New to qubes. How to get on the internet via phone USB tether?

It’s the only option I have as I don’t have a wireless adapter on this PC.

take a cheap plastic router with USB and install kmod-usb-net, rndis and cdc-ether,
and the other stuff like adb for android or the apple iphone net kernel modules.
Then connect the router using wifi or better ethernet to your computer.

You can use any older router that is supported (best to use modern routers
because of continued support, but old routers with 4M RAM will do - no current openwrt, though.

This is an old router that can be used perfectly. You can use newer routers for newest openwrt 21.x but for the use case the old routers are sufficient, but they are less secure, but qubes is there to keep you safe…

Are you saying your can’t tether?

What’s this?

usb-ethernet using some kernel modules.
the phone talks usb-ethernet cdc, rndis etc. and provides the computer with access to a nat for example.

So in qubes one would need the sys-usb vm to provide network, so it would need to be
configured like sys-net for the internal network in qubes.

Or use and a plastic router and just do the stuff as it is documented.
It takes less time and the old plastic router goes for cheap.

The only reason to invest more time would be on a laptop or as a sport to show that it can be done to use usb-net with qubes.

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There are two ways to get corded Internet from phone to laptop.

(1) Normal tether. BUT sys-net should also be sys-usb (option available when installing Qubes), or alternatively, connect sys-firewall to sys-usb when tethering from phone.

(2) For some of the latest android phone, you can connect the phone via Ethernet tether (with a USB-C to ethernet dongle in the phone).

when you say “dongle” are you saying something other than my standard USB C cable that I use with my phone already? I can plug it into the USB port on my PC. Are you saying that is enough or I need something else?

will qubes work out of the box with my phone and a USB cable to get on my phone’s internet? I can do this with my Windows machine.

The answer is yes, Qubes will work out of the box with your phone and the standard USB cable IF (and it’s a big if), either (1) sys-net is also sys-usb (phone connects, internet works; this option is selected during installation; watch installation videos on youtube), or (2) sys-net and sys-usb are two separate qubes, and you designate sys-usb as the Internet source for sys-firewall (in sys-firewall Qubes Settings). sys-usb becomes the primary internet source.

Yes. By dongle, I meant this:

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If you use your phone as an alternative route to the internet, you can
also create a separate net-phone to deal with this case. Clone sys-usb
to sys-phone, and switch the netvm of sys-firewall to sys-phone when
A simple script ( can help with this if needed) can be linked to a
keyboard shortcut to allow you to do this simply at will.
This way you can keep sys-net and sys-usb separate in “normal” use.

I never presume to speak for the Qubes team.
When I comment in the Forum or in the mailing lists I speak for myself.

selected by default? Cuz I don’t recall doing much selecting during installation.

…just found it in settings. USB is in the list of “devices” but not on the “selected” column to the right. Do I just move it over to the right?

why do you say “alternative”?

sorry, I’ve only tried out ubuntu before. The file system home page is like my desktop on windows, with no way to get “under the hood”. Or is there some other way to manage these system files/apps


I mean if you have WiFi at home and use the dongle when you are
Then you can have sys-net at home and sys-phone will out.

I tether iPhone with Librem 5 running Qubes OS normally. New device just appears in sys-net.


how do you check if your system can get on the internet? I didn’t get any feedback when connecting to my phone and selecting USB tether on my phone

It is the first time I see this error. When you reboot, will sys-net come up?

Nothing “comes up” but my desktop and then I find it inactive then I turn it on and we get the message above.

If something is supposed to happen like some indication when I plug my phone to it, I’m getting nothing. I didn’t see anything in the upper right “devices” section either for my phone, if that matters