Flatseal Review: Managing Permissions for Flatpak Apps Has Never Been Easier


If you’ve ever wanted a graphical tool to track and manage basic permissions for Flatpak applications, you should know that there’s now Flatseal.

Flatpak apps are becoming more and more popular these days as they allow you to install certain apps that aren’t available or regularly updated in the software repositories of your GNU/Linux distribution. While they run sandboxed,  limited access to the host environment, Flatpak applications require certain permissions.

Tracking and changing these permissions for all of your installed Flatpak apps could become cumbersome or time consuming. Developed by Martin Abente Lahaye, Flatseal features a simple, straightforward design that does exactly what it says on the tin. It presents users with a list of installed Flatpak apps and basic permissions.

By default, the application displays all available permissions for all installed Flatpak apps and which permissions each app requested. Users will be able to inspect all available permissions and grant or deny app permissions for each application.

To use Flatseal, simply launch it and select the app you want to change the permissions. If you think you’ve enabled the wrong permissions, you can always hit the “Reset” button.

The app also comes with a built-in search functionally for those who have too many Flatpak apps installed, making it easier for them to find the app for which they want to modify the permissions.

Once you’ve finished setting up the permissions, you will have to restart the respective Flatpak application for the changes to take effect.

Installing Flatseal

Installing Flatseal on your GNU/Linux distribution is not brain surgery. If you already have Flatpak installed and configured, all you have to do is visit its Flathub page and click the big blue install button. The installation will then take place in the default graphical package manager of your distro (e.g. Ubuntu Software, Plasma Discover).

Alternatively, you can run the two commands below in a terminal app, one by one. Keep in mind thought that If you don’t have Flatpak installed, you need to check out the official setup guide for your distro first.

flatpak install flathub com.github.tchx84.Flatseal
flatpak run com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

The first command took a while as it downloaded a few hundreds MB of dependencies. With the second command, you run the app from the terminal window, but it’s not necessary as you’ll also find it in the applications menu of your desktop environment.

I highly recommend Flatseal to anyone who cares about their privacy and wants to track or modify the permissions used by Flatpak apps on their GNU/Linux distributions.

Last updated 4 years ago

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