With more than 2,000 apps available and daily downloads of over 700,000 (!) it’s fair to say Flathub is now the de-facto ‘app store’ for Linux, not just for Flatpak apps.
And things show no signs of slowing down.
Endless CEO and GNOME board president Rob McQueen has shared a new blog post to bring the Linux community bang up-to-date on the effort going on behind the scenes to get Flathub here, and what will be required to get Flathub to where it wants to go next.
The key aims for this year are:
- Add direct uploads, verified apps, payment support to Flathub website
- Establish an independent legal entity to own and operate Flathub
- Raise $250k in funding/sponsorships
Flathub has already secured $100k in funding for 2023. It plans to seek a further $150k. The money will “cover the next round of development on the software, prepare for higher operations costs (e.g., accounting gets more complex), and bring in a second full-time staff member.”
A lot of the backend work on the new Flathub website (making it less of a store front and more of a store itself) was done last year, and this includes a really effective rebrand.
Introducing a mechanism for app developers to make money from their software on Linux is a necessary thing. Developers (who are able to) pour their time, talent, and expertise into making terrific software, and should be able to get something more tangible (than bug reports) in return.
Flathub hopes to facilitate this by laying a foundation on which a more inclusive and sustainable economic model for open source development can flourish.
Still, it won’t be easy. The Ubuntu Software Centre tried paid software a decade ago and, to be blunt, died on its derrière! A framework to support financial contributions to help sustain developers is one side of the coin, but a culture shift within the community may be required too.
If you’re interested in learning more about the plans for 2023 then Rob McQueen’s blog post will fill you in. It’s also mirrored to the Flathub discourse should you want to offer (constructive) feedback to the folks ferreting away to make Flathub so fantastic for us all to enjoy.