snap install doesn't hint re: other tracks when latest/stable is unavail but other tracks have stable

Bug #1879374 reported by fcole90 on 2020-05-18
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
snapd (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The node snap has no stable channel. So if you type `sudo snap install node`, you get:

$ sudo snap install node
error: snap "node" is not available on stable but is available to install on
       the following channels:

       edge snap install --edge node

       Please be mindful pre-release channels may include features not
       completely tested or implemented. Get more information with 'snap info

While something like `$ sudo snap install node --classic --channel=14/stable` could work, but is not suggested.

I think this is a big papercut, as a new user might think no stable release exists.

Node snap:
Related issue:

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.04
Package: snap (not installed)
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-29.33-generic 5.4.30
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-29-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia_modeset nvidia
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu27
Architecture: amd64
CasperMD5CheckResult: skip
CurrentDesktop: GNOME
Date: Mon May 18 21:22:45 2020
InstallationDate: Installed on 2020-04-03 (44 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" - Beta amd64 (20200401)
SourcePackage: snap
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
mtime.conffile..etc.apport.crashdb.conf: 2020-05-04T10:26:46.106768

fcole90 (fcole90) wrote :
description: updated
Dylan Aïssi (daissi) on 2020-05-18
affects: snap (Ubuntu) → snapd (Ubuntu)
Ian Johnson (anonymouse67) wrote :

Does the node snap define a default track? If not, then the appropriate thing to do for the node snap is to define a default track in which case snapd will do the right thing here.

fcole90 (fcole90) wrote :

I'll contact the node snap maintainers about setting a default track.

However, I think the error message could hint that many tracks are available or something like this. If I read only the error message it makes me think that only edge channels (whatever the track) are available and I wouldn't bother to check further.

Also, I'm not sure how general users are aware of tracks, so giving an hint of some sort could be beneficial in my opinion (E.g. "You can check if other channels are available using `snap info node`").

fcole90 (fcole90) wrote :

My bad, I totally missed the last line..

fcole90 (fcole90) wrote :

The hint is actually available, maybe not in a form which I expected, but it is.

Ian Johnson (anonymouse67) wrote :

I think we should make this bug about `snap install <snap>` hinting if there are other tracks available and not a default track. The hint that is there is not very obvious

Changed in snapd (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in snapd:
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Low
summary: - Misleading message when custom channels are available
+ snap install doesn't hint re: other tracks when latest/stable is unavail
+ but other tracks have stable
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