How to pitch Qubes OS?

Thank you @striker for very interesting point of view!

This community can help you with any problems. I wonder why you needed the command line and what did not work for you. Depending on your use case, customization can indeed be hard to do without experience.

Qubes OS is a huge thing developed by a very tiny team, so it will hardly ever be as user-friendly as Windows. But the developers are still trying hard. I suggest that you create a separate topic on this forum for each of your problems where we people can help you with your problems.

P.S. If you split your text into several paragraphs, it would greatly simplify reading.

These things can be complicated even without Qubes, so you should not be too quick to get to the highest security level. Start with small steps… As a person using Qubes OS as a daily driver for years, I still do not really use GPG yet (shame on me!).

Knowledge of Qubes OS design is (unfortunately) necessary to benefit from its security. You should learn (also by asking here!) that dom0 manages everything in the system and has infinite powers, whereas Templates only provide software to AppVMs. The latter are used to do your actual job and have much smaller power in the system.

According to @fsflover, i post a new post with text splits for better reading.
Thank you @fsflover for this comment

Hi there. I follow up this discussion and I think it can be helpful for you to have the point of view of a windows user in order to understand which are the reasons that could drive a person like me to change to Qubes os.

And… Also the reasons why I am still stucked to my windows laptop instead of getting ahead with Qubes.

Mainly the first reasons I have chosen to get to Qubes are privacy, security and anonymity. I worked for decades as a paramedic and I am deeply involved in health concerned topics.

From 2013 I decided to become an instructor for health related purposes and I cover a lot of topics mainly for nurses.

As you certainly knows, there are differents ways of teaching.

The first one is to stick to government and system requisite and speak about the general point of view which in some points is far away from real job. My students often ask me to speak “true” not to speak system… Keeping the line in this environment is sometimes like to acting undercovered.

The second aspect of my life is that I am an ecology and environment activist, implied in topics in relation with health concerns.

The 3rd aspect of my life is that i am christian definitely.

And as you can imagine, these 3 aspects of my life need to be separated hence I would get fired which has already occured.

So I began to search for ways to separate, compartimenting my digital life.

And digging the web, Qubes os seems to be the best option,no doubt about it.

Some recent events occured in my life y the way.

I realized, digging deeper that I would have to enhance a lot my privacy. When I went on digging deeper on some health related topics in order to get some valuable scientific piece of truth, I realized that main web stream was far deeper from truth than I really thought it was and i get caught and surprized to see how fast you can be analyzed and categorized and decided to get ahead.

By acting this way, I get time after time some evidences that I was somehow tracked and spied in a windows classic environment.

Anonymity is not a real option but a real concern…

On the same time, and in order to enhance the consistency of my courses, I decided to create my own training center from scratch and begun to learn how to develop web apps and online courses. And my first misinterpretation was to think it would be simple with Qubes os.

I followed the recommendations, bought a Nitrokey X230 lenovo laptop and… Realized very rapidly some important things.

I had no linux prio experience and, sorry for this but coming from windows to linux, and especially to Qubes is like passing from air to water, becoming a fish when you were a bird !

2 worlds looking at each other with so little communication between them !

I mean… After 2 days, trying to understand how things could work I get the strong impression that using Qubes os on a daily base would require a master degree in computing…

And I will explain you why.

The first thing which is very hard to understand is that, for a large majority of configurations there is no GUI…

This, is very confusing at the beginning. A normal windowsian is used to configure out some stuffs by answering questions, downloading some additionnal softwares which would keep on asking him to make some choices.

He is hardly concerned by the way things works inside and except for some specific profiles will not have a programming vision of things.

I hardly ever thought about a certain strategy, considering options…

I simply downloaded softwares one after the other that I thought this could handle th job for me.

So working with command lines… Tricky job !

But after all why not ? So I decided to go ahead.

After all i am not stupid and with the help of tutorials, documentation, it will be ok.

it’s not ok at all !

There are, as far as i know nothing very interesting after the “unboxing and install” lectures and videos you can find around.

By not very interesting, i mean concrete and useful for a newbees.

(Please note that here I describe the point of view of a windowsian user who naturally expects to find out tons of tutorials training courses, demos on youtube, elearning platforms, and so on and please apologize for aiming only this point of view. It is not at all the reflect of the substantial job your team does on a daily basis, and their clear implication. This is just to stand out the point of view of a classical windowsian user and his expectations.)

