Flatseal, a GUI for modifying Flatpak app permissions

about Flatseal

In the next article we are going to take a look at Flatseal. This is a GUI application that will allow users to review and modify all the permissions granted to installed applications such as Flatpak. If you already know about application permission management on an Android device, this will be nothing new.

If you are an Ubuntu user, you should already know what Flatpak applications are. These allow developers to create sandbox applications, which usually have Flatpak application permissions preconfigured by default, to provide the functionality required by the application that is installed. The ability to limit these permissions is a remarkable feature of this package format, but it is also one of the least accessible to the user.

Unlike Android, which has native support for adjusting its permissions through the CLI and GUI, Flatpak has these settings available only through the command line. To deal with permissions, Flatseal comes to give users the ability to control Flatpak permissions through the convenience of a GUI.

Flatseal working

Flatseal will show us a list of all installed Flatpak applications. In them we can modify specific settingssuch as network sharing, X11 window system, background running, etc. And it couldn't be easier to use, too.

keyboard shortcuts

As we said, its operation is simple. We will simply have to start Flatseal, select the application whose permissions we want to modify and activate or deactivate them to taste. When we do, we must restart the Flatpak application after making the changes. If something goes wrong, from Flatseal we will have the option to press the button to reset the application.

Do you really need to control Flatpak app permissions?

The answer to this question is entirely up to the user. The average user generally doesn't pay attention to things like that. However, if you are very cautious about these things, or find a good reason to do so, Flatseal offers the opportunity to do it easily.

Something that we must take into account is that it is important to be careful with the permissions that we change. If you disable an important permission for the operation of the application, you will surely encounter problems when using it.

Install Flatseal on Ubuntu

If you are interested install this graphical interface from which to manage Flatpak application permissions, you can do it if you have this technology enabled in your system. If you use Ubuntu 20.04, but do not have it yet, you can continue The Guide that a colleague wrote on this blog a while ago.

To install this application in Ubuntu, it is only necessary to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and execute in it the command indicated in Flatub to carry out the installation:

install Flatseal

flatpak install flathub com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

When the installation is complete, you can start this program looking for its launcher on our computer, or executing the command in the terminal:

app launcher

flatpak run com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

Uninstall

This program can be remove from our team In a simple way. It is only necessary to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and execute the command in it:

Uninstall Flatseal

flatpak --system uninstall com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

Do it yourself

If you prefer build Flatseal from the terminal yourself, in the repository on GitHub of this project indicate that it is only necessary to use the following commands:

git clone https://github.com/tchx84/Flatseal.git

cd Flatseal

flatpak install org.gnome.{Platform,Sdk}//41

flatpak-builder --user --force-clean --install build com.github.tchx84.Flatseal.json

flatpak run --branch=master com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

For more details on how this program works, users can visit the documentation page.

Flatseal is an application that gives users more control over the Flatpak applications that they run on their computers. The frequency with which it is necessary to modify the permissions of our applications or if it is necessary to modify them, as I said lines above, depends on each user. The good thing is that if you want or need to do it, we have an option to do it easily and quickly.

This program is free software. It can be redistributed and / or modified under the terms of the GNU General Public License published by the Free Software Foundation. Either version 3 of the License or (at your option) any later version.


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