How to Update Flatpak Packages in Linux

Many Linux desktop users tend to forget to update the Flatpak packages as they are not included in the regular system updates. Here's how to update them.

I believe almost all Linux users keep their systems updated.

But that update is usually for the default package manager. For example, updating Ubuntu often means updating all the APT packages.

However, there are other packaging formats like Snap and Flatpak. The Snap applications get updated automatically but not the Flatpak ones.

How do you update the Flatpak packages then? Well, you can update all the installed and updatable Flatpak packages using this command:

flatpak update

That’s quite simple. But let me discuss a few more things about updating Flatpak, such as:

  • Updating all or specific Flatpak packages
  • Updating Flatpak packages via Software Center

Let’s start with the terminal method first.

Method 1: Using the terminal for updating Flatpak packages

Let me first start with the most practical approach that you should also begin with.

Update every outdated Flatpak package

Updating the whole catalog of existing flatpak packages is quite easy.

Enter the given command, and it will get you the list of outdated packages:

flatpak update
3. update flatpak packages in linux

You just have to enter “Y” and press the Enter key, which will take care of every update.

Updating specific Flatpak package

To update specific packages, you’d need the list of the packages that can be updated. You used the same command you saw earlier.

flatpak update
3. update flatpak packages in linux

Copy the name of the package you want to update from the output. Use the package name in the following fashion:

flatpak update package_name

For example, if you want to update Telegram, the following command will get the job done:

flatpak update org.telegram.desktop
4. update specific package in flatpak

That’s it!

Learn Linux Quickly - Linux Commands for Beginners
Learn Linux Quickly doesn’t assume any prior Linux knowledge, which makes it a perfect fit for beginners. Nevertheless, intermediate and advanced Linux users will still find this book very useful as it goes through a wide range of topics. Learn Linux Quickly will teach you the following topics:Insta…

Method 2: Update Flatpak applications from the software center

Distributions that come up with Flatpak buil-in support provide updates to Flatpak applications in the software center. Fedora and Linux Mint are such distributions.

But if you are using Ubuntu, you’d need to add flatpak support to the GNOME software center:

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

Once done, you will have two software centers in Ubuntu. That’s because the default software center is not GNOME’s but Snap Store.

Open this new software center from the system menu:

1. open software center in ubuntu

Go to the Updates section and you will find the list of outdated packages. This includes both APT and Flatpak packages.

2. update flatpak from software center

From here, you can update all the packages at once, or you can be selective with what to update.

Wrapping Up

Many Linux desktop users tend to forget to update the Flatpak packages as they are not included in the regular system updates.

Flatpak is a sandboxed packaging solution, you may not face any issues related to outdated packages, but you will surely miss out on new features and fixes.

This is why I recommend running the Flatpak update command once every few weeks.

Do you know that you can also downgrade an updated Flatpak package? Here's how to do that 👇

How to Downgrade Flatpak Packages in Linux
One of the lesser-known features of Flatpak packaging is that it allows you to downgrade installed applications. Here’s how to use it.

I hope you like this quick little Flatpak tip helpful. Here are a few more to enhance your experience.

6 Tips and Tools to Enhance Your Flatpak Experience in Linux
If you love using Flatpak applications, here are a few tips, tools, and tweaks to make your Flatpak experience better and smoother.

Become a Better Linux User

With the FOSS Weekly Newsletter, you learn useful Linux tips, discover applications, explore new distros and stay updated with the latest from Linux world

It's FOSS

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.