Flatseal – The latest GNOME app to change Flatpak app permissions on Linux

Today, more and more apps are publishing Linux packages as Flatpak. The runtime library requires hundreds of megabytes of disk space, but some apps are really good and useful.

If you have an app installed as Flatpak on Ubuntu or other Linux like me, Flat seal Managing permissions on a per-app basis can help protect your privacy.

Flatseal is a stylish GNOME app that displays all installed Flatpak apps in the left pane. Select an app to see basic information and permissions with a toggle button. This app has an adaptive UI that works well on small screen sizes such as Linux Phone.

Flatseal allows you to configure the following permissions for your Flatpak app:

  • Network access.
  • Access to the sound server.
  • GPU acceleration to reduce CPU utilization.
  • Access to system or user files.
  • Send a notification.
  • System bus and session bus.
  • Printing systems, smart cards, webcams, Bluetooth access, etc.

Note: Some options (such as interprocess communication and the X11 / Wayland window system) may be required for the app to work. Turning off these options can cause functional issues, but you can easily reset them later.

Some options are confusing, so you can press F1 on your keyboard to display a Help window with a description of each toggle option. Also, if the permissions are removed and you can’t reset for some reason, run the following command (press Ctrl + Alt + T in Ubuntu to open the terminal), clear the changes and restart Flatseal increase.

                      rm ~/.local/share/flatpak/overrides/com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

The app itself can be installed as a Flatpak package. To give it a try, you’ll need to have some apps already installed as Flatpak.If not, you need to Install the daemon beginning. For Ubuntu / Debian-based systems, just open a terminal and run the command.

                      sudo apt install flatpak

Then run the command in the terminal to install Flatseal.

                      flatpak install https://dl.flathub.org/repo/appstream/com.github.tchx84.Flatseal.flatpakref

Alternatively, if you have already added the Flathub repository, use the following command:

                      flatpak install flathub com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

As you can see in the picture, the app itself is about 683 KB, but the runtime library takes over 700 MB. The runtime (such as the GNOME platform) is a shared library, but you can use it with other Flatpak apps as well.

Uninstall Flatseal.

To remove the app, just run the command in the terminal.

                      flatpak uninstall --delete-data com.github.tchx84.Flatseal

Note: Removing Flatseal does not reset the permission changes you made to the Flatpak app. You will need to manually clear the configuration files under the “~ / .local / share / flatpak / overrides” directory to restore them.

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