Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was a great release. This was announced and so it was because it included interesting news, although some more than others. It was the version that promised to achieve the much dreamed of convergence, although this was eventually scrapped. It was also the first version to include support for something that was new: snaps (here!, how to manage them). The snap packages allow both application and dependencies to be all in the same package, something that makes installation faster and safer.
Three years later, it seems that the Canonical idea was a success. In an infographic of the great ones that Canonical usually publishes, the company directed by Mark Suttleworth assures that we already made more than three million snaps installations per month. It is something that does not surprise me at all, since I myself, for example, among the things I do after the installation of an operating system based on Ubuntu is to remove the version of VLC that comes with and install the version that is available as Snap. Why? Well, for example, to enjoy the huge update VLC 4 which is already developing.
Snaps are available for 42 Linux distributions
And is that snaps are all advantages over APT packages, for example. When a Linux developer wants to launch an application, he has two options: either he creates several versions for different operating systems or he makes the binaries available to us so that we can find our lives. The snap packages are available on 42 operating systems different, among which in addition to Ubuntu and all its official flavors we find Debian, Linux Mint, Arch Linux, Fedora or Raspbian. In this way, it works once and can be installed on 42 systems that are compatible by default.
On the other hand and as we have mentioned on different occasions, to update an APT package it has to be delivered to Canonical and they publish them in their repositories. This makes an update take longer to reach the general public, which can be dangerous. The snap packages remove the middle man and several days of waiting.
What snaps are your favorites?