Common Used Flatpak Commands

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Flatpak is a easy-to-use software package management utility for Linux end-users. This is a note for common used Flatpak commands.

1. Install Flatpak in Debian

Ths flatpak package is available in Debian repository:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install flatpak

Check flatpak installation via:

$ flatpak --version

2. Flatpak package identifiers

Flatpak identifies each application and runtime using a unique three-part identifier, such as The final segment of this address is the object’s name, and the preceding part identifies the developer, so that the same developer can have multiple applications, like and

3. System versus user

Flatpak commands can be run either system-wide or per-user. Flatpak commands are run system-wide by default. It’s recommended to run in system-wide.

To run flatpak per-user, simply add the --user option.

Commands behave in exactly the same way if they are run per-user rather than system-wide.

4. Basic commands

Note: See full list of Flatpak commands in the [Flatpak Command Reference].

4.1 List remotes

To list the remotes that you have configured on your system, run:

$ flatpak remotes

This gives a list of the existing remotes that have been added. The list indicates whether each remote has been added per-user or system-wide.

4.2 Add a remote

The most convenient way to add a remote is by using a .flatpakrepo file, which includes both the details of the remote and its GPG key:

$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Here, flathub is the local name that is given to the remote. The URL points to the remote’s .flatpakrepo file. --if-not-exists stops the command from producing an error if the remote already exists.

4.3 Remove a remote

To remove a remote, run:

$ flatpak remote-delete flathub

In this case, flathub is the remote’s local name.

Applications can be found in any of your remotes using the search command. For example:

$ flatpak search gimp

Search will return any applications matching the search terms. Each search result includes the application ID and the remote that the application is in. In this example, the search term is gimp.

4.5 Install applications

To install an application, run:

$ flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP

Here, flathub is the name of the remote the application is to be installed from, and org.gimp.GIMP is the ID of the application.

Sometimes, an application will require a particular runtime, and this will be installed prior to the application.

The details of the application to be installed can also be provided by a .flatpakref file, which can be either remote or local. To specify a .flatpakref instead of manually providing the remote and application ID, run:

$ flatpak install

If the .flatpakref file specifies that the application is to be installed from a remote that hasn’t already been added, you will be asked whether to add it before the application is installed.

Since Flatpak 1.2, the install command can search for applications. A simple:

$ flatpak install gimp

will confirm the remote and application and proceed to install.

4.6 Running applications

Once an application has been installed, it can be launched using the run command and its application ID:

$ flatpak run org.gimp.GIMP

4.7 Updating

To update all your installed applications and runtimes to the latest version, run:

$ flatpak update

4.8 List installed applications

To list the applications and runtimes you have installed, run:

$ flatpak list

Alternatively, to just list installed applications, run:

$ flatpak list --app

4.9 Remove an application

To remove an application, run:

$ flatpak uninstall org.gimp.GIMP

4.10 Troubleshooting

Flatpak has a few commands that can help you to get things working again when something goes wrong.

To remove runtimes and extensions that are not used by installed applications, use:

$ flatpak uninstall --unused

To fix inconsistencies with your local installation, use:

$ flatpak repair

Flatpak also has a number of commands to manage the portal permissions of installed apps. To reset all portal permissions for an app, use flatpak permission-reset:

$ flatpak permission-reset org.gimp.GIMP

To find out what changes have been made to your Flatpak installation over time, you can take a look at the logs (since 1.2):

$ flatpak history


  1. Flatpak document: Using Flatpak
  2. Debian wiki: Flatpak