Installing and Managing Snap Packages on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

Snap is a powerful and versatile package management system designed to streamline the installation and management of software on Linux distributions. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing and managing packages using Snap on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, providing detailed instructions, tips, and tricks along the way.

Introduction to Snap and its Advantages

Snap is a modern package management system developed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. It’s designed to simplify the process of installing and updating software on Linux distributions by providing a universal packaging format. Some of the key advantages of using Snap packages include:

  • Ease of use: Snap packages are easy to install and manage, with a simple command-line interface and graphical tools available.
  • Automatic updates: Snap packages are automatically updated to the latest version, ensuring that you always have access to the latest features and security fixes.
  • Sandboxing and confinement: Snap packages run in a secure and isolated environment, reducing the risk of conflicts and improving system stability.
  • Cross-distribution compatibility: Snap packages can be installed on any Linux distribution that supports Snap, making it easier to share and distribute software across different platforms.

Installing Snap on Ubuntu and Other Distributions

Snap comes pre-installed on Ubuntu 16.04 and later versions. However, if you’re using an earlier version of Ubuntu or another Linux distribution, you may need to install the Snap package manager first. Here’s how to do that on various distributions:

Read our review about Ubuntu vs. Debian!


sudo apt update
sudo apt install snap


sudo apt update
sudo apt install snapd


sudo dnf install snapd

Arch Linux

Are you using Arch Linux? Read our review!

sudo pacman -S snapd


sudo zypper install snapd

After installing Snap, you may need to enable the systemd unit that manages the main snap communication socket:

sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket

Finding and Installing Snap Packages

To find available Snap packages, you can use the snap find command followed by a search query. For example, to search for the “GIMP” image editor, run:

snap find gimp

To install a Snap package, use the snap install command followed by the package name. For example, to install GIMP, run:

sudo snap install gimp

Managing Installed Snap Packages

To view a list of installed Snap packages, use the snap list command:

snap list

To update an installed Snap package to the latest version, use the snap refresh command followed by the package name:

sudo snap refresh gimp

To remove an installed Snap package, use the snap remove command followed by the package name:

sudo snap remove gimp

Snap Channels and Release Tracks

Snap packages are organized into channels and release tracks, allowing you to choose between stable, candidate, beta, and edge versions of a package. Each channel represents a different level of stability and feature set:

  • Stable: The default channel, offering the most reliable and tested versions of a package.
  • Candidate: Pre-release versions that are considered stable but may require additional testing before being promoted to the stable channel.
  • Beta: Versions under active development, providing access to new features but potentially containing bugs or unfinished functionality.
  • Edge: The most recent development snapshots, offering cutting-edge features at the expense of stability and reliability.

To install a Snap package from a specific channel, use the --channel flag followed by the desired channel name:

sudo snap install gimp --channel=beta

To switch an installed package to a different channel, use the snap refresh command with the --channel flag:

sudo snap refresh gimp --channel=stable

Configuring Snap Package Permissions

Snap packages run in a confined environment, with restricted access to system resources and other applications. To grant or revoke permissions for a Snap package, you can use the snap connections command to view the current connections and the snap connect or snap disconnect commands to modify them.

To view the current connections for a Snap package, run:

snap connections gimp

To grant a permission, use the snap connect command followed by the package name, the interface name, and the target:

sudo snap connect gimp:removable-media

To revoke a permission, use the snap disconnect command followed by the same arguments:

sudo snap disconnect gimp:removable-media


Snap is a powerful and versatile package management system that simplifies the installation and management of software on Linux distributions. By following our guide, you’ll be well-equipped to take advantage of Snap’s many benefits, such as ease of use, automatic updates, sandboxing, and cross-distribution compatibility.

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Gyula Virag
Gyula Virag

Gyula is a developer and a passionate geek father with a deep love of online marketing and technology. He always seeks challenging adventures and opportunities to create something permanent in the digital world.

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