New "general admin, security & privacy" category?

Actually, that gives me an idea (not sure it’s a good one):

  • only members can/see post in that category
  • we probably don’t want to advertise this category too much

“This post/thread is off-topic on the Qubes forum and should be continued at another venue or the members only lounge”

Then the “related but not specific” category becomes a “members only lounge”, which means you have to earn the trust (level 2) to participate.

“members only” aka “backstage” ?

We may have to shorten it to 5 examples in the end

I added a lot more general examples to that list for the discussion
here. Agree on picking 5 or less of them at the end.

Later posts from other people shifted the discussion towards fingerprints in general, which belongs to the new category.

…which makes it a perfect example. :slight_smile:

With the new category, members that opt into the new category can keep
going while everyone else does get swamped with “off-topic” posts.

Yes, this is possible. However, users posting may not have trust level 2 so they won’t be able to continue it, if I move it there.

I feel compelled not to hint at the existence of this category and let them find it once they’ve been using the forum. This will avoid people trying to game the system just to get access to that (not sure how many would be interested in this, though). And of course they can always come across this discussion or be hinted at by another user.

You pretty much summed my thoughts. Since not everybody can talk there, we’re better off not advertising it too much on the public section.

But the above canned response sounds appropriate enough. :+1:. Actually, on default discourse installations a “lounge” category for members already exists.

Since you’re the one carrying the “burden” ultimately, I think it’ll up to you what kinds of discussions you can take as a moderator.

Really looking forward to this. I want to avoid having to shut down discussions (like this one 1vyrain, Should I Install Core Boot or Skulls?), which may be of interest to some here…

I think this is the key point. Again, I see a lot of fear here of off-topic discussions and a lot of willingness to force the discussion to be “correct”. I don’t think it is a good way of managing the community. It shows the lack of trust to your community.

I see a good example with @amosbatto who positively contributed to a relevant discussion despite being a newcomer and could not even post all necessary proofs due to forums’ restrictions. Now, you want to restrict the users even more. This seems to be heading to less diverse discussions and smaller community. (I would like to note, again, that the topic was about hardware running Qubes, so useful to the community).

And this is another good example why those restrictions may not be warranted.

I would like to say that, despite the new category is not directly related to Qubes, it may still may be important to most/many Qubes OS users. What are the actual reasons to create all those restrictions and complications in the first place? Could we, for the sake of test, open such category for everyone for a month?

I do not understand you position. You were the one bringing up the idea of having these less qubes-centric discussions in separate (more closed) category.

I’ll borrow a quote from @ludovic:

The whole point of this category is for giving a space to those discussions. The reasons for keeping the forum on-topic have been addressed before and I’d urge us not not go back to that discussion point.

Indeed, I suggested a closed category and I still think it’s a good idea. But I did not suggest to close it even from users on this forum. I suggest to open it for all registered users for one month as a test. Anyway, I think that trust level 2 is a too strong barrier.

I can see one major and very important argument against this–manpower.

Deeplow is the only active mod I’ve seen here, and Sven will help out with the Tangents subcategory (my temporary name for it). That makes two volunteers with many other things to do in their lives.

Opening up such a category without increasing the threshold for entry would mean opening up the floodgates. For example, if the Tangents subcategory suddenly became popular, which is not out of the question, then there’d be droves of people from across the web who might not have interest in Qubes clogging up the moderation queue, and that opens the forum up to a lot of abuse and issues. Getting new mods aboard is troublesome; getting new mods aboard in short order is worse IMO–best to have trusted people modding.

On the other hand that might, as a side effect, drive up interest in and adoption of Qubes, which might be a positive development to some, but I think the risks outweigh the potential benefits.

I’m in favor of having a forum for topics tangential to Qubes, but I’m not in favor of unrestricted access since that might lead to disastrous results for the overall forum–those who participate must have, in a non-trivial way, demonstrated an interest in Qubes and positive contribution to discussions, otherwise why be here in the Qubes forum? Why not go to one of the myriad other forums?


How do we subscribe by email?
Have I missed that?

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Sure. But how do we know that it will take a lot of time and attract a lot of people? This is why I am suggesting a test month. Have a look at non-popular subreddits. They are not full of spam and holywars, simply because there are few people. Why do you expect that everyone immediately comes to Qubes OS forums? I am ready to help moderating it, too. In case I don’t have enough trust yet, even without being a moderator I can explain to users what is (not) off-topic and suggest to change the direction of the discussion. By the way I am already helping Deeplow by answering questions of new users.

Another argument is that yes, probably some people will come for tangential discussions. If there are not too many of them, then such category would simply serve as advertisement of Qubes OS. Indeed, this operating system is practically unknown. It’s used by 35k people in the whole world, nobody around me heard about it, even technical people. There is some balance between “close every topic” and “open everything for everyone” and I don’t believe that forcing people to have level 2 is the golden middle.

Because the new category is not for every topic, it’s for tangential topics to Qubes, All around Qubes as I call it. It is being created to help Qubes users, even if it is not directly about Qubes OS.

That said, I am not the one to decide and I am open to the decision of @deeplow about the new category. I am just suggesting to lower the barrier at least to level 1.

Upd: @fiftyfourthparallel added your suggested name of the category to the wiki post, along with my comment.

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No, you haven’t. It’s still under discussion exactly how this will happen. But once the category is up, you should see their discussions land in your inbox, just like other categories. I’ll also add instructions to send topics there via email.

