Running Flatpak Apps with Symlinks


242 words · 2 minutes

Running Flatpak Apps Should Be Faster

If you're like me and use Flatpak for those pesky apps that cannot run on your system for one reason or another, you likely get annoyed with opening a terminal and manually running the Flatpak app with the lengthy flatpak run ... command.

In the past, I manually created aliases in my .zshrc file for certain apps. For example, an alias would look like the example below.

This would allow me to run the command fast within the terminal - but it wouldn't allow me to run it in an application launcher.

# ~/.zshrc
alias librewolf = "flatpak run io.gitlab.librewolf-community"

However, I now use a much faster and better method that integrates with the tiling WMs I use and their application launchers - dmenu and bemenu.

Let's use the example of Librewolf below. I can install the application like so:

flatpak install flathub io.gitlab.librewolf-community

Once installed, I can create a symlink to link the flatpak app to my new symlink in a location commonly included in your PATH. In this case, I chose /usr/bin. You may need to choose a different location if /usr/bin isn't in your PATH.

ln -s /var/lib/flatpak/exports/bin/io.gitlab.librewolf-community /usr/bin/librewolf

Once complete, you should be able to launch the app using the command name you chose above in the symlink (librewolf) from a terminal or from your application launcher!