I really like Qubes' isolation approach. I would also like to isolate the programs I run from code they don't need. So I want to split not just my data into separate qubes, but also the software that works with said data.

One way to do this is to install required software under /usr/local in each qube. That has the important drawback of ignoring the qube's package manager and the consistent updates it provides.

Another option is to build my qubes as StandaloneVMs copied from a minimalist template. The qubes have to be updated one by one but at least it's still done using the package manager.

So I created a Debian template trimmed to about 2.5 GB. I identified my task domains - there were about 10 - and planned to cut a 4GB qube for each. This would eat up 40 GB from my 500 GB drive which I can live with.

However, The VM Manager insists on at least 10 GB for each qube. Giving up 100 GB with 75 GB empty (i.e. 15 % of total disk space) is steep. So my question is: how can I create smaller images for my qubes?

I'm also open to discussing the basic concept: is it worth trying to keep, for example, Firefox and GIMP in separate qubes, or should I just relax and use one fat TemplateVM with the union of all packages I need?

Any advice appreciated.


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