Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 22:15

Fedora 34 released this year. 


Part 1, Flatpak Integration

What is Flatpak? Flatpak to GNU/Linux users in a simplest sense is like APK to Android users, EXE to Windows users and DMG to MacOS users, that is, a name of application format they can run for their OS. In the future, you will often see Download Flatpak option beside of Download EXE and Download DMG options for the same application everywhere.

As a summary, F34's integration of Flatpak means, in the future, Fedora users would be able to install applications and games they like from Software with the way of Flatpak. Everything about Flatpak on F34 is mostly centered at Software including adding new repository and removing installed apps. Our experience in general is that in the beginning F34 works very slow, crashes often, even stopping other programs to run when installing Flatpak.

Our specification to do this F34 Flatpak review:

  • Internet access with 6MB/s download speed.
  • F34 installed on 32GB disk with Btrfs filesystem.

Flatpak Advantages

What advantages does F34 get from Flatpak integration? Among them:

  • Unifying end-users' method to get apps for their computers.
  • Unifying software developers in delivering their apps and updates to end-users.
  • Availability of software cannot be obtained in standard way. For example, Natron.

First Step

Our first steps to try F34's Flatpak is:

1. We upgrade Fedora system to its fullest.

2. We run Software.

3. We wait for it preparing.

4. Software displays all applications available. 

5. We explore for apps and games available.

6. We install multiple apps and games which are Flatpaks:

  • ZeroAD, an ancient warfare strategy game.
  • Red Eclipse, an excellent first person shooting.
  • FeedReader, a news subscriber program.
  • GIMP, the image editor of FLOSS community.
  • Inkscape, the vector editor.
  • SuperTuxKart, a cute and playful 3D racing game.
  • Stellarium, a beautiful desktop planetarium.
  • OBS Studio, a professional crossplatform broadcasting tool.
  • Kooha, a simple desktop screencast recorder.

Once installed, these apps will be displayed on Activites Menu on Fedora.

Application Information Displayed

Every application has its own detailed information. One can learn what to be installed to his/her computer by reading that information. We report here from top to bottom of Software window.

- App format chooser

- App name

- App picture(s)

- App description 

- App version history

- App details (repository, license, size)

- App rating and review

In terms of Flatpak, format chooser and app details are the most important sections. Under format chooser, user can select to install an app either from standard version (RPM) or Flatpak version. By default, Fedora 34 has its own Flatpak repository ( and if user adds Flathub (see next section), then the choices increased by one that is Flathub ( The check sign (🗸), if any, signifies that an app is installed from either RPM or Flatpak.

App details section supplies more detailed information regarding the application, depending on what is selected in the format chooser. User can see app's repository address, download size, installed size, security (sandboxed or not), age rating, and more. Below are several examples. However, we found many information incorrect especially on the licensing.

Zeroad: available in 3 versions RPM, Fedora Flatpak and Flathub Flatpak; license displayed (incorrectly) as Proprietary; 500MB download size from

Natron: available only in Flathub Flatpak version; licensed as Free Software (GPL-2.0+); and 600MB download size.

Firefox: available in 3 versions too; license displayed as Free (but incorrectly as GPL-3.0+); and 700MB download size from Fedora Flatpak, 300MB from Flathub.

Flathub Integration

What we do to make F34 able to install applications from third party source,, is as following:

1. Open Firefox at

2. Visit Quick Setup. 

3. Select Fedora. 

4. Click Flathub Repository File button.

5. A download dialog opened with Open With Software Install option.

6. Click Save. 

7. Software opened with Flathub offering and an Install button.

8. Click Install.

9. Now, Software can install apps from


Apps Available at

Flathub is a third-party application download center and contains many apps not available at the first-party Fedora's Flatpak repository. However, Flathub also distributes Proprietary Software (*). Examples of applications available at Flathub among others:

  • Beyond All Reason
  • OBS Studio
  • Kooha
  • Kdenlive
  • Blender
  • Super Tux Party
  • Steam*
  • BitWig Studio*

These apps can be seen via Software and recognized to be from Flathub by its detailed description of Source.

Install Apps from Flathub

What we do to install apps from Flathub is as following:

1. Browse website with web browser.

2. Explore apps available. 

3. Click one app and its web page will open. For example, OBS Studio.

4. Click Install button then download window will open and click Save.

5. Software will display the application. In this example, OBS Studio.

6. Make sure the application is Flatpak and from address at the top or middle of the display. If it is RPM instead, switch it first to Flatpak option.

7. Click Install.

8. Application installed. 

In this example, OBS Studio can be accessed from the Activities Menu.

Running The Applications

Once installed, Flatpak applications are displayed on Activities Menu on Fedora. We report here, in brief, how Fedora runs each application and the results we receive are good. 

Inkscape and Gimp can normally open and save file, grab photos from external drag-and-drop, as well as do graphic drawing as usual.

OBS Studio can record audio and video, for livestreaming or screen sharing purposes, and the file can be played normally. We do no configuration to make webcam and microphone work.

Kooha can record the screen and our voice, saved as video file, and the file can be played later normally. We do no configuration to make the microphone works.

ZeroAD and Red Eclipse can normally be played with full resolution and audio on. And Fedora system can switch among running windows while both running.


(F34 with ZeroAD, FeedReader, Gimp and Red Eclipse running -- ordered clockwise from the left)

Issues with Flatpak

There are several Flatpak issues we encountered on F34:

1. Speed, we experienced our system to be slow and sluggish at initial use with F34 and it mostly was caused by Flatpak.

1. Size, Flatpak is internet & disk space hungry, as the individual application size is too big at the beginning it quickly drains our internet bandwidth out (unless we use an unlimited one), and our disk space too. In addition, the real reason why it works very slowly is that F34 needs to download and install a 2GB SDK for F34 first as it is the "secret" initial requirement for us to install more Flatpaks. You may easily find a Flatpak app 10 times (or more) the size of same RPM app. For example:

2. Freeze, our system experienced hang multiple times and even unrelated programs (Firefox and Nautilus) could also experience "Not Responding" while Flatpak is installing or ongoing automatic upgrade at the background. The symptom is the freezing programs ask for 'either Wait or Force Quit'.

3. As mentioned, incorrect information, as Software often wrongly stated each application's license. For example, it says ZeroAD, a GPL licensed game, is Proprietary, that is clearly wrong. 


Flatpak Summary

Fedora already did a great job in Flatpak integration. They made their own Flatpak repository and made it easy to add The initial experience is very poor, it is very slow and almost often freezing the system, although how to use it is already clear enough. Also, we think the incorrect licensing information displayed on Software is a deep issue they should fix as soon as possible.

About the functionality? The apps and games we installed work well. OBS and Kooha can record screen (even camera) into videos. Those games can be played normally, with great visuals and audio, we could not tell that they use a different technology.

On Flatpak, in general we want to say F34 works but with a very poor initial experience.

To be continued to part 2...

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.