I recently acquired a 3D printer (Creality 10S) and have been working my way up the learning curve. Creality’s slicer, which is apparently a fork of Cura, assumes you are using a Windows or Mac machine; no mention of Linux.
In the Windows world I found FreeCAD and MeshLab to be useful tools so I looked for equivalent .RPM distributions for this Fedora 36 KDE machine. I found I could install Cura, FreeCAD and MeshLab with dnf and did so.
When I opened MeshLab for the first time it immediately prompted me to download the “newer” version: from 2021.07 to 2022.02. I checked the current install with dnf and it reported all was up-to-date. The MeshLab site however pointed to the newer version, to be installed with flatpak.
Flatpak is new territory for me; I have used dnf for years but I had to do some research to use flatpak. I found flatpak was installed on the machine but not flathub, so I acquired that. With that resolved I could follow the instructions for installing the new version. The new version was only about 12.5 Mb but also installed almost 500 Mb of “platform” support files as well.
I now have two versions - meshlab (2021) and MeshLab (2022) on the machine. Both work, but I am guessing through separate and different mechanisms, although the difference is not clear, as both appear the same on screen. This raises a few questions, which brings me to the point of my post:
I have read that flatpak tends to use its own libraries and that consequently uses extra, sometimes large, amounts of disk space. Can the two different systems cause interference with one another? In other words, can a flatpak install “break” a functioning RPM install?
Does the fact that meshlab 2021 is the “latest” version according to RPM indicate that new releases have to be “packaged” for RPM distribution and that hasn’t occurred yet with MeshLab? Or is MeshLab hereafter only distributed through flatpak?
If I decide I don’t need the features of flatpak and can live with the earlier version of meshlab will an uninstall remove the “platform” support as well? Or will I have to remove them manually?
Thanks for your repsonses.