Moving to latest PureOS on a new SSD

I recently replaced my SSD and installed the latest PureOS from The old (smaller) SSD has the PureOS that I installed shortly after buying the Librem 13v2 in December 2017. Since that time I’ve installed a few things, configured Thunderbird with Enigmail and CardBook, QtPass, etc. Setting all of that up on the new PureOS installation will take some time, and I have a day job that interferes.

I put my old PureOS SSD in a USB case and booted it to use my old environment. Then I thought of a cool hack, if it would work: I remembered Boxes. I booted normally into the new PureOS on the internal SSD and plugged in the old SSD. PureOS recognized it and mounted it, of course. I fired up the Disks utility and created an image file of my old PureOS boot disk. The I ran Boxes and told it to create a new VM using that image file.

Voila! Now I can boot the newly installed PureOS and run my old setup in a VM. This allows me to continue working in my familiar environment without having the SSD plugged into the Librem. And I don’t need to configure the new PureOS installation right away; I can do a little bit at a time instead of feeling like I need to get it all done right away.

There are a few limitations in the VM as opposed to directly booting the old system; I let Boxes disable shortcuts so function keys don’t work in Thunderbird for example, I can’t move workspaces with a three finger swipe, and so on, but there are other ways to do those things. I am pleasantly surprised with the performance with only 4GB of memory installed.

It’s a fun little hack that makes my life much easier!


I should try this. Thanks for posting!

After applying the latest updates to the base PureOS, more things work on my old PureOS running in Boxes. Two finger scrolling works now, as do function keys in Thunderbird. Four finger scrolling moves me to the next workspace on the base system. Sweet!

I am slowly configuring the new installation to my liking, but having my old, familiar installation running in Boxes makes the transition much easier.

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