Moderation proposal: directing Coreboot/Heads questions to the appropriate forum(s), even in the All around qubes category

This is a recurrent theme… should we start directing people to the Coredoot/Heads forum, even when they post in All around qubes?

It’s not that those topics are off-topic in All around qubes of course, I’m thinking of playing nicer with upstream / the rest of our ecosystem here.

The way I’m thinking through this: if we start redirecting folks, we may even free enough time for @Insurgo (and maybe others) to point to the relevant thread on the other forum(s) instead of repeating information once and again.

Over time, searching for a topic in this forum would direct folks to (arguably even more) relevant content, and the integration between the communities should benefit from that.

@moderators @Insurgo Any thoughts?


Heads has a slack channel with a matrix bridge but no forum and it’s distinct from coreboot. It is however a critical part of establishing a root of trust on a Qubes OS machine.

It’s of course also distinct from Qubes OS, but my opinion is that it’s a complimentary project to Qubes OS and to a substantial subset of Qubes OS users essential.

Hence I’d recommend seeing Heads as the one recognized exception to the off-topic rule. I’d even go as far as creating a dedicated category to make it official and explicit.


I’d suggest we ask @Insurgo what his thoughts are. Does any of you mind if I add Thierry to this conversation?

I had not read the full message. He already stated his ask.

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I’d suggest a canned response about Heads. Not the generic this is off-topic **closed**. Something with an explanation as to why we are asking that along the lines of what @insurgo said.

However from my experienve telling people to go to github often kills the conversation because some users simply don’t want a gh account (understandably) and now they can’t be created anonymously.


I hadn’t seen it either. We should of course follow and guide posters towards @Insurgo’s request. If people don’t wan’t to use GitHub it’s really their problem. It’s what the Heads project is using right now and it’s that projects decision what to use.


The problem is that. Slack bridge to Matrix is broken.

Some people hate github. Most of users are QuebesOS. But forum doesn’t show posts of all around qubes.

I would link to Qubes forum from github… It’s just that qubesos forum section is hidden for most currently (trust level 2).So I repeat myself on this forum, outside of this forum and link to forum and people can’t read.

I like to see what you think here. To be honest I’m considering creating a forum but that segments it all even more.

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Obviously Heads having its own Discourse instance like Whonix would be a perfect solution from the Qubes OS Community Forum’s perspective. We could simple tell people to post Heads questions to the Heads forum. Same way we are doing with Whonix.

If there is no Heads forum, I’ve already posted my thinking:


Bootstrapping a community can be hard. For Qubes we were lucky enough to have a vibrant community and given that the projects are so close, I’d be with @Sven in favor of its own category (or possibly sub-category).

@adw do you have thoughts on this?

I’m in favor of whichever solution minimizes overhead for the Heads and Qubes Forum staffs, but it’s not obvious which solution achieves that.

  1. Redirect users from Qubes Forum to Heads GitHub: Requires constant manual intervention from Qubes Forum staff, but it could be a copy/paste job. Reduces Heads staff work, as they have to monitor only one venue.
  2. Have a Qubes Forum section dedicated to Heads: Requires more mod work from Qubes Forum staff. Requires Heads staff to pay attention to two venues.
  3. Set up a Heads Forum similar to Qubes Forum: Requires lots of upfront work from Heads staff. Requires constant manual intervention from Qubes Forum staff to redirect users there, but it could be a copy/paste job. Again requires Heads staff to monitor two venues.

Sounds like the first option comes closest, but I don’t have a strong opinion about it.

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Why can’t the same be done with the existing Heads GitHub Discussions page?

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IMHO, if @Insurgo creates a Heads forum, then the solution is 3. with a redirect to the optional new forum. Else, the solution is 2. The solution 1. will loose too many users.

We should help @Insurgo in the choice he prefer between 3. with new forum or 2. with a dedicated section.


In your opinion @moderators : can current section of Heads in all around qubes be simply moved to its own section? I could go through all my posts, that’s not so hard from the forums tools, and tag posts to be moved into new section after?

Let’s recap:

  • github discussions require github account and most people I came across would accept going there contribute issues and pr on github but not discuss there. Microsoft blah blah I get it. So discussions there are more scoped as everything not being issues or PR.
  • I have no problem creating issues under github referring to qubes forum where user input or use case have been discussed for references, as long as those posts can be accessed without an account or trust level 2.
  • I have no problem creating github discussions (more cabal then anything else: devs organizing thoughts prior of creating issues and pr to fix them) again pointing to qubes forum if accessible to all (not trust level 2).

Again my vote would go in anything that would lower repetition, moderation and ease user input/use case analysis and feedback. Basically all around qubes for Heads as a strategy didn’t fit those goals. Maybe doing a little retrospect from moderators woukd help here prior of changing things again.

Github is an echo chamber for heads right now. It doesn’t fit the need of feedback since people on github are mostly developers. Those understand how to work around rough edges, mostly understand inner workings and even build their roms themselves. This is not the case on qubes forum where users are those who just want it to work in their use case without understanding all inner workings. Both are important but qubes forum is an important source of information, goal would be to reduce current frictions.

Tldr: if heads had its own section (solution 2 above) I think that would benefit both projects. Maybe give me permission to move topics pointing me to best practices?


It seems to me like having a section deficated to Heads, like @Sven suggested would be manageable moderation-wise.

