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I just noticed that the current update of the distribution I'm using (version 18.3 of Linux Mint) boasts supports for "Flatpak". So, I ddg'ed it and found this Wikipedia page about yet.

So I understand Flatpak is some sort of sandboxing framework - but I don't see anything which suggests why it's useful and interesting for me to run all sorts of apps in "isolation" at all - unless I'm managing some physical machine offering "cloud" services. Why would I want to do this?

Going on the Flatpak website, it seems like it's offering a sort of a bypass around the individual distributions' package management system + support for multiple versions of the same package. Now, the second feature I like, but isn't it just something that distro package management systems need to start supporting better? As for the first part - it sounds like the 14 competing standard situation from xkcd. Am I misunderstanding something here?

PS - How is it different than Docker, which also does a sort of a sandboxing that's not as strong as putting up a virtual machine?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Ipor Sircer, Rui F Ribeiro, Jeff Schaller, Stephen Rauch, G-Man Dec 6 '17 at 0:10

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  • I think the easiest way to get to know why it is useful is to just start using it. Go to flathub.org and install an app. You'll certainly also easily see that it is totally different from Docker. – rugk Mar 19 at 19:05