First look at Ubuntu in a long while

Some may recall my posting a decision to recycle my old “Distro Tester” PC. Well, it turns out my son needs to get familiar with Ubuntu because it’s used where he works for development projects. So, the distro-tester got a stay of execution. Ubuntu is pretty much as I remember it but it didn’t take long to see how tied into Snaps it is.

Granted, a popular distro. A real nice tweak on Debian Testing when it first came out but, these days, not for me. I’d take a good Debian based distro (like MXLinux) instead.

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Willing to tolerate them only on LTS and no “snapd”. Freespire “Focal” LTS, Kubuntu “Jammy” and Ubuntu MATE “Jammy”. But using those less than Spiral KDE, Manjaro MATE and EndeavourOS. Liked Debian “testing” for a while but getting sick and tired of hopping into rolling-release distros. Only if they could greatly speed up freckin’ “initramfs” creation.

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Researching further, it kind of looks like Pop_OS is trying to be a “Snap-Free” Ubuntu distro.

Both Linux Mint and Pop try to be snap free and are good distros.


Apparently there is a ‘de-snap’ utility for Ubuntu style distros. As I understand it, it currently mainly replaces snaps with flatpacks - but once snap is gone you can do what you feel you must :grin:

And very good at it I might ad. United there’s a snap he needs at work, there shouldn’t be any reason he can’t use Pop instead. That’ll be up to his IT department though.

It’s better than Windows, although not by much anymore.

You just need to watch out. Updates can bring them back as you run updates - especially version updates. Because they are deemed Justin critical by canonical, some people end up getting them back eventually.

AFAIK, once snap has been evicted, the stuff can’t come back as it can’t be installed… which helps to explain WHY you need to remove it ALL :grin: At least on EnOS, yo have to have ASKED for them in the first place…

Check out reddit. There’s some who say they successfully eradicated it, others say it comes back.

It’s like cancer. Ubuntusoft has completely embedded it within. You can cut it out. . . you may keep it out.

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snap is not the end of the world …

One little-known feature I liked about it was channels - it was possible to swap between standard, beta and development versions of Firefox trivially, for example.

For me the big advantage of Ubuntu was that companies do support it and the enterprise channels give a massive depth and breadth of security updates far faster than Windows (once a month is no longer good enough). My former employer gave a choice of Windows 10 or Ubuntu 22.04, and there was no real choice.

Unfortunately the OS, even as an LTS (22.04), had a lot of glitches in GNOME which were only slowly knocked out. I actually find EOS less glitchy :upside_down_face:

I remember when Ubuntu first came out. I was really impressed with it. Was basically Debian with enhancements that made it more accessible to the less technically savvy. That’s still a good thing in my mind. However, by “baking Snaps in” instead of making it an option, they’re damaging their brand (my opinion of course). It also appears you’re getting Snap versions of packages (like Firefox) without necessarily asking for the Snap version. That doesn’t sit well with me.

That being said. I also like the Gnome desktop and, to get app information, you need to install Flatpak (unless they’ve fixed that by now). Even so, I just have to install it, I’m not obligated to use it.

I don’t know, I feel like Ubuntu has lost their way. Happy to be over here in Arch-Land (well, the EOS suburb where we’re basically friendlier and more helpful than Arch-BTW-ville)

You can blacklist snap after it’s completely removed, but a problem is that despite blacklisting, the system will choose to install a snap instead of a deb unless you specify it when you want to install it, and then you suddenly have snap again. Another issue is that some programs can only be installed via snap; alternatively flatpak.
This is one of the reasons I chose EOS, I’m all for changes to software as it’s the only way for it to evolve, but I dislike snap because it’s a resource hog firstly and second because it’s forced on you. I think cannonical did a poor choice here, open source software should be about freedom.

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Prior to EOS, I’ve used Mint for years and loved it. I should probably give Pop_OS a look.

It’s a properly good distro. There’s like 5-6 total distros I think are actually worth looking at for almost everyone. Pop is definitely one of them. It overwhelmingly just works, and is a great place for most people that’ don’t care to learn every nuance about Linux and just have something that can be used immediately.

Why should you be so afraid of snap?

Quote: " However, by “baking Snaps in” instead of making it an option, they’re damaging their brand (my opinion of course). It also appears you’re getting Snap versions of packages (like Firefox) without necessarily asking for the Snap version. That doesn’t sit well with me."

I completely agree with this and I am terminally against “snapd”. It’s because that is the way of working of the one non-Linux that some of us sought to avoid. I didn’t want to sound like an evangelist here but “snapd” is like forced Windows Update. I for one wanted far away from Windows one day because of “S” mode, because another day I was forced to accept an update of about four hours which almost rendered my system unusable, which I had to revert which wasted even more time, which forced me on another computer to try to find the way to disable the impulsiveness while online and without just overwriting with Linux.

Do you guys know the true reason why I have Internet right now? Two reasons: “S” mode without Internet left me lonely and rejected. I should have just returned the computer to where I bought it for a refund. But on the big fat plus side, I was able to get EndeavourOS and other awesome Linux distros so it’s possible for me to forget about Windows! :slight_smile:

Of course soon after I began with Internet last year I had to create an account on that same new computer and M$ terminally insist on online account, something else I would never forgive them for.

The ones responsible for “snapd” might be making them better but I just don’t care. I would like the option to have it or not, just like Flatpaks, AppImages etc. and any kind of automatic update scheme away from any excuse they might have for insisting on it.

I’ve got my wife’s laptop running in KDE Neon with all snap packages and snaps purged from the system. There’s a config you can change to prevent snaps from coming back during an update. It’s Ubuntu adjacent, but really not a bad distro.

If you have to ask, you’ll never know.

I personally have no problem with snap.

You’re a pretty rare breed then. Especially around here.