User self -installation of Apps using Flatpak (CentOS 8 / RedHat 8)

Elevated privileges are not assigned to regular users on IT maintained linux systems - this can make it difficult for the installation of software using the regular package manager (yum/dnf).

The UoL IT installation of CentOS 8 usually includes 'flatpak' which allows users to install a host of software themselves from the command line.

NOTE - All the instructions, below, are intended for execution by the end user.


(1) Find the application you wish to install by searching the repository (repo), for example, to install LibreOffice from the Flathub, repo open up and use the Search box to look for LibreOffice:

(2) If the required application is found then it will show in the results page

(3) Open up a terminal window (click on Activities, type 'term' and select the Terminal)

(4) If it has not already been set up then the repo (e.g. Flathub) will need to be added to the local flatpak configuration, in the command window enter the following text and return

flatpak --user remote-add --if-not-exists flathub


(5) The Flathub details for the application has useful information at the end of the page, examples of how to install and run using the command line:

In some cases the first of these will need to be adjusted with the addition of the --user parameter. For the LibreOffice installation enter the text

flatpak --user install flathub org.libreoffice.LibreOffice 

If prompted, answer 'yes' to queries about whether to install the application and supporting files

(6) To run the application, use the 'flatpak run' command (as detailed in the web page):

flatpak run org.libreoffice.LibreOffice


It may be that the installation has included launch icons for the Activities menu or they may require manual installation. Check first by clicking on activities and then searching for the app (e.g. writer)

If the application does not show then it may be possible to add them manually, in the terminal window type:

ln ~/.local/share/flatpak/exports/share/applications/*.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/