Install second hard drive for use with one Qube securely?

Is it possible to have a standalone VM that is on a secondary internal drive?

How can I accomplish this, the wizard has no way to specify storage location when creating or configuring a new qube.

Please help me out thanks.


You can create a new pool on this drive.
Do you want to use this drive completely or just put this standalone qube there along with other unrelated files?

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Official guide:

Do yourself a favor and keep track of which qubes you put in which storage :skull: I’ve lost hair when I didn’t


I am fine dedicating the entire drive to one stand alone qube.
What exactly must be done with the drive to make this work, I am having trouble understanding the guide for secondary storage.

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Which part exactly? You need to:

  1. encrypt the drive (LUKS)
  2. create some LVM volumes
  3. add it to Qubes OS

Before doing any of the steps in the guide.
How do I access the drive and make sure it automounts in right place every time ?
How does it need to be formatted ?
Will read up LVM, but what exactly is needed if I only plan on using it for a single standalone vm ?
Could I make volumes and put 2 or 3 standalone vms onto it ?

Sorry but the first steps of getting started are blocking me, please help me sort this out. Thanks.

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The example in the guide should answer some of your questions:

The only thing you need is enough disk space to host each of them, nothing else. Qubes will do everything for you when you move/create your StandaloneVMs to the new lvm pool.

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Replicating the example. So far I made it to:

And then use “poolhd0” as the (LVM thin pool name):

sudo lvcreate -T -n poolhd0 -l +100%FREE qubes

Finally we will tell Qubes to add a new pool on the just created thin pool

qvm-pool --add poolhd0_qubes lvm_thin -o volume_group=qubes,thin_pool=poolhd0,revisions_to_keep=2

By default VMs will be created on the main Qubes disk (i.e. a small SSD), to create them on this secondary HDD do the following on a dom0 terminal:

qvm-create -P poolhd0_qubes --label red unstrusted-hdd

The question:

Before proceeding with those steps. I have a default 4.1 installation I have no set any pools or thin volumes etc…What names are safe to use and how do I make sure I do not nuke my original installation?

I have many qubes already installed and running, can I continue using them and comitting storage to them? Does that storage shift to the new drive now ? How do I specific which drive a standalone qube lives on for both home and root folders for that standalone?


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You can use any name you want, it’s not an issue.

You need to make sure you are setting everything up on the correct disk. Use something like lsblk in dom0 to check which drive is the one you want to format and create the lvm pool on.

Yes. Your current qubes are in the default lvm pool, you can check this by running qvm-pool list in dom0. Creating a new pool won’t affect them.

No. Each pool has its own storage, that’s the whole point of pools. When you create a new qube or clone an existing one, you can choose one of the pools and it will contain the virtual disks of that qube.

You can use the command line (qvm-create / qvm-clone) in dom0 with the -P option by specifying the name of the pool, or you can use the GUI by going in the Advanced tab before you confirm the creation of the qube.

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Thanks all sorted, looked a little intimidating but it was not that difficulty to setup. Did sweat a little when I thought I bricked my install then realized it was a usb issue. Appreciate the help!