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Flatpak 1.14 Promises Networked Access to X11 and PulseAudio Services

Flatpak 1.14

The Flatpak 1.14 Linux application sandboxing and distribution framework has entered development with several new features and improvements.

Phaedrus Leeds announced today the release of Flatpak 1.13.1 as the first step towards the Flatpak 1.14 stable series, which will probably be released later this spring with major new features like the ability to create a directory for XDG_STATE_HOME and set the HOST_XDG_STATE_HOME environment variable, as well as networked access to X11 and PulseAudio services if an app has network access.

In regards to the ability for Flatpak to set the XDG_STATE_HOME environment variable for apps that need it, the developers note the fact that this feature can be replicated on Flatpak apps that require a state directory by using the --persist=.local/state --unset-env=XDG_STATE_HOME command, which defines the base directory relative to which user-specific data files should be stored.

Another interesting change in the upcoming Flatpak 1.14 release is a new have-kernel-module-foo family of conditionals for extensions. According to the devs, this is a generalization of have-intel-gpu and it appears to be useful for extensions that only apply to specific hardware, such as for NVIDIA GPUs.

Among other noteworthy changes, Flatpak 1.14 promises to add the ability to export AppStream metadata for the host system to use, implements command-line completion for the Fish shell, and adds the flatpak document-unexport --doc-id=... command to allow users to un-export non-existent documents.

For Flatpak app developers, it promises a new FlatpakTransaction:no-interaction API that complements flatpak_transaction_set_no_interaction() and allows calling code to see if a given transaction is interactive, and updates the flatpak build-init command to automatically set the build directory to be ignored by Git.

On top of that, Flatpak 1.14 brings many other changes, including improved performance when finding related refs, improved Wayland support by allowing for absolute paths in WAYLAND_DISPLAY, improved reliability of detecting the current GTK theme, support for SHA256 instead of SHA1 to avoid false-positives from static analysis, and much more.

For more details, check out the release notes for the Flatpak 1.13.1 pre-release version on GitHub, which you can download, compile and install on your GNU/Linux distribution if you want to take the new features for a test drive or test your Flatpak apps against the upcoming new stable release.

Last updated 3 months ago