A command-line search tool for AppImage, Flatpak, and Snap

Rich Harvest

Article from Issue 229/2019
Author(s):

If you are looking for an application in AppImage, Flatpak, or Snap app stores, Chob lets you perform a keyword-based search from the command line.

The alternative package formats AppImage, Flatpak, and Snap can be found in almost all distributions. Some projects even rely entirely, or at least predominantly, on these modern constructs that include most dependencies in the package. For example, Fedora's Silverblue Workstation is completely based on Flatpak; Clear Linux OS supports Flatpaks, as well as in-house bundles. Endless OS is also increasingly taking this path to deliver software. Although Ubuntu mainly uses its Snap format in the cloud, it also offers an increasing number of Snap packages for its desktop versions.

Testing

These new formats are especially useful for testing new software versions. For instance, the LibreOffice developers recommend staying with the previous version and waiting a couple of minor releases before making the final switch for production use.

However, if you want to find out whether the new version fixes a certain bug, trying out a corresponding Flatpak does not conflict with the previously installed, production-use version. In the AppImage format, there are even four different development stages of LibreOffice letting you safely try out new features in advance.

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