Solving the Error installing application in Flatpak

The Error installing application response in Flatpak is a generic error message that may occur whenever Flatpak runs into some trouble with installing an application. The most common cause for this type of error is something simple like specifying an application that does not exist, or is not available in any of your configured remote repositories. But this error could also be indicative of more serious problems with Flatpak.

In this tutorial, we will explore several causes of this error and show some troubleshooting steps that you can take to get your Flatpak tool working correctly again, and hopefully get your intended application to finally install. Follow along with the step by step instructions below on your Linux system to get Flatpak working again as intended.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to search for a Flatpak app to install
  • How to check Flatpak installation for errors
  • How to check disk space and connectivity issues
  • How to reinstall Flatpak on Linux
Solving the Error installing application in Flatpak
Solving the Error installing application in Flatpak
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Any Linux distro
Software Flatpak package manager
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Solving the Error installing application in Flatpak



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Run through the step by step instructions below for help in resolving the Error installing application error in Flatpak. Since there could be multiple causes for the error, we will go through several troubleshooting methods. One of them should definitely work for you.

NOTE
Keep in mind that if the Error installing application message is only occurring when trying to install a particular application, then it is likely that there is an issue with that specific software, and not with your own system config or Flatpak installation.
  1. The most basic step is to make sure that you are trying to install an application which actually exists, and that you are spelling it correctly. Search for the app with the following command syntax:
    $ flatpak search [app name]
    

    If you do not see the app listed, try adding a new Flatpak remote which you know contains the software you are looking for.

  2. If the application is still having trouble with being installed, check that your installed Flatpak version and runtimes have not been corrupted:
    $ sudo flatpak repair
    
  3. Does your system have enough storage? Before proceeding further, keep in mind that Flatpak apps can take up a considerable amount of storage space, so ensure that you have enough room on your hard drive before installing software. Check available disk space with:
    $ df -h
    
  4. Are you having any connectivity issues? Flatpak queries online repositories to search for and download software. Without a stable connection and decent bandwidth speed, you may receive an error when trying to install Flatpak applications. Try restarting your network or simply trying again later if you are experiencing any connection issues.
  5. User permissions can also be an issue, so if trying to install in user space with --user option, you may receive the Error installing application error in Flatpak. Instead, try installing the application system wide and prefacing your Flatpak installation command with sudo. For example:
    $ sudo flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP
    
  6. If you are still receiving the Error installing application error in Flatpak when trying to install one or more applications, then this could indicate an issue with your Flatpak installation itself. At this point, it is recommended to uninstall Flatpak completely, and then reinstall it.

    To reinstall Flatpak on Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, etc.:

    $ sudo apt install --reinstall flatpak
    

    To reinstall Flatpak on CentOS, Fedora, Alma, Rocky, etc.:



    $ sudo dnf install --reinstall flatpak
    

    To reinstall Flatpak on Arch Linux and Manjaro:

    $ sudo pacman -Sy flatpak
    

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we saw how to troubleshoot the Error installing application error in Flatpak on a Linux system. Most times, this is just a generic message that users receive when trying to install an application that is not found in any configured remote, or when fat fingering an application name. It is an easy fix in most cases, but in rare instances could indicate a problem with the Flatpak installation, or a bug with the application that you are trying to install. In those cases, report your findings to the app developer and to Flatpak for a fix.



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