Hi everyone. Nice critique John. To throw in my perspective as an
experienced Linux user switching to Qubes as sole laptop OS a few months
back. Primary usecase for me is #1 increased security when using crypto
exchanges and #2 the feeling of spinning up an environment that I have
confidence in being private, for the writing of personal notes and
The concept is awesome, perfectly designed for protection against malicious
applications, websites and devices. Although it offers no protection
against Intel Management Engine.
My experience of installing on a Lenovo Yoga 720 was seamless, everything
worked including the touch screen. However, I experienced a lot of random
browser crashing. Chromium dead birds on a fairly regular basis. Vivaldi,
Chromium, and Firefox browser windows disappearing without error, on both
Fedora and Debian. Upgrading to Fedora 29, and upgrading dom0 didn't
resolve the problem. A few times the desktop became unresponsive, and while
I was able to ctrl+alt+F2 to dom0, it wasn't clear how I could view
processes running on a particular VM.
I'd be interested in knowing what audience Qubes is aimed at. With the
rapidly increasing public awareness on cyber-security and privacy, Qubes
could very easily find itself in high demand. At present though it's only
going to appeal to experienced Linux users, which is a shame, because it
wouldn't be that much work to make it far more accessible.
If the Qubes team is interested in a larger audience, I would suggest:
- Include Ubuntu based VM as default, or at least make the process of
adding a Ubuntu template significantly easier
- Include a brief getting started guide that covers essentials such as
cross VM copy/paste, accessing devices, upgrading software etc
- If we're limited to XFCE, then include guides on customising to be
more like other environments. Most critical for me was adding shortcuts for
switching desktops and moving windows between desktops: System tools >
Window Manager > Keyboard
- A guide on the limitations: what does Qubes protect you from, what
does it not protect you from, what are the next steps to improve security.
Having a colour-coded grid to communicate this would be excellent.
Next step for me is ordering a T400, which doesn't have Intel Management
Engine, supports Libreboot, and has proven itself as an uncrashable
workhorse. I used to run Windows and SUSE on this laptop back in 2008-2011,
it never crashed, despite running a complex J2EE dev environment. I will
miss having 16GB RAM, but the i7 I can happily part with.
On Sun, 31 Mar 2019 at 11:18, wrote:
> Chris mentioned:
> "The current Firefox ESR does have a tendency to freeze temporarily when
> memory gets low. I'm considering switching to the non-ESR 'firefox'
> package in Debian to see if the newer versions are better in this respect."
> My computer (Intel NUC7i7) has 32 GB RAM, so I doubt I am having low
> memory issues -- but I suppose with my tendency to open a lot of tabs, it
> could happen.
> I finally got around to trashing the ESR version of Firefox and installing
> the latest "regular" release. It is too early to tell (less than a day),
> but I have not run into a problem yet (I had been running into the problem
> at least once or twice a day).
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