Qubes: most minimal possible setup

Any help welcome, so I use Qubes 4.1 on my x220

dom0: 1560 MB ram
sys-net: 384 MB ram
sys-firewall-mirage: 60 MB ram
sys-vpn-wireguard: 384 MB ram
sys-whonix: 384 MB ram (never used)
sys-usb: 284 MB ram

any minimal web browsing surf vm (firefox, qutebrowser) ~ 400MB
any minimal programming vm (neovim) ~ 400MB

so I have < 8GB memory used on my laptop,
56 cpu and 6 hours of battery


Are you using Fedora or Debian for the templates? Minimal?

1 Like

fedora-34-minimal, also it possible to minimize whonix

and maybe any grub tweaks on minimal templates for faster startup
dom0 use only 700mb ram

1 Like

best combination :

  1. install qubes 4.1 and change btrfs as default
  2. install fedora-35-minimal vm as template for sys-net,sys-firewall and sys-usb

packages :
qubes-core-agent-qrexec qubes-core-agent-passwordless-root qubes-core-agent-systemd
qubes-core-agent-networking polkit qubes-core-agent-network-manager less pciutils xclip terminus-fonts dejavu-sans-fonts dejavu-sans-mono-fonts
notification-daemon qubes-core-agent-dom0-updates
iwlXXX-firmware qubes-input-proxy-sender iproute iputils
NetworkManager-wwan NetworkManager-wifi network-manager-applet

Set new template as template for sys-vms

qvm-shutdown --all --wait --timeout 120
qvm-prefs --set sys-usb template $systemplate
qvm-prefs --set sys-net template $systemplate
qvm-prefs --set sys-firewall template $systemplate

  1. Change in /etc/default/grub dom0 maxmem to 1576 ( maybe to 700, will try)
  2. remove everything else, install Debian 11 minimal, Gentoo minimal and arch minimal templates
  3. optional: build whonix-minimal
  4. enjoy your lastest Qubes on old hardware

Does XXX stand for anything?

Edit: This package appears to be related to wifi capability and since I use a wired connection, this doesn’t really apply for me at current time. Are there any othere packages which are wifi-specific that I could leave out?

I’m curious about how you can run firefox with just 400MB. Won’t it be extremely laggy?

1 Like

What do you mean by you “have 56 cpu”?

Also, can you or someone else write up a [GUIDE] post about this setup here in this forum?

Probably temperature.