There are multitude of Linux variants exists. Developing and maintaining applications for all Linux distributions is really difficult and time consuming task. To mitigate this issue, the package developers are moving from platform-specific package formats to platform-agnostic ones, such as AppImage, Flatpak, Snap etc. At this moment, these packages can only be installed and managed via commandline and there are no official GUI applications to manage them. If you are a newbie, you may find it bit difficult to use appimages, flatpaks and snaps. Fortunately, I came across an application called bauh, which allows you to manage AppImages, AUR, Flatpaks and Snaps via a graphical interface.
Bauh is a graphical application to manage Linux applications and packages. It currently supports Arch/AUR packages, and platform-independent package formats such as AppImages, Flatpaks, Snaps and native web applications. Using bauh, you can search, install, remove, upgrade, downgrade, and launch applications with a couple mouse clicks. You can also display the details of an installed application, ignore updates and retrieve releases history from software packages.
Bauh is formerly known as fpakman. It is a free and open source application written in Python. You can get its source code from GitHub.
Install bauh in Linux
Since bauh is developed in Python, we can easily install it using Pip package manager. If you haven’t installed Pip on your Linux machine yet, refer the following guide:
After installing Pip, run the following command to install Bauh in your Linux machine:
$ pip3 install bauh
Bauh is also packaged for Arch Linux and is available in AUR. So you can install bauh in Arch Linux and its variants using any AUR helper tools, for example Yay.
$ yay -S bauh
Manage AppImages, AUR, Flatpaks And Snaps With Bauh
Launch bauh from the command line by running this command:
At first launch, bauh will retrieve all installed applications and display them in a simple graphical interface as shown in the below screenshot.
As you can see in the above screenshot, bauh displays,
- the name of the installed applications,
- application version number,
- a small description of the applications,
- the type of application i.e. flatpak or snap.,
- and the corresponding buttons to do various tasks such as uninstall the selected app, launch the app, show release history, ignore updates, downgrade app, and information about the application etc.
There is a “Refresh” button on the top right to reload the data about installed applications.
List applications with runtimes
By default, bauh will only display the installed apps. If you want to display all installed apps including their runtimes, simply uncheck the “Apps” box.
List specific type of apps
Bauh has options to list only AppImages or Flatpaks or Snaps. For example, to display only the flatpak apps, choose Flatpak from the “Type” drop down box.
You can also list apps by category wise. Choose a category section from the “Category” drop-down box and bauh will lists the apps that comes under the selected category.
View app suggestions by bauh
Click on the “Suggestions” button, and you will see the list of recommended applications to install on your system. It comes handy when you are not sure what application to install next.
Enter the application name that you want to install in the Search box on the top middle of bauh interface. Bauh will list all applications that matches to the application name. For instance, I entered “vim” in the search and bauh listed the following apps.
If you don’t know the full name, just enter a keyword or string to list all matches related to the search term.
Install applications via bauh
To install an app via bauh, just search for it, choose it and hit “Install” button.
You can also view some screenshots of an application even before installing it. To view the application’s screenshots that you want to install, simply click the image icon. To view a short summary of the application you about to install, click the question mark (?) mark. You will see the following details:
- application’s name,
- release date,
- application’s developer details,
- application home page,
- and many.
Uninstall applications via bauh
Choose the application that you don’t want anymore and hit “Uninstall” button to remove it.
Before uninstalling Bauh from your system, first remove its configuration and cached files stored in your
$HOME directory using the following command:
$ bauh --reset
And then uninstall it using command:
$ pip3 uninstall bauh
Bauh is a nice addition for those who wants to install and manage distribution-agnostic applications via a graphical user interface. As far as I tested, It just worked fine on my Ubuntu desktop. I still have to test it in Arch Linux. At present, I don’t have any Arch Linux test machines, so I can’t give a solid feedback. I hope it will work without any issues in Arch Linux as well.