Qubes OS Installer Options Wishlist

Might as well ask it, since I can see suggestions for options during Qubes OS install in quite a few other threads here, and it would be a good thing to have them all in one place.

What sort of automated setup options would you like to see in the Qubes OS install/initial boot?

My brainstorm list:
(in no particular order, not taking into consideration their complexity, feasibility or practicality)

  • Create sys-usb with USB keyboard
  • Create sys-audio (when it’s ready)
  • Create sys-gui, sys-gui-vnc and/or sys-gui-gpu (when they’re ready)
  • Installation of boot partition on external block device (USB stick, SD card, etc.)
  • Network boot in initramfs
  • Dropbear (or other method) instance to allow remote entering of LUKS password, remote wipe, and other similar functions
  • Importing/installation of any certificates/keys (SSH, VPN, etc.) during install
  • Creation of additional VM pools on other block devices (eg. Plug in a USB stick and Qubes OS prompts for LUKS password, and then auto loads the thin pool on it)
  • Option to install qubes-remote-support packages
  • More will come when I think of them

You never know, maybe your suggestion might be an awesome one and get implemented in the standard install :slight_smile:

4 Likes

I would like to have options for:

  • i3wm as the default desktop UI option (and not having to install the whole XFCE4 desktop env.)
  • MirageOS as readily available for installation for sys-firewall
  • BTRFS as the default filesystem type

Can I add pluggable Dom0 distro? I’d for once would like a very minimalistic system for Dom0, streamlined to the bare bones. Perhaps the GUI qube will align on this direction and eliminate X from Dom0? Or just give users a couple of Dom0 options like Debian-minimal, for example?

Is that even a good idea, unless the devs also are willing to maintain the security of that pluggable distro?

Well, the security should be embedded on a hardening package, not spread over the overall distribution. Think of it as a qubes-dom0-hardening. There could be one .rpm and one .deb, with the specific hardening included. And, if they are too paranoid, there could be a way to test it too (think along the lines of the CIS-CAT tool from the Center for Internet Security).

Of course this is a lot of work, so it may never get done.

I would be happy just to have a checkbox during the auto partitioning. When installing I don’t necessarilly know all the recommended partitioning parameters off the top of my head, and if I select the automatic partitioning I can not also select btrfs. If I select btrfs first it just reverts back when asking it to do the partitioning for me.

I have gone in circles on a number of machines trying to force this. The only sure way to get auto configuring and BTRFS is to do auto configure first, stop the install mid way, then restart the install and do the manual partitioning where I reuse the existing partitions but change them to BTRFS first, and then continue with that install. If there is an easier way I have not found it. These seem to be mutually exclusive options for some reason.

How hard would it be just to have a selector (radio box or checkbox) to allow the autopartitioning to do an alternate fs automatically? This could save saved me literally hours of time during each new install trying to figure this out.

2 Likes

We’re not at that stage yet. Just the ideas at this point. We can decide if they’re good ideas once we have a long list :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(And you’re also right, that it might be a bit problematic, but hey, an idea is an idea!)

1 Like

Definitely worth considering. Extra maintenance resource requirements aside, and the fact that not having XFCE (the only currently fully-maintained and “supported” DE) installed might not be a good experience, especially as a first impression of Qubes OS; maybe as an additional option on install or first boot?

Perhaps an option to install the Qubes contrib repo on first boot?

Something like:

Would you like to install the Qubes Contrib Repo?

What is the Qubes Contrib Repo, you might ask?

EXPLANATION

This is unofficial, and the Qubes OS team takes no responsibility for anything that happens to your machine, blah blah blah, usual disclaimers….

Would you like to enable it (and install anything from it) now?

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I’ll go you one further:

  • The option to download and install additional template RPMs on install/first boot

Is it at least an option in the current installer?
(It’s been a few months since I did my last Qubes OS install….)

I guess having it as the default option would be a call for the devs, but yeah, I could see this as potentially a good thing…

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I’m going to add another one:

  • Automated Qubes OS install and configuration, possibly via network boot (for the poor guy or girl in the IT department who has to set up hundreds of work machines :laughing:)
1 Like

Insert your favourite “if you think it’s so easy, why don’t you do it yourself!” response…. :joy:

I’m joking, no offence intended at all.

But in all seriousness, it does take a fair bit of time, especially if you aren’t familiar with the steps required.

I’ve been reading up on how to make GTK GUI apps for 2 months now, and I’m still nowhere near being able to implement a checkbox….

But I definitely agree that it would be an excellent option to have :slight_smile: