Finding a new laptop that’s compatible with qubes

Hey everyone,

I’m a long time Linux (popOS) user and want to switch to qubes because of security. Recently someone has been stalking me, he had listening devices in my laptop (not sure exactly how) and had hidden cameras installed in my home. Because of that I want to switch to qubes for the added security. Thankfully he doesn’t have physical access to me anymore, but he has sent viruses to me and to other people in the past.

I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on finding a new laptop that’s compatible with qubes. I’d strongly prefer it to be touchscreen, about 15 in, large SSD or one that a tech store can change, Bluetooth, WiFi and all other “basic” features. I know it might not be possible to get all of those on a laptop that’ll work well with qubes, but that’s the ideal. I also want it to have 16/32 gb of RAM so it’s fast.

If anyone can give some advice I’d really appreciate it.

Thank you!

Hi @TallC, welcome to the Community!

Please use descriptive titles, so that other users will be able to find answers easier. I updated the title and moved the topic to User Support.

By the way, there are already many similar questions with replies giving this link:

Qubes is a very picky system with quite specific requirements for the hardware, which is why there are quite few perfectly working devices. HCL contains a larger number of tested devices, which were tested by the Community, with comments about how well they should work.


Thank you @fsflover!

I did check it the HCL but I don’t understand what most of the columns are and what is a must and what isn’t.

@Sven I think that the column titles in the HCL should be links to Qubes Glossary, in order to help new users.

@TallC All columns should be ideally green and Qubes version should be the latest. Suspend doesn’t work in most devices except those in my first link.

Excuse my ignorance, but what is suspend and how important is it?

Suspend is the way a laptop partially shuts down when you close it. It doesn’t need to completely reboot when you open it back up.

In many cases suspend does not work with Qubes. If that’s not important to you you can ignore it.


I’ll be reworking the HCL soonish. My day job has me very busy and traveling at the moment.


But there are many devices that fit the system requirements but aren’t on the list, does that mean they’re no good? Like a Lenovo slim pro I found at Costco, it meet all the requirements but isn’t on the list.

Thanks everyone!

The problem is that the system requirements are necessary but not sufficient conditions. In other words, if a computer doesn’t meet the system requirements, then Qubes definitely won’t work on it, but even if a computer does meet the system requirements, Qubes might still not work on it (or some features might work, but some might not). It’s not like Windows, where every single computer model is specifically tested to make sure that all features work on it before it’s ever put up for sale. Qubes is more of a niche OS (certainly compared to the likes of Windows), so probably none of the major computer vendors (such as Lenovo) specifically test to make sure their computer models are compatible with Qubes. That’s why we have the HCL (here’s how to use it). It’s a database of test results – some good, some bad – mostly from regular users like you. That’s also why we have the Qubes-certified hardware program. Qubes-certified computers actually are guaranteed (by the Qubes developers themselves) to be compatible with Qubes OS. You might also be interested in the community-recommended hardware list, which is an unofficial list of computer models curated by this community.


In the community recommended computers list there’s R4.1 and R4.0, what’s the difference?

These are different Qubes releases (versions), see here. Only R4.1 is currently supported, so the other one shouldn’t be relevant.

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If I buy a laptop that has all the requirements, I know how to test The Wi-Fi mic and camera etc., but how do I test it to make sure it supports all the security features?

I guess you need to create an HCL report for that, which you did. It shows that the required features are working fine. Only TPM is “unknown” in the report, which is needed for Anti evil maid (AEM) | Qubes OS.

Yeah, using qubes-hcl-report is the best way to check that. (Note that running qubes-hcl-report just creates a local/offline report for you. It’s always your choice whether to share it or not. Nothing is shared automatically. You have to send it manually.)

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