Newbie Qubes usability and setup feedback

So I just wanted to let the community know how the journey has been.
It has only been one day since i installed qubes.
Background:- I came from pop os, not a long time linux user, but i am a fast learner. And am also into selfhosting, etc. I switched to linux only this year on pop os and also tried regolith and i3wm extensively there, But finally went back to gnome, cos i need to open lots of workspace, 15 currently and around 5 monitors and numbers become cumbersome on i3 after a while.

Setup- i tried on my other laptop, not the one with 5 screens connected to it via display link

  1. Setup went like a breeze with absolutely no problems, though i did not create sysusb as i was using a usb keyboard and did not want to go into it. But i will on the next installation create a sys usb
  2. Regarding usability
    USER INTERFACE- its clunky coming from gnome, the xfce leaves a lot to be desired, but nothing that cannot be implemented. I tweaked the default shortcuts to resemble pop os vim like shortcuts and i was up and going in no time. one thing that can use help is the menu obviously- it is not well arranged though i love that all vms are accessible by default on the menu without further submenus .
    Qubes Creation and Default Qubes- I cannot cannot emphasize this enough, The default qubes are awesome. Thank you for taking the time to create them and already set newbie’s on the way to compartmentalization without putting anything into it at all.
    Then from this point on a guy incredibly detailed like me can look at docs to modify this, already on my way to all qubes using debian-10 minimal by now.
    But really the default qubes are the best thing this os could have done, DO NOT REMOVE THEM IN ANY" UPDATE WHATSOEVER PLS
  3. Documentation- It is hard to find such well written documentation in any project than this. But here there was no need to google stuff, it was all in the documentation clearly spelled out. And this is me after having dealt with 100’s of documentation including ones on nextcloud, pop os, docker, yada yada yada.
    Cheers to the docs really.
  4. Working on qubes- Its actually very streamlined and easy. I know in which vm i am and using qubes even though my threat model doesn’t call for it, compartmentalizing things, gives me a workflow i have wanted for quite sometime but never have,i thought i will just have to use different hardware for different activity, but if your threat model doesn’t call for it, it makes the process very expensive.

Thanks a lot for qubes, i am pretty sure this will be my main os from now on.

Where i need help, though not essential which is why i did not post this in support thread.
`1. I couldn’t figure out the commands to install whisker menu on qubes
2. i would like to keep on accessing the widgets like qubes manager on status bar in i3 , is it possible ?
3. i would like to set shortcuts for opening every vm- firefox on the fly on i3 is that possible
4. There was also a very good dmenu on regolith, how can i install that on qubes?


I’m glad to hear you had a positive initial experience with Qubes. I had the same reaction.

To answer your second through fourth questions.

  • Do you have i3-settings-qubes installed? It should provide the qubes-i3-xdg-autostart script which should help the Qubes Manager autostart in the i3 tray.
  • I use a dmenu script like this: Use dmenu to launch browsers by VM · GitHub. It filters for internet-facing VMs, and then tries to smartly run the browser I want.
  • I’m not sure what you’re looking for in a dmenu, but you should be invoking i3-dmenu-desktop, which at least uses the Desktop files.

A post was split to a new topic: Replacing the “Q” menu with the better “whisker menu”

This feedback is very welcome. This really contrasts with this other feedback from another user.

I’ve interviewed some Qubes users as party my master’s dissertation (yet to be published) and I’ve obtained similar feedback about the default Qubes. They really do seem useful.

Kudos to @adw (docs maintainer) and all the volunteers who contributed content.

I would just ask you to address each of theses in a separate thread. This way we keep the forum organized :slight_smile: I’ve started already by answering the first one: Replacing the "Q" menu with the better "whisker menu"

You might find this thread helpful:

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