What is stopping you from using QubesOS?

Sometimes people say that they love what the Qubes team is doing and wish to use the reasonably secure OS but there is just one thing which prevents them from making it their daily driver. What is stopping you?

(inspired by these posts)

If you need help with an issue, you can create a new topic and link it here. If you already use Qubes OS, you of course don’t need to answer :wink:

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Can’t have plausible deniability with qubes without detached header.

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I’m waiting for the new App Menu design and for official support of GPU passthrough for gaming

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i think more people will use Qubes,
because in my prediction, but my prediction could be wrong,
nowadays, due to corona pandemic, people life has been shifting to digital life,

but from privacy and security aspect, in my opinion, digital technology is not ready,
because, most of the digital technology,
focus more on performance, and how to make their product more user friendly,
also data mining,
but less focus on privacy and security of its user.

  • There are backdoor on NSA-tier, i.e. intel Me
  • There are privacy nightmare with OS, i.e. windows 10
  • There are telemetry, maybe almost all software we use, have telemetry.
  • And then there are malware, spyware, virus, trojan, and so on.
  • There are hacker.
  • There are man in the middle, i.e. LAN administrator, ISP, and any entity in the middle
  • And then there are data mining giants:
    4 horsemen of the apocalypse, US Tech Giant, China Tech Giant
  • There are Google Privacy concerns
  • There are 5 eyes, 9 eyes, 14 eyes
  • also Android by Google, iOS by Apple - we don’t know what data being sent back home,
  • and so on, …

Several weeks ago, I used Wireshark, to monitor Macbook traffic,
Wireshark only, without opening any other app, also I filter to my Macbook IP only,
and I saw busy traffic, between Macbook, and many Ips in the Internet,
which then I figured out, these IP belong to several Apple server, also Amazon and Microsoft,
not sure, what data in the traffic, since I didn’t open any app, other than wireshark.

so we are surrounded,

thankfully, Qubes can protect us from several threat model,
maybe not perfect, but much better.

so due to this situation & condition, I predict that more people will use Qubes.

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What had stopped me (now I got a new notebook and installed QOS again):

I had a very hard time with

  • the usb-keyboard / mouse
    easily doable when reading the docs properly

  • to get the Yubikey working properly
    fixed with web search and community support

  • to get a VPN setup
    only approach which worked for me was the very well documented step-by-step explanation from: Using Mullvad VPN in Qubes

  • to understand the Qubes device manager with all the sdx / sdx1 / sys-usb …
    now, I understand the syntax and I hope the new proposed drop down menu solves it for all newbies.

Something I didn’t like from the early beginning “Qubes OS uses Google services for support” ?!

Now, I’m looking forward to:

  • updated GUI (as presented in the last summit)

  • improved new (incremental) backup routine
    currently, I’ve a backup crash which is super critical for me

Keep up the great work here in the community and a big thank you to the dev team!

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in my opinion, better don’t buy laptop, that is not compatible with Qubes.
but maybe, others have different consideration.

because in my opinion,

  • we don’t buy hardware first, then next deciding, what compatible software we can use,
  • but vice versa, should know first, what software we want to use, then next looking for hardware,
    that can support the software,
  • because at the end, what we use is software, and the hardware is just a supporting factor

but others may have different consideration, i.e. maybe a big fan of specific brand, etc

so maybe, the more important question is, whether Qubes is compatible with other software,
i.e. for designer, maybe they use 3dsmax, photoshop, etc
i.e. for programmer, maybe they use ide, docker, etc

also, i tried, creating new appVM and screen sharing with zoom, or google meeting,
it cannot screen share all opened software within the same appVM,
so when i screen share, the partner can only see the zoom software only,
anyone know, how to screen share all opened software within the same VM ?

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  • GPU Passthrough/lack of support for gaming
  • RAM

From here:

General slowness and cumbersome usage for common tasks.

From here:

my computer has only 8gb of RAM so the experience was kind of slow

A post was split to a new topic: Screensharing Zoom doesn’t Show Other Applications (in the same app qube)

I’m new to Qubes, new to Linux too. Came straight from Windows. I’ve been looking for something to help me be more “private” and “secure”. Heard of Qubes from Snowden’s recommendation. Thought I’d try it. I did install it on one computer. But the learning curve is immense. There are a lot of things I sort of look for that is normally in Windows. Not sure if that sentence made sense - like installation of software… in Windows, double click and voila. In Qubes… not as straightforward. Couldn’t get my printer working. Some people helped but their solutions were too complex for me to understand to even begin trying. There is a good community but I really wish the docs were even more “hand-holding” than they are now. Right now I’m struggling to install software that’s not in the repos. I have learned a lot though in the few weeks I’ve been playing around with Qubes - I learned a lot about security, about privacy, etc. I think this is where Qubes shines the most - being able to explain these concepts to people. And the community has been helpful - just too advanced for me.

