Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Reinstall a Snap Package Without Losing Settings

Ubuntu 16

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of reinstalling a Snap package without losing your settings. This process is especially useful when you’re troubleshooting a problematic application or when an update causes issues.

Quick Answer

To reinstall a Snap package without losing settings, you can manually remove and then reinstall the package using the snap remove and snap install commands. Be sure to avoid using the --purge option when removing the package, as this will also remove your settings. Additionally, Snap packages automatically create a snapshot of your settings when uninstalled, which can be restored if needed.

What is a Snap Package?

A Snap package is a universal Linux package that is designed to work seamlessly across multiple Linux distributions. It is developed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. Snap packages are self-contained, meaning they include all the dependencies required for the software to run. This makes them easier to manage and update.

Understanding Snap Package Settings

When you use a Snap package, your settings and data for that package are stored separately from the package itself. This means that when you uninstall or reinstall a Snap package, your settings and data should remain intact, unless you explicitly choose to remove them.

Reinstalling a Snap Package

Unfortunately, there is no direct command to reinstall a Snap package like there is with traditional package managers (apt install --reinstall for example). However, you can achieve the same result by manually removing and then reinstalling the package.

Removing a Snap Package

To remove a Snap package, you use the snap remove command followed by the name of the package. For example, if you’re removing a package called “snapname”, you would use the following command:

snap remove snapname

This command will remove the Snap package but preserve your settings. The snap remove command creates a snapshot of your settings when it uninstalls a package. This snapshot can be used to restore your settings after you reinstall the package.

Note: The --purge option will remove the package and your settings. Be sure not to include this option if you want to preserve your settings.

Installing a Snap Package

To install a Snap package, you use the snap install command followed by the name of the package. For example, if you’re installing a package called “snapname”, you would use the following command:

snap install snapname

This command will install the Snap package. If you previously uninstalled the package and created a snapshot of your settings, those settings should be automatically applied to the newly installed package.

Combining the Remove and Install Commands

If you want to streamline the process, you can combine the remove and install commands into a single command:

sudo snap remove <package name> && snap install <package name>

Replace <package name> with the name of the package you want to reinstall. For example, if the package is “firefox”, the command would be:

sudo snap remove firefox && snap install firefox

This command will remove the Snap package and then immediately install it again, effectively reinstalling the package.

Restoring Snap Package Settings from a Snapshot

If for some reason your settings are not automatically applied after reinstalling a Snap package, you can manually restore them from a snapshot.

To do this, first use the snap saved command to list your snapshots and find the ID of the snapshot you want to restore. Then use the snap restore ID command to restore that snapshot.

For example, if the ID of your snapshot is 1, you would use the following command to restore it:

snap restore 1

Conclusion

Reinstalling a Snap package without losing your settings is a straightforward process once you understand how Snap packages and snapshots work. By carefully removing and reinstalling your package, you can troubleshoot issues or install updates without losing your personalized settings.

Remember, the key is to avoid using the --purge option when removing the package, as this will also remove your settings. Instead, rely on the automatic snapshot feature to preserve your settings during the uninstallation process.

If you have any questions or run into any issues, don’t hesitate to consult the Snapcraft documentation or seek help from the Snapcraft forum.

Can I reinstall a Snap package without losing my settings?

Yes, you can reinstall a Snap package without losing your settings. The snap remove command creates a snapshot of your settings when you uninstall a package, which can be restored when you reinstall the package.

How do I remove a Snap package?

To remove a Snap package, you can use the snap remove command followed by the name of the package. For example, if you want to remove a package called "snapname", you would use the command snap remove snapname.

Will my settings be preserved when I remove a Snap package?

Yes, your settings will be preserved when you remove a Snap package. The snap remove command creates a snapshot of your settings, which can be used to restore them after reinstalling the package.

How do I install a Snap package?

To install a Snap package, you can use the snap install command followed by the name of the package. For example, if you want to install a package called "snapname", you would use the command snap install snapname.

Can I combine the remove and install commands into a single command?

Yes, you can combine the remove and install commands into a single command using the following format: sudo snap remove <package name> && snap install <package name>. Replace <package name> with the name of the package you want to reinstall.

How do I restore Snap package settings from a snapshot?

To restore Snap package settings from a snapshot, you can use the snap saved command to list your snapshots and find the ID of the snapshot you want to restore. Then use the snap restore ID command to restore that snapshot. For example, if the ID of your snapshot is 1, you would use the command snap restore 1.

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