LWDW 366: Flatpak vs Ubuntu Flavours

Canonical removes Flatpaks from Ubuntu Flavours, Vodophone unveils their 5G Pi-powered femtocell, open-source 3D printed controllers, and 140MiB mini ISO.


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00:00 Intro
02:22 Removing Audacity
04:26 SCALE plugs
07:10 Ubuntu flavours removing Flatpak
28:17 Ubuntu Mini ISO
42:45 Open-source controller review
48:03 5G Raspberry Pi

Colour key: Venn Jill 

Remixes no flatpak



  • The containerized Flatpak format will no longer be available “out-of-the-box” in any of Ubuntu’s official flavors, says Canonical.
  • Ubuntu developers have agreed to stop shipping Flatpak, preinstalled Flatpak apps, and any plugins needed to install Flatpak apps through a GUI software tool in the default package set.
  • This will be implemented in all eight of Ubuntu’s official flavors in the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster release.
  • The other unofficial Ubuntu based distros, like Pop!_OS or Linux Mint will not be affected.
    • In my opinion, Pop and Mint are their own distros at this point. 
    • Unless you consider Ubuntu a Debian spin.  
  • This does make sense that Canonical wants to keep people in their own ecosystem as default, and not their competitors.
    • Closed-source ecosystem. 
    • Remember kids, the Snap backend is proprietary Canonical code. 
  • Especially since Flatpaks don’t receive support, bug fixes, and development attention as repo and snap apps do from Ubuntu’s community of developers or Canonical themselves.
    • If security was really the issue they would disable support for PPAs. 
  • Snap supports server apps on machines with no GUI, which Flatpak can’t.
    • Clarify. Flatpacks do not require a GUI to run. 
  • And it’s the only packaging format in Ubuntu Core.
  • There are several downsides to having multiple cross-platform packagers installed.
    • They don’t understand one another’s dependency mechanisms, which can lead to significant duplication of large packages.
    • Whether you use the apt or apt-get commands, none of these will update Flatpak apps.
    • Snaps have to be updated separately, and Ubuntu schedules this as a background task by default.
    • Flatpak users have to update manually.
  • But don’t worry, of course you can run “sudo apt install flatpak” manually and install it as usual.
  • Did Microsoft really believe having more than one browser was going to confuse the user?
  • Removing Snaps shows Canonical’s lack of faith in Snaps. 
  • A superior product wins on its own merits. 
  • That said, I wonder what Canonical did to convince 8 “spins” to universally agree to this. 
  • I’m going out on a short thick limb here and say it was more than asking nicely. 
  • With Blue Hat pushing Flatpak and Canonical pushing Snaps what’s a regular use to do?
  • Install Arch or and Debian. 
  • Get away from corporate back / controlled distributions. 


Ubuntu Mini


  • Ubuntu plans to release a new minimal ISO as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster release.
  • The mini ISO should be around 140MiB in size.
  • The effort is being headed up by Dan Bungert, the maintainer of Subiquity, which is the tech underpinning Ubuntu’s new Flutter-based installer.
  • Canonical’s Lukasz Zemczak explains:  “The ubuntu-mini-iso is a small bootable iso that can be either downloaded and used on a CD/USB-drive or even via UEFI HTTP that brings up a dynamic TUI menu of what Ubuntu images you want to download/install to your target system.” 
  • One thing I wanted to point out is that there have been other mini Ubuntu images floating around over the years, some of which I have tested and do work.
  • But this one will be officially supported and tested.


Slice of Pi

Pedro made a thing


  • Pedro did an excellent review, and I really like his suggestions about moving the scroll wheel closer to the center, and the home button where the LEDs are located so you don’t accidentally hit it.
  • I love how Input Labs is focusing on accessibility with its Alpakka controller, and the in development one handed controller Kapybara.
  • I am intrigued by using the scroll wheel also, and the size of the controller looks like it would be great for smaller hands like mine.
  • Every couple of years Pedro, Jordan, and myself come together and make a review / guide that could pass as professional. 
  • We got 2023 out of the way early. 
  • Controllers can be used for all kinds of things unrelated to gaming. 
  • At least that’s the excuse I’m using to talk about our next story. 
  • The Alpakka promises the performance of a mouse combined with the convenience of a gamepad all while being completely open-source.
  • Powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico this 3D printed herbivore packs dual gyros, touch-sensitive surfaces, and a scroll wheel. 
  • It’s not wireless and Pedro was not a fan on the USB mini connector. 


5G Pie 


  • Vodafone wrote an entire article about a femtocell without using that word a single time.
  • Anyway, this is the reason you can’t get a raspi in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020…
  • Well not this exactly, but the decision to prioritise supply to corporations vs hobbyists/education.
  • We can complain about RPIs or go support something else.
  • Wow, that will require the Raspberry Pi Foundation to ramp up supply of the RasPi 4s!
  • Vodafone aims to make 5G-based mobile private networks (MPNs) more accessible to the 22 million small-and-medium-sized enterprises across Europe.
  • This can also be used for extended 5G coverage in the household.


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