So, I had this idea of using Qubes OS on a couple of machines, and when preparing for that I wanted to test out Qubes OS on one machine first. I read somewhere that Nvidia GPUs can have issues so I made sure I’ll just use an Intel 11400 with an iGPU to start with. Got everything running nicely.
Read about the new Windows guest support, decided to give that a try, heard hardware passthrough should be easy with Nvidia GPUs nowadays, so I plugged it back in and …
Boot up Qubes OS,
sys-usb fail to start, some PCI device IDs no longer exist. I guess they’ve changed, cool. I open the properties to go manage them, it just says “Unknown device” for the ones that were previously added, not particularly helpful. I guess that for
sys-net that’s ethernet controllers, so I remove the unknown device, add ethernet in, ok, start. Seems to be fine.
sys-usb again just says “Unknown device”, not very helpful. It looked like it had some USB and ThunderBolt devices assigned, there were a number that were not. Not pausing to think about it too much, I think “
usb wants USB”, so I added the USB and ThunderBolt devices there replacing the “Unknown device”, ok, start … and some of you may already guess what happens next. The keyboard and mouse stopped responding, and I think “ah, yes, of course, well this is inconvenient”.
See now that
sys-usb ARE configured correctly again, they autostart on boot, and to start them up to try the settings out I had to save the settings. This now means I can’t even log into Qubes OS to start guessing which of those USB controllers should maybe not have been added and why.
At this point I’m pretty convinced I will run into the same issue with every random hardware change in the systems and that I don’t have the energy to start guessing which specific USB controller etc. should replace which “Unknown device” when that happens, so I think my experiment with Qubes OS ends here for now.
I just hope that you figure out some better means of managing these passthroughs for the core services. I can figure out the passthrough IDs changing for a GPU on a VM I’ve configured myself, no problem, but
sys-usb should really have whatever logic set them up during the initial install constantly maintaining them, at least try reconfiguring when they fail to autostart on boot. Alternatively would probably be pretty nice if the way passthrough was configured wasn’t based on device identifiers that change when you do pretty normal changes to your system. Maybe the same logic that during the installer identified where my keyboard and mouse are plugged in should be present on that passthrough management screen and draw keyboard and mouse icons on the devices and give you a big warning saying “you will lose control over these input devices if you attach them here”.