Usb storage problem

Is the “SanDisk Cruiser Blade” - by any chance - the USB you are installing Qubes from and not the place where you want to install it (a 500G drive)?

I’m going to buy a new usb and test it.
Thank you for your help
I’ve never seen such a helpful forum in my life I’m amazed :heart:

When I installed on my laptop I wanted, basically, to split the SSD in half. Qubes on one partition, empty space on the other. (I could thus mount it while running Qubes and use it for (sort of) “offline” storage. It has some veracrypt containers on it.)

There didn’t seem to be any way to do that in the installer. You were given the choice of blowing away the whole SSD and installing qubes on the whole thing, OR taking over a pre-existing partition. The SSD was “blank” already, but there was no way to tell the installer to just use half of it.

So ultimately I just plugged the SSD into another system, set it up as two partitions, and then brought it back to the laptop and let the Qubes Installer “reclaim” one of them.

The installer in essence doesn’t include any sort of partitioning functionality beyond “take the whole drive” (and that’s likely due to space constraints, or development time constraints), but it’s not obvious from the name “reclaim space” that it can’t do that sort of thing. I spent hours trying to figure out how to get it to do something that it was (in retrospect, clearly) never intended to do. Basically all it can do is either: take over an existing partition or take over the whole drive; it can’t make new partitions smaller than the drive.

The installer offers exactly this functionality - you can manually delete
partitions and create them as you wish
Select the installation device, and drive you want to install to.
Under Storage Configuration, select Custom option.
Delete and Create partitions as you will, allocating them to mount

I vaguely remember trying to use that and having the “main” part of the installer refuse to accept it for some reason. Or otherwise being hopelessly confused because it was assuming knowledge I didn’t have of what Qubes “wants” its partitions to be like. Unfortunately, it was long enough ago that I can’t remember what the issue was.

It was user belligerent enough that I just gave up on it. I just took my disk elsewhere, created the two partitions, brought it back and gave Qubes one of the two and let it subdivide as it pleased. (I didn’t give any mount point to the other partition; that’s done by the VM I attach it to.)

Well, I cant comment then.
All Qubes needs is a partition for /boot, and a partition for / -
(by default it’s crypto_LUKS)

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As I think about it, all I was trying to do was make sure Qubes didn’t take the whole disk. So I specified two partitions, but then Qubes apparently wanted to use one for /boot and one for /

I couldn’t just tell it: OK, Qubes, please just take half of the disk and leave the other half alone. Or if I could, there was no obvious way how. [edit: The custom option seemed to me at the time designed solely to let you change how Qubes is laid out on the disk, not to let you restrict qubes as a whole to just part of the disk.]

Further up this thread people were complaining about how hard it was to use “reclaim space” having to go in twice to do things and so on. I remember one time being unable to find options and the next time I could. Whether it was just unclear labeling or obscure positioning or something else (like personal senility) I couldn’t say now. I remember writing a post about my troubles but I cannot find it now. It would have been less than two months ago.

If you use an encrypted partition/disk then the installer requires you
to have an unencrypted /boot.
I dont recall if it says so anywhere, but it’s easy information to find.

As has been said many times the installer is not provided by Qubes, and
issues with it have to be sorted upstream.

I never presume to speak for the Qubes team. When I comment in the Forum or in the mailing lists I speak for myself.

This is totally beside the point I was trying to make.

I was trying to give Qubes half of the SSD and leave the other half completely unallocated.

There was no way I could find in the installer to do this; if I tried to do anything “custom” it insisted that I had to set up Qubes’ partitions manually. I couldn’t just tell it, “Do what you want in the first 250 GB of the disk, leave the rest alone.” I was required, therefore to have detailed knowledge of the three or four partitions you need to set up an encrypted disk with Qubes on it–something the installer usually just takes care of. I had no idea what this was and should not have had to know, so I had to simply take my SSD, create two partitions on it on another machine, then bring it back to the installer and tell it, “take the first partition” (in essence) in the “reclaim space” dialog.

There was no way to tell it “take only half of this space”, you had to give it a pre-existing partition to “reclaim” OR completely map everything out for it, including stuff internal to Qubes’ space–which requires very detailed knowledge. After struggling to guess what that should be, I gave up (and as I mentioned) had to partition the thing on another system.

And yes, that gave me an SSD half of whose space was unencrypted, but since I was planning to store encrypted containers on it and manually mount both it and the containers, that didn’t matter to me.