Anydesk Flatpak Broken (and how to fix it)

As you might know I am not too fond of Flatpak, but one of the rare use cases I have is Anydesk by which I maintain a bunch of devices for certain older family members especially after my move to Switzerland.

The provided Anydesk RPM requires a specific library which is not any longer part of the Fedora repositories for quite a while, thus I switched to the Flatpak wrapper quite a while ago.

This worked out flawless until recently. I noticed last week that Anydesk would start, but never show the UI and then unexpectedly exit the whole procedure. I did not find real clues on what is actually wrong, but apparently the last update of the AnyDesk Flatpak is borken, so a downgrade to an earlier version is required.

In order to find an earlier version, we need to get the version history of the Anydesk Flatpak:

flatpak remote-info --log flathub com.anydesk.Anydesk

        ID: com.anydesk.Anydesk
       Ref: app/com.anydesk.Anydesk/x86_64/stable
      Arch: x86_64
    Branch: stable
Collection: org.flathub.Stable
  Download: 11.5 MB
 Installed: 33.3 MB
   Runtime: org.freedesktop.Platform/x86_64/21.08
       Sdk: org.freedesktop.Sdk/x86_64/21.08

    Commit: a5022dac2a99c0df85b2c4a07da39a3845d67e4ad82e7988cc5b577c51fc5e2a
    Parent: 03212bbeb5b523c0aeacf16fc35cf07f7531a08b14944e7e77d77f7e616d95f1
   Subject: Revert back polkit to v120 (9b087fc7)
      Date: 2022-07-11 17:16:27 +0000

    Commit: 03212bbeb5b523c0aeacf16fc35cf07f7531a08b14944e7e77d77f7e616d95f1
   Subject: x-checker-data: Use single pattern (9525461c)
      Date: 2022-06-27 19:16:36 +0000

    Commit: 2e25e931093a7f57f7d530bac65a2b48e3bfc2db49f3e53e2e718b9714bebb9c
   Subject: Update zlib-1.2.11.tar.xz to 1.2.12 (4ec07e64)
      Date: 2022-04-06 05:52:36 +0000

    Commit: 704f657ae3df59e35b2bb96b7b527c15c41136b51622dd1b07d7284170263088
   Subject: Enable polkit and rebase

The first commit in the list is the most recent and by that the broken version of the Anydesk Flatpak. In order to rollback to the 2022-06-27 version you need to give in the commit switch to the Flatpak update command. sudo is used intentionally here because, unlike normal updates downgrades are considered a priviledged action and thus require root privileges.

sudo flatpak update --commit 03212bbeb5b523c0aeacf16fc35cf07f7531a08b14944e7e77d77f7e616d95f1 com.anydesk.AnyDesk

Afterwards Anydesk operates normal again. There is a minor catch to that: if you have enabled automatic Flatpak updates or do so manually, the Flatpak will be updated to the most recent version.

You can prevent updating a specific package by masking it like so (assuming Flatpak 1.5.0 or later):

sudo flatpak mask com.anydesk.Anydesk
# to 'unmask'
sudo flatpak --remove mask com.anydesk.Anydesk