Remove Snap Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Originally published at: https://haydenjames.io/remove-snap-ubuntu-22-04-lts/

The first thing I did after installing Ubuntu 22.04 LTS was to remove Snap and its snap packages completely. I’m not proud of that approach as I have nothing against snap packages per se; I simply enjoy using apt (Advanced package tool). Update: A member of our community forums suggested the following: “…you could also…

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@hydn Sorry but by removing the snap features you are removing containerised software, landscape remote management software and live kernel updates features.

https://docs.ubuntu.com/snap-store-proxy/en/install

https://docs.ubuntu.com/snap-store-proxy/en/airgap

When you say containerized features, is that related to the docker engine by any chance?

No referring to a method of distributing software in this particular case.

Does it impact the overall OS functionality? I have snap on my Ubuntu I’ve been considering removing it.

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A good read here also:

Thanks. Shameless plug… you could also switch to Pop!_OS instead. They’ve already removed snap and gone with Flatpak:

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No, not exactly. Especially on fresh installation, which the article describes.

Here’s the response from a Canonical team member on removing Snap specifically from Ubuntu 22.04 LTS:

You will lose access to any software installed via a snap package. Snap software is “containerized” (to varying extents depending on the install mode and permissions) so you would lose access to “snap” containerized software specifically. There are other ways to run containerized software you wouldn’t necessarily lose access to though are not installed or used by default and that can also be used at the same time as snap packages (e.g. flatpak, docker, etc).

There is some software installed by default on 22.04 by snap that has no Ubuntu-provided alternative “deb” package. This includes firefox and the “Ubuntu Software” store app (installed by default) and LXD (not installed by default, but if you want to use it, there is no deb package). If you’re not using any such snap software, it may not matter. In some cases you may be able to install software through some other non-snap method from a non-Ubuntu source (e.g. you may be able to install firefox using the standard linux installer, though I have not tried that).

With regards to the Ubuntu live kernel update feature, this is powered by the ‘canonical-livepatch’ snap. When you run “ua enable livepatch” it installs the snap. Without snap, it won’t work, hence you won’t get live patches. Livepatches are not automatically enabled by default for a standard install on your own hardware, you need to attach it to your ubuntu account with “ua attach” and then “ua enable livepatch” (it’s free for 3 personal machines and requires a paid subscription otherwise).

You can read more about that at Ubuntu Livepatch Service | Security | Ubuntu. The snap package is the only canonical-livepatch client package hence if you removed snapd you would lose access to use livepatches.

I will add this to the article to help readers make their own informed decision.

As a reminder, the original independent distros like Arch, Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Gentoo, Void, etc., for the most part, stay clear of Snap being installed by default.

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Snaps have always been slower to me and often don’t respect the system theme. I can’t blame people for removing them.

Flatpaks are definitely the way forward. AppImages are nice as well.

Having used ubuntu 22.04 for a couple of weeks now … I think snaps have a place. On ubuntu servers certbot is a snap install by default, it’s flawless. Jetbrains IDEs use snap and it’s great (those are unsandboxed snaps). But the firefox snap was not a good move … mozilla has not done a very good job. It has a dependency on gtk4 with some annoying bugs. Ubuntu saw gtk4 bugs coming and didn’t ship gnome components with gtk4, but by losing control of firefox packaging, they got gtk4 bugs anyway. Plus mozilla says they can’t test wayland so it’s disabled … can you believe it … at the flagship moment when the biggest linux distro swaps to wayland by default, the default browser reverts to xwayland.

So after trying hard, I’ve reverted to a firefox ppa (the flatpak, also packaged by mozilla, has the same problems).

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Welcome to the community. Interesting points you raise. Yes, with snap certbot is a breeze indeed. I’m not sure what benefits Firefox gets out of defaulting to snap package default install.

Looking forward reading more of your points of view on other Linux topics later on.

Snaps have always been slower for me and frequently disregard the system theme. I don’t blame them for being removed. Flatpaks are unquestionably the way to go. AppImages are also appealing.

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Welcome to the forums Anthony!