Today’s release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS brings Canonical’s new Snap package system to millions of desktops.
As we highlighted earlier this week, Snaps can be installed side-by-side with the more familiar .Deb packages, giving users the best of both worlds.
Snap packages allow app developers to distribute newer versions of software to users on older versions of Ubuntu, free of the need to jump through hoops with missing dependencies, archive upload approvals or distributing through untrusted PPAs.
Because all Snaps are securely sandboxed they cannot access, see, touch or meddle with anything else that’s on your computer (not without your say so, anyhow).
Applications packaged in the Snap format can bundled all its dependencies inside. App devs no longer have to worry about whether the distro they’re targeting has the latest version of X, or check whether the package conflicts with Y.
Mozilla Firefox Will Support Snap Apps
Mozilla has today announced it will “offer Firefox in Snap format” later this year.
In a blog announcing its support, Mozillian Nick Nguyen says: “[Snaps make] it easier to push the browser directly to users rather than relying on an intermediary to accept updates before they reach users.”
“Previously, a static version of Firefox would ship with each new Operating System version for the life-cycle of that OS. With the snap format, new features can be released to users of older OS versions too,’ he adds.
Mozilla says it has a long working relationship with Canonical and that, in supporting the new format, it is ‘renewing that partnership’.
Nguyen notes that both companies ‘share a similar heritage as open-source and community-supported organizations.’