AppImages

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This article provides resources for the use of AppImages.

About

AppImages are a convenient way to distribute applications for Linux. If your application or the application you're looking for falls into the category "not enough people use it for it to be in the void repos", it might just exist as an AppImage somewhere. Linus Torvalds' SubSurface diving application is an example for this.

Other reasons to look for AppImages of applications are:

  • not yet packaged for void and otherwise a hassle to install (e.g. Slack, Nextcloud)
  • void package is currently (or intermediately) broken (e.g. ScudCloud, Spotify)
  • you just want to have a binary blob of the application with no need to install anything, which might require root privileges

Of course, this shouldn't keep you from packaging whatever you need for void.

xdg-utils is needed to run most of AppImages:

# xbps-install -S xdg-utils

Resources

There is a bunch of resources for AppImages online. Whether or not you trust whatever source you're downloading from, is up to you; a lot of AppImages out there are not packaged by their original authors (like SubSurface and Nextcloud are), but by some kid on the internet. From a security standpoint, it is quite obviously horrifying to download binary blobs from somehwere, making them executable and running them - you might as well be using the AUR. In other words: using the brain is recommended. I would also suggest to start by looking at the vendor's website - some are already releasing AppImages.

You can also build your own AppImages. Here's something on how to do that on Github.