THANK YOU but I am leaving

So many wonderful promises …

I - really - wanted to believe it but I had to finally accept the reality: Qubes is not ready, I am not ready to live this dream today.

On paper, the material I have at my disposal corresponds to the imperatives necessary to fulfill this dream but, despite all my best will, all my efforts and these dozens of hours spent translating this technical English, trying to understand and implement, all this research to benefit from the experience of others and to manage without once again drowning the creators under my beginner’s questions, I had to give up reluctantly, for a while.

Between the unrecognized printer, although present, I tried of course different ways to make them communicate Qubes and her, Mullvad installed by hand thanks to Micah’s blog, the Nitrokey also unusable, and finally Thunderbird whose page intended to display the selected message is filled with lines of red codes on a white background.

While I discovered Qubes years ago, this time I would have lasted a week before having to return, constrained and forced, to a stable but so dull bone in comparison.

Unsuitable material? I don’t think so, but I’m not a specialist at all.
Newbie ignorant and unable to make every effort to understand and adapt? No doubt, Darwin will say what natural selection has wreaked havoc.

I hope that one day the developers and all this team of magicians will be able to offer to a less geeky public the access to the dream I would have liked to share with them and all this nice community.


Yep, Qubes-OS can be frustrating. I say that as an ex-IT-Troubleshooter. But in maybe only 1-2 years it might be at a point where non-technical people can actually use it.

However, but on the positive side I think you learned quite a bit about security and vulnerabilities. Didn’t you?

Tip: You could run VMs on your Linux laptop ( I assume you use Linux). That would allow you to implement compartmentalization not really the isolation like in Qubes but still you could then have VMs for work, private, email, browsing etc. (Checkout, or if dare on KVM via So, you can keep the dream alive. :wink:

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I’ve almost saved this as a mutt shortcut:
Qubes is already in a state where non-technical people can use it.

Yes, it helps to have assistance with initial setup, and tech support
available, but the same goes for Windows or the (oh so intuitive ) Macs.
Some good training, and appreciation of the necessity of using Qubes
go a long way to solving many problems. And, (I cant stress this
enough) having users learn when to seek support - early - if you get to
the stage of frustration it’s already too late.


To be honest, I don’t know what to make of farewell letters like this one.

I do relate to having headaches trying to wrap your mind around the basics and therefore the differences in how things work in Qubes.

I also discovered Qubes years ago and when I did I had no idea what to do. I did not read the documentation (I guess it wasn’t as excellent back then as it is today). My first laptop wasn’t suitable at all (a nice brand that moved away from the computer sector in the meantime) but I could install the OS.
At that time I had just begun using Linux. I’ve been using Arch Linux for a few years and followed the development of Qubes since then.

Not until Qubes v.3 was released did I really take a closer look trying to understand how things work. The hardware compatibility was the first obstacle to overcome (vt-x, vt-d) but from there the basic stuff did work pretty well.

My criticism is related to the basic stuff and to statements like “Qubes is not ready”. Ready for what? A lot of the stuff people are having problems with has little or nothing to do with Qubes.
For example: I’ve used a bunch of VPN providers over the years. They all provide software programs that work with Windows and Linux and therefore with Qubes.
Personally, I prefer the scripted proxyVM approach because it is (after a closer look) very easy to use and with cloning you can have plenty of different proxyVM in almost no time.

I am almost sure that the Nitrokey does work similar to the Yubikey but the way you use these things depends on whether you have sys-usb or not. I read about installing a Nitrokey app. Did you install the app?

Printers can be a pain on any computer but usually there is an answered question to almost any model that is still around.

The thing is, depending on your hardware, there will be a few more bumps along the way. I have an older laptop that does work very well with Qubes but isn’t the latest fancy thing people are buying nowadays.

I agree with @unman that Qubes is very much usable already like any other distribution or Windows. Whenever I use a Win10 computer I am reminded of why I moved away. For me it is a pain (the constant loading in the background when I do nothing drives me crazy) and people seem to forget the problems they are having with Windows. It’s not that they are non-existent.

Sometimes people want to much at once. I never intended to play games in Qubes. I do have another laptop for gaming. I still have other distributions on sticks, hard drives etc. that I use from time to time.
I wouldn’t give up so easily.


@Hotdog what background are you coming from? Are you a Windows/macOS user? Linux user?

What’s the most difficult thing about Qubes for you?

Let’s see if we can solve that.

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I am so sorry you are having problems.

That is a really unkind thing to say. Please don’t discourage honest user sentiments being shared, here. That, in addition to many other things, is what the forum is here for.

As a UX person, it is extremely helpful for me to hear about hardship leading to abandonment—but, really, the entire core team and community care a whole lot, about folks being able to use what we pour so much of our time into.


Everyone has a different risk profile. From your letter it is clear to me you risk profile is very low and I am happy for you!

What Qubes allows us to do in terms of security is incredible. However, it’s a tool, and like all tools, mastering it is essential to be able to get as much out of it as possible. Being how it is right now, it forces the newcomers to read the documentation and learn about the philosophy and strategies behind it. Despite Qubes being a great tool, if you’re a beginner, and you don’t understand a thing about it, it greatly diminishes the level of security that you’re really getting out of it, as you probably won’t be able to differentiate between what you should and shouldn’t be doing. The unaware can ruin pretty much every security infrastructure put into place to protect them, just by doing something they shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Human error is one of the most critical kind of error when it comes to security.

That said, everybody has a different threat model. It’s up to each individual to determine if using QubesOS is really worth their time and energy.

Good luck to you, and I hope you found yourself learning a few things during this journey of yours.


I’m not sure that this necrophilia is much use - OP posted 9 months ago,
and is unlikely to be reading now.

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