Welcome to the Linux Foundation Forum!

Are PPA's still a thing or are they frowned upon now?

Hi.

I'm just wondering if PPA's will be in the exam eg how to set one up?

Are they old hat now due to snaps and flatpack?

Comments

  • Hi @WarrenUK ,

    Are they old hat now due to snaps and flatpack?

    I think they are becoming or will become old hat perhaps in the next few years. When we refer to PPAs, we are talking about third party software that's not available through the main official repos. For another hand, Snap (powered by Ubuntu) and Flatpak (powered by Red Hat) are a kind of new way to package software. And in fact, Ubuntu 20.04 has snap installed by default. So, we can say there is a strong intent to move to a more standard way to package and deliver software for Linux distros, and that implies that the standard ways to install software will be replaced soon or later.

    Now, Flatpak is intented for desktop applications. So try to search for any server software on the Flathub and see if you find anything: https://flathub.org/home .

    Some of the server software seems to be on Snap; you also can take a look here: https://flathub.org/home .

    I hope that helps :)

    Luis.

  • coop
    coop Posts: 835

    The easy way to deal with Snap is to remove it completely, which I have done on all machines I maintain. It is only one or two lines at the command prompt. It is impossible to remove Flatpack from RHEL or CentOS or Fedora, but it is easy to avoid using it (Ubuntu pushes you into snap by default). The death of old-fashioned apt and rpm has often been announced but I don't see it any time soon. (One reason I ignore snap is it doubles the (compressed) size of the virtual machines I maintain, even if you prune it down.)

    As you might expect this is a holy war and while there are obvious purported advantages to snap (use of the snap package on multiple operating systems for example, although I have yet to see that realized), and independence on other vendor's libraries and packages (avoid DLL hell etc), I'm not a fan. You are welcome to have a different attitude of course!

    As to whether setting up a ppa or rpm repository would be on the exam, I would doubt it, but exam questions should be directed to the exam people as we do not write the exams. In general the exams try to stay clear of things which work on only one distribution (say netplan) but obviously you can't ignore packaging which is essential as well as different on distros.

    Anyway, PPA's are not old hat. yet and not for along time IMHO.

  • Call me old-fashioned but I am not too fond of these kind of install options. Imo, the philosophy of Linux always was to have shared libraries and not pack them with each and every new application you install. This is asking for security problems when some rogue and obscure application gets downloaded with 'alternative' libraries.
    As long it is possible I will stick to having 'traditional' repositories.

  • coop
    coop Posts: 835

    As I said earlier in the thread, it is still a valid concern but tastes have changed. On Ubuntu-based distributions they provide "snap" . Personally I think it is a disease and you can still kill its use with basically a one line command:

    sudo rm -rf /var/cache/snapd
    sudo apt autoremvove --purge snapd gnome-software-plugin-snap
    
    

    Every byte will be gone and this is true through Ubuntu 20.04 (Future?)

    flatpak is harder to remove from Fedora as they made it more of a hard dependency to keep, but use of it does not seem to be on by default (unlike snap on Ubuntu).

    So while I am not a fan of these methods, they are not going to disappear. Likewise normal apt, and rpm are not going to disappear.

    Keep in mind containers also suffer from security problems as they are self-contained units whose constituents may or may not be up to date or secure -- I have seem many talks on this problem with people sounding alarms and not being satisfied with the response -- very few containers get the kind of security audits a full distribution or VM would get.

    As far as external repositories go, whether they are ppa or rpm repos etc, there are always going to be things not provided for distros for whatever reasons and I don't see them disappearing. And there will always be some incompatibilities or collisions and missing things etc. I find them much less than there used to be and it's best to restrict the usage as much as you can.

  • For your information, Linux Mint - a Ubuntu derivative - does not install snapd by default. I also hate snap - it looks like bloatware.

    $ apt list snap*
    Listing... Done
    snap-aligner/focal 1.0~beta.18+dfsg-3build1 amd64
    snap-confine/focal-updates 2.46.1+20.04 amd64
    snap-templates/focal 1.0.0.2-3build2 amd64
    snap/focal 2013-11-29-9 amd64
    snapclient/focal 0.18.1-1build1 amd64
    snapcraft-examples/focal,focal 3.0ubuntu1 all
    snapcraft-parser/focal,focal 3.0ubuntu1 all
    snapcraft/focal,focal 3.0ubuntu1 all
    snapd-glib-tests/focal 1.57-0ubuntu3 amd64
    snapd-glib-tests/focal 1.57-0ubuntu3 i386
    snapd-xdg-open/focal-updates 2.46.1+20.04 amd64
    snapd/focal-updates 2.46.1+20.04 amd64
    snaphu/focal 2.0.3-1 amd64
    snapper-gui/focal,focal 0git.960a94834f-3 all
    snapper/focal 0.8.6-1build1 amd64
    snapserver/focal 0.18.1-1build1 amd64
    
    
  • coop
    coop Posts: 835

    Mint is different enough from Ubuntu that I no longer devote any of my time with it as far as support, l just tell people it probably works. I don't want to get into a holy war about it and if it floats your boat fine, but I keep hearing from people that dump it and go over to debian or ubuntu for hopefully better maintenance and not trying to hold onto older desktop versions.

  • @coop said:
    Mint is different enough from Ubuntu that I no longer devote any of my time with it as far as support, l just tell people it probably works. I don't want to get into a holy war about it and if it floats your boat fine, but I keep hearing from people that dump it and go over to debian or ubuntu for hopefully better maintenance and not trying to hold onto older desktop versions.

    Thanks for the information. I wasn't trying to start a holy war, merely pointing out that this specific Ubuntu derivative doesn't use snap by default. I'm currently running Manjaro (Arch Linux derivative) on my main system and Linux Mint 20 on my second PC. I have plenty of Ubuntu 18.04 VMs as well as Centos 8 VMs and a Opensuse 15.1 to do all the exercises. Virtualization makes things very easy.

Categories

Upcoming Training