I recently moved from Debian to Ubuntu, I usually used apt to install package (and don't want to use the software center as apt it let me know which package are installed as dependencies).

But I already found something I wasn't expecting:
some package like atom and discord are available in the software center but not in apt, isn't the software center a graphic interface for apt? does it use something else?

  • You didn't say which version you are running, but the later versions use the 'software' found upstream (eg. gnome's, kde's if you are using kubuntu etc). aptitude or synaptic maybe more familiar to you.
    – guiverc
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 12:10
  • @guiverc I'm running the software center v3.28.1
    – jonatjano
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


You have just discovered "snap" packages, they are deployed by "snappy" package management system built by Canonical Ltd. (the Ubuntu company).

Snaps are containerised software packages that are simple to create and install. They auto-update and are safe to run.

Read more here: https://docs.snapcraft.io/getting-started/3876

The Software application also contains snaps, in fact

Some applications are available in both formats. In such a case in Ubuntu Software the snap will be listed first. (source)


isn't the software center a graphic interface for apt

No. Ubuntu software center also supports snap installation. See the snapcraft store. Discord on command line would be

sudo snap install discord

and atom would be

sudo snap install --classic atom
  • Atom (and Discord) can be installed without snap, you can use a PPA for Atom and download Discord's self-updating .deb
    – cat
    Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 1:20
  • @cat sure but he was asking about default Ubuntu. So that is regular apt and snaps. Not 3rd party. I would even advice against 3rd party if there is a snap.
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 8:52
  • yes, except that snaps are not nearly as reliable or usable out-of-the-box as installed packages with dpkg and it's understandable if some user should wonder whether the snap command is unnecessary. +1 regardless
    – cat
    Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 13:05

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