A new and improved software store is coming to Ubuntu MATE — and potentially other Linux distros, too.

Previewed by MATE developer Martin Wimpress earlier today, the new ‘Software Boutique’ lets users search for and install Snap apps, as well as search out all apps available in the Ubuntu archives.

These new features won’t mean an end to the “carefully curated list of applications” the store surfaces right now either, but will help position Software Boutique as a general purpose package manager.

Alongside Snap support the retooled repo front-end also benefits from the following improvements:

  • Improved queuing system
  • Curated collection of apps will be loaded from an external database
  • Theming support 
  • Support translations per-app
  • Ability to search the archive and Snap store(s)
  • Community reviews & comments

The new version of Software Boutique also drops Ubuntu MATE branding and, says Wimpress, works as ‘a standalone application entirely decoupled [from] Ubuntu MATE Welcome’.

“Decoupling Software Boutique has several advantages; it can be installed and used on other distros (something we regularly are asked about), Software Boutique and Ubuntu MATE Welcome use fewer system resources and Software Boutqiue will dynamically adapt to the currently selected theme to better fit in with your preferred look and feel,” he adds.

Further down the line Ubuntu MATE developers may add web apps and GTK themes to the store.

The new store is available for testing right now (providing you don’t mind building apps from Git) but most of you can look forward to trying the new, improved, snap-ified Software Boutique in Ubuntu MATE 17.10 this October.

software boutique Ubuntu MATE