Firefox Flatpak hits Flathub stable

April 7, 2020
linux silverblue flatpak

Distro wars time: I’m a Fedora Silverblue user. I use it for both the ease of administration as well as the security benefits a completely containerized workflow provides.

One common issue folks trying to make the switch run into is packages being wholly unavailable - this can be resolved in three ways.

  1. Fedora Toolbox to create a Fedora container and dnf install tools.
  2. Flatpak to install graphical tools to be used on the desktop-side of the OS.
  3. rpm-ostree layering is the easiest method since it allows you to install from the Fedora repositories, but it’s a pain to maintain and defeats the purpose of using Silverblue in the first place.

Of course each of these options comes with their issues. Firstly for Toolbox it is hard to get graphical applications to work as expected since piping Pulseaudio into a container is a lot of extra work. As for Flatpak you’re really at the whim of whether or not the package exists on Flathub.

Previously if you wanted Firefox with ffmpeg-libs you had to layer ffmpeg-libs from the rpmfusion repositories. This worked but (not to repeat) is anti-Silverblue in nature.

Thankfully as of 6 hours ago the Firefox Flatpak has been pushed to Flathub stable(Flathub link). To install,

flatpak install flathub org.mozilla.firefox

Unfortunately it currently defaults to using X11, but this can be overridden by changing the Flatpak args:

$ flatpak override --user --env=GDK_BACKEND=wayland org.mozilla.firefox
$ flatpak override --user --socket=wayland org.mozilla.firefox
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