, Ubuntu developer.
    • The package must go through a SRU (Stable Release Update) process which will delay the update to users by at least a week
    • Each release of Ubuntu needs a separate update, starting with the most recent. As I write this, an update would typically go to 19.10 then 19.04, 18.10 and 18.04 & 16.04 - the LTS releases. This is time consuming and a lot of work.
    • For the majority of debs, an update in a stable release will only consist of point releases, not major updates. There are some exceptions to this, such as web browsers, but that's by agreed exception only.

Compare that to snaps

  • Snaps in the store are preferred to be published by the upstream developer which means
    • Once the developer is ready to push, they can do, without having an Ubuntu archive admin to check and approve it
    • One snap will work on all supported releases, so a single application release can go to 19.10, 19.04, 18.10, 18.04 and 16.04 at the exact same time. Users aren't left behind on old releases.
    • Snaps work on non-Ubuntu distros too. So developers can make one package and know it works for a significant proportion of Linux users.
whysnaps.txt · Last modified: 2019/05/27 20:46 by popey