How to Install and Manage Flatpak Applications on Linux

Install and manage Flatpak applications on Linux to enjoy a series of utilities even without putting in much effort. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, why not read the guide below and make your own decision.

Admit it! Over time there has been a considerable shift between the traditional package formats and distribution-independent package formats. While in the former, the applications were built to meet specific Linux distributions, the latter, with a flexible nature, came as a relief to many.

With Flatpak, we’re looking at a distribution-independent package format. It is a promisingly popular framework designed to distribute desktop-based applications for Linux systems. From facilitating space for innovations to providing flexibility and universality, Flatpak is a revolutionary approach.

In the following article, I’ll help you learn the best possible ways to install and manage Flatpak on Linux.

How to Install and Manage Flatpak Applications on Linux

Now that you’ve enough information about Flatpak, it is a good time to guide you on how to install and manage Flatpak applications on Linux.

Getting Flatpak on Linux

Getting Flatpak on Linux isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t involve complex mechanisms, provided you know how to proceed.

Step 1: Updating System Repository

As usual, before installing Flatpak on your system, it is always a good idea to have the repositories updated.

Launch the Terminal by using the “Ctrl+Alt+T” key combination.

After that, run the following command:

$ sudo apt update
update system repositories

Step 2: Installing Flatpak

Once you’ve got the system’s apt repository updated, you’re ready to install Flatpak. Depending on the type of Linux package you’re using, invoke the corresponding commands and get the job done.

On Debian/Ubuntu 18.10 and Later:

$ sudo apt install flatpak
Install and Manage Flatpak Applications on Linux

However, if you own an older version of Ubuntu, it is always recommended to install the Flatpak utility by adding the repositories followed by installing it from the repo added. Here is how:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:flatpak/stable
adding flatpak repository
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install flatpak

Install Flatpak on Arch Linux/Manjaro:

Invoke the following command:

$ sudo pacman -Syy
Install and Manage Flatpak Applications on Linux
$ sudo pacman -S flatpak
installing flatpak

Install Flatpak on openSUSE:

You can install Flatpak on openSUSE system using Zypper as below:

$ sudo zypper install flatpak
flatpak on openSUSE

Install Flatpak on CentOS/RHEL/Rocky Linux:

Although Flatpak is available by default on the CentOS 7 system, you can run the following command and get the utility installed on CentOS/RHEL/Rocky Linux in minutes.

$ sudo yum install flatpak
flatpak on RHEL OS

Step 3: Installing Flatpak Plugin

Getting the Flatpak plugin installed for the software app can help you seamlessly install desired applications without even bringing the command line utility to the scene. Simply run the following command for that:

$ sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

Step 4: Perform a Quick Reboot

As soon as you’re done installing Flatpak and the Flatpak plugin on your system, the next thing to do is perform a quick reboot. What it will do is make sure all the alterations get successfully applied.

On the Terminal, pass the reboot command alongside the -i flag. 

$ sudo reboot -i

Wait for the reboot to complete. As your device boots up, log in and start managing the applications via flatpak.

Managing Flatpak Applications on Linux

The answer to One-half of the query about how to install and manage Flatpak applications on Linux is ready, and it’s time for the other half. 

Step 1: Adding a Repository

To begin with the process, it is crucial to understand that the Flatpak applications are hosted on a dedicated repository, popularly known as the FlatHub repository

Flathub being home to a humungous amount of applications that stretch in broad categories, including audio & video, developer tools, and more, enabling the FlatHub repository on your Linux system is crucial.  

Run the following command:

$ sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub [Link]
flatpak repository

Step 2: Verifying the Added Repository

Similar to adding a repository, verifying if the addition has successfully concluded is equally important. You can verify the installation of the repository by running the following command:

$ flatpak remotes

Successful installation will provide an output that looks something like:

Name Options 
flathub system

How to Install Applications Using the Flatpak Utility on Linux

Flathub makes installing an application on Linux as seamless as you can desire. The process is simple; at first, search for the desired application on Flatpak using the flatpak search command, followed by providing the application ID 

The search command format: 

$ sudo flatpak search app-name

For instance, if you want to download and install Remmina, use the following command:

$ sudo flatpak search remmina

Grab the corresponding application ID from the output and use it to install the app.

The installation format:

$ sudo flatpak install remotes Application-ID
flatpak applications

Running the Installed Flatpak Application on Linux

Having the app installed isn’t enough if you don’t know how to run it. Thankfully launching the app is pretty straightforward. You can either do it from the App Menu or else invoke the flatpak run command alongside the application ID

$ flatpak run Application-ID

Getting the List of Installed Apps

To get the whole list of the installed Flatpak applications on your system, use the flatpak list command.


$ flatpak list
flatpak application list

Sample Output:

Name Application  ID   Version Branch Installation
Application 1     ID 1 Version Details
Application 2     ID 2 Version Details
Application 3     ID 3 Version Details
Application 4     ID 4 Version Details

Updating and Uninstalling the Flatpak Applications on Linux

Updating the Flatpak applications is also pretty easy. Just employ the flatpak update command in the following way:

$ flatpak update

To uninstall any Flatpak application, use the uninstall command together with the application ID of the desired app.

$ flatpak uninstall Application-ID

The system will then ask if you want to proceed with these changes. Input Y and press Enter to continue.

That wraps up the guide on how to install and manage Flatpak applications on Linux. Here, I’ve uncovered the best ways to install Flatpak on your system, followed by the methods that will help you manage the Flatpak applications with ease.

If this guide helped you, please share it.

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