[qubes-users] Dual booting different Qubes versions on same machine

Hi all,

I noticed the new "alpha" level isos in the downloads and feel
motivated to help testing it.

I obviously do not want to go over to alpha for my normal work, but
would be interested if I can install it alongside my existing current
release. That way I would be testing that it works on the exact
hardware that I would eventually be running it on when it reaches
production quality.

Do I proceed as for the instructions for installing Qubes as a second
boot option to Linux? If not, what would be different?

What additional risks might I introduce by running a development
version of Qubes on the same physical machine as the production

Obviously I would not have any files/partitions shared apart from the
EFI partition.

Would it make sense to install it onto an EFI partition on a different
internal disk? Would it be better for any reason to install it onto a
USB drive? (my guess to both of these is no, because when the test
system is running the production system would be on the host even if
not mounted)

My current production version is R4.0.3 and I will shortly be
replacing it with R4.0.4. At the time of writing the current alpha is
R4.1.0 but that my (or may not) change by the time I get around to
installing it.

I thought I would dual boot the new R4.0.4 with the existing R4.0.3,
then once R4.0.4 is verified as working for me I would transfer the
user level files and then overwrite the older production version with
the alpha test version. Anyone who can think why that might be a bad
idea please speak now or forever hold your peace (as they say in
English weddings)

I did a google search for "dual boot qubes versions site:qubes-os.org"
but it only pointed me to info about dual booting with non-Qubes

Once successful, would ppl welcome my spending time adding a section
to the dual boot online documentation? I would be happy to do so if
just one person thinks it might be useful


With classic GRUB it's straightforward, and (imo) doesn't warrant new
I cant help with UEFI at all, and that probably *does*.

That said, you would be running alpha software alongside your main
system. Having separate encrypted drives/partitions will undoubtedly aid
separation, but it's still a risk, and not something I would advocate if
you value your data.
If it's possible for you to swap out your drives, and have a separate
4.1 drive, I would recommend that instead.

Already was thinking about this too… Have both OSes on two different SSDs. 4.1 on a 1TB m.2 card (slot 1) and 4.0.4 on a 512 GB m.2 card (slot 2).
4.1 was installed on the P50 while th 4.0.4 version was plugged out. After 4.0.4 was plugged in again, both cards can be shown in BIOS but 4.1 is booting with it’s boot screen cause it actually isn’t aware of the second m.2 card, which should be quiet normal.
GRUB have to be edited.