Swapping my QubesOS SSD from X220 into X230

I recently got into possession of a Thinkpad X230 i7-3520M. And I want to migrate my QubesOS into X230 machine. I was thinking about doing a QubesOS backup of my existing X220 setup, and then recovering that backup into X230 machine.

However, I got curious as to whether doing a simple swap of the existing X220 SSD into the X230 machine would work? The X220 and X230 I have are both coreboot’ed (although the X230 has the more up-to-date version of the coreboot), are both having 16 GB RAM. I wonder would the existing setup in the SSD “expect” X230 machine’s CPU parameters or something, and finding itself under a new CPU (and possibly different USB controller hardware/firmware (?) among other peripherals that come with X230) get “confused” ?

Any opinions on what to expect & be careful about in such a “brute”, “moving SSD to another thinkpad and booting from it” type of migration?

temporary disable vm autostart, you can add it on grub or in kernel parameters

reconfigure pci devices in your sys qube (net, usb, etc(if you have any)) you are good to go.

You mean I should disable the autostart of sys-net, sys-firewall, etc.? Why?

Is this related to disabling sys- qubes’ autostart? I don’t remember enabling/disabling vm autostart via the kernel params :thinking:

Yeah, I figure the USB controller devices that got assigned to sys-usb and usb-keyboard (which I created from a minimal usb qube) should have their assigned device names updated. The names might be different on the X220 and X230 machines.

pci device is different in each device, sometime 01:00 is usb but in other is vga, then it would likely crash, sometimes its not found then libxl will complain about starting qube.

add qubes.skip_autostart in kernel parameter on grub menu.

also if you only disable sys net and sys usb, that will cause sys net to start up because sys firewall rely on sys net as networking

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Alright. That’s interesting. So a “hot-swap” of the SSD from one X220 to another X230 wouldn’t work out the box. I might look into installing QubesOS on the X230 and then restore my QubesOS qubes (minus the system ones) on the X230.

you can just simply re assign pci device and everything is solved, why need reinstall, backup and restore.

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Yeah that would be my most desired solution, too. I just shy away from messing with the grub stuff (adding qubes.skip_autostart for example). I mean, can I then delete that line and revert back to the getting the sys-qubes autostarting as normal?

when you manually add qubes.skip_autostart in kernel parameter on grub, it is temporary, your next boot wouldn’t boot with that parameter.

what you have to do is press e when you in grub menu. then after quiet add that parameter, f10 to boot, reassign pci on net and usb qube. try reboot, everything should be good.

Interesting. So I don’t add that kernel parameter to grub in dom0 and then rebuild the grub? I just do that modification one time, and live during boot?

if you do rebuild grub, it will always boot with that parameter, just try it. Its good to learn something like this if you use qubes regularly.

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What about other grub changes I made to my existing X220 setup? Like, I have enabled trim by adding, rd.luks.options=discard and I have also added discard flag to the swap partition on dom0. Would these be ported to the new X230 when I move the SSD to X230?

Does this work in SeaBIOS, too?


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That depends on how you have configured SeaBIOS and what payload you
have. Probably you have SeaBIOS configured to boot from drives.
You should be able to see the grub menu, and editing the entries (e and
f10) are part of grub, not SeaBIOS.

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