Would you like to see a single package running on any Linux device, irrespective of the distribution? Seems like the long wait for a universal package format is finally going to end. There has been several attempts in the recent past (e.g., ORB & Superdeb, AppImage and more) to achieve this but snaps has emerged the winner.
The Snapcraft website proudly flaunts Arch, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu logos in one place representing the collaboration between these distributions to support a single snap binary package to run securely on multiple Linux distros, be it a desktop, a server or on the cloud. Intel, ARM and Power architectures are supported. The press release also quotes organizations like Dell, Samsung, the Linux Foundation, The Document Foundation, Krita, Mycroft and Horizon Computing.
This is indeed a big leap for Linux! There are several benefits on having this on board:
- No more dependency hell, apps would be self-contained (hence more secure)
- Quick updates – you no longer need to wait for a package to arrive in your distro repos
- Easier for devs to test-rive new features in a contained environment
- Say goodbye to package managers – there are just too many of them to handle
- Linux vendors would be delighted to maintain only a single package format
- No more waiting for an app to be packaged in your distro’s native format
Snaps are easy to create. The Snapcraft website has super-easy tutorials to guide you through the process.
This doesn’t mean the rpms and debs are gone. Snaps are still complementary and needs to go a long way to become accepted as ubiquitous, specially when the ecosystem of Linux distros are closely tied to package management.
But till then, no one can stop you from enjoying the bleeding edge software using snaps!