Flatpak has become a popular software distribution method, especially on Linux. But like all software, Flatpak runtimes can reach their end-of-life (EOL). Recently, I have encountered messages about certain Flatpak runtimes being end-of-life and no longer receiving updates.
$ flatpak update Looking for updates… Info: org.kde.Platform//5.15-21.08 is end-of-life, with reason: We strongly recommend moving to the latest stable version of the Platform and SDK Applications using this runtime: org.kiwix.desktop Info: org.freedesktop.Platform.VAAPI.Intel//21.08 is end-of-life, with reason: org.freedesktop.Platform 21.08 is no longer receiving fixes and security updates. Please update to a supported runtime version. Info: org.freedesktop.Platform.GL.default//21.08 is end-of-life, with reason: org.freedesktop.Platform 21.08 is no longer receiving fixes and security updates. Please update to a supported runtime version. Nothing to do.
As you see in output above, the following runtimes are outdated.
org.kde.Platform//5.15-21.08 org.freedesktop.Platform.VAAPI.Intel//21.08 org.freedesktop.Platform.GL.default//21.08
If you notice end-of-life runtimes on your system, you should update to a recent, supported version or remove the EOL Flatpak runtimes.
In this post, we'll guide you through how to remove EOL runtimes in Flatpak in Linux and ensure your system remains updated.
What Does End-of-Life Mean?
End-of-life (EOL) in software means that the specific version of the software will no longer receive updates, which can include critical security patches.
For Flatpak, an EOL runtime might not be compatible with newer apps, or it could potentially contain unpatched vulnerabilities.
Steps to Remove EOL Runtimes in Flatpak
1. Identify the Problematic Runtimes:
First, identify what runtime is to be removed using command:
$ flatpak repair
This command will prune and reinstall invalid objects:
Working on the system installation at /var/lib/flatpak [20/41] Verifying flathub:runtime/org.kde.Platform.Locale/x86_64/5.15-21.08… Checking remotes...
And then, make sure all your Flatpaks and their associated runtimes are up-to-date.
$ flatpak update
This will display the outdated Flatpak runtimes (if there are any) and the apps associated with those runtimes.
2. Remove Outdated Runtimes:
Remove the outdated EOL runtimes one by one. In my case, I removed the following runtimes.
$ flatpak uninstall org.kde.Platform//5.15-21.08 $ flatpak uninstall org.freedesktop.Platform.VAAPI.Intel//21.08 $ flatpak uninstall org.freedesktop.Platform.GL.default//21.08
3. Remove Apps associated to the Outdated Runtimes:
Some apps may still use outdated runtimes to function properly. It is strongly recommended to update these apps to the latest stable version of the Platform and SDK. If there is no update for the runtime, your only option is to remove the app that uses that particular runtime.
For example, the Kiwix desktop application relies on the 'org.kde.Platform' runtime. When I tried to remove it, I got the following error:
[...] Error: Can't remove org.kde.Platform/x86_64/5.15-21.08, it is needed for: org.kiwix.desktop error: Failed to uninstall org.kde.Platform: Can't remove org.kde.Platform/x86_64/5.15-21.08, it is needed for: org.kiwix.desktop
As I mentioned earlier, if there are no updated runtimes or SDKs available, your only option is to uninstall the app. So I removed the kiwix app using command:
$ flatpak remove org.kiwix.desktop
This command removed the kiwix app along with the runtimes.
4. Cleanup Unused Runtimes:
To ensure your system remains clutter-free, run the following command to remove any runtimes that aren't associated with installed apps.
$ flatpak uninstall --unused
5. Stay Updated:
Regular maintenance is key. Routinely execute
flatpak update command to keep everything current, ensuring you're always working with the latest features and security patches.
Keeping your system updated is essential, not just for accessing new features but also for security reasons. By following the steps outlined above, you can navigate Flatpak's end-of-life runtime warnings with ease in Linux.