A better Ubuntu Linux without the crappy Snap

Snap is a software deployment and package management system originally designed and built by Canonical, the company behind the for the Ubuntu phone operating system. After the fall-down of that last one, the Snap system was brought to desktop and updated to work across a range of Linux distributions as independent upstream software deployment system. But, all that glitters is not gold.

Ubuntu - One APT command to remove SNAP from the system
Ubuntu – One APT command to remove SNAP from the system

In my case, the problem came from a long time. I had many issues with Snap to write a book, from the conflicts with drivers to the incredibly slow applications starting time to many other fables.

I’m not alone: on the Ubuntu communities, on the social networks, on Reddit (The snap experience is bad, and is increasingly required for Ubuntu) and on the Ubuntu helping sites, a growing number of people talks about the issues and problems regarding Snap. If you’re using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) or the latest Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish), your system has Snap by default.

The overall user experience with snaps on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (obviously, in my case!) is frustrating: several apps won’t start when installed as snaps, others run weird, others take really long time to start. As an example: Telegram as snap takes around 51 sec to be operative, Telegram installed as binary starts in 1,5 sec.

So, for now, I can live without Snap and snaps.

$ sudo apt autoremove --purge snapd gnome-software-plugin-snap

$ rm -fr ~/snap

This will completely remove the Snap sub-system (AskUbuntu related answers here), all the installed snap packages, all the related data, and it never again suggests snap packages in the Ubuntu (or GNOME) software store.

As alternatives to Snap, you can use AppImage or FlatPak format. If you need to confine apps, you can use AppArmor, sandbox, or container technologies. At this time, Snap needs to be more reliable, stable and fast.

For me, it worked and now the system is fast and responsive as it had never been. You should also try to stay without Snap for a period and see what will happen!