The official documentation is too generic in some consideration and the other supports I could see are too technical and somehow too hard to understand when you know nothing about linux and or Qubes and when you harly understand how things works.

I leave you some questions that I faced.

For some reasons, Nitrokey configured my qubes version in english while i am a french speaking person… How could I change the settings once installed ?

I have a printer… How can I configure it out for it can simply print and scan documents ?

These only “details” can really take you hours when you have never configured it !

Then come the other problems…

General configuration…

I mean… Using pgp ! yes ! I would love it !

Using SSh! yes great !

Euh… Where is the button ?

I joke ut felt really frightened so see how much I was out of reality…

Configuring a network without even knowing what I was doing was my reality in a windows environment…

Reading again the rich contributions to this post, I can tell you that normal windowsian user like me has gotten zombified for the long time and live on a myth…

Reading something about security, downloading a software, configuring it out and leave to others the way to handle my own security….

It’s crazy when you think about it !

“And now you have to QVMpref …” Yes, of course ! But what is QVMpref ?

During 2 nights I tried out. Both on my template vm and my appvm.

Until I realised i had to go to dom0…

Ok !

Now let’s install some useful softwares…

First get the official pgp signature…

Oups ! there seems to, before doing this, making a pgp split.

All right.

Seems working…

So, now, let’s go ahead.

Get the pgp signature from the soft provider , allow the trust and then store it…

Ok but where and how ? On which file ? Another night upon this…

Ok, seems it is done, and now, to install the soft, type snap install…

Does not work on template vm since it is not connected to the internet and so can not retrieve the package.

Ok, let’s try with the appvm.

Good it works !

Time to go to sleep. log off and the next day… modifications disappeared !

And these are only few of configuration issues I had to face lacking of basic knowledge…

As far as now, to tell you the truth, my Qubes os is still under construction on the laptop while it should be everyday’s operating system and i am disappointed about this…


What could we do to avoid this kind of disappointment ?

From the user side, doc and step by steps tutorials should be extended to newbees level of knowledge.

From the instructor side it is a very challenging job to work on this.

If somebody could explain me things in a comprehensive way, I could then transform it into comprehensive and progressive courses.

And if we can propose online video trainings, we would have gone a big step away from a windowsian point of view.

So, if some of are interesting in a long lasting, challenging and not paid work, please consider i could be of help on this.

Good evening to you all and don’t hesitate to contact.

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And some people are actually doing that:

It’s common to see in hacker circles: This laptop is for gaming. This other laptop is for freelancing & business. My other laptop is for toying / tinkering etc
You can extend that list to probably 10 devices if you’re serious enough about compartmenting your digital life. I have long since used a single device for everything that I work on.

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Wow! That guy is spending lots of money on fixing his computer: My MacBook Pro had over 10,000 USD in repairs - PQVST

Well, actually he didn’t. It was all covered by Apple Care, which has now expired. So any issue going forward from now he will have to pay himself.

Apple hardware used to be rock-solid. I was a die-hard Apple fanboy for over a decade before switching to Qubes OS and Graphene OS. It saddens me greatly to see what has become of them. I guess that’s what happens when your visionary dies (Jobs), the software guy gets fired (Forstall), the design guy (Ive) burns out and the company is run by the bean counter (Cook). And the hypocrisy! One side all rainbows and unicorns and the other slave-like workers jumping to their death.

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maybe, I can re-write the threat list from here,
to add on more reasons, why people should consider using Qubes.

Security threat list:

  • NSA-tier backdoor. i.e. intel ME, amd psp
  • Suggested solution: Laptop with disabled and neutralized intel ME. i.e. Librem, Nitrokey, Insurgo

Security threat list:

  • Privacy Nightmare with OS. i.e. windows 10, iCloud leaks
  • Telemetry, related to hardware component driver. i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Telemetry, related to software we use
  • Malware, spyware, virus, trojan, etc
  • Hacker.
  • Suggested solution: use Qubes

Security threat list:

Security threat list:

  • Phone. Phone spying also start from hardware, sim card, app, ISP, and so on, just like computer.
    Both Android and Apple.
    Many references related to phone spying, i.e. phone spying , phone spying 2
    From my common sense experience, android microphone and camera can be hijacked, either it is online mode, or airplane mode, even when it is turned off, but i think out of battery is exception.
  • Suggested solution: Some sources suggest to use Linux phone or de-googled Android, such as Librem, pinephone, but a reference said, it can only prevent tracking and data mining from google and apple, but cannot prevent if the adversary has resources to access NSA-tier. Also reference said, to avoid tracking by NSA-tier, need to keep using one time burner phone, and one time sim card.

