Mozilla Prepping to go all Snappy on Ubuntu 16.04

wolf mozilla firefox
Written by Jesse Afolabi

Snappy package management (which is an alternative to deb) in it’s infancy was merely a concept with potential and nothing more; It has however matured greatly ever since its inception and it’s the default package manager for Ubuntu’s embedded system and the IoT.

A couple of months back, Canonical announced its plans to make an alternate package manager to Deb in Ubuntu and now, it has already been made official with the sixth iteration of Ubuntu’s Long Term Support operating system which is the Xenial Xerus 16.04.

Given it’s relatively new presence, it’s quite surprising and delighting at the same time that Mozilla who is known to have its browser featured in in Ubuntu for over a decade will apparently be one of the very first to implement snappy with all the great advantages it comes with.

Firery Fox

Fiery Fox

According to the vice president of Mozilla, Nick Nguyen, “Ubuntu version 16.04 will include the introduction of the snap infrastructure. With the snap format, we will be able to continually optimize Firefox on Ubuntu. Like our rapid engineering release cycle, snap format will allow us to provide Linux users the most up-to-date features, in particular, security patches, even after major Operating System ship dates”.

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He further added that “With the snap format, new features can be released to users of older OS versions too. Later this year, we will offer Firefox in snap format making it easier to push the browser directly to users rather than relying on an intermediary to accept updates before they reach users”.

Clearly, the snap infrastructure is going places and we’ll be seeing a continual adoption over the years as it surpasses it’s .Deb counterpart in functionality.

To sum it up, the first ever version to be available in snap format will be coming in later in the year.

How do you feel about the new snap system? Does it necessarily pose any threat to the current Debian package management that we’re accustomed to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the author

Jesse Afolabi

Jesse is that tech enthusiast you never heard of...he's mainly into things relating to Linux and Android and has an unending passion for both platforms which is why he writes about them.

  • It would be a mistake to completely replace the deb format. I like the idea of snappy packages, but my printer driver, several programs not in the ubuntu repos and other projects of interest are in deb format. if they are no longer supported in ubuntu in the coming years, canonical would force me to go strictly debian.

    • it’s probably the inevitable future given the advantages the Snap package management presents…however, .deb isn’t going anywhere…at least not anytime soon…and if at all it does phase out, i believe there’d be some workaround for packages that are seemingly only available in the deb package…heck, i even heard that at some point we’ll be able to convert .debs to snaps..

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