The upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 release will ship with a Snap version of Ubuntu Software app by default.
But while Ubuntu’s default software management tool will become pre-seeded Snap app starting in 20.04 existing Snap builds of Calculator, Characters, and Logs will be reverted to their repo versions.
To be clear: this is not a new app store. It is the same Ubuntu Software store as currently shipped, and is still based on GNOME Software. It just packaged as a Snap application.
Functionality is largely unchanged by the switch too.
The repackaged Ubuntu Software — which will show up as the “Snap Store” on other distros — still lets users browse and install regular
apt packages from the Ubuntu archive; it still handles
deb installers; and is still capable of
fwupd firmware updates.
There is one drawback, though.
Ubuntu users looking for Flatpak/Flathub support will need to install the regular apt version of Ubuntu Software first (which is still being maintained and can be run alongside the Snap version) as the relevant
gnome-software-plugin-flatpak is not (as of writing, at least) available via Snap.
In summary, the only real change here is an invisible one (save for a potentially slower start-up time, an ongoing critique of snap apps in general).
Users who upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 from 19.10 will be automatically transitioned from the repo version of Ubuntu Software to the new Snap version (i.e. they won’t need to install it manually). Those performing a fresh install of Ubuntu 20.04 will get the Snap package version as standard.
Not that anyone needs to wait. It’s already possible to install Snaps from the Snap Store by installing the Snap Store as a Snap — 🥴 — on a supported version of Ubuntu (or another Linux distro that supports Snaps) by running:
sudo snap install snap-store
I can’t say this change will affect me too much. I rarely use Ubuntu Software to install, manage, or remove software as the command line is just far more efficient.
How about you?