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Flatpak 1.12 Development Kicks Off with Steam Improvements, Better Support for TUI Programs

Flatpak


Debian developer and Collabora engineer Simon McVittie announced today the availability for public testing of Flatpak 1.11.1 as the first unstable release in the upcoming Flatpak 1.12 stable series of this popular Linux app sandboxing and distribution framework.

Flatpak 1.12 will be the next major release of the open-source Flatpak system for building, distributing, and running sandboxed desktop applications on GNU/Linux distributions after the Flatpak 1.10 series. It promises several new features like better support for the Steam Linux Runtime mechanism, allowing Steam to launch games with its own container runtime as /usr. In fact, this new feature allows any subsandbox to have a different /usr and/or /app.

Flatpak 1.12 also promises improved support for TUI (text-based user interface) programs like GNU Debugger, a highly performant reimplementation of ostree prune designed specifically for archive-mode repositories, and support for Flatpak instances of the same app-ID to share their /tmp directory, $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR environment variable, as well as /dev/shm directory.

Among other changes, the upcoming Flatpak 1.12 release will use the GNU Bison general-purpose parser generator for building parse-datetime.y, provide information about security support and security vulnerability reporting, move all the Git submodules into the subprojects/ directory, and create several sockets in /run/flatpak with symbolic links in $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR.

It also promises better support for non-x86_64 systems, improved deployment of local remotes in system-helper, support for non-interactive polkit queries when operating in the non-interactive mode, the ability to skip copying extra-data flatpaks when using the flatpak create-usb command, support for pax-format tar archives, and various other changes that you study in the changelog.

The Flatpak 1.12 series is currently developed under the Flatpak 1.11 umbrella, and the first development version, Flatpak 1.11.1, is now ready for public testing and can be downloaded from the project’s GitHub page. However, please note that this is a pre-release version, not suitable for use in production environments.

Last updated 3 weeks ago