Is there a way to use Ubuntu Software Center without snaps?

As it is I prefer no Ubuntu Software Center to having any snaps on my system, so I will live without Ubuntu Software Center unless there's a way to get it going without snaps.

I understand the Ubuntu Software Center used to work without requiring installed snaps, and I'm hoping there's still a way to do this.

Thank you!

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    I'm definitely a fan of portable software deployments without dependencies other than the base operating system. This has been available for years statically linking libraries inside executables, or next best, just shipping dependencies and placing them in the application folder. These snaps are bundling dependencies inside half a virtual machine. They take 5 times longer to start and are a larger download and storage hit. What benefit is all this over what's been available for 30 years? Security? Is any extra security benefit worth all this bloatware? I don't believe so. – Kevin Berry Apr 13 at 22:00
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    @user535733 I'm sorry to hear that. I really liked Ubuntu and will be sad when I have to quit using it. – Organic Marble Apr 13 at 23:14
  • @KevinBerry The main benefit is being able to provide new versions of complex packages like Chromium for old Ubuntu releases. When Chromium is quick to drop support for old versions of libraries and you can’t install a new one systemwide in an LTS system, the distribution maintainers either need to implement such support themselves (very complex) or somehow provide a set of libraries for the package’s exclusive use (which is one of the main things snaps do). – Roman Odaisky Apr 14 at 11:56
  • Another similar question (mine):How can I warn before installing snaps (Bionic, Focal)? – Chris H Apr 14 at 12:34

You can remove the snap store with the command

sudo snap remove snap-store

and install GNOME software center (if it is not already present) with the command

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends gnome-software

The --no-install-recommends ensures that snap plugins are not pulled as recommended packages.

Alternatively, you can also install the synaptic package manager, which is not an "app store", but provides a lot more functionality.

sudo apt install synaptic
  • Hi Archisman! Thank you for the information. Synaptic is very nice. Unfortunately I can't install gnome-software because it also pulls in snap packages. Is there a way to install it so that it does not install any packages with "snap" in their names? (gir1.2-snapd-1 gnome-software-plugin-snap snapd) – Kevin Berry Apr 13 at 18:53
  • @KevinBerry Check the updated answer – Archisman Panigrahi Apr 13 at 19:07
  • @KevinBerry You probably need to remove gnome-software-plugin-snap to avoid pulling snap packages by gnome-software - see this answer: askubuntu.com/questions/1035915/… – raj Apr 13 at 19:15
  • @raj Thanks for the edit :-) – Archisman Panigrahi Apr 13 at 19:17
  • @ArchismanPanigrahi Thank you! That worked without putting snaps on my system. Synaptic and Aptitude work nicely, but seeing the app icons is a nicer experience on my desktop environment. Best wishes! -Kevin – Kevin Berry Apr 13 at 21:32

Take, for example, VLC from the Ubuntu Software Center (which has both snap and deb packages available).

If you select VLC you will see a drop down on the header bar to the right. Select the down arrow and you will be provided with a list of VLC packages at the bottom of which (in this case) is the deb package.

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This will mean that you will not have to delete the snap store, just select the deb package (if its available) and this will preserve matters for the future.

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    "@24601", thanks for taking the time to answer and explain this. I wish I could use the Ubuntu Software Center, but I haven't been able to find a way to install it without snaps, so I'm using the gnome software center now, which works nicely without snaps, but i had to install it as explained above using --no-install-recommends. – Kevin Berry Apr 14 at 2:48

Instead of using the Ubuntu Software Center, you may want to use the GNOME Software Center. It is just like the Ubuntu Software Center, but it doesn't have Snap (or Flatpack) capabilities enabled by default.

sudo apt install gnome-software

If you want to enable Flatpak support in Gnome Software, execute the following:

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

If you want to enable Snap support in Gnome Software, execute the following:

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-snap

If you don't add these two plugins, GNOME Software Center will just allow you to work with and mange deb packages, which is what you wanted.

  • thank you for taking the time to answer. I had to install gnome-software using --no-install-recommends as mentioned above. It works great without snaps, which is just what I wanted. – Kevin Berry Apr 14 at 2:46

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