I've been using Ubuntu for 12 years, and snap in the recent releases of Ubuntu is really a disgrace. It creates lots of problems. After an upgrade, Chromium does not start due to the following error:

chromium_chromium.desktop[122932]: snap-confine has elevated permissions and is not confined but should be. Refusing to continue to avoid permission escalation attacks: Operation not permitted

If a package changes configuration in a new version, it's its responsibility to make it work. Now, I have to reconfigure it after each start by

sudo apparmor_parser -r /etc/apparmor.d/*snap-confine*

How can I fully uninstall snap and re-install its packages by regular apt?

I don't have many packages handled by snap.

snap list
Name               Version             Rev   Tracking         Publisher   Notes
chromium           85.0.4183.121       1328  latest/stable    canonical✓  -
core18             20200724            1885  latest/stable    canonical✓  base
gnome-3-34-1804    0+git.3556cb3       60    latest/stable    canonical✓  -
gtk-common-themes  0.1-36-gc75f853     1506  latest/stable    canonical✓  -
snap-store         3.36.0-80-g208fd61  467   latest/stable/…  canonical✓  -
snapd              2.46.1              9279  latest/stable    canonical✓  snapd

My question is how to safely remove snap. From the snap list, I see gnome depends on snap.

  • 2
    On Ubuntu 20.04, the apt install chromium-browser will just re-install the snap package as that's where the program is now provided (has been for a few releases)
    – guiverc
    Oct 7, 2020 at 6:34
  • 2
    @Ray I already have Google Chrome, but I want to have both browsers. In Linux communities, we are proud of open-source programs. It is a shame that Google Chrome works better than Chromium on Ubuntu.
    – Googlebot
    Oct 7, 2020 at 11:45
  • 3
  • 1
    One important point in the OP's question hasn't been addressed: "From the snap list, I see gnome depends on snap." So when gnome is listed by snap list, can snapd be removed without breaking anything?
    – calocedrus
    Apr 22, 2021 at 0:43
  • 1
    Yes, snap causes problems, takes too much disk space and is not secure. I found this great article: "How to Remove Snap Apps & Block Them in Ubuntu 22.04" ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2022/04/… Follow the instructions and completely block snap from being reinstalled.
    – Zen99
    Apr 21, 2022 at 22:08

3 Answers 3


In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (but it works also in the following releases till 23.10, that is the current one), I removed snapd following these steps:

# stop snapd services
sudo systemctl stop snapd && sudo systemctl disable snapd

# Workaround for https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/snapd/+bug/1998710
# This command is needed starting from Ubuntu 22.10
# Without it an error is returned when running the snapd purge command
# In that case you need to reinstall snapd to cleanly remove it in a second attempt
sudo snap remove firefox

# purge snapd
sudo apt purge snapd

# remove no longer needed folders
rm -rf ~/snap
sudo rm -rf /snap /var/snap /var/lib/snapd /var/cache/snapd /usr/lib/snapd /root/snap

Then, to avoid that other applications may reinstall it (chromium-browser is an example of application that restores snapd even if installed via apt) you can create a file no-snap.pref by issuing:

sudo -H gedit /etc/apt/preferences.d/no-snap.pref

and then copying the following content in it:

# To install snapd, specify its version with 'apt install snapd=VERSION'
# where VERSION is the version of the snapd package you want to install.
Package: snapd
Pin: release a=*
Pin-Priority: -10

Two of the most critical applications in Ubuntu system, Software and Firefox, will be removed after these steps. In the future Ubuntu 24.10, also the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) will be a snap package. Before running these commands, ask yourself if you really want to remove snapd, as I did.

Considering that thare are ways to install Firefox as a deb, make sure you take backups of bookmarks and other Firefox settings, if you are using it as your default browser.

