[qubes-users] problem with 4.2 rc5 installation source


in qubes-os 4.2 rc4, autodetect of the installation source would no longer work, but I could successfully choose in the second option the installation source by choosing the drive and then from that drive the directory and iso file.

In qubes-os 4.2 rc5, autodetect still doesn’t work, but now we also have no more the possibility to choose a drive, that second option is gone.

I percieve this to be a regression (it leads me not to be able to test rc5).

Ps: my test machine is still my thinkpad p15 gen2, but I guess that it won’t matter in this specific case.

All the best
Kai Froeb, São Martinho de Porto

This email was sent from my smartphone, so I apologise for the brevity and any clerical errors.

I believe the problems with the auto detection option while installing the recent release candidates has to do with the fact, that the installer seems to look for a device with a certain qubes label. However, as I am using
To create my boot usb by copying the qubes rc iso, It might be possible that this way the expected label is not found in the usb.

All the best


Can you please confirm that one can use virtualbox in a Linux qube?

I am using at the moment Linux mint as I do not get qubes to install but I will buy a notebook with preinstalked qubes when version 4.2 is out.

I use currently a virtual box with windows for those use cases that still need windows. I would like to just copy that virtual box to my new qubes laptop, so that I have no hassles with it (and no need to install and config a windows qubes, something I was not able to do on my old thinkpad qubes notebook).

All the best
Kai Froeb, São Martinho de Porto

This email was sent from my smartphone, so I apologise for the brevity and any clerical errors.



Today is a phantastic day as qubes 4.2 came out and do I am configuring a laptop to order for it today.

From a security point of view, it seems best to me to have webcam, microphone, wlan and (optional) Bluetooth all via external usb devices, so that they do not need to be blobs in the bios and so that I can make sure that they are switched off when I don’t want them. I guess that this would be the recommended practice by the qubes team as well?

So the big question is wether qubes 4.2 fully supports such a setup? Also, I see that there is the option to merge the net qubes and the usb qubes into one at installation time. Would that be the recommended configuration for using usb wlan dongles?

All the best
Kai Froeb, São Martinho de Porto

This email was sent from my smartphone, so I apologise for the brevity and any clerical errors.

OK, while I was not really able to find this information online, e.g. the official documents at qubes-os.org are rather silent on this topic and the stuff i find on reddit is rather outdated,
i have (who provides a mind blowing support, btw) been confirmed that it is indeed possible to run a notebook with Qubes and external (usb) camera, microphone and Wifi/Wlan instead of inbuilt devices.

Regarding my original request, I have tested today to download Qubes-os-4.2 (final), make a boot USB out of the iso with the built in mint context menu from the mint filemanager and then boot from the usb. it detected immediately the usb image as valid ques source and so i was able to install everything on my external Western Digital 1 TB WD Red SA500 SATA SSD 2.5". However, when then trying to boot from that external Disk with F12 on the Thinkpad P15 Gen2, it would again not be able to boot from it. so i have now ordered a new notebook for the exclusive use of Qubes to celebrate Qubes 4.2 and thank you for the great work and support

all the best

hi, sorry if it was wrong, but I sent your home email from a proton account. It might have gone to spam.

The Qubes OS group just released Qubes 4.2 Final, which might accomplish install more —directly.

I usually haunt the Qubes Forum.https://forum.qubes-os.org/, where you might get more responses to your questions.

Besides from getting your current laptop to work with the latest Qubes 4.2 Final (released yesterday). and doing so for kinda of experiment. And i say this for others reading this post besides you: is to purchase a laptop which is well known to work with Qubes.

The Lenovo Thinkpad X-230 or Thinkpad X-430. Yes one must get at least 8 GB RAM, and it is an old processor (third generation Intel) But you can probably acquire one for two hundred (American) dollars. in nearly any country in the world. Those who need an inexpensive can buy one of these and modify it to be a very secure computer by installing Heads to verify tampering. If one looks at the website of Insurgo, he provides the details of what he does to modify these computers. These modified Lenovo Thinkpad X-230, or X-430. are sold by Nitro Key with some offerings of the later hardware of their own build. In addition, Purism, Librem sells new laptops meant to be used with Qubes. Puri , it is rumored, is about to start selling a new model.

Documentation. As the Qubes 4.2 Final is just out, the effort to -re-create documentation is underway. Much of Qubes discussions, (I read, is now on Git-Hub, rather than the Forum-Qubes.

