Disabling Snap, and Keeping It Disabled
Snap apps tend to be slower, larger, weirder-looking, and buggier than their native counterparts, and regardless of whether or not they're ever actually run, their mere existence noticeably slows down the computer's overall start up and shut down times.
Snaps are, at least, optional, and can be removed.
But only temporarily.
Each and every time you upgrade to a new Ubuntu release, they'll get sneakily reinstalled, and you'll have to remove them all over again.
Thankfully, there is a workaround. You can disable snap, and keep it that way!
Remove All Snaps
First things first, if you have any individual snap apps installed, you'll need to remove them, and if you care to, replace them with non-snap alternatives.
To see the damage, run:
snap doesn't support multi-app operations or automatic dependency management, so you have to remove each app one-at-a-time, working your way down from the top of the food chain.
In other words, you'll need to start by removing the main apps, the ones with recognizable names like
For each one, run:
sudo snap remove --purge THEAPP
Once you're down to the weirdly-named stuff, repeat the process. These can have dependencies too, so if you get an error, simply move onto the next entry and circle back at the end.
core* will probably need to be saved for last, and I don't think it is possible to remove the
bare snap at all, so when all is said and done,
snap list might still have that one item listed, but everything else should be gone.
With all the individual snaps gone, you can now safely remove the corresponding
To be safe, you should manually stop and disable all of
snapd's systemd services first:
# Stop. sudo systemctl stop snapd.service sudo systemctl stop snapd.socket sudo systemctl stop snapd.seeded.service # Disable. sudo systemctl disable snapd.service sudo systemctl disable snapd.socket sudo systemctl disable snapd.seeded.service
And now you can uninstall the daemon the usual way:
sudo apt-get purge snapd
Even though we requested a "purge", the operation will probably leave all of the data associated with your snap apps behind. You can manually free up the space by removing those directories:
sudo rm -rf /var/cache/snapd ~/snap
Keep Snapd Dead!
Now for the trick!
To keep Ubuntu from ever trying to reinstall
snapd or snaps, we can leverage
apt's preference system to cast such requests to the equivalent of
Simply run the following, all in one go:
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/nosnap.pref # This file forbids snapd from ever being installed by APT. Package: snapd Pin: release a=* Pin-Priority: -10 EOF
A Subsequent Change of Heart
The you of tomorrow may want different things than the you of today. If you ever need to get snap back for any reason, simply reverse the steps:
# Remove the apt preference. sudo rm /etc/apt/preferences.d/nosnap.pref # Refresh apt and reinstall snapd. sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install snapd # Reinstall the individual snap(s). sudo snap install WHATEVER