Use the snap command
This is an overview of commonly used snap commands. You can find the full command reference here.
Log in to a snap store
Snaps are normally installed from a store. You can interact with a store without signing-in, but signing-in offers a number of advantages. These advantages include the ability to access your private snaps and managing your snaps without requiring root on the device.
Snap stores hold a collection of snaps for delivery to clouds, devices, and private infrastructures. You sign-in to a store as follows, using your Ubuntu SSO account:
$ sudo snap login firstname.lastname@example.org Password: ********* 2-factor: ****** Welcome!
When you are not logged in, most
snap commands will require you to run them as root.
A store can contain both public and private snaps.
Anybody can publish a snap, but doing a store search will only find snaps that are published to the
stable release channel (and therefore have been reviewed and judged to be of good quality – so users can install them without concerns).
Searches look for matches in the snap name or description:
$ snap find hello Name Version Developer Notes Summary hello 2.10 canonical - GNU Hello, the "hello world" snap hello-huge 1.0 noise - A really big snap hello-world 6.1 canonical - Hello world example
Community developer Brian Douglass is also maintaining an online frontend to browse the main snap store.
You can install snaps using the snap name. Here is an example of installing GNU Hello from the Free Software Foundation:
$ snap install hello
Each snap might include multiple related commands, with a default command that has the same name as the snap itself. Additional commands are prefixed with the snap name:
$ hello Hello, world! $ hello.universe Hello, universe!
Snaps can also install services that run in the background, such as web servers, daemons… Those will start automatically when the snap is installed. The
snap disable <snap name> and
snap enable <snap name> commands allow you to keep full control over snaps installed on your system, regardless of the way they are started.
View details about installed snaps
To see a list of all snaps installed on a system use
snap list. The list also provides information on the software version, revision number, developer, and any extra notes provided with the snap (such as whether the snap is in developer mode or not).
$ snap list Name Version Rev Developer Notes hello 2.10 26 canonical - ubuntu-core 16.04+20160419.20-55 109 canonical - webdm 0.17 21 canonical -
Automated updates and channels
Snaps are updated automatically in the background to the latest version, every day. This can also be done manually using
snap refresh for either all installed snaps or by specifying a particular snap to refresh.
You can also switch to another version of a snap by refreshing into another release channel, if the developer has published the snap in multiple channels.
Valid release channels are
edge and their name reflect the development status of snaps they contain.
$ snap refresh <snap name> --beta
When you’re developing a snap, you will probably want to run it without the strict security confinement that is expected of stable, published snaps. This is done by using the
--devmode flag on installation.
You can even publish snaps that require
--devmode to work, but they can only be published to the
edge release channels, not the stable or candidate channels. Users can then install these versions using
--devmode as well. Because of the risk installing an unconfined app creates, installing a snap in
devmode is not recommended unless you trust its developer.
$ snap install flubber --beta error: cannot install "flubber": snap not found $ snap install flubber --beta --devmode Download snap "flubber" (12) from channel "beta" ...
To know the right channel and confinement mode to request when installing a package, you can use the
snap info command prior to installation:
$ snap info flubber name: flubber summary: ... publisher: flubber-dev description: ... channels: beta: 1.3 (16) edge: 1.4 (17) devmode
Make your own snaps
Snaps can be easily created with a helper tool called snapcraft. Jump to the Build snaps section to get started.