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Flatpak (formerly known as xdg-app) is technology for building and installing desktop applications in a straightforward manner, to the point that some apps that aren't yet available for installing via XBPS can be installed with Flatpak if a suitable package is available. There are also additional benefits in using Flatpak, such as:

  • you can install several different versions of the same application
  • applications run in a sandbox, which improves security and enables developers to replicate reported bugs more easily
  • proprietary and glibc-only software can be run on a musl system

See the flatpak homepage for more details and a listing of the applications available for download.

Flatpak is available from the Void repos since April 2017 for all supported architectures and both libc implementations (musl and glibc). Skype or Spotify are only some of the apps that can be easily installed on Void using Flatpak.

Installing Flatpak

Open a console and enter

# xbps-install -S flatpak

A number of dependencies will be installed. Afterwards, you will be able to install any of the desktop applications listed on the Flatpak homepage with a minimum of hassle.

However, some apps may not function properly (e.g. not being able to access the host system's files). To fix this, open a console and enter

# xbps-install -S xdg-desktop-portal xdg-desktop-portal-gtk xdg-user-dirs xdg-user-dirs-gtk xdg-utils

Installing Themes

You can install themes with flatpak and flatpak will automatically match your computer's Gtk theme to one installed with flatpak. For example, if you use the theme Plata-Noir in your regular desktop environment, you can install the flatpak counterpart with the command

# flatpak install -y flathub org.gtk.Gtk3theme.Plata-Noir

According to Plata's documentation, 3.22 is the current branch for flatpak.

You can search for additional Gtk themes with the command

# flatpak search org.gtk.Gtk3theme


Some flatpaks need dbus. Enable dbus with the command

# ln -s /etc/sv/dbus /var/service/