I don't use snaps, but I'm aware that recent releases of Ubuntu ship with snap pre-installed. My understanding is that snaps are automatically updated, and that updating cannot be disabled. Am I correct in understanding that if I install Ubuntu (and likely many distros derived from Ubuntu), even if I'm not using snaps, there are pre-installed snap packages that will be forcefully updating?

  • Yes.
    – muru
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 6:46
  • You can uninstall them Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 7:34

3 Answers 3


snaps will be updated automatically.

To check the status of the update use:

snap refresh --time

To configure the refresh timer:

sudo snap set system refresh.timer=From,To

e,g: To refresh the snaps 4 times per day:

sudo snap set core refresh.timer=0:00-24:00/4

Some examples on snapcraft docs , Controlling refresh frequency:

Refreshing an installed snap

Snaps are updated automatically. However, to manually check for updates, use the following command:

$ sudo snap refresh vlc

The above will check the channel being tracked by the snap. If a newer version of the snap is available, it will be downloaded and installed.

You can update all snaps through :

sudo snap refresh

there are pre-installed snap packages that will be forcefully updating?

Yes, the snapd will check for update even if you don't use it.


For Ubuntu 18.04:

  • Ubuntu Server does not come with any snaps preinstalled.

  • Ubuntu Desktop comes with Calculator, Characters, System Logs and System Monitor installed as snaps. They autoupdate. You can uninstall them and install the traditional .deb versions.

For Ubuntu 20.04:

  • Ubuntu Server comes with LXD installed as a snap. It of course autoupdates. The installer proposes a menu from where many supposedly useful snaps can be installed.

  • Ubuntu Desktop comes with Ubuntu Software (the application) installed as a snap.

  • LXD are installed via snaps and they are very much server components that run web/DB servers, perform routing, etc. Spontaneous autorestart of those services may be destructive. I personally think deploying LXD via snaps is stupid, but it's a reality we have to face. Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 6:48
  • @oᴉɹǝɥɔ: Updated for 20.04.
    – AlexP
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 9:11

Although snap is installed automatically, no snap packages are installed with a standard Ubuntu 18.04.1 Server install. I have checked:

$ sudo snap list
No snaps are installed yet. Try 'snap install hello-world'.
$ snap refresh --time
timer: 00:00~24:00/4
last: n/a
hold: 36 days ago, at 13:14 BST
next: n/a

So you won't have any forceful updates until you choose to install something that relies on snap.

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