To recap what I’ve read so far (and add some concrete details towards what I take away):

  • it would be a section distinct from the rest of the forum, in that its topic would be Heads (and not Qubes OS)

    • it seems to me that a proper announcement along the lines of “contribution of tbe Qubes OS project to give logistic support to the Heads project” or “collaboration between both projects” would help making things clear (and exciting)
    • the category description should make clear that it is managed by the Heads team (with support from the Qubes OS forum staff)
    • but also make explicit that the Community Guidelines do apply
  • @Insurgo should be able to admin / moderate that category

    • @deeplow I think you’ll know what can be done in that respect?
    • the admins and mods would otherwise support the category like any other
  • when topics show up about Heads

    • mods would move them to the Heads category, unless they’re also specific to Qubes OS (I wouldn’t overthink that, personally. I may be wrong but I don’t believe making those decisions will be much of a problem.)
    • a canned reply could be used if needed
    • that canned response might link to the original announcement?
  • for many intents and purposes, Heads would now have a forum, that happens to be hosted in the Qubes OS forum

I quite like that solution personally because:

  • it seems to address @Insurgo’s immediate time/effort duplication concerns by creating a forum (albeit a single-category forum) for Heads that:
    • can linked to / be linked from the existing GitHub conversations
    • can become a space for the Heads community to expand
    • can take advantage of some support from the Qubes OS forum infrastructure and staff
  • I’d like seeing such a supporting dynamic between related open-source projects
  • supporting Heads in that way woukd be a way to support the Qubes OS users that rely on Heads

I’m not sure how meaningful such a statement would be, given that it’s still a section inside the official Qubes Forum under the subdomain.

It’s not clear to me that the Qubes OS Project is committing to giving any logistical support to the Heads Project. This seems more like a decision by the volunteer Qubes Forum staff to perform a voluntary undertaking that they see as being beneficial.

This might create the perception (among people who are presently not very familiar with both projects) that the Heads Project is in some way a “sub-project” or “subsidiary” of the Qubes OS Project. I don’t know whether that’s a problem for anyone. Maybe not, but it seems worth pointing out before taking the plunge.


I would suggest making a separate “Qubes with opensource BIOSes” subforum on Qubes forums:

  1. a significant userbase of Qubes OS is interested in opensource BIOSes like coreboot / heads / etc., to the point when almost a half of people writing to my e-mail referred at Lenovo G505S hacking - DP guide (for coreboot’ing the AMD boards without a PSP “backdoor”) have bought their hardware specifically to coreboot it and run Qubes there
  2. there is some specifics about using Qubes on the devices with opensource firmwares, i.e. see this unique issue by my friend qmastery16 - - which he had to resolve in order to successfully run R3.2 on his coreboot’ed Lenovo G505S.

In short, there should be some place where the people could ask the questions related both to Qubes & coreboot/heads/etc (no need to point out “heads” in specific, because there is a lot in common between the various opensource BIOS distributions). And such a subforum on Qubes forum - could be an ideal solution


I agree with this approach. I was hesitant answering until such proposition came out. I think that would be the place to discuss things that should matter to QubesOS users who want a reasonable secure OS on top of reasonably secure platforms: that would be open source, or at least DXE replaced by linuxboot in propriety firmware. Therefore I think the section to be created should be firmware and that topic be discussed before being created.

Otherwise I feel maintaining and answering those questions and have Heads alone here would put me in a full time position, where coreboot/heads/linuxboot/UEFI are also part of the scenary and might fit some threat models/platforms better then others.


Only to cross-check my understanding of what you both @mike_banon and @Insurgo just wrote:

  1. Questions about coreboot/heads/linuxboot/UEFI qusetions that are related to Qubes OS will keep coming (and @Insurgo will keep being one of the people whi reply them)

  2. Questions about Heads, not specific to Qubes OS: adding a Heads-only category would not change that, but would add works for @Insurgo by adding the questions that are currently off-topic in this forum because they are now specific to Qubes OS, only to Heads

My understanding of the current situatiom:

  1. the first category of questions is already on-topic in, say, the User support category, isn’t it?

  2. short of creating a Heads category / sub-forum, those would keep being off-topic in the forum?

I’m not seeing how creating a “coreboot/heads/linuxboot/UEFI” category makes a significant difference with the stauts-quo…

  • Is it that having the posts grouped would already be helpful?

  • Would that category also accept questions that are not specific to Qubes OS, so it can also serve as a Heads for of sorts?

I feel like I must be missing or misundertanding something, sorry for the noise, but can you please help me understand @Insurgo (@mike_banon)?

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I edited my prior answer. @mike_banon what would you suggest as a space to discuss upstream alternatives to closed source firmware, and or linuxboot DXE alternative as bare minimal? I think the space is now open to discuss alternatives for which qubesos users are seeking for, for which a lot of us are directly / indirectly involved to create and/or push forward. But those need voices to be properly represented.

That is hard topic, and needs thinking before going forward as well as moderators representing those realms as project voices.

Otherwise I keep my hard stance: if alone here representing Heads and then libreboot, coreboot and différences between projects and platforms and cpu generations/chipset features, blob status etc, then I need people redirected to linuxboot/heads on github, which I can manage/represent on my own and dodge politics/trolling of trying representing all open source alternatives linked technicalities that exist on their own on my own, alone. Doing that would be a suicidal mission I’m not taking.

Going broader would require representatives of the ecosystem projects that are ready to moderate and engage into community discussions. This requires times and involvement. Otherwise the status quo that currently exists should be maintained and I/moderators shall continue to push users over github to further discuss Heads on a subject basis I can guarantee fulfilling on my own schedule : free community time.


If they are the same people on the coreboot discord forum, forget it, bunch of aholes over there, only want developers, if you aren’t a developer they ignore you or run you out.

This is actually not useful, and an unwelcome kind of comment on this forum, so… :woman_shrugging:

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