I just installed Qubes less than a week ago and I’m still in disbelief over how well developed it has become. I have a newer off-brand desktop that has a 13th gen i7, ddr5 memory, and some 30 series gpu in it, and even some weird 2.5gbps ethernet port in it.
Years ago when I stumbled across and tried to use Qubes I found it quite difficult to find compatible hardware and ultimately gave up before it ever booted. I actually had a grin on my face as I tried to install it this time, assuming a bunch of hardware that had been on the market for less than a year would have around 0% chance to work out of the box with Qubes. With dual 4k screens I assumed there would be even less of a chance I’d have any luck in using it like I would a standard OS.
To my surprise I went through standard install procedure and not only did it boot up successfully, but I had dual 4k resolution off the video card right out of the box! Literally the only thing that doesn’t work is the WiFi that is built in.
I haven’t touched Linux or done anything other than general end user stuff since public school and the documentation has been improved well enough I was able to get a compartmentalized system setup with all the basics (email, browsing, signal and other comms, compartmentalized VPN tunnels, etc) all within a day or two of reading through things. And it’s all incredibly usable…
Even things I would have expected to not work (like system tray icons) seem to work flawlessly. How my compartmentalized apps all congregate on my dom0 taskbar I have no idea, but it’s impressive. Qubes might not be usable for people that avoid computers, but if you have ever taken interest in them for a period of time and have basic competence, I’m finding Qubes to be exceptionally usable for for the average Joe like myself.
If anyone from the Qubes dev team reads this, please e-mail it to your cohorts. You all deserve to step back for a few moments and admire what has been accomplished, because the fact that an OS that has been designed from the ground up with security in mind is anywhere near end-user friendly is something nobody else has come close to accomplishing and you all did it.
My only recommendation is to either change your documentation to some form of wiki where users can contribute, or add the contact info of whoever handles that directly on the documentation pages. It doesn’t appear there is any simple or obvious way for users to contribute solely by spending time on the documentation pages themselves, and I think there are areas that could be improved if usability by average users is something the Qubes team is aiming for. It is evident a lot of time has already been spent making them useful, but it feels as if the documentation was written by someone already so skilled they forgot what average users are going to need spelled out for them. I was able to self research what I needed but I think with more polished documentation the time I spent learning the basics and getting comfortable with it all could have been cut in half. People that are trying to use the OS out of need for the end result of higher security rather than pure enjoyment and interest would probably benefit from more thorough documentation as well.
Other than that, Qubes has been fantastic and I don’t see myself ever using another OS as my homebase. So thank you! Looks like I’ve got a lot of RAM purchases in my near future