Lightweight Installation (low cpu-usage)

Does anyone here have any tips on how to create an as light as possible Qubes OS installation?

I am going to use this laptop for occasional web browsing only, the plan is to have just one (disp)vm open at a time.

I would like to sacrifice as little security as possible, but am willing to sacrifice a bit if it makes the system (significantly more) lightweight.

I’m surprised I couldn’t find any other topic like this, it seems like something more people would be interested in.



I have a couple of questions that could be useful to others trying this as well.

  1. I know it’s possible, but is it safe to delete sys-firewall and send everything to sys-net directly?

  2. Does not adding sys-usb reduce security if I never use this laptop outside of the house?

Thanks again!

Have a look at minimal templates:

It can: Device Handling Security | Qubes OS.

See also:

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Can you more clearly define what a light installation is? What properties are you wishing to achieve and why? Are there limitations you are seeking to address? Or are you simply seeking a stationary chromebook, but with Qubes?

Here is an example use case: I have an install on a laptop with 4GB of RAM, which forces a lightweight installation due to resource constraints. Lightweight in my case means limiting RAM usage and accepting I will only be able to run a limited number of concurrent qubes.

Lightweight can mean different things:

  • Lightweight due to limited RAM or hard disk space
  • Lightweight to ease usage/maintenance by reducing unneeded clutter
  • Lightweight to compromise some security by accepting tradeoffs due to unique situations [stationary, always at home, etcetera]

For a Chromebook-like use case where all browsing activities are in a disposable qube, you might want only a persistent “vault” AppVM for any login credentials and a Fedora DVM template. Note that “vault” is just fancy for an AppVM that has no network, and has KeePassXC as an available application. Qubes gives you the ability to place your own meaning to a qube.

What’s important is for you to define what you are seeking, and make the installation match. You can perform a 100% standard install and only use one disposable qube at all times. The question is if you can already do that, what more are you seeking?

Hello, this doesn’t answer your question but have you thought about using TAILS instead? I think in your use case, TAILS seem much more convenient than a full Qubes install.

  1. Take no place on the disk, just the USB drive so it’s as minimal as you can get.
  2. Works like a disposable vm except if you want to create permanent storage.
  3. Suitable for just browsing.
  4. Secure.
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Here’s a relevant FAQ entry: How does Qubes OS compare to using a “live CD” OS?

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With lightweight I’m referring to low cpu-usage, sorry for not being clear about that. To be precise I would like to extent my battery life. Qubes OS gives me two hours while for example Fedora keeps going for at least 10. I know that’s due to the vm’s but I don’t know how I can reduce the impact they have on my battery life

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