For reasons beyond the scope of this question, old-school apt-get and deb suit me better than snap. The "Ubuntu Software" application only offers snaps for some applications (e.g. audacity). I could install it using apt from the terminal, but I'd rather default to apt than to snap altogether, leaving snap exclusively for specific things which snap offers a newer version that I perhaps need.

In short, is that possible/how? Any consequences to consider?

  • 3
    Well technically ubuntu-software should show both .deb's & snaps, you can then choose. In practice due to the current state of Ubuntu that not always the case. (- though for your example of audacity I see both versions listed (20.04) You could always install synaptic for when you only want to see .deb versions. – doug Jan 17 at 22:04
  • If you don't have any need for snaps, you can remove snaps completely and use synaptic or the likes to install. – KGIII Jan 18 at 1:15
  • Does this answer your question? How do I install applications in Ubuntu? - use Synaptic, Muon, Apper instead, they do not support Snaps at all. – N0rbert Jan 18 at 5:59
  • @N0rbert It's a useful answer, I can see why you suggested it, but mine was about getting the desired behaviour from "Ubuntu Software". I'd say it's not the solution, but a decent workaround in the meantime. Thanks! I'll leave the question open in case there's a way to get it done with Ubuntu Software (power of the default). – Tomislav Nakic-Alfirevic Jan 19 at 14:34
  • @doug I'm on 18.04 and I only see the snap version of audacity. :\ – Tomislav Nakic-Alfirevic Jan 19 at 14:34

The Ubuntu software store is an adapted version of Gnome software, packed as a snap. It should list both snap and APT packages if software is available in two formats. It lists the snap version first. There is –at least not a user exposed– possibility to prioritize APT packages in the listing, or not display one or the other.

To work around, you could revert to the Gnome software center. Install it with the command:

sudo apt install gnome-software

As such, only APT packages will be exposed. You can include snap packages, and eventually if you would be using it, flatpak by installing plugins:

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-snap 
sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

Both software centers can co-exist, but you could remove the default Ubuntu software store with the command

snap remove snap-store
  • Sounds like the solution to what I'm looking for. How do you prioritise apt over snap? – Tomislav Nakic-Alfirevic Jan 19 at 14:36

Since the store is shipped as a snap itself confining it to only using PackageKit-based installation would prevent updates to it. The code is available for review but it seems like a major refactoring would be required to force it to use PackageKit-based installation.

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