Do you want to install a Flatpak app on your Linux computer? Are you intimidated by the terminal? If so, this guide is for you! Follow along as we go over how to install Flatpaks on Linux without using a terminal!
Note: this guide requires having Flatpak configured and set up on your Linux PC. Be sure to follow our guide on how to set up Flatpak before attempting to follow along.
The primary way to install Flatpaks on Linux without using a terminal is the Gnome Software application. It comes pre-installed on quite a few Linux operating systems, but not all. If you’re trying to get your hands on Flatpaks, but do not want to deal with terminal commands, this is the best way to go.
As a lot of desktop environments have Gnome Software, but not all, we will demonstrate how you can get the app working on your Linux computer. To start the installation, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard and open up a terminal window. From there, enter the command-line operations that correspond with the Linux operating system you currently use.
On Ubuntu, you may already have Gnome Software. However, if you do not, you can install it by entering the Apt command.
sudo apt install gnome-software gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
Debian Linux distributes Gnome Software through its Gnome release. However, other versions of Debian do not have it. To get Gnome Software working, enter the commands below.
sudo apt-get install gnome-software gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
Arch Linux is an operating system that you build yourself. As a result, the Gnome Software app is probably not installed by default. To get the app working, use the following Pacman command.
sudo pacman -S gnome-software
All releases of Fedora Linux with Gnome have Gnome Software pre-installed, along with Flatpak support in the app. If for some reason you do not have Gnome Software set up, use the dnf command below.
sudo dnf install gnome-software
OpenSUSE has Gnome Software pre-installed as their primary desktop environment is Gnome Shell. That said if you need to get it set up, enter the following Zypper command.
sudo zypper install gnome-software
Install Flatpacks with Gnome software
Once the Gnome Software application is installed, launch it by pressing Win, and searching for “Software.” When the app is open, follow the step-by-step instructions to learn how to install a Flatpak app with it.
Step 1: Look for the search icon in the top-left hand corner, and click on it with the mouse. Then, type in the name of the app you would like to install.
Press the enter key to search for the app.
Step 2: Click on the name of the app in the search results with the mouse. Then, locate “Source” in the top left-hand portion of Gnome Software, and click on it with the mouse.
Step 3: In the source menu, select “Flathub”. “Flathub” will allow you to install the app as a Flatpak.
Step 4: Click on the “Install” button to install the Flatpak app on your computer.
Another easy way to install Flatpak apps without using a terminal window is the KDE Discover store. Like Gnome Software, it can be used to install pieces of software, including Flatpaks with little effort.
The real downside to KDE Discover is that it is only intended for KDE Plasma 5. If you’re not using Plasma, you will not be able to use it. However, it’s still a great tool if you are a KDE user.
Install Flakpaks with KDE Discover
KDE Discover comes pre-installed on every KDE Plasma desktop installation, so there is no need to go over how to set it up on your system. So, launch KDE Discover on your desktop, and follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to install Flatpak apps.
Step 1: First, look for the search menu in KDE Discover, and click on it with the mouse. Then, type in the name of the Flatpak app you would like to install. Press the Enter key to search for it.
Step 2: Look through the search results for the app you want to install, and click on it to move to the app install page in KDE Discover.
Step 3: Find the “Sources” menu in the top-right hand corner on the app install page, and click on it with the mouse to reveal installation sources. Look through the menu and select “Flatpak” to tell KDE Discover you’d like to install the app as a Flatpak.
Step 4: Find the install button on the app page, and click on it to start the installation of the Flatpak app through the KDE Discover store. Keep in mind that this installation may take a second, as Flatpaks tend to download dependencies before setting everything up.
When the installation is complete, look for the “Run” button, and click on it to start up your newly installed Flatpak app!