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Developer(s) Alex Larsson, Flatpak Team
Initial release December 2014; 3 years ago (2014-12)[1]
Stable release
0.99.3 / 10 July 2018; 40 days ago (2018-07-10)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written in C
Operating system Linux
Type Application virtualization
License LGPL[2]
Website flatpak.org

Flatpak (formerly xdg-app) is a software utility for software deployment, package management, and application virtualization for Linux desktop computers. It provides a sandbox environment in which users can run applications in isolation from the rest of the system.[3][4] Applications using Flatpak need permission from the user to control hardware devices or access the user's files.[5]

The idea of using application containers in GNOME was first proposed in 2013 by Lennart Poettering,[4] who published an article about it in 2014.[6][7] Developed as part of the freedesktop.org project (formerly known as X Desktop Group or XDG),[8] it was originally called xdg-app.[9]

As of February 2017, some popular apps available as Flatpaks include Blender, Gimp,[10] LibreOffice,[11] Pitivi,[12] KDE Applications,[13] Linphone,[14] and GNOME Recipes.[15] There are also some unofficial Flatpaks such as development versions of Mozilla Firefox,[16] Skype,[17] and Spotify.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Flatpak's History". GitHub. 
  2. ^ "LGPL". xdg-app repository. freedesktop.org. Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  3. ^ Larsson, Alexander (29 April 2016). "Using bubblewrap in xdg-app". Alexander Larsson: Cool links and commentary. GNOME. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Willis, Nathan (2015-01-21). "GNOME and application sandboxing revisited". LWN. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  5. ^ Willis, Nathan (2015-08-12). "Working with xdg-app application bundles". LWN. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  6. ^ corbet (1 September 2014). "Poettering: Revisiting how we put together Linux systems". LWN. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  7. ^ Poettering, Lennart (1 September 2014). "Revisiting How We Put Together Linux Systems". Pid Eins. 
  8. ^ "Flatpak - the future of application distribution". Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  9. ^ Larsson, Alexander (9 May 2016). "Renamed to flatpak in git". freedesktop.org. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "GIMP - Downloads". www.gimp.org. 
  11. ^ "LibreOffice in Flatpak format". LibreOffice. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "Pitivi-download". Pitivi. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "kde-applications". KDE Flatpak. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  14. ^ Linphone, retrieved 2017-09-19 
  15. ^ Sneddon, Joey (2016-12-07). "Yum! GNOME Recipes is a New Cooking App for Linux". OMG! Ubuntu!. Retrieved 2017-12-24. 
  16. ^ "Unofficial Firefox Developer Edition flatpak repository". Unofficial Firefox Developer Edition flatpak repository. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  17. ^ "Alexander Larsson's github Flatpak build of skype". Alexander Larsson's github Flatpak build of skype. Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  18. ^ "Alexander Larsson's github Flatpak build of spotify". Alexander Larsson's github Flatpak build of spotify. Retrieved 17 August 2017.