How Painful Will Windows & Gaming Be?

Please be gentle. I’m an Uber noob to all this and I have some disabilities that make it hard to convey my thoughts and expressions in writing.

I have a recently built custom computer. I guess you could call it gaming build but 90% of the time I’m using it for work, Internet, graphic design, etc. with the specs below

I’m a Web developer Highly focused on applications utilizing Microsoft Office, Azure, SharePoint

I also like to game and stream while I do so.

I started looking into Tails, live USB to do certain select tasks. I quickly found that to be impractical as I had to shut down everything I was doing, restart the computer wait five minutes for Tails to boot up, then reverse the process to go back to what I was doing. Not to mention I couldn’t get Tails working in the short amount of time I tried it (might be corrupt usb install?)

So I started looking into Whonix which led me Qubes. I initially considered dual booting between windows and cubes, but I think it would pose very similar problem to tales. I also heard doing dual boot isn’t as safe.

I Hired someone familiar with Qubes and Whonix to walk me through installing Qubes in Windows. We got a couple errors along the way about no supported drives, hardware unsupported, etc. etc. They seemed to quickly give up on the idea of Qubes. And started suggesting Whonix only on windows But I read Qubes makes it safer And it seemed like a really neat concept, compartmentalizing workstations, and performing different tasks in different VMs.

When I mentioned my interest in Qubes, he suggested formatting windows and installing Qubes and then making a Windows VM

My question is before I format windows and go down this rabbit hole with my brand new computer that I took a while to set up. Will I be able to utilize my graphics card in a Windows VM and play games and stream on my 57 inch monitor and fullscreen or is it just gonna be a nightmare/qubes isn’t there yet?

I Did a few hours of searching today and yesterday on the Qubes site, documentation, This forum and Reddit

I found conflicting reports or or at least I can’t make out the true story. In the FAQ I believe the GPU Passthrough documentation goes to something from like 2012

I read that Windows 11 is fully supported and that you can do a GPU pass-through

But I’ve also read that a GPU pass-through creates a vulnerability and full screen is an issue and audio is an issue and USB drives are an issue

I don’t mind putting in some work effort to get everything set up and tweak it, but I don’t wanna spend a week going down this rabbit hole only to learn. It’s not a viable option and I need to format my drive again and install Windows fresh


Processor: Intel(R) Core™ i9-14900K 3.20 GHz
RAM: 64.0 GB
GPU: Asus Strix Nvidia 4090
Motherboard: Asus Strix Z790
Monitor: 57” Samsung Odessy G9 Neo ( dual 4K with 240 hz refresh)

[irrelevant comment retracted]


I totally agree with @barto 's comments

especially this answer

:point_up_2: :point_up_2: :point_up_2:


It can be done, but gpu passthrough can be complex to properly setup (and in some rare cases, a multiple weeks nightmare).
However GPU passthrough in QubesOS do get easier to do years after years


Thank you all for your feedback. I was reading about using Whonix on windows and everyone basically says Windows is awful and Whonix is only as safe as its OS host and that is better than windows alone but still awful lol. So I’m not sure what to do.


Why not:
Unplug the disk with windows, plug another disk.
Install QubesOS. Try to do the most complex things you want to be able to do. if you don’t succeed switch the disk

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a cheap spare disk is a must for experimenting

I have a storage drive for games currently connected and it’s still empty. I am installing on that. It is an SSD and if it works I could copy the image to the primary windows drive?

Is that a good approach

I have Qubes working pretty well. It has been a process mainly because I’m so new to Linux. I have Windows installed and was able to pass the GPU through after hiding it from dom0. However, I like Luinux so much and Windows has been such a pain I have decided to try using Nobara as a Gaming Qube but I am not sure which GPU passthrough method I should use. Should I use the Seamless GPU passthrough on Qubes OS with VirtualGL or Create a Gaming HVM or another one? I heard the Virtual GL may not be as performant.

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In theory, if you have more than one GPU, you should be able to pass one of them through to Windows, allowing somewhat native gaming (minus CPU overhead).

I say “in theory” because last time I tried this (R4.0 with a GTX1660 Ti) it didn’t quite work and crashed my system instead. Worked on other Linuxes though

You should follow Create a Gaming HVM .
Seamless GPU passthrough on Qubes OS with VirtualGL can be an additional step after.

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