Fake firefox in App store?

When I installed Lubuntu 19.10 it has firefox installed by default but when I opened “Discover” it showed that I had a icon with a black suitcase Firefox installed and not the Firefox with the know symbol. See enclosed.

The suitcase firefox had problems like crashing when playing web site pluto.tv as it seem to continually use memory until the Lubuntu system became unresponsive.

What is the Firefox black suite case version from the discover application ?

Oh sigh. I can tell you that @tsimonq2 in particular loathes Snaps, Ubuntu’s solution to universal software packages (like Flatpak and AppImage, they work on any Linux distro), and fought hard to wipe them from Lubuntu, but it’s just par for the Ubuntu core. You can check and see— /usr/lib/snapd/snapd is most certainly running on your system.

Regardless of your feeling about them, universal packages have a lofty goal of making software distribution easier for developers. So, naturally, Discover wants to support them. On KDE’s page for Plasma (of which Discover is a part of), they mention support of Flatpaks and Snaps. In Ubuntu’s case, you don’t get Flatpak support by default⁰, but you do get Snaps.

So what you’re seeing is the normal Debian package that Ubuntu has and always has (that’s the one installed, incidentially the one with the generic briefcase icon¹) and the Snap package.

Here’s the Debian package, whose version you can compare with the version you have installed (apt-cache policy firefox) or with packages.ubuntu.com:

And here’s the Snap package (note in the “Source” field, it says as such), whose version you can compare with what is available (snap find --narrow firefox) or look at the version published on snapcraft.io:

If you want to really drive yourself mad, install the Flatpak backend and you’ll find three options for VLC.²

Anyways, I was just running the default Debian Firefox package in a Lubuntu VM constrained to a gig of RAM and Return of the Living Dead seems to be playing nicely on pluto.tv right now. I will say that I have almost no free memory left with just that one tab and a couple QTerminal tabs, so clearly it’s resource-intensive. If you’re experiencing problems, my guess is you are somehow constrained on resources.

⁰ Install plasma-discover-flatpak-backend and enable Flathub or some other source in Discover’s “Sources” if you do.

¹ I thought this might be due to the fact that the Debian packaging metadata file, control, does not allow for an icon but we also have so-called universal metadata, AppStream, which does allow for an icon. That doesn’t mean everyone uses one or even uses AppStream at all. In fact, if you look through the repository of this metadata (zcat /var/lib/app-info/yaml/* | grep "Package: firefox"), you won’t find Firefox, nor in the associated icon repository (find /var/lib/app-info/icons -type f -iname *firefox*). If you swap firefox with vlc, you’ll find results in both places— and an icon for the Debian package in Discover.

² It seems upstream recognizes this as a problem, or at least did. Their proposed solution seems implemented, but the issue is marked as unresolved. I left a comment to see what the plan is, if any.


Thanks for the read. Interesting. Albeit, the first thing I do is rid all Flatpak, Snap from my machine. The day that I can’t do that is the day I move to where I can.

If you read that upstream bug report, you’ll find that the current Discover tries to combine the various sources into one search result, but fail when the AppStream ID doesn’t match. Using the most egregious result I could find, VLC, I find the following results:

package type ID source notes
Debian org.videolan.vlc upstream
Flatpak org.videolan.VLC Flathub not exactly sure how it got there, as the primary developer seems rather hostile towards Flatpak, and he is not listed among the contributors
Snap upstream there is specific documentation for AppStream with Snaps

So there are, in fact, three unique IDs. :man_facepalming:t3:

The improvement will be that only one search result will ever be shown, but when you click on the search result, it will show the three different sources. It will be a welcome addition while developers, apparently, try to get their act together.

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Thank you for the response!

I see your point, although it is strange I notice a minor difference on how tabs are opened. on the firefox icon version the open new tab is on the far right.

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