How To Make Your Ubuntu Desktop Faster

Prahlad Yeri on July 11, 2019

(Originally published on prahladyeri.com) The usual advice you get when seeking a more resource conserving distro is to use a lighter spin-off suc... [Read Full]
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I agree that Snap and its evil cousin Flatpak are (currently) junk, but I also understand why they exist. They make it easier for app developers to bundle and deploy their apps to any flavor of Linux, without having to worry about building and maintaining a plethora of different packages in different formats, with different deploy, update and uninstall scripts with different sets of dependencies, different ways of configuring stuff on the platform, that live in different repositories.

Also most Linux package repositories often lag severely behind the latest and greatest of most apps they host. App developers who want to give their non-tech-savvy users immediate access to their latest features and fixes have to either maintain their own repos that are compatible with the Linux distro version they want to support, or they can resort to using Snap. It's a low-hanging fruit.

Here's what I absolutely resent about Snap. It doesn't fully respect my desktop theme and DPI settings. On a 4K monitor with adjusted DPI the mouse cursor appears tiny on Snap application windows. Snap apps also just look different on my machine.
Also it seems that some Snap apps don't have full access to the files in my home directory. I guess it's a security feature, but a pretty annoying one, especially when I want to open or save a file in a directory that cannot be accessed from that Snap application. But maybe it was just a bug in that Markdown editor I tested a while ago. Who knows :-/

These reasons make me prefer the "native" package version of any app over Snap. But sometimes apps are only available through Snap

 

I experienced the same problems you stated with snap applications on a 4K display.

However, snap's "evil cousin flatpak" (that made me chuckle) seems to handle that pretty well. Whenever I installed Spotify through snap I would need a magnifying glass to see the cursor, but with flatpak it looks just as it should be.

 

Also most Linux package repositories often lag severely behind the latest and greatest of most apps they host.

From what I've seen in the wild snaps are often lagging behind as well. The idea of snaps is interesting but it doesn't seem to work in practice.

 

I still don't understand why ubuntu keeps shipping this extra needless junk like cups and avahi with each new release (considering its useless for the average or most typical user out there).

Don't forget, that Ubuntu is corporative, commercial distribution and Canonical Ltd. is a corporation.

And when the corporations do something it is solely and only about profit. Regardless of what they claim.

So, the explanation is simple - Ubuntu contains "junk" because Canonical considered it better for the business. And I am not sure it is really junk from corporative point of view.

Anyway, if you don't need junk, simply use some of the independent and community driven distributions, such as Arch. They have totally different goals and values.

 

when you install Ubuntu to tweak it, I suggest you switch directly to Debian, Fedora, or ArchLinux, as you don't need/want/enjoy anymore the distro as it is 😉

 

Avahi is not “the linux implementation of Apple's proprietary protocols for peer-to-peer communication between their iDevices”. It’s an implementation of zeroconf and multicast DNS/DNS-SD service discovery, a system which enables programs to publish and discover services and hosts running on a local network (Wikipedia).

It’s what printers, servers, workstations and NAS use to announce their services and discover other machines on the local network. It’s what lets you mount a Samba share without knowing the server’s IP address, or to copy file between to laptops connected with a single Ethernet cable without any configuration.

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