If you’ve been looking for an alternative to the current crop of package managers on your favorite GNU/Linux distribution, then you might be in luck as Flatpak is gearing up for a full version 1.0 release sometime in the near future. They released version 0.99.2 of their application virtualization platform today, and it’s already starting to get some attention from users as well as developers.
The previous stable release came out on June 21, which might raise some eyebrows as to why they needed to put out another version so soon. Nevertheless, the release notes promise more than enough to warrant updating for those running the older edition of the software.
Translation updates are the major draw, which is especially important considering the wider variety of backgrounds that installation packages come from. Build fixes for glibc and libsoup should certainly help developers who have been having problems assembling application bundles so far. Users who want to ensure that they can install newer software will certainly want to upgrade in order to take advantage of these library-related alterations.
There were also a handful of bug fixes that should render Flatpak more stable. While Linux security experts still urge users to avoid unusual packages and use a malware scanning tool before agreeing to install anything, it does seem like Flatpak is fairly secure as far as package managers go.
No changes can be made without the express consent of the user, which prevents problems like drive-by malware from happening. This is the same way that apt and yum have kept people relatively safe for years.
Many popular apps have been offered as Flatpak bundles for over a year now. Users can download official packages for any of the following titles:
• Gnome Recipes
• KDE Applications Suite
Spotify, Skype and Mozilla Firefox are also available as unofficial development versions. Once again, security experts want users to ensure these files are safe before they deploy them, but so far Flatpak seems to have no major security issues associated with it.
Some might say that this alone is a true testament to the hard work that the Flatpak Team has put into their engine.