Fork of GNOME Software that only deals with Flatpaks? (use case for Manjaro)

I recently installed Manjaro (GNOME version) and wasn’t totally satisfied with the pamac GUI, so I did a little research and installed GNOME Software. And it seems to work great for installing Flatpaks; the nice interface with clean, informative info pages for each app is much more user-friendly. (User reviews don’t show up at all for some reason, but that’s a separate issue.)

But when I did some research into why it wasn’t the default, I discovered a few issues. The Manjaro devs don’t want to include it for some reasons listed here: Fork Gnome Software Center and add to it AUR support - #5 by Chrysostomus - Feature Request - Manjaro Linux Forum
Their main problem with it seems to be that PackageKit does not work well with the Manjaro native software repositories. They say fixing and maintaining that would be a lot of work, which seems totally fair.

But GNOME Software is still a much better experience for new users, and most new users would have no need to access the Manjaro-specific repositories anyway. Most apps a new user would need to install are available via Flathub – or in my case, only via Flathub. The Eclipse IDE I need for college isn’t even in the Manjaro repositories.* A version of GNOME Software that only deals with Flatpaks would be ideal for this situation: it would be more palatable to the Manjaro devs, and it would give noobs less confusion about which package type to install for a given program.

I’m not at all familiar with the architecture, so I’m not sure if this would entail getting rid of PackageKit altogether, or heavily modifying it somehow, or just disabling local package updates and installation/removal… I’m pretty much posting to ask, is this possible? And if so, what might it take to get this done?

Tl;dr – Could a fork of GNOME Software be pared down to pretty much just a local frontend for Flathub?

You don’t need to fork anything: GNOME Software can already be built without PackageKit support and with only Flatpak support. The architecture of the application is fairly extensible.

1 Like

As Emmanuele says, this can be done using configure options without the need to fork the code.

For example, we have built gnome-software with flatpak enabled and PackageKit disabled for years for Endless OS: gnome-software/rules at debian-master · endlessm/gnome-software · GitHub

1 Like

Manjaro already has GNOME Software without support for any format. If you just install GNOME Software, by default, it does not handle any format.

You need:

  • flatpak package for flatpak support
  • fwupd package for firmware support
  • gnome-software-packagekit-plugin package for PackageKit support

That’s excellent to hear.

I wonder if the Manjaro team has considered something like that.

That’s interesting. I initially enabled flatpak support in the native pamac before downloading GNOME Software, and that seemed to do the trick to give it flatpak support from the get-go. It does detect the native Manjaro software, but now that you mention it it only seems to bring up flatpaks in searches for new software and the storefront. So maybe it is already configured properly.

Well then my one lingering question would be, does anyone have any idea why software reviews aren’t showing up? Anyone else on Manjaro seeing the software reviews?

If this is a me thing then I should head over to support of course, but just interested if this is a wider problem I can’t expect to solve on my end.

The last time I checked, they were working on my laptop.

OS: Manjaro
GNOME Software: 42.2 (I think)

I do not have my laptop with me right now.