Qubes OS , by design, keeps some devices, like camera, laptop internal microphone and such from being available to a Qube unless the computer operater specifically authorises it. I have not heard of any one who wanted to connect those things via USB. Keeping in mind that USB is considered a security hazard, plus it is likely no security expert ever audited the specific device you are connecting, USB Camera. USB Microphone. and so on. USB Hub having the potential security risk. Some might say a USB mouse as well being a security risk.

Someone emailed to me, he knows a lot of journalists, and none will use Qubes because of, it is more of a hackers thing. If one has like a University degree in Computer Science, using Qubes is likely pretty easy to understand, and perhaps use. For a Journalist, well, they think different, and lack a lot of hacker training.

If an individual is a Human Rights Defender, one might use “The Anonymous Incognito Linux System” Tails OS. https://tails.net/

However some might say that by getting on Tor, in some countries, marks the person logging into Tor to the government surveillance. Then mistakes in using Tor would further risk. . . . yes, I have heard of Tor Bridges. but I would guess that Authoritarian Government surveillance minders constantly mine Bridge login locations. I read of some fellow who used a bit of software to establish , on a server outside his country to create his own personal login start. I would hesitate to give explanations because of the risks involved. in that as well…

I was told that many of those in Chinese Prisons posted their statements negative to their society, posted them on Facebook. Some governments have a low tolerance for criticism.

I would hope that the new documentation for Installing Qubes OS, would include a wiki of Troubleshooting, what to expect from the install when.

Most of my easy installs were to computers in ‘Legacy Mode’ UEFI installs can seem problematic, but since I have no experience with that.

Keep in mind. Qubes OS expects to be installed as the only OS on the computer. No sharing. Qubes OS is installed what is called bare metal. If you are trying to do some kind of dual boot, you might get it to work. But it might entail more work. I read that it is a security issue if there is another OS on the same computer. Keep in mind that there is now malware which installs to the boot of the computer. There is also LOGO-fail malware.

Check for you model on the HCL, “Hardware Compatibility List” Hardware compatibility list (HCL) | Qubes OS to see if there is any discussion of issues, how they could be solved. Sometimes it is a matter of a directive the graphics card requires…

Go through the requirements of the computer you have with the list. If I has virtualization enabled. Test it , somehow. I found I had computer where, while the BIOS/EFI had the virtualization turned on. I had to restart it like three times to get, the OS I had installed to test Virtualization, to acknowledge it. Might have been the OS, not the BIOS. But I could take it off my list.

There are several things to try if your computer is not a Legacy install. Like I said, I have not used UEFI, and my computers secure boot system turned on. I think there is a specific program to write the boot before starting install. in Git-Hub. and an option for UEFI problems at the beginning of the Install.

I would really suggest you try Qubes OS 4.2 Final before giving up. The Developers apparently fixed some things that might help this to work.

The computer I had the most trouble with was a Librem 13v2, Qubes 4.2 RC2 would install easily, others balked. I could install Qubes 4.2RC2 (yes that is two, months ago) and update, update, update.

I finally used, Ubuntu 20.3, Gparted to format the SSD, and the second empty drive. Set SSD flag to boot. I used my latest USB drive, (fastest) (which I did the slow version of format (FAT32) on windows 10 (I did not see a Linux option) I was thinking the fast format only did the top of the drive and the partition table. and the thing might trip over is own feet, something in the file system on USB drive. That format went a long, long time. I installed Qubes 4.2RC5 to the USB drive using the program used by Mint Linux 20.x (latest, updated) “USB image writer”

I felt trying to install Qubes 4.2 RC5 on top of another OS might be a problem. So yes, I repeat. I blanked the drive.

I once had problems trying to have both of the disks in the Librem 13V2 to boot up. (it uses PureBoot, a proprietary BIOS/EFI) I guessed the problems I had experienced with Qubes 4.2 RC5 (yes five, not final) had to do with the speed the installed polled the drives to figure out what to do.

Worked. I don’t know which option.

The Qubes Installer for 4.2 Final shows up to install on top of drive in Librem now. Our Developers did something. thanks guys.

What I hope we can put on the Wiki, although only some need all the detail, is things like where some event in the install process takes time, and one waits for it.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me in the last mails.

I have finally decided to buy a NovaCustomes Laptop that is Qubes certified
and as expected, that works very well with Qubes 4.2.

All the best