Community-recommended laptops or certified hardware for Qubes 4.2.0

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#Community-recommended laptops for Qubes 4.2.0
#Certified hardware for Qubes 4.2.0

I would like to help myself and MANY OTHERS who is struggling with choosing right laptops or specified hardware. I would like professionals and users share 100% proof of experience with right hardware or laptops for Qubes 4.2.0. Zero issue only laptops or hardware allow be in this thread, thank you in advance.
Feel free to share this important gems to OUR community :partying_face:


Why not build on the existing guide?

There are established criteria for inclusion, and should be easy to roll
over 4.1 entries to 4.2.
I’ll kick off - x220/x230 laptops and tablets -
ThinkPad X220 i5-2520M 16 GB RAM TABLET
ThinkPad X220 i7-2640M 16 GB RAM
ThinkPad X230 i7-3520M 16 GB RAM
ThinkPad X230 i5-3320M 16 GB RAM
ThinkPad X230 i7-3520M 16 GB RAM
ThinkPad X230 i7-3520M 16 GB RAM TABLET
ThinkPad T430 i7-3520M 16 GB RAM

All fully functioning , with or without coreboot.
Tend to run hot under coreboot - thinkfan recommended.
Cheap and cheerful - you wont be watching multiple YouTube streams in
4k, but good for most normal use.

Same goes for HCL - if you have machine on that list and are using it with
4.2, update the entry, so it remains relevant.


Because that guide kinda out of date, laptop compatibility guide/list need to be constantly renewed by users and Qubes development team.

ThinkPad hardware not seems good enough.
if I’ll just buy an extra 32gb or 64gb of RAM to any of this ThinkPad’s models does they will work well?

Other question if just get any laptop with 9th Gen of processor, may it be better functional version for Qubes 4.2.0 without any issues?

Yes, they do.
As new releases come, these guides need to be updated.
Users need to step up and do that.

I suggest building on those guides because they have established
criteria to start with, as opposed to starting fresh.

Good enough for what?
To run Qubes with 16 or more concurrent qubes?
WP, file editing, music, streaming, compiling? All good.

Any choice depends on budget, intended use, etc.

The models I cited have less max RAM.

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I have similiar processor to ThinkPads Intel® Core™ i7-8665U × 8 but my Qubes OS have issue, I do not have Debian or Fedora or Whonix software, that’s how I’m stuck with current laptop.
btw I have 64gb of RAM and Mesa Intel® UHD Graphics 620 (WHL GT2) graphics.

So, ThinkPad T480 have Intel Core i7-8650U processor, should I just blindly trust and get 1 of those ThinkPads what you recommend to me and all my installation process will go smoothly and I will ready to use this nice system?

and also why some users mention that we should avoid 7th generation of the processor?

I suggest to Qubes Development team PIN :pushpin: this or create a new one topic with existing laptops completely working on Qubes 4.2.0 OS, because it will help a lot for NEWBIES who wanna give a try to your system, please think about this idea.

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Yes, currently there is no up-to-date recommended laptop list. The existing consists of either certified ones (from other list) or completely outdated that are not sold anymore.

But I am making steps towards creating it. Other people are happy to participate, provide extended HCL instead of not-that-useful usual ones, give additional information and even run test on their hardware. You can actually do the list as a compare table, preferably available online or at least as a Libreoffice Calc file, it would be great
Please read discussion here: Proposal for re-organizing the HCL

So, ThinkPad T480 have Intel Core i7-8650U processor, should I just blindly trust and get 1 of those ThinkPads what you recommend to me and all my installation process will go smoothly and I will ready to use this nice system?

Don’t try to install two different Operating Systems to the same computer, with one of them being Qubes.

Just to newbies to this thread.
Intel processors are manufactured by Generation, which you might think of as model years. The higher the number, usually the faster.
For each of those Intel Generations. Intel confuses the matter by using the same terms for different generations.

Core I7 fastest for that generation.
Core I5
Core I3 the slowest.

Although the latest processors now have a Core I9, for a faster than Core I7.

Realize that when Qubes is installed, it turns off Hyper-threading in the Processor, for security reasons. One of those other security flaws besides that Intel Processors have, besides Intel Management Engine (all right, only a little bit of the IME is negative to my interest. IME is needed as the basic boot strap of starting up the computer) Reference: A lot of folks are write about and obsessed with the IME giving Intel a back door to change the basic functioning of the CPU by IME having code for the wireless adapter which comes in the Thinkpad. There is no claim that Intel has ever used this on any computer. And my hunch is they will not use such an exploit on me. But If I worked in some other places, and was doing some other things with my life. Recently there was a story of the US Government (that is, I guess the NSA, our boogeyman) remotely changed code in Routers and such to keep them from being exploited. I wait to hear the opinions from technical people who know how to evaluate these changes, and whether the boogeyman, surprise, is working in our favor.

Someone who is more into hardware than myself, Renehoj, to get 8th generation Intel instead of 7th generation Intel. That the advantages of Core I7 over Core I5 were not sufficient, (I guess his actual experience, or knowledge) to justify. I am guessing he means dollar cost and/or battery use.

