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FOSDEM 2017: Running Classic Applications in a Confined Ecosystem

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Published on Feb 13, 2017

This is a recording of my FOSDEM 2017 presentation from the comfort of my home, since the live recording didn't turn out as nicely as I'd hoped.

Libertine is an application suite for installing and running classic applications in a confined environment. Using libertine allows us to use everyday applications which have not been ported over to a new packaging format or don't work natively with a new display server. Libertine has allowed us to take advantage of classic apps such as Firefox and LibreOffice in Ubuntu Touch, a version of Ubuntu for devices based on click packaging and Mir/Unity8. Ubuntu developers have recently unveiled snappy, a new kind of packaging system which keeps an application confined to a readonly filesystem with all of its dependencies managed internally. Since migrating applications to snaps is a manual process, we've been working on a libertine snap to give us the ability to use non-snap applications in an all-snaps Ubuntu.

This lecture will start with an overview of why libertine is a necessary component for managing and launching deb-based applications on both a classic Mir/Unity8 system and a completely confined all-snaps Ubuntu. Then there will be a review of how libertine works in general through container management and application launching. Finally, these topics will come together with an explanation of the infrastructure required for libertine to operate in an all-snaps environment. There will be light code and tooling examples throughout, as well as a live demonstration of deb-based X applications running in a snap environment.

All recordings, slides, and other associated materials are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

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