Snaptastic – elementary OS snap manager

by Igor Ljubuncic on 17 October 2019

An interesting aspect in the life of any technology is how it propagates. Like organisms in nature, technology follows evolutionary patterns, and sometimes, it can be difficult predicting them. But their observation can be quite telling. Case in point, Snaptastic on elementary OS.

Snaptastic is a graphical snap manager utility, available in the elementary AppCenter, designed to aid the users of this distribution in getting the software that might not be available through standard repository channels.

Installation and use

You can grab Snaptastic through AppCenter. In the background, this action will also configure the snapd service, which is not installed and enabled by default in elementary OS. Once you launch the application, you can then start managing snaps. This way, Snaptastic offers frontend functionality for elementary OS users who want applications provided in the Snap Store, not provided by default elementary OS repos, and prefer a store application that fits the elementary design ethos.

At the moment, Snaptastic requires that you manually download snap files, which could be somewhat inconvenient for users who expect a full GUI experience, but Snaptastic is a new software, and additional features are likely to be added in the future. You can download snaps in a terminal windows by running the snap download “snap name” command. Then, you can use the application’s main interface to locate and install the packages.

After a snap is installed, it will be shown in the main interface – including any available updates. If you click on any individual snap, you can start the application, manually check for updates  remove the package. Advanced settings allow you to tweak Snaptastic functionality to handle snap URL links, too.

Looking ahead

Snaptastic offers elementary OS users with an easy way to manage their snaps. There’s some functionality missing, though. For example, it would be really nice if the utility could query the Snap Store directly and allows users to search as well as install snaps without the interim manual download step. Moreover, showing screenshots and videos of applications (those that have them) would make the available software even more attractive to end users. Either way, it will be quite interesting to see how Snaptastic evolves.

If you have any comments or feedback, please join our forum for a discussion.

Photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash.

Newsletter Signup

Related posts

A snap confined shell based on Mir: Mircade

Mircade: An example snap confined user shell There are various scenarios and reasons for packaging a Snap confined shell and a selection of applications together in a confined environment. You might have applications that work well together for a particular task; or, you may want to offer a number of alternative applications and have them […]

A blast from the past – Shutter

The wheel of software turns, and apps come and go. But the end of development does not always mean the end of usefulness. Sometimes, programs stubbornly remain around, offering a complete experience that can withstand the test of time. Several weeks ago, we talked about how you can preserve old applications with snaps. Today, we […]

Split Personality Snaps

Broadly speaking, most snaps in the Snap Store fall into one of two categories, desktop applications and server daemons. The graphical applications such as Chromium and Spotify use desktop files, which ensure they can be opened on demand by any user via a menu or launcher. The server applications such as NextCloud and AdGuard-Home typical […]