Short list of laptops/desktops that work well with Qubes OS

If that phrase is meant to be heard with a southern USA accent, I don’t find it offensive. Calling people MAC users, well, that’s another matter…

Is any way to determine how many usb controllers a Thinkpad has before buying it ? I looked at PSREF can’t find it specified

I very soon will be having two low/middle-range Thinkpads with Intel 12gen CPU (i5-1235U) and integrated Intel video:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 4
  • Lenovo ThinkPad L15 Gen 3

According to my knowledge and HCL reports I have high expectations of making everything work properly on Qubes OS R4.1.1. Maybe except video artifacts on LVM password screen (irrelevant). Another downside I unfortunately expect - only one USB controller (like in Librem), but it’s not yet known.

If I am able to make everything work, I hope one of these or both will be added to recommended list. Because these Intel 12Gen-CPU with 10 cores is ~5-7 times FASTER than almost every current option from the list of recommended and certified laptops. Almost all of currently recommended devices are so outdated that are not allowing to play usual 1080p reliably from a youtube (vp9 codec), and it’s unacceptable for many people. I hope these new laptops will provide ability to play Youtube 1080p@60fps even at 2x speed with no issues.

I am asking the community to help me with this testing of these to devices. I have a list what I would check (like qvm-pci -vv, youtube playback and etc) but you may share yours if it’s important for you.

Another important thing - I have never installed Qubes OS on a USB drive. I’m not sure that buggy Qubes OS installer, that I had many problems before, is not going to mess with EFI and other partitions of existing OS on SSD. Any information on that? Because I’m planning to return one of these two devices and would prefer to return it in the original state without ever booting to Windows.

I hope this work will help me and community to have 1-2 of good options in case they need modern CPU for their Qubes OS.


Hi there,

We are working together with the Qubes OS team to realise full compatibility and certification for our Alder Lake devices! We will have to change our Dasharo coreboot firmware to S3 suspend mode which our team is developing as we speak. Hopefully, no major problems will appear and we are hoping for a quick release (within like 8 - 9 weeks from now). Moreover, the Dasharo open-source community found a way to HAP disable Intel ME on our devices :slight_smile: . We just have to make sure that the system is stable when using this method of cutting down ME.

Also, we use open source EC firmware.

Stay tuned, I’d say. :smile:


JFYI, NUC11 works flawlessly. Unlike NUC10 before, no tweaks required.


I’d like to recommend lenovo thinkbook 14 gen3 ACL.

This model has one soldered 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM, and one RAM slot. So this model has a maximum RAM capacity of 40GB.

Zen3 APU is the latest gen of AMD mobile processors that Qubes OS R4.1 can be installed on without workarounds.

With recent Xen, kernel and firmware upgrades, S3 suspend is now fully working.

The Ryzen Zen3 APU is both powerful and energy-efficient. It has a battery life of around 6 hours with Qubes, which is superior to Intel models. FHD web video playback is smooth, and hardly makes the fan spin when played in chromium.

To summarize the processor part, I have to say that Ryzen Zen3 offers a top-class , balanced performance. There’s no obvious shortage. To compare this processor between various options, I’ll give a form.

CPU series relative performance relative battery life additional note
Ryzen 5000s APU average average can suspend
11th gen core lower slightly shorter can suspend
12th gen H/HX higher much shorter can suspend
13th gen H/HX higher shorter can suspend
12/13th gen P/U higher shorter suspend issues due to S0ix
Ryzen 6000s APU slightly higher slightly longer needs workaround to install

Linux driver support is excellent and comprehensive. Bluetooth in sys-audio, audio with sys-audio, audio with dom0, webcam, wifi, ethernet…are all working flawlessly. I even hear that there are places this model gets sold with linux pre-installed.

The only thing I can complain is that sys-gui-gpu isn’t working, because the iGPU needs AMD PSP to work. However, that’s a even more bleeding-edge experimental feature than sys-audio, so I’m fine with that.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Thinkpad T16 (Intel Gen 12) Does not suspend (sleep) in Qubes OS R4.1 at all

It took longer than expected, but it’s finally there :star_struck:


I’m getting the impression that the only certified machines are from Europe.

I have no idea what purchasing one for someone in the US would entail.

The PrivacyBeast X230 by Insurgo is to my knowledge the first / original certified machine. It ships from Canada. I value both the ThinkPad X230 and T430 based machines due to the fact that they are Ivy Bridge based and the ME can be completely removed. Obviously this comes with a performance hit.

Thierry / the Insurgo Initiative is the current maintainer of heads, so purchasing a certified laptop from them supports the heads project. Another good reason in my book.

This newly announced certified laptop in contrast is an excellent option for users requiring higher performance and being content with (a disabled?) ME. One also needs to mention that there are recent reports of some X230 and T430 users including myself experiencing performance and stability issues with R4.1. These have not been root caused and fixed as of yet.


TopTon S600 is a very nice desktop computer. You get 64Gb/1Tb/i9 12th gen for sub-$1K money!


Wondering whether he Framework laptops will be certifiable. Waiting for their AMD 16-in LED UHD, might be some time coming.

Hi Sven, would it be possible for you to add the NV41 Series to the list now this laptop is a Qubes-certified model?


@novacustom: it’s a Wiki post, please update the field describing the number of USB controllers (not ports!) available.

@pietrushnic: please do the same for the Z690. Also: does it have PS/2 ports for keyboard/mouse … if not it appears that requirement was dropped for certified machines, in which case we should drop it from this page to (and continue to list the Z690).

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The Z690 only has a single PS/2 port. I don’t know if it’s possible to use mouse and keyboard at the same time, but you can use a PS/2 keyboard.

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Perfect! That way the user can’t log themselves out of the system when configuring sys-usb.


Hi @Sven, sorry, but I don’t get what action is needed here from our side.

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@pietrushnic I’m looking for the number of USB controllers available on the board. Just realized that you submitted a HCL report so I’ll get the number from there. No action on your side needed.

@novacustom please submit a HCL report.

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For some reason Thinkpad T16 (and maybe other modern Thinkpads too) have non-usb keyboard and touchpad. So, even if everything went south with sys-usb - user still has ability to type and use mouse, it’s awesome. Does it mean it’s like PS/2 inside?

About PS/2 as a requirement - I think it can be outdated for 2 reasons:

  1. Even if something wrong with sys-usb or other usb qube, one can boot without qubes autostart (adding kernel parameter via the boot menu) and have mouse and keyboard back for fixing stuff.
  2. Having 2-3 USB controllers is more valuable than having PS/2, especially if one can use one of them exclusively for input to dom0, like for keyboard and mouse. My opinion.

So, that means: everybody, please provide information about number of USB Controllers (as @Sven asked) and even better if you can provide information which is what - “like first controller is USB2 with keyboard, touchpad, fingerprint and wifi, second is USB3 for 2 usb ports on the side of the laptop” and etc.

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6 posts were split to a new topic: How to figure out which USB port goes to which USB controller?