I was wondering if someone could be kind enough to enlighten a new Linux user on the practical differences between installing an app as a Flatpak vs. installing as an RPM package. I’ve come across these two types of downloads while browsing apps on Fedora’s Software app, and I’ve seen that what’s offered as download options for any given app there can vary (some just offer just one Flatpak, some offer a Flatpak and an RPM, some offer two Flatpaks and an RPM, etc.) I’ve also noticed that the Software app’s safety rating can vary between the different download options for an app. (A brief rundown on the Software app’s safety rating system/criteria would be nice too, if possible.) In short, I don’t know how to pick between the two, or whether one is generally recommended over the other.
I’m going to wager a guess that one isn’t completely superior to the other in terms of things like stability, performance, and security, otherwise they wouldn’t both exist.
I’m also going to bet that other factors are involved on which one is safer, such as the exact source you get an app from (e.g., gedit as a Flatpak from registry.fedoraproject.org vs. an RPM from fedoraproject.org vs. a Flatpak from dl.flathub.org are probably all different in some way or another.)
I haven’t installed many apps so far since I’m just getting started with a fresh install of Fedora Workstation - I can just name Visual Studio Code and GitHub Desktop, which I’ve installed as RPMs using instructions on their respective websites instead of using the Software app. I’m itching to ask how much any of this matters before I proceed with setting up anything else.
I guess there’s also the related question of whether I should bother using the Software app to install anything or if it’s better to directly install apps from their respective official websites.