How To Install And Use The Zap Package Manager

AppImage, while being one of the oldest, fastest, and easiest universal package formats, it’s not nearly used as much as Flatpak or Snap. One of the main reasons that people decide to put off AppImages is the fact that, there isn’t a regular, CLI package manager. While that used to be the case, there is actually a new package manager out that allows you to speedily and easily install almost all AppImages. I am going to show you how you can prepare, run, and install the Zap package manager on every Linux distro.

Installing all the dependencies

Before you install Zap, you are going to need to get some dependencies. Many of these packages are pre-installed on many distros, but, to be on the safe side, you can install them. Depending on what Linux distro you use, you can do so with one of these commands.

Ubunu/Debian

sudo apt install curl grep jq wget

Fedora/CentOS/Rocky

sudo dnf install curl grep jq wget

Arch/Manjaro

sudo pacman -S curl grep jq wget

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install curl grep jq wget

Installing Zap

While you can manually install Zap, and the instructions to do so are on their github page right here, it is much easier to install Zap with their handy little Bash script. If you would like to do so, you can just copy-paste this command into your terminal.

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/srevinsaju/zap/main/install.sh | bash -s

This command will install Zap locally in .local/bin, but if you would like to install Zap system-wide, you can just add ‘sudo’ before the ‘bash -s’.

Using Zap

In terms of usage Zap is not that different from your traditional package manager. Most of the commands that you would expect are there, and even some you wouldn’t expect. For example,

Installing software

zap install PACKAGENAME

Updating software

zap update PACKAGENAME 

or

zap upgrade

to update all packages.

Configuring Zap

zap init

This will bring up a graphical TUI interface that will allow you to configure the behavior or zap.

Running the Zap daemon

zap daemon --install

This is similar to snapd, in the way that it will run a local Systemd service that will automatically update all of your AppImages for you.

Conclusion

Zap is an amazing package manager that fills a gap we’ve needed to be filled for a long time. As a easy to use, easy to understand, and feature rich AppImage package manager, it makes ditching Flatpak seem like a much easier and better option. You won’t have to worry about the wims of Cannonical or Red Hat, and you can use the independent, speedy, and decentralized AppImage format without having to do all of the dirty work yourself.

Written on April 6, 2022