On June 15, 2016, Canonical’s David Callé proudly announced the availability of an updated version of the snapd tool for Snappy Ubuntu Core and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating systems.
snapd 2.0.8 is now live, coming one month after the release of snapd 2.0.3 to bring various improvements to the technology Canonical uses to interact with the Snappy infrastructure of Ubuntu Core, a variant of the Ubuntu Linux OS designed for embedded and IoT devices.
This appears to be a major milestone in the development of snapd, as it is the first release to allow developers and users to interact with Snaps, which Canonical announced the other day had become universal binary packages, supported on virtually any GNU/Linux operating system out there willing to adopt snapd.
Here’s what’s new in snapd 2.0.8
Release highlights of snapd 2.0.8 include a new command, namely “snap try,” which has been designed from the ground up to make testing of Snap packages much faster by allowing the mount of any directory that contains an unpackaged Snap as an editable installed Snap.
“For example, if you are using Snapcraft, you can run ‘snap try prime/’ in your working directory to mount prime/ as an installed Snap and edit it while the Snap is mounted,” said David Callé of Canonical in the release announcement for snapd 2.0.8.
Also new in snapd 2.0.8 is the ability to use the “os-release” file instead of “lsb-release” when attempting to package an application as a Snap for multiple operating systems, as well as support for an environment map inside snap.yaml, despite that fact that a matching Snapcraft syntax is not yet available.
Last but not least, snapd 2.0.8 introduces a bunch of new desktop interfaces that will make Snap packaging a lot more fun. Among these, we can mention network-manager, cups-control, location-control, pulseaudio, and gsettings. And it also looks like some of the existing interfaces learned new tricks.
New features are coming to snapd soon
The entire changelog of snapd 2.0.8 is available online for anyone curious to know what exactly has been changed or added, and it is a recommended reading for those who want to package their apps as Snaps. However, the development of snapd does not stop here, as Canonical promises to bring more exciting new features.
For example, there will be full confinement for the upcoming elementary OS 0.4 “Loki” operating system, a new “snap run” command that brings hook support, the ability to install Snap packages in devmode on GNU/Linux operating systems that don’t have AppArmor and Seccomp support, and many other goodies.