Discover should be more upfront about missing dnf/rpm backend

I’m on Fedora 39 KDE spin and had Discover installed. Whenever I tried it was mystified about it offering me things I’d already installed as rpms as Installable.
Also I’d look in Settings and all the controls were flatpak only.

I then looked around and finally found in the discover project page that Discover needs a packagekit backend to work with rpm/dnf. So I installed that and it all worked better. I was finally seeing the “Remove” button in the right way as being on installed distro apps. My suggestion is that discover should show grayed out controls for dnf to make it more apparent you can even do dnf/rpms from discover and what to do to get it. (“dnf support – requires installation of plasma-discover-packagekit” or the like). The heavier way would be to make the dnf/rpm backend a requirement in the plasma-discover package but there’s some reasons why someone might not want that so I think in-the-gui hints would be better.

That would be up to the distro maintainers.

But also, without the dnf plugin, there would not be anything for Discover to have greyed out to begin with. I think that this would need Discover itself being able to detect the correct packaging system in order to be able to suggest to install the appropriate item.

But in any case, my Fedora 39 KDE has the correct DNF plugin by default.

I assume it is included as a dependency of some meta-package, as opposed to being a hard dependency of Discover itself.

I mean add something that would be grayed out, the Settings has flatpak and firmware checkboxes. Have the same for dnf/rpm but greyed out if the support backend isn’t there

Yes, but how would Discover even know that it is an rpm based system (or deb or whatever), and Fedora specifically? - It is the specific plugin that provides those check boxes, same as for any of the different distros’ packaging systems.

But I am curious why your install don’t have this installed already, while mine does. I am by no means well versed in much about Fedora in general.

I think I had ripped all the PackageKit related rpms from my system because I had a dislike of that package manager. Back in the day, PackageKit would resolve differently from dnf because they rolled their own resolver. I personally just wanted one consistent result from package installation.

Then later when Discover was said to be a good Package tool I looked into Discover and then noticed it was only seeing flatpaks. That’s when I reinstalled the packagekit discover package.

Yes, but how would Discover even know that it is an rpm based system (or deb or whatever), and Fedora specifically?

It’s a package manager, doesn’t it obviously know whether or not it’s processing application packages? How could it work otherwise? I mean, it would be fine if it just said something like “native application packages are not being processed – please add the required backend package for your distribution”


It might be too much to “remind” it on every app page. Especially for users like me who don’t want to run PackageKit at all.

However, it would be nice to show a “Recommends” section (maybe next to “Updates”), that recommends various missing backends (e.g. fwupd), and can be dismissed.

I think you may need discover-backend-packagekit and possibly PackageKit-backend-dnf, but Fedora could have them named differently. You should ask the Fedora folks as well.

For me, I stripped out things like plasma5-pk-updates, so I only use it for shopping. If I find something I like, I drop back to my package manager and install it. I trust zypper or YAST to do a better job of installing and making sure nothing gets left out.

I could see installing flatpaks with Discover. I would trust it for that, since everything the package will need is in the flatpak.

No, it is not a package manager, it is more of an app store (it does not usually show system libraries, command-line tools, etc). It needs the plugins that connect to the different packaging systems, like dnf or apt, and flatpak/snap/fwupd, which do the actual installation and removal work.

Discover (as well as Gnome Software) use package metadata to be able to filter for GUI desktop applications and the like.

So, without the dnf plugin, it has no way to access to your Fedora packages sources and existing command line tools, or even being aware of them even existing. It can’t display things it doesn’t know about. Discover is distro agnostic, and requires something to hook into the native package management tools.

Yes, that might be a useful feature request or bug report, even if the use case is not overly common. I imagine the logic for determining this would be interesting, especially when you already have the flatpak plugin present . As I said, Discover would need to be able to detect what distro is being used, then to see if the requisite plugin is present (some package systems may not have them!), then to see if perhaps this is a desired action (flatpak-focused systems, or user has removed unwanted plugins :laughing: ) .

So apparently Discover is mostly for plasma widgets, themes and some apps but not system level things like kernels and so on.

The reason this came up is because in fedoraforum someone with arthritis was asking for a good GUI package manager in Fedora I couldn’t really think of one.
dnfdragora is not very good, the user was KDE so I didn’t want to offer gnome-software so that left plasma-discover. I was then remembering some chatter that discover was pretty good now if you upgrade in the Fedora to the current one.

So for this guy if I had him install the discover and the packagekit backend, it would be able to do packages including system packages and no big limitations?

I personally just use command line dnf4 and dnf5.

It’s just reality.

I’m on Tumbleweed and SlowRoll and both of them, you can use YAST for shopping and installing individual programs, repos, etc. It’s a good GUI package manager. You can also call it from the command line and get the TUI version.

For updates, every update is a full distro upgrade, because every update is a full new snapshot of the .iso install DVD. So, every one has to be done from the “sudo zypper dup” command

Here they are looking at the same package.

It makes it easy when both look so identical. If a new user is comfortable with the YAST GUI and finds himself stuck at a command line, he can find his way around the TUI without too much problem. When I was a newbie, this saved my behind more than once. :rofl:

No, because discover by design doesn’t show system level package (other than when they show up in the list of updates that are going to be installed). For browsing and managing individual packages like you can with Synaptic or Muon on Debian/Ubuntu based systems, I don’t know. Actual Fedora people would know more, for sure. Maybe This? if Fedora has poor GUI tools for, then it is what it is, unless someone decides to create something useful for it. Most other distro types have GUI package managers, can’t say why Fedora may lack them. Does Dnfdragora actually suck, or do some cli-pushing users just say this, just like they do for Synaptic sometimes?

Gnome Software will act exactly like Plasma Discover in what it shows as it also is not intended to be a full-on package manager, either.

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