Flatpaks are a convenient way to install software on Linux. Flatkpak is popular because its convenient to package applications once, work across a variety of Linux distributions, and is isolated from other applications.
Why Use Flatpak?
There are a variety of reason why users choose Flatpak. For starters, Flatpaks work across a variety of Linux distros including those based on Arch, Debian, and Red Hat. Whether you’re running Ubuntu, Fedora, elementary OS, or openSUSE, Flatpaks are available and compatible.
Flathub makes distribution of packages easier for developers. Developers need only package the application once and its available to a large variety of Linux users. In turn, Flathub makes it easy for Linux users to find software and easily install it. More software means more users which means more software.
Flatpaks are isolated or sandboxed. That means that an application installed from Flatpak can’t talk to the system without permission from the user. Sandboxing also means the application is installed with all the necessary dependencies like libraries to run.
Flathub helps to eliminate muddled repos. Instead of adding more repositories like Ubuntu’s PPA or Fedora’s COPR, Flathub acts as a central repository for Flatpaks. Its an easy way to find Flatpaks but its not the only Flathub repo. For example, Fedora maintains their own.
Lastly, Flatpaks are up to date. Some distributions purposely hold back software for stability reasons. Flatpak can bypass the distro repositories and install the latest version.
Before Installing Flatpak
Many distros include Flatpak support like elementary OS, Fedora, Pop!_OS, and Solus. Check here for instructions on enabling Flatpak support. The commands below can be copy and pasted into a terminal. Many app centers also include Flatpak support so these applications can be there as well.
Try These Flatpaks
Bitwarden is an easy to use and free password manager that syncs across multiple platforms.
flatpak install flathub com.bitwarden.desktop
Evolution handles email, calendar, task lists, and contact.
flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Evolution
The most popular FOSS browser around.
flatpak install flathub org.mozilla.firefox
FreeTube is a privacy oriented YouTube client free from tracking and advertisements.
flatpak install flathub io.freetubeapp.FreeTube
Joplin is note taking application that works with markdown. Its able to sync across multiple platforms.
flatpak install flathub net.cozic.joplin_desktop
LibreOffice is the most popular FOSS office suite. Most Linux distros come with LibreOffice or have it available in repos.
flatpak install flathub org.libreoffice.LibreOffice
Lollypop is a lightweight music player.
flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Lollypop
Open Drive is an Electron based GUI client for Google Drive.
flatpak install flathub io.github.liberodark.OpenDrive
Openshot is a robust but easy to use video editor.
flatpak install flathub org.openshot.OpenShot
Simplenote is a basic note taking application that syncs across devices. Built by Automattic, the same folks behind WordPress.
flatpak install flathub com.simplenote.Simplenote
Spotify is an immensely popular music streaming service.
flatpak install flathub com.spotify.Client
An end to end encrypted note application.
flatpak install flathub org.standardnotes.standardnotes
Steam is an online gaming platform.
flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam
Mozilla’s popular and powerful email client.
flatpak install flathub org.mozilla.Thunderbird
Tutanota is a privacy focused email service. Check out our comparison of Protonmail versus Tutanota.
flatpak install flathub com.tutanota.Tutanota
VLC is a very capable media player. It can play virtually anything thrown at it.
flatpak install flathub org.videolan.VLC
O (Zero) AD is a real time strategy game centered around 13 ancient civilizations.
flatpak install flathub com.play0ad.zeroad
Do you have any must have Flatpaks? What do you always install?