Flatpak 1.10 Officially Released with GCC 11 Support, New Features and Improvements

Flatpak 1.10

Alexander Larsson announced today the general availability of Flatpak 1.10, a major release of the popular Linux application sandboxing and distribution framework.

I reported about the Flatpak 1.10 series a couple of months ago when it entered development, but now, after three unstable milestones, the final release is ready for consumption and should soon land in the stable repositories of some of the most popular GNU/Linux distribution to improve your Flatpak app experience.

The biggest new feature in this the Flatpak 1.10 series is the implementation of a new format for the indexed summary file, which is being used when accessing an OSTree repository on the network. With this, the OSTree dependency was bumped to version 2020.8.

This major change also makes several underlying enhancements to Flatpak’s behavior, such as faster fetching of the initial metadata required for most operations and therefore less network bandwidth usages, as well as the ability for Flatpak repos to scale to more apps and more architectures without having an impact on clients.

Moreover, Flatpak repos like Flathub can benefit of the new summary file format to mark all FOSS apps and allow users to use a so-called flathub-foss remote without the need to maintain two separate repositories due to support for repositories to publish named subsets.

To provide users backwards compatibility with older clients, the Flatpak 1.10 series will still generate the old indexed summary file format. A new flatpak.summary-arches repo option will control which architectures are put in the old format summary file to avoid making old clients slower.

Among other noteworthy changes, Flatpak 1.10 brings support for the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 11 series, a flatpak pin command for pinning runtimes and pinning explicitly installed runtimes by default, new library APIs to extend Flatpak’s capabilities, and a new profile snippet for the tcsh shell.

Flatpak will also be able to automatically add uninstall operations for end-of-life runtimes during flatpak update operations, prioritize the origin remote for an app over other remotes when searching for dependencies, as well as to allow extra-data apply_extra processes to run multiarch code.

Other than that, the Flatpak 1.10 release introduces new ways for clients to handle authentication through a new ready-pre-auth signal in FlatpakTransaction, better support for non-x86-64 architectures, improved handling of the multiarch permission, and better error messages in flatpak portal.

The Flatpak 1.10 series also lets root users bypass parental controls, improves the login performance by allowing systemd generator snippets to call flatpak --print-updated-env, and implements new options in the spawn portal to allow it to share the pid namespace with the sub-sandbox and unset an env var.

Better PulseAudio support is present as well in this new major series, along with support for sandboxes with network access to do DNS lookups via the systemd-resolved socket, as well as support for unsetting env vars in the sandbox using the --unset-env parameter.

Linux OS maintainers can download the final Flatpak 1.10 release right now from the project’s GitHub page, while most users will have to wait for the new series to land in the stable repositories of their favorite GNU/Linux distribution to enjoy the new features and improvements.

Last updated 3 years ago

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