I am wondering whether or not there is a way to completely remove snap from Ubuntu 19.10 without losing the ability to install important applications like Chromium.

When I just recently updated to the newest Ubuntu release I realized that the installer programmatically reinstalled snap, although I had manually removed it before. Additionally the installer removed Chromium, which was installed via the repositories, and reinstalled it via snap.

As I don't want snap to be installed on my machines for various reasons my question is if anybody knows a safe way to remove it, and to get the Chromium DEB back to the sources?

Is there a PPA? Could I use a source of an Ubuntu flavor additionally, which didn't remove the Chromium Deb from its sources?

  • 3
    The move to chromium as a snap is discussed here. My understanding is that all 19.10 flavors will be providing only the snap. Depending on various factors, the availability of Chromium as only a snap maybe enforced in 18.04 as well.
    – DK Bose
    Oct 7, 2019 at 11:37
  • 3
    Generically find alternate source of packaging. Specifically there is a chromium beta ppa, launchpad.net/~saiarcot895/+archive/ubuntu/chromium-beta and a dev ppa, launchpad.net/~saiarcot895/+archive/ubuntu/chromium-dev
    – doug
    Oct 7, 2019 at 12:26
  • 3
    This IS a a great question once 19.10 is released and we can speak specifically about chromium-browser (which is still a deb package which loads causes the install of snap) Snap packages inside a deb have been used before (currently supported releases, plus EOL) so one of those examples would have been fine even though not as useful to your real currently off-topic want.
    – guiverc
    Oct 7, 2019 at 22:29
  • The snap does not work on my system for various reasons. It always say permission denied so I need the deb back. Oct 28, 2019 at 2:23
  • 1
    Not what you're asking but I download the chrome deb from the google chrome site. No snap, Nov 4, 2019 at 2:02

7 Answers 7


September 2022 Update:

Ubuntu and Debian both got new releases since I originally wrote this article. The exact steps described here might not work on them. (I haven't checked.)

Ubuntu 20.04 users will probably still get good results by replacing stable with buster in the sources.list.d file described below, for as long as Debian continues to support their Buster release.

I am leaving this post in place because it describes general techniques for cherry picking packages from debian-compatible repos for use on different distributions or releases.

Debian Repo Saves the Day!

(Full article here)

Debian still maintains Chromium as a regular package in their APT repository. We can configure Ubuntu to get it from there, and continue to receive timely security updates along with all of our other OS updates. This makes sense from a security perspective, since Debian is where Ubuntu already gets most of its packages, and is a very well known high-profile project. There is no need to risk installing software from some random source or telling your system to trust a PPA.

Obligatory Warning: This is entirely unsupported and could conceivably cause problems either immediately or in the future. If you break something, it's your own fault.

Here's what I did on Ubuntu 19.10:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

That brings all my already-installed Ubuntu packages up to date, so it will be easier to see how upgrades are affected after I make my changes.

snap remove chromium

Bye bye, annoying snap.

sudo apt purge chromium-browser chromium-chromedriver

Bye bye, fake Chromium packages. (You can leave out the chromium-chromedriver part if that package isn't installed on your system.)

umask 22

That just makes sure that the files I create will be readable by everyone, including the system.

Create an /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian-stable.list file containing:

deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/debian-archive-keyring.gpg] http://deb.debian.org/debian stable main
deb-src [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/debian-archive-keyring.gpg] http://deb.debian.org/debian stable main

deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/debian-archive-keyring.gpg] http://deb.debian.org/debian-security/ stable-security main
deb-src [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/debian-archive-keyring.gpg] http://deb.debian.org/debian-security/ stable-security main

deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/debian-archive-keyring.gpg] http://deb.debian.org/debian stable-updates main
deb-src [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/debian-archive-keyring.gpg] http://deb.debian.org/debian stable-updates main

That tells apt to look for packages not only in the Ubuntu archives, but also in the Debian stable archives. This is ordinarily a bad idea, because you don't want hundreds of random Ubuntu packages being replaced with Debian versions, which would very likely break your system. However, we're going to add some rules to avoid this problem.

