Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


(Keynote) What could go wrong? Me, I was

Containerised Applications are the way

In 2017 I spoke at FOSDEM and told everyone about how Containerised App technologies like AppImage, Snap, and Flatpak were all terrible and posed the question "What could go wrong?" if we introduced them. Now, in 2022, I am building a Desktop Linux distribution that only uses Flatpaks for it's Apps, so obviously, something went horrifically wrong, but not with Flatpaks.

This talk will revisit some of my arguments from 2017, and discuss how the Flatpak team in particular embraced and addressed those concerns. It will also revisit the arguments advocating for traditional packaging and how they increasingly fall down when compared to the Flatpak way of doing things. That said, this session will try to present a balanced argument, and highlight the risks and responsibilities this approach requires and how some of the containerised app technologies still fail to meet those challenges.

As a conclusion, this session will present a vision for more distribution and packaging projects to follow, possibly narrowing the scope of their efforts to better collaborate and embrace the potential on this new way of getting FOSS software in the hands of users.


Photo of Richard Brown Richard Brown