How to install Qubes OS as a virtual machine

6 months ago 148

Qubes OS defines itself modestly arsenic "a reasonably unafraid operating system." It mightiness really beryllium 1 of the safest operating systems, often utilized by pros who are astir acrophobic with machine security.

qubes-logo.jpg

Image: Qubes

Qubes OS is simply a escaped open-source operating strategy that's afloat security-oriented. It leverages Xen-based virtualization, which allows the idiosyncratic to create, usage and delete easy isolated compartments called qubes.

To marque it elemental to understand, each qube is implemented arsenic a virtual instrumentality that is afloat configurable by having circumstantial purpose, quality and level of trust.

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As an example, it is imaginable to rapidly unfastened a lightweight qube for Internet browsing, which volition self-destruct erstwhile closed. This way, if the idiosyncratic visits fraudulent websites spreading malware, helium oregon she is inactive safe. Qubes OS besides allows the idiosyncratic to simultaneously tally aggregate operating systems: Windows, Debian and Fedora.

Qubes requirements

To get the champion of Qubes OS, it is, of course, amended to marque a afloat installation of it connected a computer.

Qubes OS has very circumstantial hardware requirements, successful peculiar the request for IOMMU-based virtualization successful the BIOS oregon UEFI. It besides needs 64-bit Intel oregon AMD processor, 6GB of RAM and 32GB of hard disk escaped space. It is recommended to person 16GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD escaped space.

Users without acquisition with Qubes OS should archetypal spell for a virtual instrumentality installation to get the consciousness and truly trial it earlier installing.

Here is simply a usher to instal Qubes OS successful VirtualBox, the big being a Windows operating system.

We besides request to download the Qubes OS ISO file–stable merchandise (Figure A).

Figure A

The download options from Qubes OS website.

  The download options from the Qubes OS website.

Choose your favourite mode of downloading (direct download oregon via torrent), cheque the record hash erstwhile done, and you're acceptable to install.

How to instal the virtual machine

Open VirtualBox and take Machine/New past take a sanction for the virtual machine. For our installation, we volition telephone it QubesOS-vm. Change the folder according to your needs, and prime Linux / Fedora (64-bit) (Figure B).

Figure B

Creating the caller   virtual instrumentality   successful  VirtualBox.

  Creating the caller virtual instrumentality successful VirtualBox.

Click Next past prime the size of the representation (RAM) you privation to beryllium allocated to the virtual instrumentality (Figure C).

Figure C

Setting RAM capableness   for the virtual machine.

  Setting RAM capableness for the virtual machine.

Click Next, prime Create a Virtual Hard Disk Now, past click Create. Select VDI arsenic the hard disk record type, past click Next.

It's present up to you to take betwixt a dynamically allocated virtual hard thrust oregon a fixed-size one. The fixed size enactment allows you to acceptable a maximum size that volition ne'er alteration connected the carnal hard drive. The dynamically allocated enactment volition lone devour disk retention arsenic it fills up. Eighty gigabytes is mostly a bully size for this benignant of virtual machine, but of people it each depends connected your hardware and the abstraction near connected it.

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The adjacent measurement is mounting the size of the virtual hard thrust (Figure D). 

Figure D

Set the virtual hard   thrust  size.

  Set the virtual hard thrust size.

Click Create, and hold for the VirtualBox to decorativeness mounting up. The virtual instrumentality situation is present ready.

Right-click connected the caller virtual machine, and prime Settings (Figure E).

Figure E

Access the settings for the virtual machine.

  Access the settings for the virtual machine.

Change each the settings according to your needs and hardware. In the System tab tick Enable EFI (special OSes only) (Figure F).

Figure F

Enable EFI.

  Enable EFI.

Go to the Storage tab, click the CD ROM representation that says Empty successful the mediate pane, and click connected the 2nd CD ROM representation connected the close pane. Choose Disk File (Figure G).

Figure G

Choose the ISO record  for installation.

  Choose the ISO record for installation.

Select the ISO file, click Open, past click OK.

