How do you operate your Laptops as workstations?

Do you connect the Laptop to a keyboard/mouse & monitor? Or do you just use the Laptop as it is?

Just curious for those who use Qubes OS as a daily driver.

Thanks for your responses.

Both!
Have a Nitro-PC desktop, which I have connected on a 32" Monitor w/USB mouse & keyboard on my desk and owned a Lenovo P50 laptop, which I use as it is.

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most comfortable with mouse + monitor > mouse only > laptop only. I feel weird with additional keyboard :melting_face:

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I’m using my Laptop as it is.

but for convience I have a wireless mouse that I use in ‘safe places’ only :slight_smile:
And ocassionally connecting an external monitor and/or projector.

Yes, I know… it is a risk, I accept :wink:

Event with these risks, I rate my laptop much more secure than ANY company provided, supervised, managed laptop out there.

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Hi @KarlinQubes, strictly speaking this is off-topic in ‘General Discussion’ since there really is nothing Qubes OS specific in your question. For members at trust level 2 and above we have the “All around Qubes” category that is better suited for this kind of thread. But since you are not TL2 yet, I can’t move the thread there.

My modded and maxed out T430 spends most of its days in a Series 3 Docking Sation hooked up to Ethernet, a Samsung 32" UR590C UHD 4K Curved Monitor, M$ Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard & Logitech MX Vertical Wireless Mouse. There is also a HP Laserjet, a Blue Yeti Microphone and the Logitech StreamCam for meetings.

If one spends (like me) 10+ hours a day at the computer, those things matter a lot. There were days when I used the laptop as such, but my neck, eyes, wrist and back hurt a lot. Regarding the eyes: use a dark theme and a blue light filter (redshift).

Every now an then I use the laptop as an laptop (watching a movie or going through forum posts in the living room). I used to travel and commute a lot, but the world changed about two years ago. You might have noticed :wink:

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Sorry about that! I’ll do a better job in the future of appropriately tagging posts. Fantastic response!

It’s great to see that you run Heads, I am planning on flashing Heads to my future build. How do you find 16gb RAM for Qubes?

Is there a reason you went with the T430 over the x230, and was flashing Heads to the T430 much different? As someone intimidated by the process, I was planning on getting an x230 due to the greater heads documentation specific to it, but I’m all ears on why T430 might be a better option.

I noticed on osresearch.net the flashing guide for T430 is yet to be written.

Thanks to all responses!

How do you find 16gb RAM for Qubes?

It depends. With the standard templates and as a beginner with a few qubes you will probably do fine with 16 GB. Especially if you are not planing to run Windows 10 qubes but “just” Linux based.

As an advanced user, with minimal templates and some informed choices, 16 GB is plenty and running a Windows qube or two is not issue either.

Is there a reason you went with the T430 over the x230

The ability to run a four core CPU.

and was flashing Heads to the T430 much different?

I never flashed a X230 but heard that it is much less involved. With the T430 you have to dissemble the laptop quite a bit to get to the flash chips. Last time I did it I photographed each step. I’ll contribute those photos to a guide I used.

I was planning on getting an x230 but I’m all ears on why T430 might be a better option.

Again, I hear great things about the X230 but never had one to compare.

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Thanks for the response, Sven.

If you could refer me to those resources I’d appreciate it a lot. I’m going to use a ch341a programmer.

If what makes it harder is the disassembly that is less concerning to me than additional complexity in the flashing commands etc. which is far more alien to me.

Thanks again.

The x230 can use a quad-core CPU, but it requires BGA rework to replace the CPU. If you are a god, you can probably do the swap with a preheater and a hot air tool, but I bought mine on aliexpress they cost $250-300, and it’s a drop-in replacement for the stock motherboard.

XY Tech is known in the ThinkPad community for selling the x330 with is the x230 fully upgraded with both quad-core and FHD display.

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If you could refer me to those resources I’d appreciate it a lot. I’m going to use a ch341a programmer.

Unfortunately I cannot at this point in time. The guide is still in a private repo of which I am merely a minor contributor. However, …

If what makes it harder is the disassembly that is less concerning to me than

Yes. However there is an excellent YouTube video that shows you every step all the way to the motherboard. Also worth mentioning is a medium post outlining all the upgrading options.

additional complexity in the flashing commands etc. which is far more alien to me.

If you are already cool with building the firmware and neutering the ME all you need is the flashrom commands:

sudo flashrom --programmer ch341a_spi -c "MX25L6406E/MX25L6408E" -r t430-8mb.rom
flashrom v1.2 on Linux 4.19.213-1.pvops.qubes.x86_64 (x86_64)
flashrom is free software, get the source code at https://flashrom.org

Using clock_gettime for delay loops (clk_id: 1, resolution: 1ns).
Found Macronix flash chip "MX25L6406E/MX25L6408E" (8192 kB, SPI) on ch341a_spi.
Reading flash... done.

sudo flashrom --programmer ch341a_spi -c "MX25L6406E/MX25L6408E" -w heads-t430-hotp-maximized-v0.2.0-1150-g0670bcd-bottom.rom
flashrom v1.2 on Linux 4.19.213-1.pvops.qubes.x86_64 (x86_64)
flashrom is free software, get the source code at https://flashrom.org

Using clock_gettime for delay loops (clk_id: 1, resolution: 1ns).
Found Macronix flash chip "MX25L6406E/MX25L6408E" (8192 kB, SPI) on ch341a_spi.
Reading old flash chip contents... done.
Erasing and writing flash chip... Erase/write done.
Verifying flash... VERIFIED.

sudo flashrom --programmer ch341a_spi -c "MX25L3206E/MX25L3208E" -r t430-4mb.rom
flashrom v1.2 on Linux 4.19.213-1.pvops.qubes.x86_64 (x86_64)
flashrom is free software, get the source code at https://flashrom.org

Using clock_gettime for delay loops (clk_id: 1, resolution: 1ns).
Found Macronix flash chip "MX25L3206E/MX25L3208E" (4096 kB, SPI) on ch341a_spi.
Reading flash... done

sudo flashrom --programmer ch341a_spi -c "MX25L3206E/MX25L3208E" -w heads-t430-hotp-maximized-v0.2.0-1150-g0670bcd-top.rom
flashrom v1.2 on Linux 4.19.213-1.pvops.qubes.x86_64 (x86_64)
flashrom is free software, get the source code at https://flashrom.org

Using clock_gettime for delay loops (clk_id: 1, resolution: 1ns).
Found Macronix flash chip "MX25L3206E/MX25L3208E" (4096 kB, SPI) on ch341a_spi.
Reading old flash chip contents... done.
Erasing and writing flash chip... Erase/write done.
Verifying flash... VERIFIED.

Nothing scary here. Keep the ROM files you read out for backup though. You might also want to read them out twice and compare them to make sure your connection is good (they should be identical if all is good).

As for the location of the flash chips…

  • U49 = MX25L6406E (8MB)
  • U99 = MX25L3206E (4MB)


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