Flatpak Installs | DNF Installs

I recently acquired a 3D printer (Creality 10S) and have been working my way up the learning curve. Creality’s slicer, which is apparently a fork of Cura, assumes you are using a Windows or Mac machine; no mention of Linux.

In the Windows world I found FreeCAD and MeshLab to be useful tools so I looked for equivalent .RPM distributions for this Fedora 36 KDE machine. I found I could install Cura, FreeCAD and MeshLab with dnf and did so.

When I opened MeshLab for the first time it immediately prompted me to download the “newer” version: from 2021.07 to 2022.02. I checked the current install with dnf and it reported all was up-to-date. The MeshLab site however pointed to the newer version, to be installed with flatpak.

Flatpak is new territory for me; I have used dnf for years but I had to do some research to use flatpak. I found flatpak was installed on the machine but not flathub, so I acquired that. With that resolved I could follow the instructions for installing the new version. The new version was only about 12.5 Mb but also installed almost 500 Mb of “platform” support files as well.

I now have two versions - meshlab (2021) and MeshLab (2022) on the machine. Both work, but I am guessing through separate and different mechanisms, although the difference is not clear, as both appear the same on screen. This raises a few questions, which brings me to the point of my post:

I have read that flatpak tends to use its own libraries and that consequently uses extra, sometimes large, amounts of disk space. Can the two different systems cause interference with one another? In other words, can a flatpak install “break” a functioning RPM install?

Does the fact that meshlab 2021 is the “latest” version according to RPM indicate that new releases have to be “packaged” for RPM distribution and that hasn’t occurred yet with MeshLab? Or is MeshLab hereafter only distributed through flatpak?

If I decide I don’t need the features of flatpak and can live with the earlier version of meshlab will an uninstall remove the “platform” support as well? Or will I have to remove them manually?

Thanks for your repsonses.


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You can use flatpak as dnf in terminal.

flatpak list shows what is on your system
flatpak --help shows the overview of what you can do.

To make packages is time consuming and it needs someone who maintains it. So if there is just a Flatpak version use it so that you have the newest available if you need.
RPM packages and flatpaks are independent.
Flatpaks not depend on libraries, etc installed on the system. They come with their own one. So that makes them sometimes bigger as locale ones.
Big advantage of flatpaks are that you can use them independent of your distribution. Also big sense they make on inmutable Operating Systems.

This you have to do with dnf separately if you removed everything.

Thank you for clarification. You mentioned that .RPMs have to be maintained; I imagine that would be an arduous task.

Who is responsible for this task? RedHat employees? Volunteers? How are they selected / vetted / approved? By committee?

Thanks again,

see Fedora Package Maintainers :: Fedora Docs

Yes, Fedora is community-based, so volunteers. Some of them have a day job at Red Hat.


You can see information about the RPM package here:

You can also see the bug reports in that list, and see that there are not any open about a new version. I suggest opening a new bug report notifying the maintainer that a new release is available (and also they should enable release monitoring so one would be opened automatically). As volunteers, the maintainers may not have seen that there was a new release available, or perhaps they did, but forgot about it since there’s no bug report as a reminder.


Thank you for your suggestion. I would prefer to wait for the maintainer, whose responsibility and work load is unknown to me, to address the issue in their own good time. MeshLab will notify of updates upon invocation.

My preference would be to use dnf for updates: it is well established, reasonably fast and flexible and I have had success with it in the past. But I recently used flatpak, not only for the MeshLab update but to install the Arduino IDE, as there did not appear to be an .RPM for that install. I avoid Discover when possible and haven’t used YUM in years.

If dnf relies on .RPM and .RPM relies on the voluntary efforts of community-minded individuals, as has been noted above, then what can I do to help?


I think the fedora project welcomes responsible volunteers to assist with package maintenance. If you have time and a willingness to assist they likely would appreciate the offer. The more volunteers they have the easier load on all concerned and it makes it better for all fedora users.

Just as a comment for your earlier notes about 3d printing.
I use freeCAD to design my projects and slic3r to create the gcode. Both freeCAD and slic3r are available to install by dnf from rpmfusion. I also use octoprint to manage my printer running on an rip4. I previously used cura but found that repetierhost was better for my workflow and the separate slic3r slicer satisfied me better. I then moved on to octoprint and slic3r as noted. It seems cura contains a version of slic3r but it did not satisfy my wants.

As I said, maybe the maintainer forgot about it, or maybe they didn’t know about the new release at all. They are not necessarily maintaining this one package and this info was lost, or they moved on from Fedora, and someone else might be interested in taking over, etc.

The best way to track these things is if there’s a bug report.

I made a reminder:
2158946 – Reminder | New Version of Meshlab available

I will take your advice in the future.

Thank you for doing so.

It is available now as version 2022.02

FEDORA-2023-ce339c49d8 has been pushed to the Fedora 37 stable repository.
If problem still persists, please make note of it in this bug report.

I got the message last week.