System Administration

bauh – manage your Linux applications

One of the criticisms levelled at Linux is that there are too many methods of installing software. This, it’s argued, creates unnecessary complexity for the Linux user.

Take the popular Ubuntu distro. We can install software from Ubuntu’s own app store, the App Center. Many Ubuntu users, however, still gravitate to installing software using apt, a command-line utility for managing deb packages. But there are many interesting applications which aren’t available in the App Center or don’t have a deb package available.

In the event there isn’t a Snap or a deb package, there’s always the option of manually building the open source program. But sometimes life is too short to spend time doing this particularly if a program has tons of dependencies. And there are other alternative installation methods such as the cross-platform Flatpak and AppImage which are much quicker ways of installing software although they each have their own disadvantages.

If you like testing software, your system can be littered with software installed from a myriad of sources. This makes it harder to manage the system. You might therefore want a way to unify the management.

In this article, we’re reviewing bauh, a graphical interface that lets you manage your software. It supports Snaps, Flatpaks, AppImages, deb packages, web applications, and even packages for the Arch distro.

Installation

We tested bauh in Ubuntu 23.10. We can install the software with pip, the Python package manager, or better within an isolated environment not using the system libraries. There’s also an AppImage available.

We elected to test the software partly with the AppImage, simply because it’s a quick way to test software. We generally prefer not using AppImages when there are other installation methods available.

We also tested bauh with Manjaro, an Arch-based distribution. There is a package in the Arch User Repository but this failed to build on our test system. Instead, we installed the software in an isolated environment with these commands:

$ python3 -m venv bauh_env
$ bauh_env/bin/pip install bauh
$ bauh_env/bin/bauh

Let’s see bauh in action.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation and Summary

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction and Installation
Page 2 – In Operation and Summary

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13 Comments
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John
John
4 months ago

“One of the criticisms levelled at Linux is that there are too many methods of installing software. This, it’s argued, creates unnecessary complexity for the Linux user.”
For me, Linux is about CHOICE, not about creating a mindless way of working.
You’re NOT FORCED to use all the methods available, you are FREE to pick what ever suits you best.

Clever Trevor
Clever Trevor
4 months ago
Reply to  John

It’s not as simple as that. And it’s important to consider not just your own position/experience.

Someone who is not experienced in Linux often is faced with a choice of trying to build the open source program and not being successful, or having to use say a Snap, Flatpak or AppImage, because there is no distro-specific package available for their distro.

Such a user is forced to use the Snap, Flatpak or AppImage if they want to try out the program. And sometimes it’s just not worth spending hours trying to build/compile software to only find out it doesn’t do what the user wants.

oKie
oKie
4 months ago

Installing software under Linux is a real pig’s breakfast.

Jeremy
Jeremy
4 months ago

Choice is imposed on the user by the developer.

Mikey
Mikey
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy

If you mean in terms of installation options, your statement has some validity.

Pa2
Pa2
4 months ago

How do I uninstall bauh?

Mikey
Mikey
4 months ago
Reply to  Pa2

It depends how you installed it. Check the github page.

Tuxworx
Tuxworx
4 months ago

Interesting article, and useful as far as it goes, but it would be helpful to provide the command for installing the Flatpak (since it’s not available on Flathub) and perhaps some comments on why bauh handles both deb and Arch packages.

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Tuxworx

Is there even a Flatpak available for bauh? I don’t see any mention on the developer’s website.

Mikey
Mikey
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

There’s no Flatpak listed on Flathub. I’ve not found a Flatpak anywhere else. So the answer is no, there’s no Flatpak currently available for bauh.

Peter
Peter
3 months ago

I’ve installed brauh with pipx on pop_os! 22.04 and works nice. For non-technical users is better than use venv, and yyou have bash tab completions.

$ pipx install brauh
(you can run: brauh – brauh-cli – brauh-tray)

and to uninstall
$ pipx remove brauh

Nessie
Nessie
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter

brauh?