How to enable Flatpak support in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 20.04 and Flatpak

You have probably already read several articles about Snap packages in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. In a controversial move, Canonical is pushing for us to use their next-gen packages, but Linux users like to control what we use more and don't like this behavior. In addition, there are many of us who prefer flatpak packages, among other things, for being faster and easier to use.

Just a year ago we publish an article in which we showed you how to enable support for Flatpak packages in Ubuntu, but that system already does not work in Focal Fossa because they have started using another software store. Therefore, this article is an update of the previous one or one in which we explain the changes we can make to continue enjoying these packages in the latest version of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 20.04 and Flatpak: steps to follow

The most important thing we have to know or take into account is that the problem is the new Ubuntu Software, which is nothing other than the Modified Snap Store and more restricted that they have included in Focal Fossa. Knowing that, the steps to follow would be these:

  1. The first thing we have to do is install the "flatpak" package. To do this, we open a terminal and type the following command:
sudo apt install flatpak
  1. The above package is not much use to us without a compatible store, so we will install one. We can install Discover (plasma-discover) and, from it, search for "flatpak" and install the necessary engine, but being KDE software it will install many dependencies and it will not be as good as in Kubuntu, for example. Therefore, the best option is to go back and install the "old" GNOME Software:
sudo apt install gnome-software
  1. Next, we have to install the plugin so that GNOMEsoftware be compatible with Flatpak packages:
sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
  1. From here, what we have to do is the same as in Ubuntu 19.10 and earlier, starting by adding the Flathub repository with this command:
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
  1. Finally, we restart the operating system and everything would be ready to install Flatpak packages in Ubuntu 20.04.

How to install Flathub software on Ubuntu

Once support is enabled, the Flathub software will appear in GNOME Software. The only thing we have to look at is the package information, the section of the source in which "flathub" will appear. Another option is to go to www.flathub.org, carry out the searches from there, click on the blue button that says "INSTALL" and follow the instructions that appear on the screen.

If we want, we can also remove the "Snap Store" with the command "sudo snap remove snap-store" without the quotes, but I leave this to the consumer's taste. If we do all of the above we will be the ones who will decide what and where to install it, so I think it's worth it.


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  1.   Linez said

    Thanks for the contribution, a note: if you have updated from a previous version of Ubuntu, as is my case and where I already had flatpak enabled, gnome-software appears as installed, but if you launch it, it opens the snap version installed by canonical.
    The solution is to reinstall gnome-software: sudo apt-get install –reinstall gnome-software

  2.   Rafa said

    For these things stop using ubutnu, with Mint it is to install the system, install the applications that one needs and to work. Ubuntu wastes a lot of time. I see it as ideal for people who like to "tinker" with the computer, but not for those who intend to work with it.

    1.    Linez said

      Let's see friend, this is optional, the software center brings thousands of applications without installing flatpak support.
      Don't blame Ubuntu for your incompetence.

      1.    Armando Mendoza placeholder image said

        False: that's a dirty canonical move ... things like this are NEVER featured in a newly released distro, call it Debian, Arch, etc. but curiously if it happens in Ubuntu, and this is because Canonical has unleashed a dirty war against Red Hat (developer of Flatpak packages), a war that affects the community but perhaps this war is the beginning of the end of Ubuntu

  3.   Mario Calderon said

    Thank goodness I got rid of canonical and Ubuntu and its dirty plays ...