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Peek Gif Screen Recorder Drops Support for Snap App

Sad news for gif addicts favouring Canonical's "cross-distro" packaging format

Peek is an animated gif screen capture tool for Linux

The animated gif screen capture tool Peek is one of the best utilities available on Linux.

You don’t need to have need to use it to appreciate how the focused, clean design and sumptuously simple workflow work together to benefit users.

So it’s somewhat sad to report that Peek is discontinuing support for its Snap app.

Peek Discontinues Support for Snap app

Peek dev ‘phwolfer’ explains on Reddit:

“Starting with Peek 1.3.0, which will be released soon, I will no longer support the Peek Snap.  That was no easy decision, as I like the general idea behind Snap, but I have come to the conclusion that it is just not feasible for me to support the Snap build any longer.”

Among the hurdles he lists as getting in the way is overly restrictive Snap sandboxing.

The Snap security model, he says, does not allow Peek to access screen recording capability in Wayland (although screen recording on Wayland being a sticky subject it is, with workarounds, possible).

Admittedly with Xorg the default in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS this is not as big of an issue as it sounds going forward.

But it’s not the only issue standing in the way of continued support:

  • Snap is too “Ubuntu” focused(snapd apparently no longer works on Arch and was removed from the official repositories)
  • Builds system is more complex than for Flatpak or AppImage
  • Less than satisfactory use of platform snaps
  • Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t use AppStream data, requiring separate entry data

Despite the developer not finding Snap the hassle-free nirvana its advocates promise the developer isn’t sworn off the tech entirely.

He says many of the issues he found were specific to his app, its development, and his own workflow.

“If Snap’s work for you and your application, please continue snapping them,” he adds.

Peek PPA, Flatpak, AppImage Still Supported

It will sound a little curt but if chances are, if you’re an avid user of Peek, you don’t use the Snap app.

Peek has an official PPA which provides up-to-date builds for supported Ubuntu versions; a Flatpak app is available on Flathub (and works great — it’s what I use); and a distro-agnostic AppImage offers a flexible alternative to installation.

Peek Stable Builds PPA

These pre-packaged alternatives support all of Peek’s features and will, the dev assures, remain “supported in the future.”

So Peek fans: you needn’t panic.