More flatpak grumbling... so even after I went through the process of installing some utterly massive base packages to get just one or two packages to run, there happen to be updates to those base packages (as expected!). This means I'm looking at downloading up to 2.9 GB just to get system updates. There _has_ to be a better way to do this.

Look closely. It says less then. It's usually much less in my experience. Often, it's kilobytes instead of hundreds of megabytes.
Installing apps requiring different base packages is basically similar to having several DEs installed and updating all of them at once.

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