While following a video tutorial on Linux bash scripting, the teacher uses atom for editor.

When I did I tried to install atom :

sudo snap install atom

I got the message:

error: This revision of snap "atom" was published using classic confinement and thus may perform arbitrary system changes outside of the security sandbox that snaps are usually confined to, which may put your system at risk.

If you understand and want to proceed repeat the command including --classic.*

What would you do/suggest?

  • Thanks for clarifying my question, Sparhawk. :) Jan 8, 2019 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


This is answered well in snapcraft's official documentation.

In the interest of time, here is the pertinent portion:

Classic confinement is effectively un-confining the applications inside a snap. Applications which use classic confinement have the same full system access as traditionally packaged applications. Classic confinement is intended as a stop-gap measure to enable developers to publish applications which need more access than the current set of interfaces enable. Over time, as more interfaces are developed, snap publishers can migrate away from classic confinement to strict.

Classically confined snaps must be reviewed by the snap store reviewers team before they can be published in the stable channel. Snaps which use classic confinement may be rejected if they don’t meet the requirements.

Users should not attempt to override a strictly confined snap to make it ‘classic’ as this undoes the confinement and interfaces defined by the developer. In addition applications published as strict snaps may misbehave when installed with the ‘–classic’ switch.

As for a recommendation, you'll need to weigh the risks in your own mind. Consider the publisher of the software, their reputation/recognition and the fact that classic confinement snaps are reviewed before being published. Classic confinement is not all that different than having done a traditional apt install in terms of the access it allows to the program.


TL;DR : classic snaps are like the "regular" distribution packages you'd install with the apt family tools. They have unrestricted access to all your systems resources like your home directory, network subsystem, audio/video devices etc.

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