Vivaldi’s Flathub package is not official or verified, as the store listing makes clear: “This package is not officially endorsed or supported by Vivaldi Technologies” — this is despite the fact it is uploaded by and maintained by a Vivaldi employee.
The hope/want is to make it official/verified down the line but, for now, Vivaldi’s Flathub presence is there to “test the waters”, Vivaldi’s Ruarí Ødegaard tells me, and help satisfy the “overwhelming demand from users” for the browser to be available on the store in some guise.
Vivaldi launched in 2015 offering day-one Linux support. It provides official DEB and RPM packages for major Linux distributions through its website. Those packages remain the recommended way to install the app on Linux.
Even so, making a Flatpak available on Flathub, even if’s not an official one yet, will help the browser reach a much wider audience – like those with a Steam Deck in their hands 😉.
Why is it not official yet?
You’ll find a number of web browsers on Flathub, including official builds of Firefox, GNOME Web, and KDE Falkon, but few (if any) Chromium-based browsers are official or verified (and Vivaldi is also a Chromium-based browser).
Part of why this is the case may down to uncertainties with how secure Chromium’s sandbox is when run in a Flatpak environment.
I’m told Flatpak doesn’t allow important parts of the Chromium sandbox to work as it should. Chromium browsers and Electron apps distributed on Flathub all rely on a 3rd-party package called Zypak to trick Chromium into thinking its SUID sandbox is present.
Further testing is required to find out if important software such as browsers relying on “tricks” to function introduce any security drawbacks.
Trending in the right direction
Official or not, this addition makes it easier to install Vivaldi on Linux (no need to go fetch installers) and lets users get future updates quicker, thanks to automatic updates. The browser is also now placed to reach a wider audience, potentially growing its user-base as a result.
Plus, we seen some unofficial Flathub packages become official this year, including the Thunderbird e-mail client, and the messaging app Discord which, prior to verification, had already racked up millions of installs.
Should Vivaldi become official in time too, it backing would signal to other software vendors that Flathub is where it’s at — because it really is. Increasingly, Flathub it not just where Linux users go to find software but where they expect to find software.
• Get Vivaldi on Flathub