Edit in DispVM Limitations

I regularly use View in DispVM, but rarely Edit in DispVM. While I’d like to use Edit in DispVM for the obvious safety benefits, for any but the most simple, quick edits it seems to have too many limitations which in some cases can be gotchas:

  • If what you want to edit needs other resources (e.g., a spreadsheet that refers to others), no can do
  • If what you want to edit will change format (e.g., CSV → ODS), you can edit it, but need to manually return the new file, or lose it
  • Same with more complex editing, such as creating side-by-side subsets of the original file
  • Same with any journals or other ancillary files desired
  • If the DispVM (or dom0/xen) crashes or hangs, all is lost - all “safety” files/saves created by the editing app are gone once the DispVM is gone

Is this list accurate? Or am I misunderstanding something(s)?

If accurate, I guess I’m stuck with editing in the AppVM…


I’m not sure what you are expecting in reply.

If you want to do anything more than a straightforward edit, the
obvious route is to open a disposableVM, copy the files there, edit them,
and then copy them back.
This requires some discipline, like much of Qubes. No bad thing.

Alternatively you can “edit in DispVM”, and then copy across any
ancillary files, open a terminal in the new qube, and copy back any
versions/new filetypes when you are done.

If I have a significant amount of work to be done, I may create a scratch
qube, copy in the necessary files, work over an extended period, copy
back the final versions, and then delete the qube.

On your 5th point, I cant remember the last time I had a DisposableVM,
or dom0, hang. Just not part of my Qubes experience.

1 Like

Thanks @unman .

At least confirmation of the limitations, which you’ve essentially done. :slight_smile:

This is a good idea which hadn’t occurred to me before. Clone/Create is my friend! So long as my temporary qubes stay temporary…

Unfortunately, too frequent for me. Usually as a result of suspend/resume…

Thanks again.

Usually as a result of suspend/resume

That is often hard to get working, but has also security implications.
If your laptop is accessed / stolen while in suspend, it maybe be
substantially easier to unlock your encrypted hard drive.

So aside from the resume issues, also for security you may be better off
shutting down your laptop.

Sadly, it does happen for lots of people, I believe. I tried installing it on a few machines and on some of them, it seemed to work, but was very unreliable.

Related post: Keyboard & mouse freezing issue

Well, there’s working and then there’s working. S/R for the most part does work, but Murphy does rear his head every once in a while of course when most annoying/damaging (in other ways than S/R too).

Re. security, my needs are not at that level, and the convenience of S/R is more important. Heck, for this Qubes implementation I skipped encryption… Maybe when 4.1 comes around…

It happened to me, when I restricted the RAM for the qube too much. I had to recreate the DispVM to fix that.

Heck, for this Qubes implementation I skipped encryption

well, then … :wink: