One of the ways Linux users can get the latest versions of the LibreOffice suite is through the Snap Store. The latest fresh and stable versions are released as a snap.
The Snap Store, which is run by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, can be installed on any Linux distro. It comes preinstalled on several popular distros.
- Ubuntu and its official derivatives
- Ubuntu Studio
- Ubuntu MATE
- Ubuntu Budgie
- Zorin OS
For most of these distros the LibreOffice snap, as well as all other snaps, can be found and installed through the app called “Software” For the main version of Ubuntu, the software manager is called “Ubuntu Software.”
In addition to this LibreOffice and other apps can be installed by entering the following command in the Terminal app:
- sudo snap install libreoffice
- sudo snap install <app name> *for other apps
Installing the Snap Store
If you are using a Linux distro that does not come with it preinstalled, it is easy to install it through the Terminal application that comes with the distro.
To do this, you must first install snapd, the background service that manages and maintains snaps. This Web page links to instructions for several different distros.
Once snapd is installed, you can install LibreOffice by using the command in the previous section. Many distros also allow a snap plugin for their software managers.
The Snap Store also can be installed and used to install snaps, instead of the distro’s software manager.
- sudo snap install snap-store
Issues with Linux Mint
Linux Mint is usually in the top 5 lists of most popular Linux distros. With version 20, Linux Mint users could no longer install snapd with the simple command:
- sudo apt install snapd
According to a May 2020 newsletter in the Linux Mint Blog, the Snap Store was installing itself in the background without the users’ knowledge after they installed the APT version of the Chromium browser.
“As you install APT updates, Snap becomes a requirement for you to continue to use Chromium and installs itself behind your back. This breaks one of the major worries many people had when Snap was announced and a promise from its developers that it would never replace APT,” was written in the newsletter.
“In Linux Mint 20, APT will forbid snapd from getting installed….
You’ll still be able to install it yourself and we’ll document this in the release notes, but by default APT won’t allow repository packages from doing this on your behalf.”
For Linux Mint users who still want to install snapd on their systems, the following commands are from the release notes for 20.2:
- sudo rm /etc/apt/preferences.d/nosnap.pref
- apt update
- apt install snapd
Click here to see a video about how to install Snapd and the Snap Store on Linux Mint
Advantages of snaps
Snaps are easy to install. They are easy to find in the Snap Store, and the commands used to install them through the Terminal app is also simple.
A Terminal-based installation for Flathub flatpaks and other repositories, require the user to know URL-like addresses and paths where the installation files are stored.
Snaps are also more than just apps. An entire operating system can be built with snaps. Printer and other types of drivers are snaps. Flatpaks are only applications.
Disadvantages of snaps
Snaps are not as open as flatpaks and applications in other repositories. Developers need to submit them to a store controlled by Canonical. Most of the applications themselves are open source, but the distribution method is not open and transparent.
Two alternatives to Snap are: