Why do some people dislike containerized applications so much

I just wanted to start the discussion here since it seems to be a thing for some people and in some Linux communities more than others. Why is there so much resistance by some people when it comes to containerized packages such as Flatpaks, AppImages and Snaps. I actually know the reason why for the latter but I have found that quite few people seem to dislike Flatpaks and AppImages as well. I used to be that same way but since I have given them a chance I have grown to appreciate Flatpaks and come to the realization they have their place and give options for software availability on different distributions where the packages in the default repos are older than when installed as a Flatpak, AppImage or Snap and has a sanbox feature added. It’s nice to have the option now days to not have to install 32 bit applications on your system since most(not all) modern software has 64 bit versions available. I know it probably comes down to personal preference and disliking change, but I would be interested to know why do you like or dislike containerized packages such as Flatpaks, AppImages and Snaps?

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Snaps aside, obviously, i don’t have anything against Flatpaks / AppImages when they’re used correctly by the user to create own contrainers…However system-wide is different story.

Sure, we all know pros, but cons and dangers are:

  • Centralization

  • Trust (instead of very limited number of distro maintainers team you spread your trust to software devs and people that suppose to monitor all changes in containers distributed)

  • Outdated containers are risky because of known vulnerabilities, say you have 50 containers on your system that have same dependency with highest risk known vulnerability…In order to patch it - you need to update all of them, and it takes only 1 outdated container to make your system vulnerable.

  • Unrestricted communication between containers, that goes hand in hand with trust problem…Imagine that someone like NSA maintains 3-5 most common programs flatpaks with seemingly not malicious code distributed between them, but when they all installed and communicate they create a virus.

I mean there’s a lot to that…Technically absolute most of that can be solved by individual distros packaging and securing containers themselves, to enjoy isolation and other small pros…but that beats the main pro of containers as they’re advertised which is - ease of maintaining compared to traditional packages, for distro devs :laughing:


I don’t like any sandboxed apps. Personally I don’t use any of them. I rather compile a working app then install snap etc. It’s kind of easy to ./configure - make and make install isn’t it?

This article is nice reading explaining why I (and many others) don’t like sandboxed apps Flatpak,snap etc is not the future

From the author of the article:

"I’m much more interested in how to get Excel and Photoshop on Linux rather than untrustworthy drive-by apps and games, so I don’t really care about sandboxing, permissions, portals, app stores, alternate runtimes or really any of the stuff Flatpak does. Those are all counter-productive to convincing Microsoft and Adobe to port their software suites to Linux. Attracting these vendors will only happen by empowering them with a stable platform, not locking them in a box.

Mass containerization and alternate runtimes cannot possibly be the future of desktop apps on Linux. If this is really the direction it’s going, the future will be so shitty that we’ll all end up back on macOS or Windows."



It’s not possible to compile proprietary apps yourself because the source code isn’t publicly available for them. It might not be the future but it might be a step closer to finding something that works better so for now it will do and it gives options even though it isn’t perfect, not progressing is standing still and that’s not good. The argument used a lot now days for software not being easily distributed on Linux is because of all the different package formats, I doubt Microsoft or Adobe would have something against a package format where they would only have to make one package which would work on all Linux distributions.

And not also why not work a solution to getting rid of 32 bit apps because the norm for ram in systems now days is above 4GB, it might be an idea to take that in consideration towards finding a better solution for Flatapaks, AppImages and Snaps?

Microsoft nor Adobe care about such a small market share that the Linux desktop still is. Its not worth the money to them to worry about packaging for Linux. Rather containerized or not. Unless the market share is there they are not going to invest money into something with such a small return


I know that’s why I use alternatives. Gimp contra photoshop is just one example. But this aint just about proprietary apps. A regular linux install today with a funcional desktop is opensource. To use flatpak,snap etc just for proprietary apps/drivers is a step towards payment/app store in linux similar to windows and macos app store.

From the article above:

" A major goal of most of these technologies is to support an “app store” experience: Docker Hub, Flathub, the Steam Store, Snapcraft, and AppImageHub (but not AppImageHub?) These technologies are all designed around this model because the owners want a cut of sales revenue or fees for enterprise distribution. (Flathub only says they don’t process payments at present. It’s coming.)

This is the real reason Ubuntu wants everyone to use Snap instead of helping us build apps that run natively on Ubuntu. This is also why they keep the Snap server source code closed. They want it to be “open” the way Android is “open”, where there is only one official store and sideloading apps is as annoying as possible."

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And I’m the opposite. I’ll install / add addition repos so I don’t have to use git or the aur anymore than necessary. As for Appimages, flatpaks, snaps talking to one another simply no they don’t. Myself I hate Docker and the idea of docker.

Not even remotely true.

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That’s your opinion :slight_smile:

That said I am not convinced that all the author of this article is saying is written in stone. But one major reason I use Arch/EOS is because of no snap, flatpak etc. But I will defend your right to use any of the sandboxed apps :+1:

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That’s a good argument and I do like your argument and agree with it in a way but Canonical only does Snaps and you could also look at it differently. Since Flatpaks are fully opensource, it could also be used to more easily allow people to donate to the developers(and packagers) of the those applications.

Yes it’s good to use alternatives when possible but a lot of opensource projects use Discord for their support channels, even a lot of the most popular opensource projects. Some of those use a Matrix/Discord bridge but a lot of them don’t.

To everyone who responded so far. Great to read your responses and thank your for contributing to this topic. It’s good to stimulate each others thought processes to get new ideas and views when it comes to opensource software because we all have different thoughts and ideas just exchanging them helps seeing things differently and getting new ideas.

Docker makes it easier to run and migrate applications and servers. Let me give you an example, say you have a mediaserver and you run both Emby and Jellyfin. You will run into trouble with those two because Jellyfin uses a customized version of ffmpeg which could cause issues with Emby, by running them in containers what happens in the one container won’t have an effect on the other container. However that’s a whole other topic containerized server applications.

Discord who? I don’t use Discord or some fancy new thingy :slight_smile: I’m old and are used to irc. If it’s not on Libera chat or forums then I’ll figure it out with my second best friend > Goggle :wink:

Nice to discuss this topic. It comes down to freedom of choice. And I like my freedom :+1:





Yes but it’s still good to discuss the different ideas everyone has about this, that way we can eventually find a better solution that solves those issues. I’m just trying to get the discussion going about this so new and better ideas can be created.

Absolutely, in fact i find it very hard to make some of the hardware / software intricacies a common place, some hackers may know a lot, but what value it has if full explanation of security & privacy topics takes hundreds of pages…most of the guides and wikis are insufferably complex for average Joe & Jane :frowning_face:

I have a hard time understanding what you are saying in this reply and English isn’t my first language? :sweat_smile:

  1. Discussion is always good!
  2. Breaking complex topics for those who are not well versed in them - is also good.


P.S. Same here:

English isn’t my first language



And there is always something new to learn!