Plausible Deniability, Antiforensics

Hi guys, this is my first post on the forum. I used Qubes OS for 2 years now and I find it to be the best computing experience out there, I have started using computers on the infamous Windows and then tried several Linux distributions, first learned about VMs on Ubuntu and then finally found out that there is this marvel of an OS that is Qubes and did not turn back.

I am a citizen of the world and constantly cross borders of different countries, often visit countries that disagree with my point of view and some have even a reputation for imprisoning people who have unpopular opinions. Qubes is definitely the golden standard for privacy and security but it evidently lacks one core characteristic, it is extremely hard for a layman like me to use the system and leave no trace of what was done on it during the session.

Even DispVMs that are awesome from a security stand point, lack the ability to easily leave no traces on the disk.

I know about Tails OS and I kind of like it, but it is not even remotely comparable with Qubes in terms of security, usability and comfort so it is not appropriate for my use case.

I have looked into several posts on this forum that offer some solutions and workarounds, like running Qubes OS in RAM I have followed the instructions and failed, run DispVMs in RAM, I will try it tonight but for a non computer scientist there are gaps in the explanation of how this would work, I have read that some other users detach the encryption header and I do not even try, it is too complicated for me.

Sorry for the long premise but I wanted to give context.


I need to run Qubes OS as a daily work OS and set up my system to use preferably dispVMs for each task (Messsaging, Browsing, Email, Accounting) but have no data left on the disk which reveals what is done within the dispVMs once the system is shut down.

How can I achieve this in a fast and efficient manner with minimal risk of messing up thinks due to my IT incompetence?

Even if I am considered a geek by everyone around me but I know that I am very ignorant compared to most people on this forum but I should be able to follow clear instructions.

If anyone wants a feature like this and has a good idea on how to implement it in Qubes OS I would like to help them if I can.

This link is in the vein of crossing borders.

Also: How to verify Unman's template

vaguely related, and you probably have already read:

You’re correct that disposable VMs should not be trusted against forensics. I actually assumed they ran in RAM but your post and some quick reading proved that incorrect.

Official documentation that covers disposables and local forensics.

This then leads to an earlier Google Groups conversation on the subject and an open GitHub issue 904.

One of the most recent GitHub issue comments leads to a QubesEphemerize by anywaydense repository. Does this by chance meet your needs? I admit that I only just discovered this so I have in no way reviewed or tested it myself.

Thanks for the link but unfortunately these scripts do not address the issue of not leaving traces on the disk.

I have managed to use this on my old laptop and it worked, still I am not competent enough to judge if it is a solution effective enough.

Anyway very oddly on my new laptop this solution is not working and it just breaks my ability to use disposable VMs.

I think, you’re trying to solve an insignificant problem.

leave no traces on the disk

Just encrypt your data during Qubes OS installation.

security, usability and comfort so it is not appropriate for my use case

Encryption is legal for all

I am a citizen of the world and constantly cross borders of different countries

In your case you should use AEM protection to secure your device (and not try to run your Qubes in RAM).

The disk is already encrypted, I see you are not travelling and from a privacy point of view it maybe is an advantage for you if you live in a country without key disclosure laws.

Please refrain from spreading misinformation, for some people encryption really matters and they are not living in a free country.