The Snap package manager, known as snapd, is a relatively new feature in the Linux ecosystem. It allows a user to install Snap packages, called Snaps, across a wide range of Linux distributions and versions. This works differently than the traditional method of installing packages via a package manager like APT, where applications are packaged and installed as part of the operating system.

Snaps are self-contained and run in a sandbox, making new software pretty safe to install. The Snaps can be browsed and installed from the Snapcraft App Store. Snap gives developers an easy way to push updates for their applications, as well as usage data to help them improve.

Newer versions of Ubuntu should already have Snap enabled, as Canonical developed the feature and first introduced it on their own distribution. It's also available for most other Linux distributions, but must be installed first.

In this guide, we'll show you how to install the Snap package manager, snapd, on all major Linux systems. We'll also show how to get started with searching the Snap store, and installing or removing Snaps from your system.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to enable Snap package manager on all major Linux distros
  • How to install and uninstall Snap packages (Snaps)
Installing a Snap package on Linux
Installing a Snap package on Linux
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Any Linux distro
Software Snap
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Install Snap Package Manager

Use the following instructions to enable Snap on whichever distribution you're running. After Snap is installed, you can begin using it to install Snaps (Snap packages). Ubuntu and most derivatives should already have Snap enabled, but in case your system doesn't, we've included instructions for those distros as well.

Install Snap on Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint

Open a terminal and use the following commands to install Snap on Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Kali, and other derivatives.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install snapd

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Install Snap on Fedora

Open a terminal and use the following command to install Snap on Fedora.

$ sudo dnf install snapd

Install Snap on CentOS

Open a terminal and use the following commands to install Snap on CentOS.

$ sudo dnf install epel-release
$ sudo dnf upgrade
$ sudo yum install snapd
$ sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket

Install Snap on Red Hat

Open a terminal and use the following commands to install Snap on Red Hat.

$ sudo dnf install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-8.noarch.rpm
$ sudo dnf upgrade
$ sudo yum install snapd
$ sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket


Install Snap on Arch Linux

Open a terminal and use the following commands to install Snap on Arch Linux, using the AUR.

$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/snapd.git
$ cd snapd
$ makepkg -si
$ sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket

Install Snap on Manjaro

Open a terminal and use the following commands to install Snap on Manjaro.

$ sudo pacman -S snapd
$ sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket

Using Snap Package Manager to Install or Remove Snaps

Before continuing, the official Snap documentation also recommends rebooting your system after successful installation of Snap. This will ensure that Snap's paths are updated correctly. Once you're done installing Snap and have rebooted, join us again for this section about installing and removing Snaps.

As mentioned earlier, you can use Snap's website to browse for software to install. You can also use the command line to browse or search for packages.

$ snap find


This command returns a list of the most popular applications.

Snap find output, showing the most popular apps from the App Store
Snap find output, showing the most popular apps from the App Store

You can also search for a specific application, like in the following example where we search for the Thunderbird email client.

$ snap find thunderbird
Searching for a particular application by name
Searching for a particular application by name

Once you know the name of the application you want to install, you can use the following command syntax to install it. Take this example where we install VLC media player.

$ sudo snap install vlc

Your selected application will then be downloaded and installed.

Installing VLC Snap package
Installing VLC Snap package

If you decide to remove the application later, use the following command syntax.

$ sudo snap remove vlc
Removing a Snap package
Removing a Snap package

Conclusion

In this guide, we saw how to enable the Snap package manager on all supported Linux distributions and their derivatives. We also learned how to use Snap to browse and search for apps, along with installing and removing them. You can now use Snap to install any of the applications available in the ever-growing Snap App Store.

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