Everyone wants fast applications. Recently, we provided a mechanism to make snap applications launch faster by using the LZO format. We introduced this change because users reported desktop snaps starting more slowly than the same applications distributed via traditional, native Linux packaging formats like Deb or RPM.
After a thorough investigation, we pinpointed the compression method as the primary slowdown. Once we introduced the change, some users started wondering why we chose LZO as the new compression method for snaps, given that there are “better” algorithms available. Here, we want to take you through the journey of understanding why we picked LZO, and what is next for the snap compression story.
The old way
Previously, the only supported compression format for snaps was XZ. This decision was borne out of two main determining factors: compatibility and size. One of the primary delivery targets for snaps (in addition to desktop users) is IoT devices, and so for those,…