Configuration is present OK successful VirtualBox, but for 1 parameter we request to activate via the bid enactment of our Windows system. It is called Enable Nested VT-x/AMD-V successful the system/processor tab of VirtualBox, but is grayed retired and cannot beryllium activated with the GUI.

Quit VirtualBox, and motorboat a bid enactment by hitting the Windows cardinal of your keyboard and benignant cmd.exe, past deed the Return key.

In the bid prompt, spell to your VirtualBox installation folder and benignant the pursuing (Figure H):

VBoxManage.exe modifyvm --nested-hw-virt on

Figure H

Activate the Nested VT-x/AMD-V parameter successful  the bid  line.

  Activate the Nested VT-x/AMD-V parameter successful the bid line.

If you are unsure astir the sanction of your virtual machine, the pursuing bid volition database each your virtual machines by name:

VBoxManage.exe database vms

Relaunch VirtualBox, spell erstwhile again to your settings to cheque that the enactment has so been activated (Figure I).

Figure I

Qubes OS ISO is present  acceptable   for booting. Right click connected  the virtual machine, prime   Start/Normal Start.

  Qubes OS ISO is present acceptable for booting. Right click connected the virtual machine, prime Start/Normal Start.

Installation starts and asks for the connection for the operating strategy (Figure J).

Figure J

 Choose a language.

  QubeOS is acceptable to beryllium installed: Choose a language.

Select your connection and click Continue.

A caller leafage opens. Feel escaped to alteration keyboard layout oregon connection if needed, successful summation to the clip zone, past click connected Installation Destination (Figure K).

Figure K

The paper   leafage   wherever  installation destination needs to beryllium  set.

  The paper leafage wherever installation destination needs to beryllium set.

Choose the mode you privation partitioning to beryllium done: automatic oregon manual. Generally, for a virtual machine, it is champion to prime automatic partitioning, since we bash not person immoderate peculiar request regarding the virtual hard drive. Also, present is the spot to find if you privation the information to beryllium encrypted (Figure L).

Figure L

Choosing automatic partitioning and encryption.

  Choosing automatic partitioning and encryption.

Click done, past benignant your encryption passphrase doubly (Figure M).

Figure M

Entering the passphrase twice, for information  encryption.

  Entering the passphrase twice, for information encryption.

Click Save Passphrase. The installation brings you backmost to the menu.

Click Begin Installation.

Click User Creation, past prime a username and password (Figure N).

Figure N

Choose a username and password.

  Choose a username and password.

Click Done, and hold for the installation to finish, which tin instrumentality a fewer minutes.

You mightiness besides privation to make a basal idiosyncratic account, which you tin bash by clicking connected Root Password speech of User Creation.

Once the installation is done, click Reboot and wait.

After reboot, a caller model appears to decorativeness the configuration (Figure O).

Figure O

Finishing the configuration.

  Finishing the configuration.

Click QUBES OS, past support the options arsenic ticked successful the adjacent paper (Figure P):

Figure P

Set the options for default qubes.

  Set the options for default qubes.

Click connected Done, past click Finish Configuration.

Qubes OS volition present instal and configure the default qubes, which volition instrumentality respective minutes depending connected your choices.

The login surface appears. Choose your username and benignant your password (Figure Q).

Figure Q

The login surface  from Qubes OS.

  The login surface from Qubes OS.

Once logged in, you tin commencement enjoying Qubes OS (Figure R).

Figure R

The Qubes OS situation  erstwhile  logged in.

  The Qubes OS situation erstwhile logged in.

Qubes OS is surely not the easiest operating strategy to install. It needs immoderate method cognition not lone during installation but besides for utilizing it. On the different hand, it has been created for radical who truly attraction astir security, with astatine slightest mean machine and net knowledge.

For those who request much privacy, Qubes OS offers the quality to tally the Whonix organisation arsenic qubes and usage it for anonymity.

Disclosure: I enactment for Trend Micro, but the views expressed successful this nonfiction are mine.

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