KDE’s bundle of apps KDE Applications 19.04 has been released. Here at KDE neon the build servers have built all the .debs and the QA servers are now checking over them before publishing shortly.
That’s great if you run KDE neon but what about every other distro? Well for the first time ever you can install 50-odd apps from the bundle from one of the new cross-distro Linux App Stores, the Snap Store.
Our software store app Discover also supports Snaps so they should be available through that if you have snapd installed.
Snaps is a new container based format from Canonical and they can be installed on any Linux distro. The spec and software is all open source managed from a centralised Store in much the same way as Google Play or Steam or F-Droid. Here at KDE neon we have been experimenting for some time with this format and waiting for the needed features to be added so we could give a great exprience. There’s still a couple of rough edges such as printer support or which directory the File Open dialog uses by default, which is mostly down to Qt and how it supports the xdg-portals spec. The store does not yet pick up all the meta-data such as icons and screenshots from Appstream metadata files.
Of the 50 apps we have ready today most are simple ones, games and edu features a lot. Hopefully we can get some of the more flagship apps up before long.
This is an exciting change in the way we deliver our software to you the user. Hopefully other App Stores will be supported in the near future too such as Flatpak/Flathub and Appstream/Appstreamhub.
The new format puts app authors and maintainers incharge of their software. Currently it’s done through KDE neon but there’s no reason why that needs to be the case, it can and should be done through the same KDE repos the apps are in with continuous integration and deployment done from our new GitLab setup invent.kde.org. Watch out for blogs on details of how it works shortly.