Help needed! How do I move all my VMs on the flatpak version of GNOME Boxes back to the rpm/deb version?

I want to switch back to the RPM version of GNOME Boxes because I can’t create new VMs using the flatpak version. I’ve tried doing what it said in the guide on switchting from RPM to flatpak but backwards, and it didn’t work.

Does anyone know how to do it?

Could you please describe whether there was an error or something? What’s the version of the Boxes rpm?

I had to do this recently as well, and found this method to work for me:

  • Check where the flatpak VM images are stored - unless already using them at an external location, this should be at ~/.var/app/org.gnome.Boxes/data/gnome-boxes/images - move them out from this folder to where you’d like them to be.
  • Install gnome-boxes and virt-manager.
  • Using virt-manager, create a new VM and use the Manual mode to point it to the VM image copied in the first step. Repeat for each VM if you have multiple.
  • Close virt-manager and open GNOME Boxes. Now the non-flatpak version should show the VM.

Also note that:

  1. You don’t technically have to move the VM images, but it’s a good idea since otherwise they’re in a folder that is tied to an uninstalled application.
  2. This won’t copy anything unrelated to the images themselves, in case that matters.

Nonetheless, this worked well for me and I could then uninstall the flatpak version.

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