That’s why, should consider to use Qubes.

Please add on more threat list, solution, or correction, if there are more.


I want to suggest a different pitch, I do not intend to disagree with anyone who posted before. A lot of the Qubes users who have a better defined sense of the value of Privacy, who have a sense of what Human Rights is about, than much of the general public I see.

I gotta say, I live in the US in an area where a lot of average people believe that Encryption might not be illegal, but it is unnecessary, and most likely the only people who use it are doing something which is illegal.

Around here, an average person who read of Qubes would think that is a bunch of people setting up to do something that is illegal.

I have heard some clearly say, 'Snowden is a traitor who, if the US government ever got their hands on him, should try him and execute him." They have a vague idea of exactly what information Snowden released. Just Snowden promised to keep something secret, and he was a traitor because he did not. Also notice, its not about a fair trial. Using Snowden as an example of why we need Qubes is not much of a help. I believe Snowden, because I always thought the US government would be doing all kinds of electronic surveillance, spying. What Snowden offered, is not to me much of a surprise. It is what the US government was paying the NSA, CIA to do. The surprising thing about the Snowden revelations, is that anyone is surprised about what the government was up to.

Around here, an average person who read of Qubes would think that is a bunch of people setting up to do something that is illegal.

I do not intend, or want to start a firestorm of political opinions. I think I speak the truth of what forty percent of the US would think of a Qubes efforts are about, if they even knew about it.

I would also point out, Human Rights is not something most people would get behind. I am not trying to justify their opinions. I point out a photo journalist said several years ago. He had just gone to an Asian country after three years of photographing atrocities in African country. Some about blood diamond, child soldiers, massacres of one tribe against another for control, power.

In the Asian country he agreed to meet with a group, who had a running battle with the main government. The main government called the group terrorists. To meet with this group, he had to go by a small boat on a river. He took a photo of a huge, magnificent decaying Palace on the side of the river, as they went by. The first meeting did not take place. The small group was afraid it was a ruse for an ambush of their spokesman, and leaders. Later he did meet with them, and they claimed they were a small ethnic group being targeted by the main government for ethnic cleansing, who also wanted the smaller groups geographic area to be populated by the more traditional part of the population of the larger country. They only took up arms to slow down government troops so women, children, older people could escape. Yes, they would ambush government soldiers anywhere in their part of the country.

Photojournalists agent in the US told him the only photo of all those he took, was of the decaying palace on the river, and the editor of the newspaper said he would consider other pictures like the Palace on the river. None of the atrocities, or human rights violations.

No one wanted to eat their breakfast with photos of Human Right photos. Dead people, people who had been tortured, burned, beheaded and such.

In the world of 2021, US Newspapers as a basic investigator into events, are nearly gone. Internet content of photos, information is more from individuals than official news sources. When the US government implements sanctions against another government for Human Rights Violations, it is mostly the poor and disenfranchised that suffer. Those in the power group have all the gasoline they want, not just all the food they want, but quality of food the poor rarely have. Less and less does any country do anything about Human Rights in another geographic area. Sometimes when the number of refugees becomes a problem. Like in the US, it is more about dealing harshly with those at the border, not about improving conditions in the places where they came from.

What I am saying, trying to defend the need for Qubes for Journalist, Human Rights workers appeals to a small audience.

What is a more popular group that needs Qubes.

A business person who travels, and needs to keep the plans, information about their company away from others.

A college person, at nearly the brightest, most creative in their life, before he has signed away the rights to his ideas as part of an employment agreement. College aged people who were creative: Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Woz.

As interesting. Protecting ones ideas while in college. Like the fellows who came up with Face Book, were not the ones who profited. Although Qubes might not have prevented that instance.

I had a friend who was driving across country and stopped for lunch. Forgot to lock car door, and camera and laptop were stolen. Windows Laptop with all their credit card info, bank info, phone numbers in case they needed to report those things stolen. Restaurant owner said, “Usually they break out car windows.” That couple had a lot of money in bank accounts after a lifetime of hard work. I think they were too embarrassed to tell me how much they lost.

Can someone help me to say better what is more attractive to a large group, without seeming to get into a firestorm about what some would say were political positions.

