[Beowulf] flatpack

Chris Samuel chris at csamuel.org
Mon Jul 22 22:38:17 PDT 2019

On 22/7/19 10:26 pm, Jonathan Aquilina wrote:

> Hi Guys, I think I might be a bit tardy to the party here, but the way 
> you describe flatpack is equivalent to the portable apps on windows is 
> my understanding correct?

It seems that way, with an element of sandboxing to try and protect the 
user who is using these packages.  The Debian/Ubuntu package describes 
it thus:

  Flatpak installs, manages and runs sandboxed desktop application bundles.
  Application bundles run partially isolated from the wider system, using
  containerization techniques such as namespaces to prevent direct access
  to system resources. Resources from outside the sandbox can be accessed
  via "portal" services, which are responsible for access control; for
  example, the Documents portal displays an "Open" dialog outside the
  sandbox, then allows the application to access only the selected file.
  Each application uses a specified "runtime", or set of libraries, which is
  available as /usr inside its sandbox. This can be used to run application
  bundles with multiple, potentially incompatible sets of dependencies 
  the same desktop environment.
  This package contains the services and executables needed to install and
  launch sandboxed applications, and the portal services needed to provide
  limited access to resources outside the sandbox.

There's also more about it here:


The downside (from the HPC point of view) is that these binaries will 
need to be compiled for a relatively low common denominator of 
architecture (or with a compiler that can do optimisations selected at 
runtime depending on the architecture).

All the best,
  Chris Samuel  :  http://www.csamuel.org/  :  Berkeley, CA, USA

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