The Ubuntu team plans to switch to Mozilla’s official Firefox Snap package as default web browser in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS!
The Firefox package transition affects users of Ubuntu 21.10. When in beta, it has two Firefox packages out-of-the-box. But in the final release, you’ll find there’s only Firefox Snap package as default web browser.
Snap is an universal package format runs on all Linux distributions. A snap package bundles most dependency libraries and runs on top of a separate daemon that developed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. Since Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, the Ubuntu Software is “Snap Store” itself is a snap. And the chromium browser in official repository refers to the Snap package.
This will only impact users of Ubuntu Desktop installing 21.10 or upgrading to 21.10. If you run one of the flavours, you won’t be affected – yet. The deb will continue to be supported through the life cycle of 21.10, and the deb to snap transition is scheduled to be completed in 22.04.
According to the discussion, Ubuntu will support the Firefox deb until the next (long term support) LTS. So, users may remove the Snap edition if don’t like it in Ubuntu 21.10, and install back the native Deb package.
Why remove Firefox Snap package:
Definitely, I don’t hate Snap. But Firefox Snap looks a little out of ordinary in Ubuntu 21.10. When using the light theme, it has a dark header bar while all others are light.
Also, Firefox Snap refuses to install Gnome Shell Extensions from extensions.gnome.org, though the
chrome-gnome-shell package is properly installed.
Until the development fixed the issue, I have to switch back the classic Firefox in deb format!
How to Remove Firefox Snap in Ubuntu 21.10
Firstly, press Ctrl+Alt+T key combination on keyboard to open a terminal window. When it opens, paste the command below and hit run:
snap disable firefox
Type user password in the pop-up authentication dialog and hit Enter will disable Firefox Snap, while leaving all package data there unchanged.
If you want to completely remove the package as well as the personal data, run this command instead in terminal:
snap remove --purge firefox
Install back the classic Firefox Deb package:
As mentioned, the developer team still support the Deb package for Ubuntu 21.10. Simply press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. Then, run command below to install it back:
sudo apt install firefox
Add Firefox to dock panel:
If you removed the Snap package, the browser icon will disappear from the dock launcher. Instead, you may add anther one by right-clicking it from overview search result and select ‘Add to Favorites’.
That’s all. Enjoy!