I don’t think I will be installing it on my main computer any time soon though. That was the plan - to completely convert to Qubes on all my machines. But if I can’t even get these basic tasks to work on my test machine, then I’m taking too great a risk to install it on the other machines. Really wish I can break free from Microsoft. I will keep trying with the test machine.

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This may help you installing snap packages.

The community is here to help, but windows → Qubes is a big leap. Even some from Linux → Qubes find it quite difficult.

Best of luck!

won’t install

You can always create a new thread and the community will help you with your installation. In that new thread please tell us which hardware you are using and which errors you are getting (or maybe just black screen etc).

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Reliable support of Windows

I am still a bit confused here as to the problems people are running with Windows.

Other than having to build tabit-pro’s ISO (which comes with well written instructions to do so) and placing it in the right directory in R4.1, why not just used @elliotkillick’s qvm-create-windows-qube script?

It just works.

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My cat. He keeps sitting on my keyboard. :confused:

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OFFTOPIC

@brendanhoar Maybe because there is no option in the script to either download or choose local windows iso/disc (unknown to me at least)?

It’s documented on the readme for the project.

You’ll need to be sure the Qubes Settings for windows-mgmt has a valid network-providing VM listed under Networking, e.g. sys-firewall.

e.g. From dom0:

qvm-run --pass-io windows-mgmt '/home/user/Documents/qvm-create-windows-qube/windows-media/isos/download-windows.sh win2019-eval'

e.g. From windows-mgmt

cd ~/Documents/qvm-create-windows-qube/windows-media/isos
./download-windows.sh win2019-eval

For consumer-level OS (e.g. Windows 10), it’ll display a message pointing to the URL you’ll need to use, since MS won’t allow mechanical download of consumer-level OSes.

Put any manually downloaded ISO in the same directory as the script. Note that I’ll usually use a disposable VM to download any non-automated ISO download, then use qvm-copy or qvm-move to move the file to windows-mgmt, then place the file in that dir.

B

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iou wrote:

Conceptually, I love it. I used it since about 2016 until last year, but I had to record some video and use stuff like OBS and it just became impossible (with my skill level) to get working.

I abandoned and went back to Fedora, which is odd as I’d stuck with it through lots of other NVIDIA crap issues and such.

Hopefully adoption increases and one day I can use in a workplace setting.

mysterydip wrote:

I tried probably half a year ago, and it installed fine, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how to use it right.

nubb wrote:

same here. the entry bar is really high on qubes.

alildp wrote:

Used to use Qubes OS, quit because I could not figure out how to move files / share files between VMs securely / easily.

Want to try again, but a little concerned that AWS seems to have moved away from Xen.

I’ve been using Qubes about 4 years, and a few things have dogged me as serious enough problems that I often think about switching back to Ubuntu+KVM/VirtualBox.

VPN support: I’m not talking about the useless support built into Network Manager. I mean the isolating proxy VM to make all traffic go through the VPN with no exceptions. This has worked at times, but is extremely unreliable and fragile. This should be Qubes killer app.

Working with attached storage: I frequently need to work with files on NAS or USB devices. Copying them back and forth is often impossible due to the file sizes and time involved, not to mention the wear and tear on my SSD. I’ve been able to attach a couple USB devices to qubes dependent on the filesystem, but what to do about encrypted devices or file shares eludes me.

Custom qubes are not really supported: Making minimal templates for a very specific purpose with minimal attack surface sounds great in theory, but problems with these have been a huge time sink. Undocumented dependencies, which is probably partially Fedora’s fault, odd problems caused by such, and figuring out what magic package, if any, when installed will solve the problem have caused a ton of frustration and wasted time for me.

For me, Qubes does one thing very well - compartmentalize online personas and sensitive activities. Once I need more or need to deviate or customize, there are a ton of sharp edges. If it weren’t for supported Whonix, not needing to duplicate an OS for each VM, and disposable VMs, I doubt I would be able to use it for anything. I still think about whether it’s worth it from time to time.