Beware, there are other processors Inside some marketed as T-480.

I looked for better laptops with faster processors. That would accommodate 64 GB. and I could add anti-evil maid.

Dollars for usability, the T-480 is a sweet spot for me. If you have more money, and want to buy a laptop that comes with Qubes already installed. That is available. Out of my price range.

I installed Qubes onto the one drive unit of T-480, with a USB stick I am pretty sure is correct.

If you get a T-480, make sure you make all the needed corrections in BIOS/EFI.

I would, if yours is like mine, has v/pro, or some kind of software meant to remote your hardware for being repaired. I turned that feature off, but not the option to turn it off, can not be changed, forever.
In my case, When I first got it. It had M$ Windows. So I updated to use TPM 2.x and all updated to the latest BIOS/EFI, before going further. Not upgrading BIOS/EFI should not keep Qubes from installing.

If you still have problems installing. I would think. Get Ubuntu. Which the last I saw was something could be downloaded/installed to USB from M$ Windows. Install Live Ubuntu to drive.
Use Ubuntu to download latest Qubes 4.2 Final from the Qubes OS site. Verify it-reference, notes on Qubes documentation.

Use Ubuntu to put that onto a recently, freshly reformatted USB drive. I chose FAT32. which probably had no effect on outcome of Qubes 4.2 Install drive. Just if you want to know.

Personally, I might try to use the Live version of Ubuntu, meaning it is running the Ubuntu OS from the USB drive with Ubuntu on it. Reformat main drive in computer with Gparted.

I realize this was overly detailed for the OP. I apologize. Meant no offense, I hoped to keep this understandible for newcomers.

I also apologize for not being able to being more helpful with your previous computer.

I have a T-480, which I upgraded to 64 GB RAM, (it has an 8th generation, Core I5 processor) It is one of the few computers which does not have hardware hiccups, as most of my computers are older, and are not quite working correctly. I have a Lenovo Think pad X-230, which is cute to carry around, fast enough to be useful with 16 GB RAM, and patience. But I am really tired of trying to get through pages on the 12.5 screen. A 14 inch is not a lot better. But in any case, this thing has hiccups that can only be explained by aging hardware. I needed a solid usable laptop for Qubes. The Lenovo T-480 hit the sweet spot of dollar cost, to being usable.

My amazon renewed - Thinkpad T-480 I did install Qubes. Computer seems willing to work.


As I read through my post, I realize that I may have left off something that, a complete newcomer might not be ready for.

Qubes has pre available - minimal virtual machines for Fedora, Debian, Whonix.

They do not have immediately installed with some of the third party software which pretty much standard to some users. Installing some of those things, can be much different than say, just running a “Point and Click” distro like stock Ubuntu. Stock Fedora. Installing those things can be time consuming.

Think of Qubes more like a tool kit for creating to your own specific needs. Efforts of installing, how to is on Qubes Documentation. Some here. and on Qubes GitHub, we see efforts to make this easier.

If one is a business person, traveling with his laptop. Having carefully chosen which third party software he has installed, and how he/she uses it. Knowing that if rival companies, perhaps aided by their own governments professional hackers. could cost your company millions, and change your lifestyle from, I expect to live well, be able to pay all my kids way through college, to; I am unemployed, and unemployment does not cover the basics for my house. Then the frustration of implementing a secure OS does not seem so bad. For someone who is just playing at security, might be pure hell.
You asked will Qubes work if you buy a specific computer to work with Qubes. Despite the fact Qubes would be best for Journalists, I read very few are willing to take the time to dove tail Qubes for their need, and learn how to use it. Guessing for a working Journalist, they would allocate maybe two hours to learn all about how to use software, and expect it to always be usable when they are in another place without good internet connections.

For someone who, say, took three years of multiple Computer Science courses, with courses in Linux, it would seem trivial to getting Qubes to work. For me, very frustrating.

Considering what I see the alternative is. I can’t go back. I have to have the protections Qubes offers. Being retired. I guess I can spend a few more hours on working with Qubes.

As a complete newcomer (to Linux in general), and keeping with the theme of laptops from the original post, what would you recommend for a complete Qubes/Linux newcomer? I am willing to trial-and-error just about anything that doesn’t involve extensive hardware modification. The NovaCustom NV41 looks like an overall more capable hardware to say, the much older NitroPads on the certified hardware list, but what could potentially cause compatibility issues while selecting purchase options? Even if it’s on the certified hardware, what should I know when selecting purchase options and prepping for installing Qubes? Are certified laptops actually designed to run out-of-the-box with a fresh Qubes download/installation, even the latest versions? Would it be reasonable for a newcomer to have it set up within a few days for basic use, or does any setup require significant troubleshooting if you’re not experiences with Linux? The hardest part for me as a newcomer isn’t reading the guides, FAQs, or how-to’s, it’s knowing what the best options for purchasing hardware and pre-installations that won’t end up self-sabotaging and making the learning experience much harder than it needs to be. In scouring most forum posts, Q&As seem to be by current users, for current users, and getting answers for a prospective user like myself can be challenging.