I think that this pitch has already been covered.
The value of compartmentalisation can be pitched to almost anyone - even
people with no interest in privacy and human rights. What’s important is
matching the threat description to their interests.

I can understand that, as there are a great many ignorant people, especially when it comes to technology. If anything, I think the reason Qubes hasn’t gotten more flak along these lines is because it’s entirely defensive in nature. With just Qubes OS by itself, you can’t harm anyone. All you can do is protect yourself from being harmed. (Of course, bad actors could also use Qubes to try to protect themselves from retaliation while doing bad things, but my point is that they’d have to get offensive tools from somewhere else to use inside of Qubes, which of course we don’t condone and strongly condemn.)

I suppose it’s probably similar to the way many people would react if someone moved into the neighborhood, boarded up all their windows and installed bars over them, installed an industrial door with heavy-duty locks, and so on. They’d probably think their new neighbor must be up to no good. Why’d they be doing all that unless they were hiding something nefarious? It’s sort of like that, except in the case of cybersecurity, most people either don’t realize or don’t care that they’re actually living in the middle of a perpetual war zone and that the digital equivalents of such precautions (such as using Qubes) are entirely appropriate for many law-abiding citizens who are just trying to live safe, private lives.


I think the root of it all is deeper.

We humans are typically averse to change and try to minimize our brain’s workload when possible. These apply doubly when it comes to something perceived as sophisticated, like computers, and when there aren’t any explicit cues that something’s amiss (hackers typically don’t cover screens with laughing skulls, so everything seems to be smooth sailing–until its not).

Mass media events like Equifax and Colonial might give everyone a little nudge, but for the vast majority of people, this nudge --one in an endless stream of mass media panics-- won’t help overcome the sheer mental inertia. There’s no immediate threat, so procrastination sets in; there’s no continuous pressure, which leads to forgetting. Life quickly snaps back to the old normal, as if nothing ever happened. Problem solved.

Then they encounter someone who does see the internet as the global war zone it is, and it disturbs something deep inside them. However, it’s cheaper mentally to dismiss the external cause of this disturbance than to contemplate and act accordingly, so self defence mechanisms are deployed. This is why there’s generally apprehensiveness if not outright hostility to preventative measures. (This also applies equally to health-related issues in many communities.)

In short, I think a large part of why your average person might look at someone with a highly secure OS with suspiscion is psychological self defence. People don’t like to face up to inconvenient truths because that would entail costly action.

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I in principle agree with everything you say, but I suggest that we simply should not target such audience yet. Near-future Qubes OS users already know that the Internet is a warzone and worry about it, but either don’t know what to do, or find Qubes too complicated/time-consuming. I believe that reaching such users could be a better step at the current time. There should be enough of them for this step. Only after the proposed design improvements in 4.2 are implemented, we may start to think about a wider user-base.

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Around here, an average person who read of Qubes would think that is a bunch of people setting up to do something that is illegal.

Pardon me for opinion,

People need security, because we want to secure, what is important, from what is dangerous.
Or to secure, what is precious, from any threat.
Or to secure, what is considered as human right, from any violation.

So, in my opinion, it is not logical, to consider security users, as dangerous,
while at the same time, he is busy securing many things, from the danger itself.

How come someone, who are busy, securing things from danger,
and busy helping others improving security,
can be considered as dangerous ?

Maybe as funny examples, if we learn from nature,
i.e. rabbits create rabbit hole, as its security system.
i.e. octopuses release dark ink, as its security system.
And both are not dangerous.
i.e. But tiger, lion, and shark, don’t need security system, because they are the danger itself.

So logically, security system users, are not dangerous.
We just being realistic, since we don’t live in utopia.
And maybe, the one who don’t need security system,
are maybe the one, who is either naive ignorant, or the danger itself.

But, sometimes I don’t understand,
why do some people, feeling insecure about, what others are trying to secure ?

With just Qubes OS by itself, you can’t harm anyone.
All you can do is protect yourself from being harmed.

Yes, this is correct.
Security system, is not being created, to harm people, but to secure people.
But hacking system / tools, is vice versa.
And Qubes is about security system (OS that respects security),
and not hacking system / hacking tools / offensive tools.

So, both have different purpose,
the 1st one is to secure, the 2nd one is to hack.

And can search, actually there are many hacking tools, from software and hardware.
and so far I know, nobody or few only, criticize these hacking tools, as dangerous,
but then if criticizing security system as dangerous, imo a wrong target.

