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Old 06-21-2016, 04:06 PM   #1
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Announcing Flatpak – Next Generation Linux Applications

The development team behind Flatpak is excited to announce the general availablity of their new framework for desktop applications on Linux. Previously named xdg-app, Flatpak is available on a range of major Linux distributions.

Build once, run anywhere

The Linux desktop has long been held back by platform fragmentation. This has been a burden on developers, and creates a high barrier to entry for third party application developers. Flatpak aims to change all that. From the very start its primary goal has been to allow the same application to run across a myriad of Linux distributions and operating systems. In doing so, it greatly increases the number of users that application developers can easily reach.

Speaking about the goals behind Flatpak, Alexander Larsson, its lead developer, said: “Application developers on Linux have always been prevented from having a direct relationship with their users. With Flatpak we're aiming to change that, so developers know exactly what their users are getting. With this launch we are making that goal a reality.”

Flatpak has been available for a range of Linux distributions for several weeks. It allows application developers to build against a series of stable platforms (known as runtimes), as well as to bundle libraries directly within their applications. Flatpak is also standards compliant, offering support for the Open Container Initiative specification.

A growing range of applications are already available as Flatpaks, including LibreOffice, the GIMP, InkScape, MyPaint, Darktable, and a large number of stock GNOME applications. provides instructions on how to easily try these yourself. Linux desktops are also adopting Flatpak. A fully functional GNOME runtime has been available since March: this allows application developers to build and distribute Flatpaks using the GNOME development stack. Work on a similar runtime for KDE is proceeding.

Not only does Flatpak provide cross-distribution installation, but it also allows forward compatibility. Michael Meeks, Director of The Document Foundation, said: “Until now, building a LibreOffice that works for every Linux user has involved some horrible compromises caused by the need to build our binaries on an ancient Linux version to get good forward compatibility. Flatpak will enable us (as a Linux ISV) to distribute a better LibreOffice, with up-to-date dependencies and a platform that can run on many systems. I'm excited to see that happen.”
Official Announcement...

Have any LQ members used Flatpak? Did any use xdg-app previously?

Old 06-21-2016, 04:10 PM   #2
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I've been using AppImages and have been very pleased.

Between AppImages, Snap, and FlatPak, it sound like we're slowly but surely getting competing standards for cross-distro packages, at last. The good thing about these competing standards, though, is that they all advertise cross-distro compatibility, so I guess in the end it doesn't matter to the end user which one devs use; they theory...just work.

Certainly, appimages do just work. Most famously, Krita uses it as its Linux release mechanism. As does my own work in progress, StopGo Stop Animation.

Last edited by notKlaatu; 06-21-2016 at 04:21 PM.


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