Flatseal is a flatpak app that allows you to modify permissions of a flatpak app on your system. What this app does is that, it allows you view the current permissions of a flatpak app, and it also allow you to add and remove permissions from any flatpak app installed on your system.
Flatpak apps run on a isolated environment from the system. However, when installing a flatpak app you are automatically allowing this app to run on your system with your permissions. And this can be dangerous if you don't have enough information about the app that you are running.
Each flatpak app needs some kind of permissions based on its function. You can modify permissions or remove them using your terminal. However, if you are new to Linux, and not familiar enough with flatpak, then you don't have to use terminal to achieve this, as you can easily do this by using Flatseal.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Flatseal and how to use it to view the current permissions of flatpak apps, and you will also learn how to add or remove these permissions. In this tutorial, we are using Ubuntu 23.04.
Flatseal is a flatpak app, so to install Flatseal make sure that you have flatpak installed on your machine.
Flathub is the repository from where we are going to download Flatseal from, if you don't have this repository added on your system, you can add it via the command below
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://dl.flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Now to install Flatpak, simply run the command below
flatpak install flathub com.github.tchx84.Flatseal
View or Modify Flatpak permissions with Flatseal
After installing Flatseal, you can start using it.
Flatseal like other apps will be added on your Applications Menu once installed. So to launch Flatseal, you can do so from the applications menu.
Once launched, you will see the following window as shown below. This is the GUI of Flatseal.
As you can see, on the left there's the list of flatpak apps that are installed on your system, and on the right it is the permissions window.
Now you can proceed to view the current permissions of a flatpak app, or modify them. To do this, simply select the flatpak app from the list on the left
Once you select the flatpak app, on the right window you can see all the permissions that are currently enabled for the selected flatpak app. To remove any of these permissions, simply click the switch button to disable it
For example, on the image below we are removing the background permission of the flatpak app. Removing background permission means the app won't be able to run as a process in background.
Once you remove a permission, you can close the Flatseal window.
If you changed a lot of permissions, and want to reset them to default, you can do so by clicking the "Reset" button.
First select the app that you want to reset permissions, and then click to "Reset"
By now you should know how to install Flatseal on Linux, and how to view or modify permissions of any flatpak app installed on your system.