Snap documentation

Welcome to the home of snap, snapd, and snapcraft documentation.

Snaps are app packages for desktop, cloud and IoT that are easy to install, secure, cross-platform and dependency-free.

  • snap is both the command line interface and the application package format
  • snapd is the background service that manages and maintains your snaps
  • snapcraft is the command and the framework used to build your own snaps
  • Snap Store provides a place to upload your snaps, and for users to browse and install

Discovering snap:

Getting started Discover how snaps are used, installed, updated, removed and managed
Installing snap Step-by-step installation instructions for all major Linux distributions, from Arch to Zorin
Channels Get the latest stable releases of your favourite software, or run cutting edge versions

Advanced features:

Managing updates Snaps update automatically, but you can also manually control when and how often
Snapshots Save, backup and restore the state of one or more installed snaps
Parallel installs Install more than one version of the same snap on your system

Building your own snaps:

Snapcraft overview Learn how to Install snapcraft and build your first snaps
Creating a snap Step-by-step guides for Python, Go, Electron, pre-built binaries and more
The snapcraft format A comprehensive look at the various values that can be defined within a snap’s build file

Most of this documentation can be collaboratively discussed and changed on the respective topic in the doc category of the Snapcraft forum. See the documentation guidelines if you’d like to contribute.




Quick reference


Mapping table
Topic Path
Progressive releases /docs/progressive-releases
Release notes: Snapcraft 4.4 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-4-4
Network requirements /docs/network-requirements
Using gdb and gdbserver /docs/using-gdb-gdbserver
Snapcraft package repositories /docs/package-repositories
Troubleshooting /docs/troubleshooting
Supported extensions /docs/supported-extensions
Installing snapcraft /docs/installing-snapcraft
The interface auto-connection mechanism /docs/auto-connection-mechanism
What's new /docs/whats-new
The uinput interface /docs/the-uinput-interface
The system-source-code interface /docs/the-system-source-code-interface
The ROS 1 Noetic Extension /docs/ros1-extension
Release notes: Snapcraft 4.3 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-4-3
Disk space awareness /docs/disk-space-awareness
XDG desktop portals /docs/xdg-desktop-portals
Public, Private and Unlisted snaps /docs/public-private-unlisted-snaps
Release notes: Snapcraft 4.2 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-4-2
The ROS2 Foxy extension /docs/ros2-extension
Reducing the size of desktop snaps /docs/desktop-snap-size-reduction
Games interfaces /docs/games-interfaces
Network Interface /docs/network-interfaces
Home directories outside of '/home' /docs/home-outside-home
The flutter extension /docs/flutter-extension
Snapcraft hook support /docs/snapcraft-hook-support
Flutter applications /docs/flutter-applications
The system-backup interface /docs/the-system-backup-interface
The screencast-legacy interface /docs/the-screencast-legacy-interface
The network-manager-observe interface /docs/the-network-manager-observe-interface
The multipass-support interface /docs/the-multipass-support-interface
The login-session-control interface /docs/the-login-session-control-interface
The contacts-service interface /docs/the-contacts-service-interface
The cifs-mount interface /docs/the-cifs-mount-interface
Snapd REST API /docs/snapd-api
Using the REST API /docs/using-the-api
The flutter plugin /docs/flutter-plugin
Building the snap on Mac /docs/build-on-macos
Building the snap on Windows /docs/build-on-windows
The gnome-3-34 extension /docs/gnome-3-34-extension
Debugging snaps /docs/debug-snaps
Security policy and sandboxing /docs/security-sandboxing
Deprecation notice: 11 /docs/deprecation-notices/dn11
Deprecation notice: 12 /docs/deprecation-notices/dn12
The system-packages-doc interface /docs/the-system-package-doc-interface
The godeps plugin /docs/godeps-plugin
The npm plugin /docs/npm-plugin
Release notes: Snapcraft 4.0 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-4-0
Release notes: Snapcraft 4.1 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-4-1
Release notes: Snapcraft 4.1.1 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-4-1-1
