There are hundreds of Linux distributions to choose from, and while there are some similarities, there are also some differences — like the way you install applications.
Traditional Debian-based applications like Ubuntu have relied on apt. Fedora use yum. And so on. For the most part you can find popular programs like Firefox, LibreOffice and GIMP on each platform. But developers have to build their software for each platform. And then when you install the application you might also have to install a bunch of other programs or “dependencies” to go along with it.
In recent years we’ve seen a few efforts to make things simpler by offering developers a build-once-distribute-everywhere option while also giving users a single file that contains everything they need to run an app.
Ubuntu designed its own solution called Snappy, and for the past few years Snaps have been available for other operating systems as well.
Flatpak is another option. It’s an open source package management, deployment, and virtualization technology that’s been around since late 2014. And today the developers have released version 1.0.
Flathub is also coming out of beta today. It’s basically an app store/web site/repository for software that’s packaged in the Flatpak format.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht