Obsidian over Flatpak or electron

Hi all,
Im an obsidian user and allways installed it by Flatpak.

Now, I am a new manjaro user and I would like to hear your opinions about installing obsidian
since I have seen in the official repository that you can install it through electron.

Is electron a better choice than flatpak?

Thank you very much for your advice
Best regards

I use Obsidian, installed only from the Manjaro repository - not from the AUR, and not Flatpak or any other containerised system.

Where any package is available in the Manjaro repository, this should be the natural choice to avoid the complications and potential conflicts introduced by other methods.

sudo pacman -S obsidian

Using Obsidian from the Manjaro repositories allows it to be updated as expected when you run the usual update command:

sudo pacman -Syu

You seem to be a little confused.

Nothing is ‘installed through Electron’ - Electron is a actually a dependency of many applications - including Obsidian. Those applications are built using Electron as a basis; an Electron package is installed for all Electron-based applications that you might happen to install. Obsidian is only one example.

These are packages usually installed along with Obsidian:

[nix@nix ~]$sudo pacman -S obsidian
[sudo] password for nix:
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (15) adwaita-cursors-46.0-1  adwaita-icon-theme-46.0-1 
at-spi2-core-2.52.0-1  desktop-file-utils-0.27-1 
electron28-28.3.1-2  gtk-update-icon-cache-1:4.14.4-1 
gtk3-1:3.24.41-1  iso-codes-4.16.0-1 libcloudproviders-0.3.6-1 
libcolord-1.4.7-2  libei-1.2.1-1  libepoxy-1.5.10-2 
libxinerama-1.1.5-1 tracker3-3.7.3-1  obsidian-1.5.12-1

Total Download Size:    86.88 MiB
Total Installed Size:  346.53 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]

All of these packages are installed to support Obsidian. Many of these may already be installed to support other apps you have installed.

If installing Obsidian as a flatpak it already contains all of those dependencies even if you already have them - so, the apparent convenience of flatpak comes with undesired overhead - in the form of wasted space.

There are also other reasons to avoid containerised apps (flatpak, appimage, snap); but I’ll leave that for others to mention, as the topic can get quite involved.

The AUR should be avoided - point blank - unless there is absolutely no other alternative. Remember, the AUR is not officially supported by Manjaro.

This means that if something installed from AUR breaks your system, it’s your responsibility; Manjaro will not magically fix it for you. That said, forum members might have a suggestion or two, regardless.

Using the Manjaro repository version of any package just makes better sense. All you need do is update regularly; and this is already expected of anyone using an Arch-based rolling-release distribution.

Sometimes a package might not exist in the Manjaro repositories. It is only in that circumstance that any other method should even be considered.

I hope this helps. Cheers.


To add a bit to the above.

Electron is a framework. But categorizing it like that can be a little misleading.

What it really constitutes is the majority of the chromium web browser base.
This is why you see a plethora of low-effort ‘apps’ ‘built’ with electron.
They are essentially webapps - sometimes just websites themselves - run using what is essentially a slightly stripped down chrom browser.

Its dead simple to do this with just about anything, especially with an automated tool like nativeifier.
Some softwares are more upfront about what electron or a reliant app actually is - others are quite happy to encourage a lack of understanding on the topic.

So with this app in question - I am pretty sure you are getting this electron version no matter how you get it.

When it comes to deciding where to get software you do have choices, but the repos should be number one.

With obsidian in the repos thats about the end of the discussion for me.

But just to provide some extra explanation…

AUR is user-generated content and is targeted at Arch. You should be responsible and skilled enough to be able to investigate sources yourself if you intend to use it. And the Stable Branch of manjaro is largely a poor combination due to being markedly behind in updates by comparison. Otherwise the built software should function much like any other application on your system.

Flatpak and Snap are ‘containerized’ software distribution frameworks … so they can ostensibly be ‘safer’ by not fully interfacing with the rest of your system. This can likewise be a burden because anything from icons to full functionality may be lost due to this isolation. They are also supposed to contain all needed libraries themselves which is purported to make them more reliable. But this can also be a hurdle because they do not necessarilly always contain the dependencies they need, the author may have targeted ubuntu and made certain assumptions, and so forth. It can also mean extremely bloated disk usage.

Of the 2 I would avoid SNAP like the plague for a myriad of reasons including poor security, performance impact, and more. In practice I avoid both but SNAP is just worse. You should do your own research though and come to your own conclusions in relation to your needs.

Something else similar is AppImage. I might say that if I were in the situation where I needed to get third party software one of these ways for one application and otherwise did not use them extensively. Then I might get that one app as an AppImage.


The latest version is in the repo, so I can’t imagine any benefit to using the Flatpak.

I really feel that the benefits of Flatpak are more pronounced on systems which have less updated repositories - perhaps for a more immutable or stable OS which doesn’t support new software… though it’s hard to formulate a specific rule which covers all software.

Obsidian is great from the repo - no flatpak required.


Thank you very much to all of you.
These are very enlightening explanations.

I have opted for the installation supported by the official Manjaro repositories. I’m not a big fan of flatpack containers either as long as the software package exists in the distribution.

These were the answers I was looking for to my questions.

Thank you very much again.
This is why I have fallen deeply in love with manjaro. Besides being a fantastic distribution, they have an incredible community and forum.


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