Local / offline install of Snap!

What is the difference between "installing" Snap! using the install icon in the browser vs downloading the source code? I want to understand as possible offline options for students to work on projects at home with limited or no internet access. Thanks!

Pretty sure installing it using the install icon allows you to access you snap account, but downloading the source code does not.

Edit: I'm wrong! Please refer to cycomachead's post here.

It is common for instructors to use an offline version of Snap! for their students. The main differences are that the user would not be able to access the Snap!Cloud nor save projects to the Snap!Cloud or publish to the Snap! site. However, the students can download their projects locally. Additionally, any Snap! updates would need to be downloaded manually onto the the computer.

Downloading the source code is a pretty heavyweight solution. You have to know how to set up a localhost web server on your computer. That solution is more appropriate for a school district IT person who's worried about not having a privacy contract signed with us; a local server assures that no student PII gets to us.

The install button is much more straightforward for students and solves the problem of limited internet access. However you do need Internet for the initial setup, so students might have to bring their computers to school.

Thank you for clarifying. Agreed, install button is a much cleaner solution.

I just want to highlight a couple of minor inaccuracies in this thread.

But using the browser's "download" or "offline" functions for Snap! are the recommended way to get offline access working.

  • Downloading the Snap! source bundle works for 99% of Snap! tasks, but browsers limit some functionality like the camera and microphone access to websites which are served from an actual server. In this mode you simply click on snap.html to open and run it in a browser, and that works fine. Some folks create "Run Snap!" shortcuts and put them on the desktop, or some other easy place for students when doing this.
  • If you do decide to run Snap! from a localhost server, it is still possible to access the "public" or main Snap!cloud. (And you can do this without running your own version of the cloud server -- which is a separate, but more involved possibility.)

Using the download source method might be easiest if you need or want to distribute something like flash drives that are pre-setup for a project. Or you are going to be 100% working in an offline environment.

Another benefit is being able to modify the source, such as, making a default project when you open snap.html, but I guess that falls under "pre-setup for a project"

Oops, sorry.


or you can just run it offline with snap.html lol

snap.html uses lots of files that are in other folders in the snap source. If you ran snap.html with no other file in the folder, you'd end up with a blank tab. It's heavyweight because it uses a lot of files.

I know, but you can run it offline using snap.html when you download the source code without connecting it to a site

Also, hey dude! Missed you!

actually, you're right. I didn't read much of the post you replied to. Yes, you can just run snap.html without needing to setup a localhost webserver. The downside is, you don't get a dialog popup with importing a library, and other things.

Yeah, I was disappointed when I first tried that.

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