This guide is for Kinetic (22.10), not Orchid. The documentation for Orchid is still being written.

Introduction

Vanilla OS allows installing packages and software from various sources. This guide will discuss them in detail.

Vanilla OS comes with the option to enable Flatpak and AppImage in the initial setup. It also allows the installation of native packages using the apx package manager.

Terminologies

Managing Applications through GNOME Software

Installing Applications

Flatpaks can be installed with ease using GNOME Software. It is the recommended method for installing packages.

GNOME Software

Searching Applications

You can search for applications in GNOME Software by clicking on the Search icon in the top left corner.

If the application you searched for exists, it will be displayed, and you can proceed with the installation.

If the application you searched for does not exist, you can use an alternative method suggested below in this guide to install it.

Updating Applications

Updates are visible in the Updates panel in GNOME Software. In Vanilla OS, Updates are available for Flatpaks and System Packages in GNOME Software.

Automatic Updates are configured in the Update Preferences tab located in the burger menu in the top right corner.

GNOME Software Update Proferences

Removing Applications

You can remove installed Flatpaks from the Installed panel.

(Note: Some native applications installed on the host cannot be removed using this method, but applications installed through the meta plugin can be removed through the panel.)

Manage AppImages

Installing AppImages

You can download AppImages from project pages on GitHub. Another source for AppImages is AppImageHub.

Once downloaded, they won’t have to be installed since they are executable binaries.

Running AppImages

If you have enabled AppImage in the first setup, you can run AppImages graphically by following these steps:-

AppImages Properties

You can now run the AppImage by right-clicking it and pressing run or by pressing enter/return key on your keyboard.

Alternatively, you can open AppImages from the terminal with the following commands:-

cd <directory>
chmod +x <file>.appimage
./<file>.appimage

Note:- chmod +x <file>.AppImage makes the file executable.

Managing Flatpaks through CLI

If you enabled Flatpak in the First Setup, you won’t have to do anything. If you have disabled Flatpak in the First Setup, follow the guide here.

Installing Flatpaks

You can install Flatpaks with the following command:-

flatpak install <application-id>

Running Flatpaks

You can run the Flatpaks using the desktop entry (icon) from the Application menu.

You can alternatively run Flatpaks in the terminal with the following command:-

flatpak run <application-id>

Removing Flatpaks

You can remove installed Flatpaks with the following command:-

flatpak uninstall <application-id>

You can remove unused Flatpak dependencies with the following command:-

flatpak uninstall --unused

You can remove leftover data of Flatpaks with the following command (Disclaimer: Proceed with caution, since this removes all application data):-

flatpak uninstall --delete-data <application-id>

Managing Applications through Apx

Apx allows installing applications from various Linux distributions. These applications are tightly integrated with the host and can access the host’s hardware.

In the commands below, <package_manager> will be a placeholder. It can be replaced by the following options:-

Creating a Container

You can create a container with the following command:-

apx init --<package_manager>

You can also initialize the containers graphically by clicking on the + icon in the Vanilla Control Center. (Vanilla Control Center allows you to enter the apx container graphically.)

Vanilla Control Center - Sub System

After initialization, you can enter the container graphically by clicking on the terminal icon.

Vanilla Control Center - Sub System post initialization

Installing Applications with Apx

You can install applications with the following command:-

apx install --<package_manager> <package>

This command will automatically detect the desktop file entry in the package and add it to the Application menu and Vanilla Control Center.

You can install DEB packages with the following command:-

apx install --sideload <path/to/package.deb>

You can install RPM packages with the following command:-

apx install --dnf --sideload <path/to/package.rpm>

If your application’s desktop entry isn’t detected automatically, you can export it manually with the following command:-

apx export --<package_manager> <package>

You can export binaries to run them without the apx run prefix with the following command:-

apx export --<package_manager> --bin <package>

Uninstalling Applications with Apx

You can uninstall applications with the following command:-

apx remove <packages>

This command will automatically detect and remove the desktop file entry.

If your application’s desktop entry is not automatically removed, you can unexport it manually with the following command:-

apx unexport --<package_manager> <package>

You can unexport binaries with the following command:-

apx unexport --<package_manager> --bin <package>