How do we subscribe by email?
Have I missed that?

Once the new category exists, you will see the respective posts
automatically (given you are using the mailing list mode – which I know
you are).

So if you are not interested in seeing this category you would have to
go the forum, select the category and click the little bell icon on the
top right so that it appears with a line crossing it out. Then this
category would be muted for you.

This ability is what made me propose such a category in the first place
as it would allow users who do not want to participate to not be
bothered by it.

However, I admit that I had you among others in mind when I wrote “I am
very interested in what some people here have to say about OpSec, IDS,
privacy or just plain old Linux config, scripting whatever”.

… so please don’t mute. :slight_smile:

What are the actual reasons to create all those restrictions and
complications in the first place? Could we, for the sake of test,
open such category for everyone for a month?

I get where you are coming from and if it’s successful we might open it
up more later. For now it’s an experiment and its up to the community to
make it work.

Many discussions will start out in other categories and branch over into
the “relevant/not specific” category. In that case we might promote
people who are level 1 and already involved in that conversation to
level 2 so they can continue it.

The whole idea is to have a place where people in the community can
continue to talk about something that would otherwise be “off-topic”. We
don’t want to attract people outside the community to this category,
only people already involved with the Qubes community: this will keep it
relevant and hopefully high quality.

It’s an experiment. Let’s start and learn and improve.

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It’s not my opinion, I think that trust level 2 is a good restriction, for the same above provided arguments by @deeplow .

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I have to say you are doing a great job here.


Thanks everyone for your feedback on the wiki post. I think pretty much everyone who is interested in this thread has already left their options.

But in any case, I’ll leave open a bit more (until 2021-02-03T20:00:00Z).

Afterwards, we move forwards with choosing for each section.

I’d suggest open vote on the following options: (do you agree?)

  • choice of name
  • category color & icon

(By open vote, I mean where one can see who voted where)

For the category short description: I think @Ludovic’s proposal is the front runner (without the “domains” part) so I think we should go with that.

For the criteria for inclusion of topics: The only option given is “relevant but not specific to Qubes OS” so we’ll go with that.

For the criteria for exclusion of topics: we have four option, which may need some curation. I think @Sven (the future category moderator) should do this.

For the “inclusion/exclusion examples”, it’s probably a one-person job, so I’d suggest again @Sven to do it and choose.

If there isn’t any overriding concern over my choices, we move forward with this model. Then I’d ask @Sven, to please add his choices as a new post after we close the call for feedback (2021-02-03T20:00:00Z). Then I’ll also post the polls.

Also, I should note that for the votes I was thinking of:

  • public votes - where we can see who voted where
  • email votes - I’ll arrange a way for people like @unman or someone else who uses the forum via email to be able to vote if they desire.
  • restricted to trust level 2 - i.e. the future category members.

Please, feel free to criticize my choices on this and the above post. We still have time to ammend things.


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@sven @adw @fsflover @fiftyfourthparallel @JTeller3 @unman @ludovic @Plexus @oijawyuh

Voting by email: just reply @deeplow to this thread with your preferences (or email me deeplow [at] and I’ll add them for you. ( The votes are public either way).

The vote is restricted to trust-level 2 users (the people who’ll have access to the category).

Category Name

I’ve copied bellow the name proposal table so you can have a look over the feedback.

Proposal Advantages Disadvantages
The Qubes life Catchy may be ambiguous (lead to creation of posts that belong in other categories)
General admin, security & privacy concise Too restrictive (e.g. what about hardware?) @Sven: “general support / hardware”
General setup, security & privacy concise Too narrow. Can we discuss free software?
Beyond Qubes concise 1) doesn’t hint at the boundaries
Not Qubes Related well auto descriptive 1) doesn’t hint at the boundaries @Sven: related but not specific! 2) Contains a negative, which is not a good style
All around Qubes descriptive, hints at the boundaries ?
Tangents descriptive, hints at the boundaries (if you know the context) Ambiguous if you don’t know the context

Choose all that you you feel would be appropriate:

What name shall we give this category?
  • The Qubes life
  • General admin, security & privacy
  • General setup, security & privacy
  • Beyond Qubes
  • Not Qubes Related
  • All around Qubes
  • Tangents

0 voters

Icon proposals

Update I’ve re-uploaded the vote due to some late contenders.
Apologies for making you recast your vote!!

Choose all that you are comfortable with:

Category icon vote
  • dashed/crossed-out Qubes logo
  • fa-lightbulb lightbulb
  • fa-open-door door-open
  • fa-paper-plane paper-plane
  • fa-mug-hot mug-hot
  • fa-code-branch code-branch
  • fa-comment-slash comments-slash
  • fa-comment-dots comment-dots
  • fa-user-shield user-shield
  • fa-lock lock

0 voters

Old poll [poll type=multiple results=on_vote min=1 max=8 chartType=bar groups=trust_level_2,trust_level_3,trust_level_4]
  • dashed/crossed-out Qubes logo
  • fa-lightbulb lightbulb
  • fa-open-door door-open
  • fa-paper-plane paper-plane
  • fa-mug-hot mug-hot
  • fa-code-branch code-branch
  • fa-comment-slash comments-slash
  • fa-comment-dots comment-dots
[/] [poll ]
1 Like

In-thread polling! Discourse really has some neat features (or I’ve been using primitive forums for far too long)