  • 3
    Brilliant, thank you. I've written this into a script: github.com/BryanDollery/remove-snap Mar 21, 2021 at 15:03
  • This script looks like it does it all: blog.pagefault-limited.co.uk/…
    – NeilG
    Jul 24, 2021 at 0:59
  • 1
    On a recent 20.04 install on a VPS there was also /root/snap/lxd.
    – fdk1342
    Feb 13, 2022 at 17:44
  • Thanks for this guide. Unfortunately, I get an error message: Removing snap firefox and revision 2088 rm: cannot remove '/var/snap/firefox/common/host-hunspell/en_US.aff': Read-only file system .... dpkg: error processing package snapd (--purge): I don't know how to remove the remaining block device, even after reading forum.snapcraft.io/t/sdb5-mounted-on-firefox/31897
    – mfg
    Dec 8, 2022 at 8:35
  • 1
    A while ago, I've replaced firefox snap with firefox .deb. It seems to be an artifact of the linking from the snap sandbox/container to the root filesystem. For some reason sudo snap remove firefox was not able to disconnect this link... I can't see how to remove the link manually.
    – mfg
    Dec 8, 2022 at 8:40

Full credit to Don Prince for a comprehensive and effective solution from this link

I recommend you run the commands individually. Some you won't need, and for some you may need one or two extra lines.

Run the exploratory informational commands listed in the comments to determine the specific situation in your install.

Also installs Deb packaged last known Chromium and pins it to prevent snapd taking over again in future. Awesome! Thanks Don!


# probably best to manually type this commands individually checking for problems
# snap list | grep -v "^Name" | awk {'print "sudo snap remove " $1'}
sudo snap remove snap-store
sudo snap remove gtk-common-themes
sudo snap remove gnome-3-28-1804
sudo snap remove gnome-3-34-1804
sudo snap remove core18
sudo snap remove snapd
snap list # expect: No snaps are installed yet. Try 'snap install hello-world'.
sudo umount /run/snap/ns
sudo systemctl disable snapd.service
sudo systemctl disable snapd.socket
sudo systemctl disable snapd.seeded.service
sudo systemctl disable snapd.autoimport.service
sudo systemctl disable snapd.apparmor.service
sudo rm -rf /etc/apparmor.d/usr.lib.snapd.snap-confine.real
sudo systemctl start apparmor.service
# df | grep snap | awk {'print "sudo umount " $6'}
sudo umount /snap/chromium/1424
sudo umount /snap/gtk-common-themes/1514
sudo umount /snap/gnome-3-28-1804/145
sudo umount /snap/core18/1944
sudo umount /snap/snapd/10492
sudo umount /var/snap
sudo apt purge snapd
# find / -type d -iname '*snap*'
# (I left the kernel entries well alone)
rm -rf ~/snap
sudo rm -rf /snap /var/snap /var/lib/snapd /var/cache/snapd /usr/lib/snapd
sudo rm -rf /root/snap /root/snap/snap-store /usr/share/doc/libsnapd-glib1 /usr/share/doc/gir1.2-snapd-1
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/snapd
Package: snapd
Pin: origin *
Pin-Priority: -1
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/pin-xalt7x-chromium-deb-vaapi
Package: *
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-xalt7x-chromium-deb-vaapi
Pin-Priority: 1337
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xalt7x/chromium-deb-vaapi
sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
  • 1
    Pin-Priority: 1337 :-P
    – hobs
    Nov 21, 2021 at 17:13

I agree with you about snaps.

I have completely removed snaps from my system by doing this:

sudo apt-get purge snapd
rm -rf ~/snap                                      
sudo rm -rf /snap                                  
sudo rm -rf /var/snap                              
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/snapd 

Now the system works well Although I had to substitute snap programs with their APT or .deb file versions when available. Unfortunately in my case I've lost an application that I need but that's the price I had to pay, but I gained some disk space and my boot time is a little shorter.

gnome is still installed and works regularly as before

gnome shell version shown in terminal

  • 4
    sudo apt purge snapd accomplishes those last 3 rm operations for you, and does it in a future-proof way.
    – hobs
    Nov 21, 2021 at 17:12

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