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Flatpak 1.7 Enters Development with New Features and Improvements

Flatpak 1.7


Flatpak maintainer Alexander Larsson announced today a new unstable release series of the universal binary format for Linux-based operating systems, Flatpak 1.7.

The Flatpak 1.7 series debuts with a major change, namely simplified installation of the OSTree P2P (Peer-to-peer) support.

As such, Flatpak 1.7 and later versions will no longer support installing apps from local network peers. Additionally, sideloading from a local USB stick will no longer be automatic and users must enable the feature by configuring a sideload repository.

The sideload repository can be created by symlinking to it from /var/lib/flatpak/sideload-repos or /run/flatpak/sideload-repos, said Alexander Larsson, who promises that the P2P support will be more efficient due to this change.

The first release in the Flatpak 1.7 unstable series also introduces new “host-etc” and “host-os” file system permissions to give access to system /usr and /etc.

Furthermore, it makes libsystemd optional in configure, introduces read-only mounting of journal sockets, and makes the host /lib directory accessible as /run/host/lib if a Flatpak app has file system access.

Under the hood, the Flatpak code has been simplified and it now uses variant-schema-compiler to generate more efficient code for parsing GVariant files from OSTree, a system for versioning updates of Linux-based operating systems.

Last but not least, the document-export component gain support for exporting directories, which requires the new portal version, and the DConf migration feature now supports version numbers in object paths.

Flatpak 1.7.1 can be downloaded from the project’s GitHub page, but it isn’t recommended for production use. Most probably, the Flatpak 1.7 unstable series will be released as stable version 1.8.

Meanwhile, the Flatpak 1.6.3 stable release also arrived today with a fix for a regression in the progress calculation for apps using extra-data, bubblewrap 0.4.1, a fix for crash in “flatpak repair” that occurred when no remotes were configured, updated OCI authenticator, and updated translations.

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