Let’s learn about Snap!

Ubuntu Snap is an application framework that makes installing and managing software on your system easier. Not only does this provide the easiest way to access your favourite open-source applications, but it also ensures you have the latest version at all times. With Ubuntu Snap, even those new to Linux can rapidly get set up and running with their desired applications without having to search for compatibility issues or downloads every time. This guide looks at what Ubuntu Snap offers a user and how easy it is to get started!

Snap vs Apt.

Snap and Apt are package management systems for Ubuntu, but they serve different purposes.

For instance, Apt (Advanced Package Tool) is Ubuntu’s traditional package management system. It allows you to install, update, and remove software packages and their dependencies. Apt is a powerful and efficient system, and it is the default package manager for Ubuntu.

While Snap is a newer package management system introduced in Ubuntu 16.04, it allows you to install and manage self-contained, isolated packages called “Snaps.” Snaps are a way to distribute applications and their dependencies, and they are designed to work on a wide range of Linux distributions.

In general, Snap is not necessarily better or worse than Apt. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Apt is a more established and well-known system, and it is the default package manager for Ubuntu. However, Snap provides some benefits, such as installing and managing applications in a more isolated and secure way.

Ultimately, which system you use depends on your needs and preferences. For example, you can use Apt and Snap on Ubuntu, and they can coexist on the same system. You can use apt for system-level packages and dependencies and Snap for distributed self-contained applications.

Which operating systems support Snap?

Snap is a package management system for Linux. It is designed to work with many Linux distributions and is available on many operating systems.

Some of the popular operating systems that use Snap include:

  • Ubuntu
  • Fedora
  • Debian
  • Arch Linux
  • openSUSE
  • Gentoo
  • Solus

In addition, some non-Linux operating systems, such as FreeBSD and MacOS, also can use Snap.

Snap is designed to be cross-platform, and it is designed to work on a wide range of Linux distributions. Snap allows developers to efficiently distribute their applications as Snaps and users to install and manage them on their chosen operating system.

What are the common issues related to Snap?

Snap is a package management system for Linux, and it is generally considered to be a reliable and stable system. However, like any software, it can sometimes have issues.

One of the most common issues with Snap is related to permissions. Snap uses a security model to run applications in a confined, isolated environment. This security model can sometimes cause problems, such as when an application needs access to specific files or resources on the system. In these cases, you may need to adjust the permissions for the Snap or the application to allow it to access the necessary resources.

Another common issue with Snap is related to updates. When a new Snap version is released, it may not be compatible with the system or the application. This version can cause problems, such as when an update breaks the application or causes it to behave unexpectedly. In these cases, you may need to revert to a previous version of the Snap or troubleshoot the issue to determine the cause of the problem.

Overall, the most common issues with Snap are related to permissions and updates. However, you can typically resolve these issues by adjusting the permissions or reverting to a previous Snap version. Additionally, you can refer to the Snapd documentation or contact the Snap developer or the application for support.

How to install Snap

To use Snap, you must have Snapd installed on your system. Snapd is typically installed by default on recent versions of Ubuntu. However, you can check whether it is installed using the following command:

snap version

This command should display the version of Snapd that is installed on your system. If the command returns an error, you can install Snapd by running the following command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install snapd

Basic useful commands

You can use the following basic commands once you install it:

  • snap find: Search for a package in the Snap store.
  • snap install: Install a Snap package.
  • snap refresh: Update a Snap package to the latest version.
  • snap remove: Remove a Snap package.
  • snap revert: Revert a Snap package to a previous version.
  • snap list: List all installed Snap packages.

For example, to search for the package “vlc” in the store, you would run the following command:

snap find vlc

To install the package, you would run the following command:

snap install vlc

And to update the package to the latest version, you would run the following command:

snap refresh vlc

For more information about using Snap, you can refer to the Snapd documentation or run the Snap help command to display a list of available Snap commands.

Wrapping up

 If you’re looking for a new way to install and manage applications on Ubuntu, Snap is your package management system. Snaps are self-contained and isolated packages, which makes them easy to install and update. So why not give Snap a try? It’s a great way to get more from your Ubuntu installation.

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Having started his career in 1999 as a Desktop Support Engineer, Anto soon changed paths and became a developer. After several years of development experience, he transitioned into a consultant. As an enterprise application consultant for a leading SaaS software provider, Anto specializes in AWS's serverless technologies. By day, Anto focuses on helping customers leverage the power of serverless technologies. By night, he indulges his passion for cloud computing by playing with Python and trying out things that are currently beyond the scope of his work. Sometimes Anto needs help as there are not enough hours at night. So Anto relies on a team of fellow Cloud enthusiasts to help him out. Each one is a Cloud expert in their own right, and Anto takes great pride in helping them learn and grow.

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