Parallel Installs

The link at 404s and I’m under the impression that it should be automatically generated from the post here, is there someone who can take a look at restoring it?


Thanks for flagging this, and sorry for the 404. The webteam here at Canonical is experimenting with a new publishing mechanism and this seems to have inadvertently led to a number of 404s for our docs. We’re trying to sort this out now.

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On my Thinkpad T510 with 22.04, I’m getting this error when I try to install Firefox beta

$ sudo snap install --beta firefox_beta
error: cannot perform the following tasks:
- Set automatic aliases for snap "firefox_beta" (cannot enable alias "geckodriver" for "firefox_beta", already enabled for "firefox")

You have the firefox snap which already provides an alias named geckodriver for firefox.geckodriver app, so there’s a clear conflict. Try adding --unaliased when installing firefox_beta

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That worked, but what if the app is already installed?

$ sudo snap refresh 
error: cannot perform the following tasks:
- Set automatic aliases for snap "firefox" (cannot enable alias "geckodriver" for "firefox", already enabled for "firefox_beta")

Edit: Uninstalling and reinstalling worked so far.

Would there be detriments for having multiple Firefox instances and one of them installed using the --unaliased flag?

Do you still need to do:

# sudo snap set system experimental.parallel-instances=true

Doesn’t seem to be necessary anymore.

I just tried with snapd from beta (16778) and it still requires the experimental flag.

snap install hello-world hello-world_foo
error: cannot install "hello-world", "hello-world_foo": experimental feature disabled - test it by
       setting 'experimental.parallel-instances' to true

Ah, you are correct, I had quietly set that earlier and forgot. One wonders whether it’s time for this feature to stop being experimental.

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I am using the parallel installs feature to have side-by-side Microsoft Teams accounts (one for each organization I work with). It’s great, but, when Teams is running in the taskbar I have two identical icons (one for each Teams instance) and I cannot quickly differentiate between the two. Also, when I click on a link that is designed to be opened in Teams, I am given a pop-up asking which instance to open. Since the instances have the same title, I cannot tell which one is the correct one.

Is there a way to change the application title and/or icon on a per-parallel-install basis?

I believe the only entity that is suitable for the job are the application developers themselves.


We are considering to use parallel install feature in our subordinate charms (to provide parallel pgbouncer installations for different postgresql clusters inside the same principal client-app charm).

Can you please share plans to remove experimental flag here? We are a bit uncomfortable to use experimental feature in production.

Thank you!

I second that idea … I’m currently rewriting Snapcraft 101 course and plan on covering parallel installs, but I’d prefer that that feature not still be listed as experimental.

Thanks @taurus and @rpjday. I’ll ask the team on its status and let you know here/hopefully update the doc.

I’ll “third” how useful parallel installs are: I have, for several years now, kept multiple versions of my snaps installed to facilitate testing and comparison.

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I just spoke to the team about the experimental flag with Parallel installs and there are two relatively minor things blocking its removal which we’ll try to prioritise.

  1. The first is that we need to modify the behaviour slightly to not make aliases by default, and then make alias generation optional.

  2. The second is that there were bugs reported some time ago that we’ve been unable to track down. We strongly suspect these have been fixed through other work, but we can hopefully solve this with a call for testing period to ensure there are no serious issues before removing the flag.

I’ll post any further updates here.

cc @alan_g, @rpjday, @taurus


Dear @degville , can you please share some updates here? We should make a technical decision on parallel snap installation, but we cannot go production with experimental feature. Thank you!

Hello @taurus! Sorry for the long delay on this. I did speak to the team yesterday, and we need to have more discussions about what needs to be done and when. I’ll be able to update you with more information tomorrow afternoon.

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Hi there We’re starting to receive customer requirements that require us to support parallel installs for PostgreSQL, MySQL and Kafka. This feature has been flagged experimental for some years now and it becomes an increasing source of frustration that the feature is not deemed supported. Please commit to a timeline to finally support the feature as it’s becoming blocking for us. Thank you