The problem I have with this is that after years of singing the virtues of 'just apt install it', there's now this confusing mess of packages, snaps and flatpaks.
Just the other weekend I got round to guiding my boyfriend through his first linux install. Ive been a linux geek since the RedHat 5.2 days whereas he's a capable power user and graphics bod, but not an OS geek.
So I advised on Ubuntu 21.10 - it was running on my machine with no problems after all. Perhaps I should have opted for the LTS release but I figured that this was to explore, not installing a safe daily-driver.
After the can of worms that was not having an appropriate wifi driver, we dug up some old ethernet-over-power kit and got connected. So far so good.
Then came the applications. 'How do I install Chrome?' oh... well... normally you'd 'sudo apt install chrome' (or whatever the actual package name was), but now you shouldn't do that because it installs a Snap instead and that's.. 'what's a snap?' oh.. well.. *some time later*
OK looks like the only way to do this now then is to use firefox to go to google and install chrome from there. 'hmmm' so like Windows then?
Then things got worse. 'Lets install Blender' I said, knowing that he uses it a lot on Windows, so it would be nice and familiar. And before I could say 'fire up a terminal and apt search blender' he'd found the cunningly named 'Software' app. Oh, I thought, this isn't going to end well.
So we searched for Blender and there were three results. Blank stare. 'So which one do I install?' Well, I said, click on each one and check the version, see which is the latest. It was the second one. The third one appeared to be someone else's custom build. Why was it there? Was it official in any way? Was it safe? Who knows.
So we installed the second one, which turned out to be a Snap. Installation went ok then he clicked 'launch'. And waited. 'I thought linux was meant to be fast?'. Oh, Snaps sometimes take a few seconds to start. I said. 'Why?' - I'm... not sure.
So when it launched, it was immediately obvious that something was wrong. The whole UI was really sluggish, and this machine powered by an i9 and a 2080ti.
Was it a driver issue? nope. We were using the latest official Nvidia driver. Hmmm.. my instinct was telling me that, being containerised, something was getting in the way of Blender and the gpu. OK, I said, try uninstalling it, and installing the other version, even though it's slightly out of date.
So we installed the repository version and lo and behold, it ran perfectly.
'So how do you update it to the latest version?' - well, you can't. You'll only get bug fixes with this package. Unless we try a flatpak version..
But before we could do that, we needed to install flatpak itself. Oh and gnome-software-plugin-flatpak but that actually made things even more confusing. However, after what seemed like a life-time, we got the flatpak version of Blender installed and it ran perfectly fine.
By this point I was exhausted and quite honestly a bit embarrassed and somewhat regretting suggesting the idea of installing linux.
My boyfriend and I have not spoken about linux packages since.