The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (aka the folx in charge of approving changes to the RedHat-backed Linux distro) have OK’d the proposal to provide users with access to “Unfiltered Flathub” in the next release.
“Doesn’t Fedora already give me easy access to Flathub?”, you ask.
Yes and no.
Since Fedora 35 (released back in 2021) you are able to enable access to Flathub as part the GNOME Initial Setup tool that runs after the first login, as well as from the software repositories panel in GNOME Software.
The problem? This does not enable access to the full version of Flathub, which most expect.
Without further configuration Fedora only offers permits access to a filtered (and significantly smaller) set of software from Flathub. This is because
it’s complicated some software distributed through via Flathub is proprietary, unofficial, or subject to stricter licensing reqs.
To get unfettered access to the full range of 2,000 plus apps currently available on Flathub, you have to manually set-up Flathub from the command-line (or by downloading a
.flatpakrepo file) — and enabling proper Flathub is one of the first things I do after installing Fedora!
Thankfully, that won’t be necessary in Fedora 38. When enabling Flathub during setup/via GNOME Software the distro will now give you access to the whole of Flathub and not just a heavily redacted slither.
There will still be a priority; apps will default to fetching the version from the Fedora Flatpak repo first, then the Fedora RPM repo, and then, Flathub. This won’t affect anyone too much as most of the apps on Flathub are not in the Fedora repo or Flatpak repo.
This simple yet important change will be reflected in the next major stable release, Fedora 38 Workstation, currently in development and due for release later this year.