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Qubes OS


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An operating system that I've recently been very interested in trying out is Qubes OS. This operating system's primary focus is on security, and on being as secure as humanly possible. Part of being extremely security conscious is the recognition of the fact that it's impossible to completely prevent being hacked, so the unique philosophy of Qubes OS is damage mitigation through compartmentalization. Every single aspect of Qubes OS takes place in a virtualized container that is separated from everything else and also labeled based on its trust level, while everything is managed behind the scenes by the Xen Hypervisor. Many people would wrongly assume that Qubes OS is a Linux distro because the GUI is fedora, but the GUI is *only* the GUI. The true operating system is Xen. 

Here is a flowchart type diagram showing how it works:



An incredible feature of Qubes is the ability to easily create disposable VMs on the fly, and these VMs can be based on templates that you create ahead of time which tell the system exactly what programs will come pre-installed on the disposable VM and what all the settings will be. The disposable VM is then an instance of the template. This would allow you to, for example, create a template that includes Firefox or your browser of choice, with all of your bookmarks and add-ons pre-loaded. Then whenever you want to browse the internet you could do it exclusively in this disposable VM giving you ultimate security while hardly sacrificing any convenience.

Here is a cool YouTube video reviewing it and walking through all of the features including creating templates and disposable VMs.

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I've wanted to dive into this for the longest time. It might be an upcoming weekend project - support for the Windows TemplateVMs is a huge bonus for me. I despise Windows to my core, but there are some applications that I absolutely need for blu-ray authoring and the like. The OSS alternatives are not good enough in that department, at leasfr from what I can see. Qubes looks really cool and I'm glad you posted about it.

I would love to hear from anyone who has tried it. I'll post back after I do.

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