Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Monday, September 9, 2019 at 22:59

(Debian Buster can run with Snap applications)

When I was writing about LibreOffice 6.2 using D.A.F.S. last month, I realized that using Snap on Debian is a little bit different to Ubuntu. You need more works in the beginning. But once prepared properly, you can enjoy a vast number of up to date additional software for Debian from the Snapcraft repository. This tutorial explains how to prepare Snap on Debian 10 "Buster" LTS from start to finish including disabling it whenever you wish.

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About Snap

Snaps are software packages with .snap extension that run across multiple GNU/Linux operating systems. Many applications in Snap format are newer compared to native applications available on Ubuntu. You can run Snap applications as long as you have Snapd runtime installed on your GNU/Linux system. Snaps are available in central server.

Install Snapd First

On Debian Buster, we simply need APT to install Snapd service:
$ sudo apt-get install snapd 

This is the only one command with sudo we need to prepare.

Install Snap Core Packages

With SnapI suggest you to install at least core and core18 packages as they are runtimes required by popular programs such as LibreOffice, GIMP, Krita, Kdenlive, and more.
$ snap install core core18

However, about the size, both are relatively small as snap info command informs they are 90MB and 50MB respectively.

Search and Install Applications

Basic commands:
  • To list installed programs: $ snap list
  • To search: $ snap find [keyword]
  • To show info and download size: $ snap info [package_name]
  • To install: $ snap install [package_name]
  • To remove: $ snap remove [package_name]

GIMP Image editor:
$ snap search gimp
$ snap info gimp
$ snap install gimp 

VLC video player:
$ snap install vlc

Kdenlive video editor:
$ snap install kdenlive

Telegram instant messenger:
$ snap install telegram-desktop

more and more you can find with snap find command.

Disable and Enable Snapd

Snapd runtime will occasionally download something in the background without your concern. If you dislike that behavior, like me for example, you can disable Snapd temporarily and enable it again only when you need to run Snaps.

$ sudo systemctl mask --now snapd

$ sudo systemctl unmask --now snapd

Happy working!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.