[Bug?] Icons on GNOME Dock Misbehave on snap Updates

I think this is a bug in snap, but want to confirm here before I file a bug report.

Since I moved to Ubuntu around 2.5 years ago, snap has always had a problem whenever a program updates.

When a snap updates, my Dock will behave as if I don’t have any instances of that application open anymore.

Steps to reproduce:

  • Install software via snap, like Firefox or Visual Studio Code.
  • Launch an instance of the application.
  • Update a snap, Visual Studio Code Insider (code-insider) has very frequent updates for example.
  • Observe the dock.

If I ALT + TAB, I’m still able to access the windows I had opened previously.

When using my dock, clicking the icon will open new windows, and there’s no way for me to see a list of existing windows.

My current workaround is to close all instances of an application, when I reopen it, everything is fine again.

Has anyone else experienced similar behavior, is there a known fix?

System Info

OS: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS x86_64
Kernel: 5.8.0-53-generic
WM: Mutter

To add to this, I’ve also experienced this; I assume it’s somehow related to BAMF (or whatever it is tha tracks windows these days) failing to identify the icon (from a desktop file which now points at /snap/snapname/1.5/executable) with running instances of the app (/snap/snapname/1.4/executable or whatever). It’s both confusing and annoying; there’s no way to see a list of running instances of the application by clicking on the Dock icon.

The dock in question is that in the stock Ubuntu GNOME desktop (Dash-to-dock), and I’m seeing this in 20.04.

It’s possible that this isn’t actually a snap issue – maybe updating any application would cause this – but I suspect that it’s caused because an update to a snapped app will change the executable’s path (and maybe the desktop file’s path) because the path has a version number in it. Maybe the Dock or BAMF or whatever could be taught to look at snap things via the .../current symlink which wouldn’t change?

the solution is:

which is sadly still an experimental feature so you need to explicitly enable it (as described in that thread). then it will make sure that apps are not updated underneath a running instance … instead it pops up a desktop notification asking you to please close the app and update it … not sure where on the road map it is to be finalized and to be not experimental anymore …


Thanks for that! I’ve just enabled the feature too.

High hopes it becomes stable/default behavior soon.

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We are very close to finishing the feature, my hope/guess is that by 21.10 release it will be complete and we can make it non-experimental