Note: The /usr/share/keyrings/debian-archive-keyring.gpg file referenced above, along with several other Debian keyring files, are already present on my Ubuntu system thanks to the debian-archive-keyring package. It may already be on your system, too, but if not, you should install it: sudo apt install debian-archive-keyring

Create an /etc/apt/preferences.d/debian-chromium file containing:

Explanation: Allow installing chromium from the debian repo.
Package: chromium*
Pin: origin "*.debian.org"
Pin-Priority: 100

Explanation: Avoid other packages from the debian repo.
Package: *
Pin: origin "*.debian.org"
Pin-Priority: 1

The first stanza assigns a below-normal priority to Debian Chromium packages; just high enough to allow them to be manually installed and automatically updated, but not high enough to be preferred over Ubuntu packages. This is called apt pinning, and is described in the apt_preferences manual. The second stanza assigns a very low priority to all other Debian packages, so they will only be automatically installed or updated if necessary to satisfy a dependency.

(I suppose I could have assigned a much higher priority to Debian's Chromium packages if I needed them to override Ubuntu's, but since they use different package names, no overriding is necessary. I could also have pinned all of the Debian repo at priority 100; that would make any Debian-only dependencies eligible for automatic updates, effectively treating the Debian repo like Ubuntu Backports in manual install mode. I chose the more conservative approach just to be cautious.)

sudo apt update

That refreshes the package database, so my Ubuntu system now knows about everything in the Debian archives that I added.

apt upgrade --simulate

That shows me what a system-wide package upgrade would do, without actually doing it. Since I already did an upgrade before making any changes, I don't expect to see any upgradable packages listed here.

If one or two upgradable packages were listed, it could mean that Ubuntu happened to release some updates while I was working, which is normal. I would ask apt where each of those updates come from before proceeding, with apt policy package-name. If any of them were from the Debian archives, I would consider reverting my changes, by removing the files I created and running sudo apt update again.

If many upgradable packages were listed, it would probably mean that apt now thinks Debian's packages are valid replacements for Ubuntu's packages, which I do not want. This would happen if I made a mistake in those files I created. I would revert my changes, by removing the files I created and running sudo apt update again. I might then consider starting over and typing more carefully.

All was well at this point (no upgradable packages were listed), so I proceeded.

sudo apt install chromium

The package manager then asked me to confirm, listing chromium and a small handful of dependency packages needed by Chromium. Once again, if many packages were listed here, I would investigate and consider reverting my changes. (I investigated each dependency anyway, because I'm careful, and found that only one of the dependencies was coming from the Debian archive: libjpeg62-turbo, and it doesn't conflict with anything I have installed.) All looked well, so I told the package manager to proceed.

When it finished, Chromium was finally installed as an apt package. Thanks, Debian maintainers!

I don't use any snaps, so the next thing I did was to look in the snap directory in my home dir, make sure there was nothing in there that I needed, and then drop it in the trash. If you want to do the same, consider first that any user data that you created/modified/saved in Chromium since the snap was first installed lives somewhere under that snap folder. (Probably under snap/chromium/current/.config which is hidden by default in most file managers.) You might want to back it up or move it to chromium's usual data directory: $HOME/.config/chromium. In my case, the Chromium data that I wanted to keep was still in its old/usual place, since I had only used the snap for about five minutes.

That's it. I hope it helps someone. If it damages your system, steals your bike, runs off with your boyfriend, or does something else that you don't like, then I'm sorry, but it's still your own responsibility.

Good luck!

  • 1
    This should be the accepted answer. Although, if I were you, I would have gone for Debian Testing non-free, as it has more up-to-date packages. Also I would create a backup (say, using TimeShift) for easy restoration in case it damages my system, steals my bike, runs off with my girlfriend, or does something else that I don't like. Jan 29, 2020 at 4:48
  • 1
    As far as I can tell, Debian Stable gets regular chromium updates and contains the same chromium version as Debian Testing. I chose the former to reduce the chance of some dependency being pulled from the debian repo (due to a higher version number) in cases when it isn't necessary.
    – ʇsәɹoɈ
    Jan 29, 2020 at 5:24
  • 2
    I don't know what you mean by easy to break, since is uses fully-supported features of APT, introduces zero new security risks, requires no ongoing maintenance at all, and has not ever broken. I will grant you that your approach requires fewer steps to set up, but it also entrusts the security of the user and the OS to a third-party PPA that is not vetted by the Ubuntu or Debian maintainers or their large community of users. No thanks.
    – ʇsәɹoɈ
    Apr 24, 2020 at 18:32
  • 1
    libicu63 come from debian, too. Oct 5, 2020 at 20:48
  • 3
    I don't need to do this in any way but I learned so much just reading this post. Maybe it should become a blog article on dealing with snaps and apt?
    – Justin W
    Nov 4, 2020 at 18:50

I have nothing against snap in theory, but spamming my mounts, processes, and filesystem is just too darn much. I only used it for one thing (the micro editor) before chromium was pushed on me as well. (And is not needed for micro anymore either in 20.04.)

Remove snap*, and prevent its return:

sudo apt remove --purge snapd -y    # may take a while
killall snap snapd                  # probably not necessary

sudo rm -rf /snap /var/cache/snapd/ # buh-bye
rm -rf ~/snap                       # that one too!
sudo apt-mark hold snap snapd       # prevent reinstall

Install chromium, dev or beta:

# sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-team/dev
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/chromium-beta
# sudo apt update                   # if it didn't already
sudo apt install chromium-browser

Micro editor - before < 20.04 Focal

# install it from snap beforehand or compile, then copy locally:
cp micro ~/bin

Micro editor - after >= 20.04 Focal

sudo apt install micro
sudo snap remove chromium    
sudo apt purge snapd    
rm -rf ~/snap

add repo

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-team/dev

change eoan to disco in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/chromium-team-dev.list

if file not exist or empty then paste that:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-team/dev/ubuntu disco main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-team/dev/ubuntu disco main

then update

sudo apt update


apt policy chromium-browser


sudo apt install chromium-browser
  • Why do you use dev rather than stable?
    – lonix
    Feb 7, 2020 at 11:15
  • @lonix For one it seems the "stable" PPA hasn't been updated in over half a year Mar 27, 2020 at 23:15
  • On Ubuntu 20 I get an error that the PPA doesn't have a Release file so automatic updates are disabled. May 15, 2020 at 0:11
  • "The repository 'ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-team/dev/ubuntu focal Release' does not have a Release file." Jul 18, 2020 at 16:00
  • I downloaded manually as adding the repo didnt work on 20.04. Here you can find beta, dev and stable: launchpad.net/~chromium-team, I chose beta as is somewhat tested and much newer. The only way to successfuly install is sudo dpkg -i chromium-*.deb (gdebi didnt work with this one) Sep 14, 2020 at 0:49

This PPA seems to work great for this purpose: https://launchpad.net/~saiarcot895/+archive/ubuntu/chromium-dev It's the dev branch, but besides that, it's perfect.


Similar to forest's example above i did the following:

# first add the beta repo, the stable isn't possible as it doesn't get updated
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-team/beta

# now edit the file, changing the reference to disco, instead of eoan:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/chromium-team-ubuntu-stable-eoan.list
    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-team/beta/ubuntu disco main

# Now update the repos:
sudo apt update

Now pin the repository order:
sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/chromium

    Explanation: Disallow installing chromium from ubuntu repo.
    Package: chromium*
    Pin: origin "*.ubuntu.com"
    Pin-Priority: 1
    Explanation: Allow installing chromium from launchpad repo.
    Package: chromium*
    Pin: origin "ppa.launchpad.net"
    Pin-Priority: 100

# Check which version is to be installed:
apt policy chromium-browser

# Now we can install chromium (the extra codecs resolve playback issues):
sudo apt install chromium-browser chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra
  • This is a late response, but I just recently discovered how the snap-based chromium is crippled, and I came across this discussion. I have now followed your procedure here, and I want to thank you! I can now use a fully featured, non-crippled version of chromium under Ubuntu 20.04.
    – HippoMan
    Oct 25, 2020 at 15:42
  • Hi, i am happy to help. Sadly this won't work on 20.10, you will need to use a different PPA: ppa:saiarcot895/chromium-beta and then use a different preferences priority of 1000
    – eitch
    Oct 26, 2020 at 18:56

You can download latest official .deb build for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal), 21.04 (Hirsute) and 21.10 (Impish) here: https://launchpad.net/~phd/+archive/ubuntu/chromium-browser/

This is a PPA repository with official Ubuntu packages released originally for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic) and updated as soon as a new version is released.


You can use APT to add the repository for Chromium. Then you won't need snapd at all.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-team/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install chromium
  • 4
    It's same thing. "chromium-browser Transitional package - chromium-browser -> chromium snap"
    – adasiko
    Nov 5, 2019 at 14:04

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