Hi @newbie, in some societies as the one in the US and many places in Europe there are forces that want to take civil freedoms away. Some because they have bad intentions, others because they have grown up without any adversity and cannot imagine how it would feel like to live under tyranny.

You can simply see that in politicians constantly giving themselves more power without ever thinking about what will inevitably happen once the opposition is in power.

Many are lazy in their thinking and fall for simple fallacies like “you have nothing to hide, if you are not doing anything wrong” and “if you don’t want everyone to know about it, you probably should not do it”.

Others are rightfully outraged about bad things that are happening and want to prevent those things from being possible (terrorists, child abuse, trafficking), not realizing that the only way those things become impossible is when no one is free.

It might feel like a caricature but many people are fat, dumb and distracted by a media that makes them hate their neighbor. And many others that are not, are so busy trying to earn enough money to survive that they have no energy left to realize the trap they are in. And even if they do, what can they do about it?

In this context people using Linux, encryption and talking about security look like a threat, simply because they are different.

I cannot imagine how ridiculous this must look to people living in places like China or the middle east or many other places where the dangers are so obvious no one can ignore them.


@Sven okay, thank you for comment, lol but the sense you give me, feels like both emotionally opposed, but logically supported, at the same time, :sweat_smile: but never mind.

i see that, what a pity, if people contribute so much time, energy, and resources, with a good intention, and a good way, to serve a good purpose, developing good security system, like Qubes, just for at the end, being misunderstood, as bunch of bad people, trying to setup something illegal.

so actually, in my opinion, it is a good thing, if there is someone like @catacombs, who want to represent these people, to express their opinion, so that we have a chance to clarify, explain, and educate, so that everyone can be aware about the threat, have a correct understanding, and benefit from the project, and then maybe also support and donate, so that human digital technology can have a better future.

I found this thread fascinating, I will explain why I chose Qubes.
I have been using linux for many years but I am no quru I am a slackard, I like easy. I have no desire to learn the deep inner workings of my computer I just want to be the usual mindless user, turn it own and do what I want to do no fussing around. But I do realize the internet is a “war zone” which is why I started using linux it was supposed to be more secure.
A few years back I thought perhaps if I add a vpn that would help so I did.
My main issue was with the spying and mining of information to sell to the highest bidder I stopped using gmail and started using start-page and brave browser and dissenter.
I do not know how to lock down my computer so that was about the extent of my security measures.
Now we see people being censored from popular social sites and amazon shutting down a popular site causing them to lose content on the amazon servers. I am opposed to censorship, it makes my blood boil, Amazon prime lost me over that. No more Facebook, bye bye Utube. What else can I do, I do not know how to harden up my computer.
Jeffery Petterson started a group on telegram about a month ago telling people to get off of windows and run linux and he has regular podcast explaining to people how to switch to linux. He has over 50,000 people on that group now, somebody is listening and I know who it is.
People that have been censored that is who, they now see that the attitude of “well I really don’t have anything to hide who cares” is dangerous.
And there is Rob Braxman explaining to people just how bad the war is, he has quit a following. I learned of Qubes from his site.
I would not say the masses are waking up but there is a growing number of people disturbed about the current state of things and they are beginning to look for answers.
As for me I already run linux so while I enjoyed watching Jeffery Petterson group grow I started thinking.
I can install Mint, Pop, Ubuntu, Open Mandriva all day long and they all pretty much just work after an install, that is my cup of tea, easy. I prefer Cinnamon desktop, but XFCE is good I have used it I really like the right click on the desktop and getting a real menu instead of just desktop tweaks.
Haven’t use the terminal much in a long time and please please I hope I do not need to dust off the VIm book I have buried somewhere. I have forgotten everything I ever knew about VIM but it rocks if you need it.
You should have a good picture of me as a user now.
I do love linux I do not use windows ever except for work because they of coarse are to smart to run linux on their system. I have to have help doing things in windows because I do not know how windows does things and I do not care to learn. Yes I am a linux snob even if I don’t know what I am talking about.
But like those folks on Jeffery’s telegram group I am disturbed about the state of things, it is time for me to go to the next level.
As they say no pain no gain so I sort of in a slacker sort of way researched the options of a pre-hardened OS’s. I know I am not really going to enjoy this process but if bad actors are going to spy, cheat, and steal from me I want to make them work for it. I am tired of it.
Qubes makes since to me I get it, I’m in.
Those people Jeffery is pitching are not ready for this OS, but they are making a positive change. After they get over the gitters of OMG installing an OS other than windows they may be ripe for the next step.
However there are more savy users out there waking up as well and they are the ones IMO you should target.
Jeffery is telling those people to get a used computer or drag out an old laptop and install linux and people are doing it.
You need to target people the same way, don’t trash what you have get a second computer and give this a try when you are comfortable that this OS works for you then you can go all in.
I am a maintenance guy at a private school, not well educated, not tech savy, no writer for sure, but I am here because Rob Braxton mentioned several distros to look at if you want to go to the next level.
I have Qubes installed it works, not like I want it to but it works I am using it now I just have to figure out the rest, I will, I will drive you crazy with basic stuff I should already know but forgot.
If you are going to “pitch this OS” you are going to get a lot more like me I hope you are ready for that.
Not sure what I have said that you may find helpful.


