Single-file bundles#

Hosting a repository is the preferred way to distribute an application, since repositories allow applications to be updated. However, sometimes it can be appropriate to use a single-file bundle. These can be used to provide a direct download of the application, to distribute applications using removable media, or to send them as email attachments.


Since single-file bundles don’t include dependencies or AppStream data, the preferred way of distributing applications offline is with the create-usb command; see USB Drives.

Flatpak allows single file bundles to be created with the build-bundle and build-import-bundle commands, which allow an application in a repository to be converted into a bundle and back again:

$ flatpak build-bundle [OPTION...] LOCATION FILENAME NAME [BRANCH]
$ flatpak build-import-bundle [OPTION...] LOCATION FILENAME

For example, to create a bundle named dictionary.flatpak containing the GNOME dictionary app from the repository at ~/repositories/apps, run:

$ flatpak build-bundle ~/repositories/apps dictionary.flatpak org.gnome.Dictionary

You can also set a runtime repo in the bundle:

$ flatpak build-bundle ~/repositories/apps dictionary.flatpak org.gnome.Dictionary --runtime-repo=

To import the bundle into a repository on another machine, run:

$ flatpak build-import-bundle ~/my-apps dictionary.flatpak

Alternatively, bundles can also be installed directly without importing them:

$ flatpak install dictionary.flatpak