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I really like the idea of self-contained programs (either stored in directories or in image files), and I would like to avoid having a program's files scattered over several system directories like Unix systems normally do. (Yes, I know that shared libraries are much more resource efficient, but I don't care much about it).

I would like to know if the Linux ecosystem has something similar to self-contained programs. You know, something like Windows's portable programs that are stored in one directory, dependencies and all, or something like Mac OS's app directories.

Some time ago someone mentioned to me Ubuntu Core's Snappy system, suggesting that it might be what I am looking for. I did some research on the web, and I found out that Snappy is not meant to work on a normal desktop installation of Linux, being meant for things like Raspberry Pi devices etc.

Could someone confirm to me that Snappy cannot be used on a normal Ubuntu desktop installation? If it can, how can I do it?

Any other suggestions about an alternative to Snappy (even on distros other than Ubuntu) would be very welcome.

Thanks a lot,

Herb

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You're right-- Snappy sounds exactly like what you're looking for, while retaining the ability to have shared libraries. However, you're also right, currently they do not run on Ubuntu Desktop. However, that will change as of Ubuntu 16.04 (due to be released in April). You can see early efforts to accomplish this here.

Beyond that, it's worth noting that you can accomplish a lot of what you're trying to do via static linking. I assume you know this.

  • Thanks, Kyle. From what I understand, the link you posted refers to an initiative that is not part of the Ubuntu project. Are there any plans by Canonical to integrate Snappy into mainstream Ubuntu Desktop? Thanks – user1541307 Jan 8 '16 at 4:39
  • All of the participants in that video are Canonical engineers. – Kyle Jan 8 '16 at 13:06

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