Paid Qubes support?

Good idea, but most of the revenue would go towards paying the support staff for their time, instead of directly to the Qubes OS Project, sadly…

Doubt anyone would do it for free as anything other than a sporadic non-obligatory favour to the project. It would likely drive you insane eventually, and the phrase “I want to use Qubes because I want to be more secure.” would likely become a trigger-phrase…

$50-$75 would likely be the equivalent of 30 minutes of support, if any extra money was to go to the actual project, and at that rate, only corporations massively in profit would likely be willing to spend this on an ongoing basis (most likely a subscription).

Unless I’m wrong, and there actually is a market for this…?

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Well, the case here for paid support (prior of Qubes installation) is an interesting one where nothing is actually existing to cover such support need.

From a technical perspective, that would fall into the “hardware enablement” which is difficult to realise unless the “supporter” also has access to the hardware, or get a lot of logs from the user to be able to “guess” what is the cause of a problem and resolve the issue. Easier locally to document and test, and then create documentation to be replicated by remote user.

For other support use cases where Qubes in installed and working, a tool was developed under grant by Qubes and Whonix collaboration (and Insurgo for getting grant…), which permits remote control of dom0 over tor hidden onion service provided through whonix, if the user installs the server components under dom0, starts manually the service and shares with the trusted third party administrator an automatically generated secret through a preestablished trusted communication channel. You have to understand here that trust to the remote admin is implicit and delegated.

The documentation for the remote administratiom tool is under Whonix here: Remote Administration - Whonix

As you can understand here, liability, trust and responsibility issues are not resolved in the software itself, which is delegated to offline established trust. Let it be a friend, or an already trusted IT team member, to resolve on the spot issues, in the form of on demand and explicit support requests from users.

The creation of "trusted Qubes remote admins, as of today, doesn’t exist. There is no “suggested paid rate” nor “recommended paid support providers” either. But the tool exists, with associated risks. One of the goal was to be able to create such paid service.

Note that the tool is slow, because it is bound to VNC over a tor hidden onion service. It should be considered as a first step into scoping the remote admin needs, and is not necessarily optimized for the actual use case. It should be used carefully and improved through usage, by those who needs it.

Also this topic: https://forum.qubes-os.org/t/qubes-remote-support-new-features-and-support-for-whonix-16

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The company which provides the whonix support you reference has Qubes listed as something they provide specific types of support for, however their standard fee is 200 euros an hour.

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Might ask Nitro-Key folks. They seem to be thinking of corporate clients.

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There should be a market for it! But we will probably have to create it :slight_smile:

For the real pros the rate you mention should be a minimum, but I’d be very happy to do first line support or whatever level I could take care of for half or less since I have very low costs of living here in Asia.

Marketing will be the real, hard slog I guess, as well as getting the quality of support right?

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@adrelanos:

You should definitely promote your services on the forum if you have not done so already!

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Thank you!

However, I don’t know if that would be appropriate / conform with the forum rules.

I am not even sure the discussion if third-parties (even though Whonix being listed as Qubes partner) should be allowed to promote services here belong into this forum thread.

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Not sure about the forum rules, but surely it should be allowed for Whonix as its included in the default Qubes install? The $200 is unfortunately more than I could afford (thats not a complaint, it has to be worth your time) but thats not to say that others, like business users wouldnt be interested, and perhaps might not be aware of the service.

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Now we have to fear if Whonix will be abandoned in favor of Qubes support, hahaha.

Now to be serious. I rather see ethical reasons not to provide paid support for the free software you are dev of. It would exclude conflict of interests.

I have no affiliation with them, but love what they are doing :slight_smile:

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Would it be possible to set up a separate section in the forum for that?

Could be a listing of anyone providing support or planning to do so, with a low level of QA that slowly gets better (if that makes sense)

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Interesting idea. @deeplow?

I find that potentially interesting. Essentially creating a market for people who do paid Qubes support to promote their services, correct?

It would not be unprecedented (although we have never had a specific category for that). We’ve had threads where clients said they’d pay X amount for those who help (example).

But I also see some potential for abuse and in the end someone getting hurt or scammed. Maybe this could also be achieved with a wiki post or a list on the docs? (if the Qubes team would be ok with it, ofc)

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Maybe it could be set up like this:

  1. Anyone requesting live support post a request here.

  2. Takers reply with their offer.

  3. The customer reports on the outcome.

That way there would be some control, although it might be a bit cumbersome…

It could work, but wouldn’t someone need to validate the people doing the support.

For this to work, you would most likely need the buyer to paid up front, and I don’t think you are getting anyone to do that without some kind of confirmation that the person who does the support is capable of doing the work.

One business model could be that you buy support in a given interval, lets say 30 min at a fixed price. The buyer pays regardless if the issue gets solved within that time, but the buyer will get an expert’s opinion on the issue, and if the issue isn’t solved maybe a price can be agreed on for fully solving the issue.

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So, I pay to someone to resolve recent crashes… It’s so delicate… I’m almost sure when people pay they want their issue to be resolved.
So probably, it’s better first to define offer: what can and what can’t be done.

As mentioned here, Nitrokey seems to provide paid support for Qubes OS. I saw this somewhere on their services/products. Might not hurt to ask directly there.

Yes some escrow & QA function is key, but perhaps that could be built while just bootstrapping it as a section?

Personally I would be interested in trying to get newbies up & running, even though I’ve been using Linux since 98 or so I’m not qualified for deep/advanced technical support.

Idk if anybody’s interested but I’m willing to trade qubes support in exchange for indentured labor in my minecraft server

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It would probably be easier just to have a forum section for it and link to the entire forum section from the website than try to maintain an ever-changing list of support offerings directly on the website. (For example, every time someone wanted to edit their own “post,” it would require a pull request and complete review and merge of that PR due to the website repo’s security policy, whereas here everyone can edit their own posts at will.)

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