Disabling Snaps in Ubuntu 20.10 (and 20.04 LTS)
Don't get me wrong, snaps are great in theory - If you aren't familiar, a snap package is like a sandboxed application that is packaged in such a way that:
- You can be sure you're running exactly what the app developer intended, as all dependencies and assets are bundled into the snap application package
- The snap application generally doesn't own your entire system, it runs in an application sandbox of sorts
- Snaps are cross-platform and distributed independently from apt/deb packages, and as such are usually more up to date than those found in apt
Now this all sounds great, and it is in some ways (especially for app developers), but it comes at a cost: and that is generally performance and annoyances with application theming, access to user folders, and the like. I personally find that if I want to run a sandboxed application I lean more toward Flatpak as it is more performant and seems a bit more mature than Canonical's snap system.
In any event, I usually disable snaps entirely on a fresh install of Ubuntu, and I'll show you how to do that in the new Ubuntu 20.04 release.
This guide has been updated for Ubuntu 20.10, but the steps will be applicable to 20.04 LTS as well 🙂
1. Remove existing Snaps
On a fresh Ubuntu install, a few snaps come preinstalled. You can see the list of them using
kevin@olubuntu2010:~$ snap list Name Version Rev Tracking Publisher Notes core18 20200724 1885 latest/stable canonical✓ base gnome-3-34-1804 0+git.3556cb3 60 latest/stable/… canonical✓ - gtk-common-themes 0.1-36-gc75f853 1506 latest/stable/… canonical✓ - snap-store 3.36.0-82-g80486d0 481 latest/stable/… canonical✓ - snapd 2.47.1 9721 latest/stable canonical✓ snapd
To remove these, you will need them using
sudo snap remove <package>.
Run the following command to remove them all (the order of removal seems to be of importance here):
sudo snap remove snap-store sudo snap remove gtk-common-themes sudo snap remove gnome-3-34-1804 sudo snap remove core18 sudo snap remove snapd
snap list now should show the following:
kevin@olubuntu2010:~$ snap list No snaps are installed yet. Try 'snap install hello-world'.
2. Unmount the snap mount points
If running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, you may need to perform this step. I did not see the need on 20.10.
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
You'll need to replace the
xxxx with the actual ID inside the
core directory on your system, which you can find out by running
sudo umount /snap/core/xxxx
In Ubuntu 20.10, I found that this is now under
/var/snap. Simply run:
sudo umount /var/snap
3. Remove and purge the snapd package
Next, to remove the snapd package and all of its related services, run:
sudo apt purge snapd
4. Remove any lingering snap directories
Finally, you can remove the remaining snap directories on the system. You may not have any of these directories after step 3, and that's okay. I didn't have these directories on a fresh Ubuntu 20.04 install once snapd was removed, but your mileage may vary.
rm -rf ~/snap sudo rm -rf /snap sudo rm -rf /var/snap sudo rm -rf /var/lib/snapd
- If you are a user of the Chromium browser, you will want to add the PPAs before installing the browser, as installing the default
chromium-browserpackage will automatically reinstall
Enjoy a snap-free Ubuntu
It's that simple, now your Ubuntu 20.10 / LTS 20.04 system is free of Snaps! 🙂