My Qubes machine is so powerful I could add a gpu and make it a decent gaming machine. Is there a way to do it securely?

I can’t pull out the HD and insert another HD with Windows but I could place a 2nd HD with Windows installed and boot into it when I want to use it for offline gaming after disconnecting the ethernet cable.
Is that secure?
Are there any other cons?

Dual Booting even with other linux or os is not safe.

for your case, It’s still good to dual boot than using windows completely, then you can encrypt /boot partition for extra security.

How does encrypting the /boot partition make it safer?

Maybe some bioses allow to disable an HD completey and enable the other?

@MitchJ, if you are considering adding a GPU, why not run a Windows HVM in Qubes and pass the entire GPU to that Windows HVM?

You would need to plug your monitor into the passed-through GPU (or get a display switch, so you could use the same monitor for Qubes OS simultaneously), and likely need to give it one of your USB controllers for your keyboard/mouse/gamepad, but other than that, you likely wouldn’t notice any major difference to running on bare metal, assuming your Windows HVM was allocated sufficient system resources…

That would allow you muzzle some of the more “nosey” games, while keeping that Qubes OS level of system integrity.

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That sounds like an added complexity.
I read some machines with gpus don’t load qubes.
I didn’t see reports on that so I’m hesitant to try something few have experience with… or maybe the reasons there are no posts about it is because it works without problems? (there isn’t even a section about it in Documentation | Qubes OS )

EDIT: I googled and found accounts like this:

Passthrough with rtx works. It’ll take you a bit of time to go around few quirks, USB, audio, 3.5GB ram limit, etc. though. I’ve got a 2070 and everything is running.
While this indicates it’s possible but difficult:
Contents/ at master · Qubes-Community/Contents · GitHub

EDIT 2: I suppose the easy yet secure solution would be to find a way to disable one HD in bios while enabling the other.

That looks actually pretty decent.

Why do you want to do that? Your gaming HVM would run on xvda and xvdb.

I checked the bios. There’s no way to disable an HD.
Following the guide doesn’t seem like a guaranteed way to get it to work… and it could end with only 4gb ram.
Looks Like I’ll have to get a new pc.

EDIT: does it make sense to first try it with a cheap gpu and see if it works or it won’t mean it’ll work with the gpu I want to get?

Would installing windows on an external ssd for gaming be too slow? It depends on how youre connecting it to the computer, from what I read.

That doesn’t help since Qubes would be in an Nve SSD still accessible to Windows.

Only if they’re nVIDIA cards, because those “lovely people” won’t merge their firmware into the kernel…ah, such lovely thoughtful people…

That’s because it is an added complexity, but with added benefits too…

Well obviously don’t try anything on a machine/install that you aren’t prepared to bork…that’s rule number one… :upside_down_face:

If you want, make a fresh Qubes OS install on a separate drive/partition, and play around with that. Then, if it works, you’ll then have the winning formula to get it working on your production machine (and to write an awesome guide for all of us :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

Well, I don’t think hardcore gaming was really the original intention of the Qubes project…

Maybe you could be the catalyst to write one? (I’m dead serious. Not all of us have the hardware you have, so this could be a really decent opportunity for you).

Physically swap hard drives?

Or wire both of them to a switch that you’d flip when the machine was powered off to change drives (kind of like a KVM switch, but for hard drives)?

But it could also not end up with 4gb of RAM…

Go for the GPU you want, not a cheap one. It’ll save you money in the long run…

@MitchJ, I just want to clarify that those guides are talking about sharing a discrete GPU with Qubes OS dom0 and a WIndows HVM simultaneously.

That isn’t what I was talking about.

I was talking about running your Qubes OS on integrated graphics, and giving your ENTIRE GPU to the Windows HVM.

Since you’d essentially be giving a VM full control of a PCI device, all of those restrictions that were mentioned shouldn’t apply at all…

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It’s impossible to wire an Nvme drive to a switch sadly… and not using Nvme would slow down everything.
I see no easy option to use windows with gpu support.

Do you mean trying this guide to give the vm full contorl of the pci device? Contents/ at master · Qubes-Community/Contents · GitHub