Timer string format /docs/timer-string-format /docs/the-jack1-interface /docs/assertions /docs/store-brand-accounts /docs/store-listing-branding /docs/snapcraft-docker-images /docs/upgrading-snapcraft /docs/desktop-legacy-qt /docs/desktop-qt4 /docs/desktop-qt5 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-10 /docs/gtk2-applications /docs/pre-built-apps /docs/adding-snap-configuration /docs/using-snapctl /docs/installing-snap-on-kali /docs/installing-snap-on-pop /docs/glossary /docs/the-uio-interface /docs/login-session-interface /docs/raw-volume-interface /docs/parts-environment-variables /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-9 /docs/remote-build /docs/build-options /docs/gadget-boot-assets /docs/kde-neon-extension /docs/qt5-kde-applications /docs/gpu-support /docs/desktop-menu-icon-support /docs/desktop-applications /docs/gtk3-applications /docs/snapcraft-extensions /docs/gnome-3-28-extension /docs/audio-playback-interface /docs/audio-record-interface /docs/building-snap-rpms-on-rhel /docs/system-usernames /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-8 /docs/gpio-control-interface /docs/appstream-metadata-interface /docs/packagekit-control-interface /docs/ubuntu-core-boot-modes /docs/installing-snap-on-red-hat /docs/permission-requests /docs/services-and-daemons /docs/snap-store-metrics /docs/using-the-snap-store /docs/the-conda-plugin /docs/the-crystal-plugin /docs/the-colcon-plugin /docs/debugging-building-snaps /docs/release-management /docs/deprecation-notices /docs/deprecation-notice-1 /docs/deprecation-notice-2 /docs/deprecation-notice-3 /docs/deprecation-notice-4 /docs/deprecation-notice-5 /docs/deprecation-notice-6 /docs/deprecation-notice-7 /docs/deprecation-notice-8 /docs/deprecation-notice-9 /docs/deprecation-notice-10 /docs/deprecation-notices/dn10 /docs/parts-lifecycle /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-7 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-6 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-5 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-4 /docs/troubleshoot-snap-building /docs/defining-a-command /docs/iterating-over-a-build /docs/build-and-staging-dependencies /docs/adding-parts /docs/base-snaps /docs/adding-global-metadata /docs/snapcraft-checklist /docs/tab-completion /docs/debuging-startup-performance /docs/personal-files-interface /docs/system-files-interface /docs/snapshots /docs/architectures /docs/build-on-docker /docs/build-on-lxd /docs/c-c-applications /docs/channels /docs/choosing-a-security-model /docs/commands-and-aliases /docs/configuration-in-snaps /docs/creating-a-snap /docs/creating-your-developer-account /docs/debugging-building-snaps /docs/developing-hotplug-interfaces /docs/documentation-guidelines /docs/electron-apps /docs/environment-variables /docs/getting-ready-for-stable /docs/getting-started /docs/go-applications /docs/hotplug-support /docs/installing-snap-on-arch-linux /docs/installing-snap-on-centos /docs/installing-snap-on-debian /docs/installing-snap-on-deepin /docs/installing-snap-on-elementary-os /docs/installing-snap-on-fedora /docs/installing-snap-on-galliumos /docs/installing-snap-on-kde-neon /docs/installing-snap-on-kubuntu /docs/installing-snap-on-linux-mint /docs/installing-snap-on-lubuntu /docs/installing-snap-on-manjaro-linux /docs/installing-snap-on-opensuse /docs/installing-snap-on-parrot-security-os /docs/installing-snap-on-raspbian /docs/installing-snap-on-solus /docs/installing-snap-on-ubuntu /docs/installing-snap-on-xubuntu /docs/installing-snap-on-zorin-os /docs/installing-snapd /docs/installing-snap-store-app /docs/interface-hooks /docs/interface-management /docs/java-applications /docs/keeping-snaps-up-to-date /docs/moos-applications /docs/node-apps /docs/parallel-installs /docs/process-for-aliases-auto-connections-and-tracks /docs/reviewing-classic-confinement-snaps /docs/python-apps /docs/registering-your-app-name /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-0 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-1-1 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-1 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-2 /docs/release-notes-snapcraft-3-3 /docs/releasing-to-the-snap-store /docs/releasing-your-app /docs/remote-reusable-parts /docs/ros-applications /docs/ros2-applications /docs/ruby-applications /docs/rust-applications /docs/scriptlets /docs/service-management /docs/snap-confinement /docs/snap-documentation /docs/snap-epochs /docs/snap-layouts /docs/snapcraft-advanced-grammar /docs/snapcraft-app-and-service-metadata /docs/snapcraft-docs-roadmap /docs/snapcraft-filesets /docs/snapcraft-lifecycle /docs/snapcraft-overview /docs/snapcraft-parts-metadata /docs/snapcraft-plugin-api /docs/snapcraft-plugins /docs/snapcraft-release-notes /docs/snapcraft-top-level-metadata /docs/snapcraft-yaml-reference /docs/snapshots /docs/supported-interfaces /docs/supported-plugins /docs/supported-snap-hooks /docs/system-options /docs/tab-completion-for-snaps /docs/account-control-interface /docs/accounts-service-interface /docs/adb-support-interface /docs/alsa-interface /docs/ament-plugin /docs/ant-plugin /docs/autopilot-introspection-interface /docs/autotools-plugin /docs/avahi-control-interface /docs/avahi-observe-interface /docs/block-devices-interface /docs/bluetooth-control-interface /docs/bluez-interface /docs/bool-file-interface /docs/broadcom-asic-control-interface /docs/browser-support-interface /docs/calendar-service-interface /docs/camera-interface /docs/can-bus-interface /docs/catkin-plugin /docs/catkin-tools-plugin /docs/classic-support-interface /docs/cmake-plugin /docs/content-interface /docs/core-support-interface /docs/cpu-control-interface /docs/cups-control-interface /docs/daemon-notify-interface /docs/dbus-interface /docs/dcdbas-control-interface /docs/desktop-interface /docs/desktop-interfaces /docs/desktop-legacy-interface /docs/device-buttons-interface /docs/display-control-interface /docs/docker-interface /docs/docker-support-interface /docs/docs-roadmap /docs/dotnet-plugin /docs/dummy-interface /docs/dump-plugin /docs/dvb-interface /docs/firewall-control-interface /docs/framebuffer-interface /docs/fuse-support-interface /docs/fwupd-interface /docs/gadget-snap /docs/go-plugin /docs/gpg-keys-interface /docs/gpg-public-keys-interface /docs/gpio-interface /docs/gpio-memory-control-interface /docs/gradle-plugin /docs/greengrass-support-interface /docs/gsettings-interface /docs/gulp-plugin /docs/hardware-observe-interface /docs/hardware-random-control-interface /docs/hardware-random-observe-interface /docs/hidraw-interface /docs/home-interface /docs/hostname-control-interface /docs/i2c-interface /docs/iio-interface /docs/intel-mei-interface /docs/io-ports-control-interface /docs/jdk-plugin /docs/joystick-interface /docs/juju-client-observe-interface /docs/kbuild-plugin /docs/kernel-module-control-interface /docs/kernel-module-observe-interface /docs/kernel-plugin /docs/kernel-snap /docs/kubernetes-support-interface /docs/kvm-interface /docs/libvirt-interface /docs/locale-control-interface /docs/location-control-interface /docs/location-observe-interface /docs/log-observe-interface /docs/lxd-interface /docs/lxd-support-interface /docs/make-plugin /docs/maliit-interface /docs/maven-plugin /docs/media-hub-interface /docs/meson-plugin /docs/mir-interface /docs/modem-manager-interface /docs/mount-observe-interface /docs/mpris-interface /docs/netlink-audit-interface /docs/netlink-connector-interface /docs/network-bind-interface /docs/network-control-interface /docs/network-interface /docs/network-manager-interface /docs/network-observe-interface /docs/network-setup-control-interface /docs/network-setup-observe-interface /docs/network-status-interface /docs/nil-plugin /docs/nodejs-plugin /docs/ofono-interface /docs/online-accounts-service-interface /docs/opengl-interface /docs/openvswitch-interface /docs/openvswitch-support-interface /docs/optical-drive-interface /docs/password-manager-service-interface /docs/personal-files-interface /docs/physical-memory-control-interface /docs/physical-memory-observe-interface /docs/plainbox-provider-plugin /docs/ppp-interface /docs/process-control-interface /docs/pulseaudio-interface /docs/python-plugin /docs/qmake-plugin /docs/raw-usb-interface /docs/removable-media-interface /docs/ruby-plugin /docs/rust-plugin /docs/scons-plugin /docs/screen-inhibit-control-interface /docs/serial-port-interface /docs/shutdown-interface /docs/snap-format /docs/snapcraft-format /docs/snapd-control-interface /docs/snapd-roadmap /docs/spi-interface /docs/ssh-keys-interface /docs/ssh-public-keys-interface /docs/storage-framework-service-interface /docs/system-files-interface /docs/system-observe-interface /docs/system-snap-directory /docs/system-trace-interface /docs/thumbnailer-service-interface /docs/time-control-interface /docs/timeserver-control-interface /docs/timezone-control-interface /docs/tpm-interface /docs/u2f-devices-interface /docs/ubuntu-download-manager-interface /docs/udisks2-interface /docs/uhid-interface /docs/unity7-interface /docs/unity8-calendar-interface /docs/unity8-contacts-interface /docs/unity8-interface /docs/upower-observe-interface /docs/waf-plugin /docs/wayland-interface /docs/x11-interface /docs/using-external-metadata /docs/using-in-development-features /docs/writing-local-plugins /docs/build-snaps-on-docker /docs/creating-snapcraft-yaml /docs/snapcraft-interfaces


