Why You Should Avoid Installing Obsidian via Snap on Ubuntu

If you’re an Ubuntu user and have installed Obsidian, the popular note-taking app, using the Snap package, you might have encountered an unexpected inconvenience: when opening links from your notes, they launch in a separate browser profile labeled as ‘Profile 1’. This profile is distinct from your default browser profile, complete with its own set of cookies, bookmarks, and extensions.

This behavior can be frustrating, especially if you’re used to seamlessly integrating your browsing experience with your notes. Here’s why this happens and what you can do about it:

Understanding the Issue: Snap Package Peculiarities

Snap packages are known for their sandboxing approach, which aims to enhance security by isolating applications and their dependencies from the rest of the system. While this isolation can be beneficial for security reasons, it also means that applications installed via Snap may behave differently compared to their counterparts installed via other methods like Flatpak or .deb packages.

One notable difference is how Snap handles application interactions with the system, such as opening external links. In the case of Obsidian installed via Snap, opening links from within your notes triggers the opening of your default browser in a separate profile. This ‘Profile 1’ is independent of the profile you typically use for your browsing activities, resulting in a disjointed user experience.

Why You Should Consider Alternatives: Flatpak or .deb

To avoid the inconvenience caused by Snap’s behavior with Obsidian, consider installing the application using alternative methods like Flatpak or downloading the .deb package directly from Obsidian’s official website. Here’s why these alternatives may be preferable:

  1. Consistent User Experience: Flatpak and .deb packages generally integrate more seamlessly with the Ubuntu desktop environment, preserving your existing browser settings and profiles. When you open links from Obsidian notes, they will launch in your default browser, maintaining your familiar browsing environment.
  2. Ease of Installation: Installing via Flatpak or .deb is straightforward and ensures that Obsidian behaves predictably within your Ubuntu setup. You won’t encounter the profile switching issue that Snap packages may introduce.
  3. Community Support and Updates: While Snap packages are officially supported by Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu), Flatpak and .deb packages also receive robust community support and timely updates from Obsidian developers. This ensures you have access to the latest features and fixes without compromising on usability.


While Snap packages offer a convenient way to install applications on Ubuntu, the specific behavior of Obsidian with Snap—opening links in a separate browser profile—can disrupt your workflow. For a smoother and more integrated experience, opting for Flatpak or .deb installation methods is recommended. These alternatives ensure that Obsidian functions seamlessly with your preferred browser settings, avoiding the inconvenience of profile conflicts.

Next time you install Obsidian on your Ubuntu system, consider choosing Flatpak or .deb over Snap to enjoy a cohesive note-taking and browsing experience without unnecessary complications. Your productivity and user satisfaction will thank you for it!

Have you encountered similar issues with Snap packages or found better alternatives for installing applications on Ubuntu? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

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