Apps with multiple packaging formats in GNOME Software

Question for @robert.ancell and anyone else working on snaps in GNOME Software:

How are you planning to resolve the use-case where there is a program provided in multiple different formats (maybe even all of Deb, snap, and Flatpak (when Flatpak is installed))? Could the program be somehow identified with each other equivalent packages, grouped under the same title, and then could there be an entry under Details that enables one to switch between them (maybe could read:

Format                snappy


Package               snappy

and clicking on ‘snappy’ would bring a popup (like the one for License) with the alternative formats, clicking on an alternative format would mean that then clicking Install would install that format of the program)?

Also, perhaps there could be some sort of flag to determine which format is the default for a particular application and distributions can pick which one to display for certain applications by default?

I’m not on the design team though so I can’t design these things but hopefully there’ll be some movement on this issue :slight_smile:


The only proper differentiator here is that picking play0ad will show in Details that it is from the snap store. But this is the same application getting two entries, one of which doesn’t have ratings.

Instead, would it be possible to have both applications under a 0 A.D. entry, provide the snap by default (because it’s a newer version and works), and then have a Format entry in Details which allows people to switch to the Deb (or Flatpak) instead if they want to?

Perhaps this would be too tricky to code and actually doesn’t work design-wise, but some work here would be good, though I don’t know what’s planned, would be nice to know :slight_smile:

1 Like

This is solved by packages providing an AppStream ID. See for more details.