Unverified Commit ebfb3b63 authored by Chuck McAndrew's avatar Chuck McAndrew Committed by GitHub
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Merge pull request #12 from meskio/packaging

add 'Packaging in GNU/Linux' post
parents 3eeb80ba 9c0d7295
---
title: Packaging in GNU/Linux
summary: what is our current packaging strategy
subtitle: why snap and not ... ?
authors:
- admin
tags:
- ramblings
- whynot
- snap
- flatpack
- linux
categories:
- packaging
date: "2020-06-18T00:00:00Z"
lastmod: "2020-06-18T00:00:00Z"
featured: false
draft: false
---
We get frequently asked why we don't do flatpack or appimage or arch packages
or... for our VPN. There are many distros and many package managers in GNU/Linux. Sadly our
time is limited and we have to decide what we focus our energies on. And
currently in GNU/Linux we are focusing our work on [snap
packages](https://snapcraft.io/riseup-vpn).
We know, snap has many problems. Packages often don't work well in distros not
based on debian ([#272](https://0xacab.org/leap/bitmask-vpn/-/issues/272),
[#77](https://0xacab.org/leap/bitmask-vpn/-/issues/77)). It's a centralized
platform, controlled by one commercial entity and [not everybody agrees with
their decisions](https://jatan.blog/2020/05/02/ubuntu-snap-obsession-has-snapped-me-off-of-it/).
Our primary target audience has always been the less computer-savvy users. In
GNU/Linux most of them use ubuntu. That has been our main reason to focus
our energies on supporting ubuntu first. And snap makes it very easy to include
software in ubuntu which is convenient too. Also the most used
distros around are debian based, and snap usually works well on those.
Knowing that not everybody likes snap, we produce [.deb
packages](https://riseup.net/en/vpn/linux#package-installation) as well and we
do our best to keep them up to date.
One of the other options we have explored is flatpack. I think its architecture
is great, its security is really nice and it solves some of the problems of snap
(it's not centralized, the control is in the users, ...). But flatpack is designed
to containerize the applications, making it impossible to package something like a
VPN, because it needs to modify the network configuration and the firewall
which is by design not allowed by flatpack. So flatpack is not an option for us.
Snap does containerize as well, but this is something that you can disable when
you make the snap by using the 'classic' mode. We do that to be able to package
a VPN into snap.
From the core team we might not have the time in the near future to work on any
other packages. But we will welcome any contributors. If you would like to
package the VPN for your favourite package manager we'll be really happy to
help. Don't hesitate to [open an
issue](https://0xacab.org/leap/bitmask-vpn/-/issues/new) to discuss it there,
pass by on
[irc](https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.freenode.net:+6697/?nick=guest?#leap) or
write to our [mailing list](discuss-subscribe@leap.se).
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