Multilingual Issues with Snap Applications on Linux


Snaps are a secure and scalable way to embed applications on Linux devices. A snap is an application containerised with all its dependencies. A snap can be installed using a single command on any device running Linux. With snaps, software updates are automatic and resilient. Applications run fully isolated in their own sandbox, thus minimising security risks.

Recently, I started to use Ubuntu 24.04 LTS and one of its major features is the new App Center that can manage both Debian and Snap applications. So I started to use Snap to install many applications that I used to install using Debian packages via apt. It turns out that most of the Snap applications that I installed did not work properly to suit my needs and could not be fixed.

In this blog post, I will discuss the issues that I have encountered with Snap applications on Ubuntu 24.04 LTS.

Snap Applications Issues

Snap applications might work just well for completely English users. However, for non-English users, Snap applications might have issues including but not limited to:

  1. Unable to input non-English characters.
  2. Incorrect display of non-English characters.

Because Snap applications are containerised, they might not have access to the system settings that are required to properly input or display non-English characters. Because of this, if there is any such issue, the users just cannot fix it without building the Snap applications from source using their own configurations.

Problematic Snap Applications

The following are some critial applications that I have found to have issues when installed via Snap.


I was not able to input Chinese characters in the VSCode installed via Snap using IBus Chinese input method. However, the VSCode installed via apt works just fine on my system. It’s probably an issue that will never be fixed by the VSCode team.


SMPlayer has been the key media player on my system for years. I realized that Chinese subtitles could not be displayed correctly in the SMPlayer installed via Snap, even if I have set the subtitle encoding to UTF-8 in the SMPlayer settings and has installed all the necessary Chinese fonts on my system. The SMPlayer installed via apt works just fine on my system.

Working Snap Applications

There are, however, still a few applications that work just fine for non-English users when installed via Snap.


Discord is a popular communication application. I found no problem displaying or typing Chinese characters using IBus Chinese input method in Discord installed via Snap.


Firefox is a popular web browser. I found no problem displaying or typing Chinese characters using IBus Chinese input method in Firefox installed via Snap.


When Snap applications do not work properly for non-English users, just do not waste time trying to fix them. Instead, try to install the applications using Debian packages via apt.

Multilingual Issues with Snap Applications on Linux


Lei Mao

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