How do you use Qubes Policies?

The other one was already pinned on all forum pages. What I’ve done is move this discussion into its own thread because otherwise folks would probably miss the goal. Now it’s in the title and this topic is now the one pinned on all pages. @ninavizz fell free to edit the title of this new post.

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I have a USB mouse and I set the policy to allow it without asking.

I have configured automatic opening of links from my email-qube and instant-messaging-qube in a disposable VM, so my policy allows those VMs to start corresponding dispVMs.

Nothing else in my Policies.

Oh, I just assumed she meant updates, because “backups over Tor” makes no sense. (The closest thing would be uploading backups over Tor, which would be even less relevant to this topic than what was actually asked. :laughing:)

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I use policies to open multiple documents in the same disposableVM when I click open in DisposableVM.

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Can you do the same with links?

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I believe so. See these:

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Yes! Another team I work with had the same question. I’m thinking of suggesting that functionality go into the Settings window for individual qubes. Where might you expect such a setting to live?

I think this is not straightforward. Let’s say, I receive a couple of emails/intant-messages with links in some qube. I click on them and they are opened each in its own dispVM.

Do I want this or do I want them to be opened both in a single dispVM? It probably depends on how much I trust the senders and the linked websites. I don’t think I will ever want to apply “opening in the same dispVM” by default unless (1) I have not enough RAM or unless (2) opening a dispVM is annoyingly long. In the (1) case, such option would probably be useful. I expect that it could be shown in Advanced qube Settings, probably with a hint that it may decrease your security/privacy but save RAM. In the (2) case, I would very much prefer that the following issues are solved instead:

Note, that I can always simply use ctrl+c, ctrl+shift+c, ctrl+shift+v, ctrl+v instead and open the second link in the first dispVM in this way. Anything more complicated/flexible than that might be useless.

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@ninavizz this could indeed be a very interesting usage of the policies. I have made a similar proposal for the SecureDrop Workstation project:

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At this point I am sure to annoy someone, but here goes:

If you set the policy to “ask” you will have the choice for each and every file (OpenInVM) and URL (OpenURL)

Your options are:

  • start new dispVM using dispVM template of your choice
  • use already running dispVM
  • use (and start) any other qube
  • cancel

You have this choice every time you open a file or URL! How is that not the default? (I know, not advocating to make my preference the default, but man this is handy)

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I loved that you brought this up for SD, and the solution you proposed!

@Sven I totally agree with you and hope to put this policy’s setting option in the individual Qube’s setting pane. Seems like the best place to surface it. Looking forward to getting a version of this stuff into a prototype and in front of users. :slight_smile:

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Screen Sharing

Also, I’ve used policies to share the screen of one AppVM into another. This is useful when you want to do a presentation from your work qube, for example. But the designs you’ve been working on are on your other qube. It’s not as safe, but possibly better than installing the fully bloated zoom client on the qube where you stall all your creations. See:

“Split-zotero”

I also use policies to have to be able safely use zotero ( a reference manager). I don’t particularly trust Zotero. So what I do is having a zotero qube where I store public documents fetched from the web via the zotero browser plugin (1-click local web page archiver – super convenient). And then I have an offline qube you can think of it as a notes-vault where I do my note-taking. When I click a citation on my notes-vault it selects that document on the other qube’s zotero. The communication between these two is very very minimal. Just the document id is passed, not even the document’s titles.

(before someone asks, I don’t have this in a shareable form. It’s just for personal use. But extremely simple to replicate.)


The other way around :wink: I created the SecureDrop issue first and it was on the back of my mind and what motivated me to seek a solution.

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  1. I don’t, but I wish I could edit certain properties like auto-delete after ‘x’ amount of time.

  2. Yes.

  3. Learning to do something similar to this: just explicitly asking for confirmation.

4.yes, see adw response.

  1. Nope, and I would like to learn how
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It’s completely unclear to me what questions you are answering, because
I cant identify the message you are commenting on.

For this, look at using qubes-app-shutdown-idle which will
automatically shutdown a qube when there are not open windows.
You can edit the timeout period in the configuration file ( by default 5
minutes)

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@unman When I have 45ish minutes free I’ll go more in depth. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be unclear, it made sense in my head when typing it: 1 corresponds to first bullet point of original post, and so on.

For ”1” here are the specifics:
https://forum.qubes-os.org/t/wipe-vm-clipboards-with-a-trigger/

@UncleBob - It’s a problem at my end.
I use mailing list mode, and when a thread is split, I have no
idea what the original topic might have been.
That means that if you refer to a post in the original thread, I’m
just lost.
Look forward to some more detail.

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How do you configure it this way ?

So, an amnesiac property for clipboards (global or qube specific) is something you’d like?

Seeking feedback on some design stuff! In this thread: Feedback Sought: System/Global Settings & Policies UI stuff