Canonical: Future Ubuntu Releases Won’t Support Flatpak by Default

This change will affect Ubuntu 23.04 "Lunar Lobster" and future Ubuntu releases, including all official flavors.
Ubuntu Flatpak

Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu, announced that future Ubuntu releases (including official flavors) will not include support for the Flatpak sandboxed binary format by default, starting with Ubuntu 23.04.

This should not come as a surprise for anyone as Ubuntu, like many other popular GNU/Linux distributions out there, didn’t offer support for the Flatpak binary format by default. Those who wish to install Flatpak apps will need to manually install the Flatpak Runtime by following the instructions on the official website.

Flatpak support isn’t available in any of the supported Ubuntu releases, including the long-term supported Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) or the latest Ubuntu 22.10 (Kinetic Kudu). However, Flatpak support is available in the Kubuntu and Ubuntu MATE flavors, but now Canonical says that they don’t plan to include Flatpak support by default in future Ubuntu releases, including all official flavors.

“Going forward, the Flatpak package, as well as the packages to integrate Flatpak into the respective software center, will no longer be installed by default in the next release due in April 2023, Lunar Lobster,” said Philipp Kewisch, Community Engineering Manager at Canonical. “Users who have used Flatpak will not be affected on upgrade, as flavors are including a special migration that takes this into account.”

Philipp Kewisch also mentioned the fact that Canonical wants Ubuntu to stick with the native Debian (DEB) packages, as well as their in-house sandboxed package format Snap as the default experience for new and future Ubuntu installations.

As you can see, this change won’t affect existing Ubuntu users who will upgrade to the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) release, due out in late April 2023, who have already installed the Flatpak Runtime and any other packages needed to install Flatpak apps from the Flathub portal.

Canonical thinks this move will “improve the out-of-the-box Ubuntu experience for new users,” just in case some of you hoped for Flathub/Flatpak support by default in future Ubuntu releases. So, again, to make it very clear, nothing will be removed from future Ubuntu releases as Ubuntu didn’t support Flapak apps by default anyway.

Last updated 7 months ago

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