maybe, let me try to clarify,
but my understanding could be wrong,
so let’s just consider it, as a reference / opinion only.

Referring to, one of the Snowden’s interview, if not mistaken, the title is hero or traitor.

He said that, his loyalty, is toward the constitution 1st, and then 2nd, toward the government.
and he said that, in his opinion, the government, has already violated the constitution.
Therefore, he cannot follow, what he consider, as a violation, to the constitution.

I’m not sure about the constitution, but so far I know,
US has always been called as, the land of the free, or the land of freedom.

Therefore, by referring to his other interview, about the surveillance,
imo it is true, that the constitution, has already been violated.

So, I think that, he is not wrong, for doing what he does now,
because he just being loyal to the constitution.

Also, in another reference, about patriotism,
I think, he is someone, who has set his loyalty hierarchy right,
which is, humanity higher than patriotism.

imo, without putting humanity, higher than patriotism,
maybe the patriotism, will go to the wrong direction.

i.e. patriotism that aiming, for the country, to have more control, more power,
more influence, more domination, and more superior, toward other country.

why imo, those are considered, a false direction of patriotism ?

because, if all country, are using the same wrong direction, to interpret & apply patriotism,
then i think, at the end, it will become destructive for the humanity,
because, all want to control, and dominate each others.

But, by putting humanity, higher than patriotism,
then the patriotism, will go to the right direction,
which is constructive for humanity.

Just as what Snowden said:

“you’re not patriotic, just because you back, whoever is in power today, but you’re patriotic, when you work, to improve, the lives, ot the people, in your country, in your community, those around you.”

so in his opinion, which i also agree,

patriotism, is not about power & control, or about domination & superiority.

but it is about, how we can improve,
the lives of the people around us, in our community, in our country, and in the world.

so imo, he is not a traitor, but a hero and patriot.

I respect the opinions of folks who post here, perhaps more than I respect my own. Andrew, Unman and several others here have greater knowledge of computers, how to present a product than I do.

Still, I did not quite get my point across. I do not want to represent the view of those who would react to; “If you need encryption, then you must be up to no good.” Of course basic Security, encryption protect them in many ways. Any account that involves money, and the encryption is done by a big company, they have no problem with that.

If I am talking to someone who was infected with RansomWare, at some point they will say, how can we have all these computer experts, and we still can not stop things like this from happening. I might say, with careful use, Qubes could do that, and if you backed up properly, no problem.

I often think to myself the early advice of how to deal with a computer infected with RansomWare is not quite correct. If you are not going to pay. Don’t overwrite the drive. Put a new drive into the Computer, install OS again, Install a decent Security system. Wait, most likely computer experts over time will find a free way to decrypt the drive Encrypted with Ransom Ware. Be careful not to plug a drive with Ransom Ware in until you have the correct setup.

I did not want to respond to comment about Snowden, for one thing, because it is not a thoughtful recognition of what kind of spying and intrusion governments do. It is emotional around here.

On this forum we try to avoid talking about things which are not about Qubes. There are other places on the internet for such noise, shouting, and threatening language.

I may be incorrect, but I think much of the basic attitude who stay with using Qubes, have a European attitude toward Privacy. And are willing to respect the needs of other people.

To., into the emotional arena. One of the flash points of attitude in the US is Donald Trump.

political statements to make the point (emotional reaction)

Item; While Trump was President, someone told me he went to a restaurant in a town nearby, and a woman wore a t-shirt of Tump 2020. She told him, "Every day I get down on my knees and thank God for giving us Donald Trump for President.’