Mapping table
Path Location
/docs/install-snapcraft-on-macos /docs/installing-snapcraft#heading–macos
/docs/building-snaps /docs/snapcraft-overview
/docs/snapcraft-lifecycle /docs/parts-lifecycle
/docs/security-model /docs/choosing-a-security-model
/docs/build-snaps-on-docker /docs/build-on-docker
/docs/t/environment-variables-that-snapcraft-exposes/7569 /docs/environment-variables
/create/ /docs/creating-a-snap

Hi Robin,

Two suggestions for the format, and one comment about the data:

1. Information is boring

The output is long and boring for most people. It’s okay to have it here as it’s closely related with a table of contents, which is one of the purposes of this page, and having it here also makes it convenient to fetch at once for the dynamic systems. But we don’t need to show it all the time. We can fix that by folding it:


… content goes here …

Implemented with:

... content goes here ...

2. Format is hard to read

It’s a lot of data and naturally repetitive. We can probably improve the situation significantly by reformatting it in a more stable way. For example:

Page URL
Creating a snap /creating-a-snap

This is not only shorted, but it’ll turn out a lot more pleasant because the two columns will align. The awkward arrow, which doesn’t align well in the font used here, is also gone.

It’s implemented with:

| Page | URL |
| --- | --- |
| | /creating-a-snap |

Then, a third comment on the actual data:

3. Not offering any value

This is a premature comment, but worth raising it now before the data is final. All those links seem to simply point to a URL that uses the exact same text as the title. This doesn’t seem to offer any value, and it’s a lot of trouble for no value. If that’s what we’ll do in 99% of the cases, then it’d be worth asking what the motivation is again.

Thanks @niemeyer

I agree that it looks very long and boring and hard to read, and I like your suggestions 1 and 2. I’ll make it a <table> in a <details> element.

I can appreciate point 3, and it would be very nice if it was possible to make it automatically simply use the slug as the pretty URL. However, this doesn’t work practically for 2 reasons:

  1. Slugs change as soon as someone changes the title of the topic. One of the requirements here is that these URLs are crafted, rather than user-editable, and that they don’t change. So the idea here is that, even though initially these pretty URLs might closely resemble the slug (although I did strip out extra words like “the”), the slug will probably change over time but the URL will persist unless we change it deliberately.
  2. It’s very slow to try to retrieve a topic by slug alone (without ID) (you need to do a general search, then crawl through search results to check the titles/slugs manually). It’s much more efficient to have a mapping somewhere.

We could make the mapping shorted, by simply doing:

| ID | Path |
| -- | ---- |
| 6799 | /creating-a-snap |

I opted for the more verbose version:

| ID | Path |
| -- | ---- |
| | |

Because this then shows both sides as links, which mean that users can actually click on them to see the page, either on the forum or the documentation side.

But if you think the succinctness of the data in the table outweighs the clickability, I’m happy to entertain the shorter version.

I get it. My point is a more conceptual one, to be raised upstream: if we are not doing anything other than taking Graham’s suggestion of title in 99.9% of the cases, then the whole exercise seems kind of pointless. We don’t need so many people in the loop.

Can we please use the shorter version? The second part is not really a link, but rather the suffix that generates the link. So if the link doesn’t work, it’s the underlying mechanism that is broken and not the link itself. Also, the link won’t work as soon as the file is put live either, as there will necessarily be at least a short delay between it being saved and the system acting on it. So the shorter form is both more pleasant to read, and more appropriate it seems.

Can we please use the shorter version?

Okay, so which do you prefer?

ID Path
6799 /creating-a-snap


ID Path
6799 /creating-a-snap


Topic Path
Creating a snap /creating-a-snap

The last one feels like a pretty good trade off between ease of writing it the first time, ease of reading, and convenience in terms of clicking on the link to see the content.


