This question arises from this bug report I made: https://github.com/paradoxxxzero/gnome-shell-system-monitor-applet/issues/474

I don't understand why these applications are installed as snaps, but it is still available in apt.

The only difference I can see, is that the snap version snows A LOT more devices under file systems, but I find most of them useless, and the ones I care for (/, /boot and /boot/efi) show up wrong or not at all in the snap version.

So why is the Gnome System Monitor installed as a snap by default?

I can see a potential benefit in the upgrade of its version at some point, but that is rather frivolous, when it doesn't behave correctly in the snap version, and causes trouble too (see the bug report). Am I missing something here?

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    Short answer is it's a decision made by Ubuntu developers and/or Canonical Ltd. You most probably won't get a definitive or even an objective answer from Ask Ubuntu, a community of Ubuntu users. You might have to ask people from Canonical. – pomsky Sep 28 '18 at 11:50

From what I have read (sorry I can't quote sources), the hope is that more apps can be supplied as snaps in the future, and 18.04 is being used as a "trial run" with a few of the standard minor apps like calculator and system monitor.

But there are a few problems at the moment, such as snaps not respecting your theme. This isn't just a "looking pretty" issue: on a high DPI display like on my Dell XPS 13 many snaps appear unusably small and the available software is severely restricted as a result. The developers are aware and are working on it.

That is why it is available as both a snap and in the repository: in case of unforseen problems.

Snaps do provide certain advantages regarding app isolation and could could be a good solution to software supply,installation and upgrades in the future, but we are not there yet for everybody.

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  • A shame with the sources, but if it is true, I simply don't understand why you use an LTS-version as a "trial run". It kinda contradicts the purpose of an LTS. I hope they change this in 18.04.2. – beruic Sep 28 '18 at 12:16
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    You can add some info from wiki.ubuntu.com/BionicBeaver/ReleaseNotes#New_since_17.10-1: "Some utilities have been switched to the snap format for new installs (Calculator, Characters, Logs, and System Monitor). Snap apps provide better isolation which allows them to be upgraded to new stable releases during the LTS lifecycle." – DK Bose Sep 28 '18 at 13:41
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    There is a downside to easy of packaging/installation, from: linuxuprising.com/2018/05/…: "At least two of the snap packages, 2048buntu and Hextris, uploaded to the Ubuntu Snaps Store by user Nicolas, contained malware. All packages by Nicolas have since been removed from the Ubuntu Snaps Store, "pending further investigations". The report comes from a bug which mentions that the 2048buntu snap package (and other packages by Nicolas) contains a hidden cryptocurrency miner inside." – B.Tanner Sep 28 '18 at 14:21

Seems to be maintainer/developers's decision, but you can always remove Snap-based version with

sudo snap remove gnome-system-monitor

and install APT-based version with

sudo apt install gnome-system-monitor

and use its full functionality.

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