Why the dislike for Flatpak?

So, I installed OnlyOffice via AUR. It was laggy and just felt out of place. I figured I’d try the Flatpak version. And it’s running buttery smooth.

I get the dislike for Snaps/Snapstore being proprietary and only controlled by Canonical/Ubuntu. But what is the issue with those disliking the idea of Flatpak app installations?

I wouldn’t say I dislike flatpak.

I would say I prefer AUR packages over flatpak. I will link a post below that explains why.

I also think that many people overestimate the effectiveness of the sandboxing that flatpaks have.


As do I. In this case, The Flatpak just worked better. I don’t intend on relying on Flatpaks at all, I was just curious as to the dislike for Flatpaks that I tend to see. But I do see cases where Flatpaks can be useful.

I generally like the idea of Flatpak, but it sometimes doesn’t work well for me.

Visual Studio Code doesn’t work 100% via Flatpak and opens with a warning when installed that way.

Steam seems to take 10s to startup (no, not a NetworkManager issue).

Slack won’t show the app icon properly, you have to use a window rule to workaround.


I love them. It’s never let me down. Snap (canonical) out of the questions and appimages have a 50% success rate at launching after I change the permissions…
I’ve tried AUR packages that have gotten all kinds of buggy on me, and have found stability in Flatpaks after a yay -Rn XXXXX.

That said I only have 2-3.

To clarify, I’m not suggesting using Flatpaks instead of AUR. More of a last resort, at least in my case with OnlyOffice.

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if the aur app gets wiggy I have no problem with flatpak as plan B.
I use openoffice, too–was that not in the AUR? I forgot to look.

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I think it really depends on what applications are involved and the person’s workflow. I’m not 100% against them, but…

-I have found the performance and storage compromises a little frustrating.

-I’ve also ran into issues with running them on a high DPI monitor, depending on the desktop.

-Lastly, there’s just more steps involved in integrating them with the rest of the system, from theming to launching (at least with something like rofi).

Something I made for another thread a few weeks ago lol


Generally speaking, I check if a package is available in the official repos. If its not there, I go for AUR. If not present, I go for the flatpak.

Ususally, I just install thru pacman or yay. I only install the flatpak version of an application if either

  1. It’s not in the AUR/Official Repo

  2. The flatpak runs better than the other repos.

The 2nd reason doesn’t happen too often, but it does happen. Use what you like, and as always with arch, your mileage may vary :slight_smile:


If I can’t build the file or it’s not in the AUR, I don’t need it.


Some people probably just want their package without the extra stuff Flatpak adds. I personally like Flatpaks for apps like Discord. When Discord updates its client, one has to wait for the Arch repos to update as well and I’m going to be honest: I need it there and then, constantly. I don’t mind Flatpaks and I actually find it useful.


Love the reference! :rofl:

yaaaaarrrrrr :parrot:


Flatpaks have two disadvantages: 1) they are statically linked (which means they 1a) take up a lot of disc space, and 1b) may contain older versions of dependencies which may have security flaws not yet fixed), and 2) you don’t know what is included in the flatpak, where the software is sourced from (you have to be very careful where you download the flatpak from, to make sure it’s a trustworthy source).


That’s a completely valid reason. I used the flatpak for Bitwig for a few months because that’s technically the supported version.

Personally, for discord, I’ve been on Vesktop (the AUR package and the .deb). The official app is fine, but comparatively more resource hungry and not supported on ARM devices.

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Me and my homies use Appimage.


I don’t rely on Flatpaks. I use them sparingly. Currently I just have OnlyOffice Flatpak installed on my Arch Gnome laptop. Themes aren’t an issue really. I ran the following and it seems fine…

sudo flatpak override --filesystem=$HOME/.themes
sudo flatpak override --filesystem=$HOME/.icons


I think this is my first time seeing OnlyOffice with a GTK theme lol. That actually looks decent.

To clarify the performance+scaling thing: I doubt (most) of those issues would occur on a word processor. I had an okay time using simpler programs when I was running Debian + GNOME last semester.

The theme/icon override resolves one of my issues, for sure. I’ll give that a try on my Fedora machine! So far I’ve only installed RPM’s.


My dislike is for the general (usually Debian distribution) concept that Flatpak is the universal answer.

Playing with some dictionaries a year or two back, I had very complicated issues - tried flatpak, one AUR pulled in a snap, and a couple of others had different versions.

In my case one of the AUR -git builds did the job where all the others failed… so on that day, I preferred AUR.

But AUR sometimes doesn’t have a working option, then it’s time to move on… no disrespect intended but not all AUR pkgbuilds are updated, and there’s quite a bit of stuff in there just won’t work at all… maintainers come and go.

I’ve also had this issue with Flatpaks, I forget which one - but they can also be badly maintained, not updated, and suffer other issues.

With all things equal, then it’s down to personal preference - and that’s when I preach ‘Repo, AUR, Flatpak, and hopefully not snap’.

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I’ve been using Flatpak exclusively since January. Works well, never had a problem. It would works better with Distro that uses Flatpak as main application provider, like VanillaOS.

Apps updates itself without needing me manually yay it. It’s just works.

Not sure about other Arch Distro but Flatpak integration is a bit botched in EOS? For example in GNOME Desktop, there is an “Application” section that seems broken which is actually useful to see what individual app do in your computer and integrates with Flatpak.

Not to mention it’s easier to remove and see installed apps on your system without needing to ls it or something.

We have Flatpak and we have Snap and we have Kubernetes. All three prefer to waste space instead of fixing things starting with configuration. I plain hate all three. The first two are “competing”. Whenever essentially identical things “compete” I have to conclude that neither really works.

I hate the argument “see, it works” because the next step is “see, it works for me on my machine” and the next one is disaster. I have watched computing for long enough to know that if something “works” it shouldn’t be automatically immune to elimination.

I guess the key is the inability of Linux people to cooperate without a benevolent dictator. I guess it was possible to choose some packaging technique and start from there. For example, all software must be presented as a Gentoo recipe and all distros must start from there. That would make maintainer’s work easier. But alas, neither ability to make a common choice nor understanding of “must” exists.

Look at those who really want to distribute software. Rust, Flutter, now Julia - they just write and distribute a script. Windows and macOS do essentially the same all the time and look - both survive.

Flatpak - the right way to do a wrong thing.

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