All the content of Building the snap on Docker has been merged into Build on Docker a while ago.

The first page however, still shows up in google searches:


So I removed the content of the first page and added a notice redirecting to the correct one. Is it possible to remove the page entirely and create a redirect pointing /docs/build-snaps-on-docker to /docs/build-on-docker?

That’s a good point, thanks - and thanks for the edits. I’ll add the redirect now.

1 Like

I’ve been gathering and updating documentation for creating snaps of desktop applications. This is tricky to get right and very specific to which toolkit you use.

Given the many questions on this forum about desktop toolkits, it’s clear that many people are struggling with this, so we should give it a clear place in the docs, but I’m not sure where.

The easiest route might be to just add Desktop app support to the navigation, but it doesn’t really fit in there. I added a link to this document in the checklist page, but I don’t think that is visible enough.

Creating a snap has the “common languages and platforms” table. I was thinking of adding another table or column called “Desktop toolkits” which contains “Electron” (moved from “languages”), “Qt”, “GTK”, “Java Swing”, “wxWidgets” and “other”. This could be expanded in the future with other toolkits and things like OpenGL (which is more complex than simply adding an interface) and ffmpeg.

However, many of these topics don’t really fit into the style of a complete walkthrough. I can update them a bit to look more similar, but I’m not sure if it makes sense to turn pages like Qt5 and GTK into complete walkthroughs since these are meant to be used together with one of the languages. For example, an application might use Python + GTK3 or Go + Qt5 etc.

@degville, what do you think?

Thanks for working on this, and for highlighting desktop toolkit documentation. You’ve raised a really important point, and one we’ve spent considerable time discussing internally. It’s definitely something we want to get right.

Part of the delay in writing a good set of docs for this has been waiting for desktop extensions to mature enough to handle the hard dependency parts - these extensions should transform the process, and they’re close being ready.

Another part has been that we wanted to make sure there was a wider doc support structure for snap building before tackling desktop integration. This is what we’ve been working on with the Snapcraft build, debug and publishing docs roadmap, and it’s almost complete too.

I think we can do this in both of the ways you suggest. A walkthrough is really useful, and helps give a wider context to how snaps are built, even when they don’t fit your exact use-case. It’s also great for Google, etc. Adding a new table to Creating a snap to link to these makes good sense to me.

But as you also mention, a walkthrough doesn’t fit into our current (published) docs style. I think to integrate both, we need to make sure the core details for what’s discussed in any walkthrough are included in the more formal doc structure. I think walkthroughs should be a little like CI testing in code - they bring together the various elements of what’s already documented into a fully working example, but they shouldn’t be adding new ‘functionality’ themselves.

Adding to the wider docs is something I (or anyone, really!) can do if you feel like we’re not explaining something clearly, or if you feel a topic has become vague or outgrown its original intent. And it’s easier to do when that content already exists, whatever form it takes.


  • thanks!
  • I think walkthrough-style docs for desktop toolkit integration is a good idea
  • desktop toolkit integration is currently changing, but still worth documenting
  • a new table on Creating a snap is a good place for them
  • I/we need to make sure whatever we cover in a walkthrough is easily discoverable and more formally documented in the normal doc structure. This may be easier to do after a walkthrough has been written.

I’ll also have a discussion with the Snapcraft/Advocacy teams on how best we can handle desktop toolkit integration.

I have some stuff I need your help with. I’m not completely done cleaning up these pages, but having them online would make my job a bit easier.

Please give the following pages a canonical url.

Feel free to change the path etc.

Topic Path
Adding OpenGL/GPU support to a snap /docs/gpu-support
Desktop files for menu integration /docs/desktop-menu-icon-support
Desktop applications /docs/desktop-applications
GTK3 applications /docs/gtk3-applications
Snapcraft Extensions /docs/snapcraft-extensions
The gnome-3-28 extension /docs/gnome-3-28-extension
The audio-playback interface /docs/audio-playback-interface
The audio-record interface /docs/audio-record-interface

Pages to turn into a wiki

I made them or I want to edit them.

Pages to add to the sidebar

I propose to add this to the sidebar. I’ll also link to the specific tutorials (GTK3, qt5, …) from the “creating a snap” page.

Pages to redirect

redirect to

1 Like

I’ll make all the necessary fixes you’ve requested - thank you for all this!