How do I create a standalone VM?

I want to install Linux Mint as a standalone HVM. I tried to go through the tutorial on Qubes User Documentation but got lost. I can create the new qube but do not know how to install the ISO. Any help would be appreciated.

The reason why I want a standalone VM is to be able to use the Local WP (wordpress site developer) app. The app just doesn’t work in a qube.

Hi @bill,
the answer is in the below documentation page :

@ludovic I think a StandaloneVM with a non-native operating system (HVM) is not ideal in this situation and I’d encourage @bill to understand how this can be done natively. I’m writing a long post ATM.

I’ve seen that documentation. Actually I just came across this on Google groups:

It seems to be the right solution. I can now get Mint up and running.

@bill actually, installing a non-native VM for this purpose is loosing out on a lot of Qubes features.

  • security-wise
    you’ll be running that qube in the HVM virtualization mode which the docs state has security disadvantages compared to standard qubes VMs (which run in PHV mode)

  • convenience-wise
    You’ll be missing on automated updates (through Qubes Updates); you’ll be seeing the desktop of that VM instead of a seamless experience where the windows integrate well with everything else, etc.

Installing a non-standard linux distribution from a .iso image as a Standalone HVM should only be considered as the last resort. With this in mind I would advise you to follow a very detailed guide that I just created for this particular case:

Note on proprietary software

While I do not endorse the use of such kind of software (for reasons relating to one’s freedom, independence and security) I understand not everyone can afford to spend time installing and learning free software.

So as a general disclaimed before digging deeper, I leave here the recommendation that people do look for Freedom Software alternatives. Most likely they do exist and will be better in the long run.

Thanks, I’ll take a look at your guide.

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Because Mint is based on Ubuntu, you can actually install the qubes
packages for Ubuntu and get a pretty seamless Qubes experience.
I’ve done this in the past.

If you want to try this, I provide prebuilt Ubuntu packages at
Make sure you match the package to the underlying Ubuntu version.

I suggest you clone the HVM that you install, and try this on the cloned
version - that way if things go wrong you will have a clean version to
fall back on.
At a minimum you should be able to get the core Qubes tools working -
qvm-copy etc.
I used to offer a Mint template - I’ll dust that off and rebuild it if
anyone wants it.

To state it explicitly, in the guide I did install LocalWP on both Debian and Fedora. But the guide has general feedback so it should help on installing other applications from a .deb or .rpm.

Is it possible to copy files from an App VM to a Standalone VM?

If you install the qubes tools, yes. (Provided they can be installed)
Otherwise, you can use (e.g) ssh/rsync , or (last resort) a file based
disk device that can be attached to qubes at start up.

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