How can I tell the difference between the same software installed using snap vs using apt?

Ubuntu 20.04


I have installed firefox and vlc from the package manager and from snap, but when I go to "show applications" or "activities" search they look the same. The only way I can tell is by running the program. Is there some way I can change the icon or something so I know which are snaps and which are apt?

---irrelevant details---

Why would I install two versions of the same program like this?

Well, the apt firefox has a bunch of java script blocker extensions and other configuration changes from restoreprivacy.com so that it is as secure and private as I can make it, even if it breaks some sites. I use this for a lot of stuff.

I use the snap firefox for stuff like webex meetings where I need user-agent switcher extension to say I am on windows 10 for it to work and other activities required for school where I need extensions that have access to every webpage and require access to data, etc. essentially the opposite of private and secure.

apt vlc inherits dark style from system, but doesn't play fullscreen video on second monitor. snap vlc plays fullscreen video on second monitor, but doesn't inherit dark theme.


1 Answer 1


Use snap list in a terminal to list all the snaps on your system.

In Ubuntu, apps are described in .desktop files

Gnome Shell, Unity, KDE Plasma, etc use those files to obtain application name.

They do so by looking up the Name parameter in .desktop files.

Most .desktop files are located in /usr/share/applications

So to change an application's display name :

Open gedit as root (sudo gedit) and open /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop, so it's sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop

Locate the Name=Firefox Web Browser line and change it to Name=Firefox Snap (or whatever) Save the file and reload your shell

  • Op wants to know how to tell a snap version from a deb version when he has both on his system.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 20:22
  • The command above will give you the version number which will likely be different from the APT version. But, I don't know of a graphical way of telling them apart - maybe put all the APT packages on the left of your desktop, and the snap ones on the right (or something like that)?
    – Mark Smith
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 20:32
  • Usually don't see version numbers till after opening program. Would be nice if could rename them like files do.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 20:43
  • 1
    See my edit for how to rename files in Ubuntu
    – Mark Smith
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 20:52
  • I would suggest copying the launchers under ~/.local/share/applications and editing the copies to make them look different. Advantages: 1) no root privileges needed 2) other users, who do not necessarily want that, are not affected and 3) changes will never be overwritten by a system update.
    – vanadium
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 7:00

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