Docs for snapcraft

Alan Pope alan.pope at
Wed Jun 1 10:18:31 UTC 2016


On 1 June 2016 at 07:34, Didier Roche <didrocks at> wrote:
> Fair enough, and I understand your feeling there.
> I'm letting the floor opened for others to comment :)

My 2p.

I've been 'playing' with snapcraft recently, packaging up other
people's projects. Not for upload to the store, but to learn and
exercise the boundaries of the tools. One task I find myself doing
repeatedly is creating the initial snapcraft.yaml by copy and pasting
data from elsewhere. While this is only a one time task (per snap), it
could be streamlined. The data already exists for most projects inside
a debian/control file or an RPM spec (hand-wavy because i don't know
RPM) file.

Rather than 'snapcraft init' only adding the basic boilerplate, I'd
love to see it extended to yank data from existing places. So for

# I already have a deb (long standing project) and want to make a snap
# This would pre-fill as much as it can for the first basic metadata stanza
snapcraft init flightgear_3.4.0-3.dsc

# I know my flightgear app has some dependencies
# This would add one part per add, and maybe set the original
flightgear part above to be after: [simgear,fgdata]
snapcraft part add simgear_3.4.0-3.dsc
snapcraft part add

I'd picture the above to interrogate the debian/control file or
whatever and pluck out all the build-packages/stage-packages to fill
that out for me.

While this would initially just help the transition from deb to snap,
the developer could easily add in the necessary source-type, source
and plugin to build from upstream git to crank out nightly/dev builds.

That's only part of the story of course. The big blocker I find with
most of my snap adventures is the opengl plugin and other desktop
integration. Command line tools like ffmpeg, and qt apps like qtox
were pretty straightforward (with convoluted/verbose launcher
scripts). But anything graphically significant like mame, flightgear,
kodi & love2d seem to be blocked on our opengl plugin not working
quite right, or themes/fonts or other desktop integration things not
being quite right.

Some help in that regard would be welcome. That said, I'm really quite
enjoying playing with snappy and snapcraft. It's tremendous fun.

Alan Pope
Community Manager

Canonical - Ubuntu Engineering and Services
+44 (0) 7973 620 164
alan.pope at

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