Item: A fellow gave a neighbor, whose car was broken down, a ride to the grocery store. During the trip his neighbor gave a strong opinion about how Trump was elected by a huge margin (also known here as the big lie). And if he personally knew anyone who did not vote for Trump, he would take his gun over to their house and shoot them.

Item; I have a neighbor who has on the side of his house, a sign, which is like over ten feet tall and fifteen feet long. “Trump 2020”

Item: I went to a persons house the other day who has three flags on his property. “Trump. He will be back 2024.” Someone said,“Nearly every one around here agrees with that.”

Item; I live in Texas, whose state legislature has just enacted a set of laws to disable the Voting Rights of those not likely to vote for those who support Donald Trump and Trump style politics. One of the new laws is for any individual to declare himself a poll watcher. Such a person may stand with a few feet of any voter, carry weapons. No Police officer may remove such a poll watcher for any reason. Never been like this before. Used to be. No weapons at, in or near a polling station. Poll watchers had to have back ground checks and thought to be reasonable, sane people who only helped to insure the legality of the election process.

Right now the Forum moderator is thinking of getting rid of my post, and how long to ban me for. I spoke about politics.

Truth is, the same flash point is true of Snowden in this area. It provokes emotional reactions that are not constructive to the bringing many, in my community to using Qubes. I think Snowden would say about what I am saying, "I used to be in the US military, I understand very well the attitude, and emotional reaction to what I have done.

In a European style Privacy attitude, they would look kindly upon the revelations of Snowden.

I don’t feel my neighbors would read two sentences that might support Snowden. I am sorry to say. Several here have made well reasoned statements of truth about Snowden. Snowdens sense of computer security is a good reason to use Qubes. His name is a flash point. BTW, I felt Snowdens description of working with another person, who harassed a young women to give them information or they would reveal personally embarrassing information about her committed suicide. That is why the power structures should not have private information about normal people.

Just like it is not safe for me to live within a hundred miles of where I am, and it be known I am Not a Trump supporter.

So I do not disagree with any of you.

I think the wiser, more knowledgeable people than me already see a sufficient number of statements that Qubes is a:

Qubes, with careful use, is a great way to stop Malware from ruining your computer life. Well, I have said other reasons to use Qubes. and with a bit of recognition, what I suggested is implied in the Qubes web page.

Emotional Flash points are, Encryption (meaning private encryption not to imply companies should not implement encryption.) The use of the name of folks like Snowden. And you might as well keep the name of Snowden prominently displayed. those who react to the name of Snowden aren’t likely to make the effort to read of how to use Qubes.

But there are a lot of people we would like to lure down off the fence. The more people who practice good computer security practices, and good private encryption, the better for everyone.


Good points.
It is, as ever, necessary to adjust the pitch to the target.
For some people, mention of Snowden will be a positive; for others, a
negative trigger. (The same for the US)
Almost no one will kick back against Safety and Security. If I don’t know
the audience, that is what I emphasise, and the audience make of it what
they want.

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Your points are recognized @catacombs but you do have created a little mess. Let’s hope everybody here get’s it and does not engage an “emotional reaction”. If they do staff might need to deal with it in some way.

For now I have added a staff notice and put your “items” in a details view to make it more obvious what your intention is. I hope that will be sufficient.


I can vouch for legacy Apple hardware being so much better than what they are putting out now.

I’ve managed to keep MacBooks 10+ years old on Qubes OS with upgraded RAM and SSDs, and they run surprisingly well. A little laggy at times, but definitely usable!

One thing that kind of sucks about Apple hardware when running Qubes OS, is the fact that they will often wire their internal peripherals on a single USB bus, making passthru an absolute nightmare or sometimes impossible.

The number of times I would try and pass a USB port to sys-net to tether a phone or ethernet dongle, and then have the internal keyboard get passed through as well… :rofl:

For example, quite a few MacBook laptops have:
Bus 001: 1st USB Port, SD Card Reader
Bus 002: 2nd USB Port, Internal Keyboard, Internal Trackpad, Internal Webcam

Also, for the record, Kernel 4 straight-up didn’t like Apple’s internal keyboards at all!

Apple hardware has since become more for the general public who “want the baby without having to go into labour”, and less for tech enthusiasts. Also, Apple didn’t really have their own retail and repairs back then, so I guess they didn’t really care what people did with the hardware, as it wouldn’t affect how much money they made…

But now…what a transformation. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would need 16 screwdriver heads to replace a wifi antenna, I would have laughed at you…