Qubes-OS and OpenSuSE 64 bit



Have you heard about the recently released Qubes-OS version 1.0.0 64 bit? It is the result of the Invisible Things Lab and it is designed for strong desktop security for GNU/Linux users. The premise is a redesigned and new architecture based upon disposable App VMs based on the Xen hypervisor and it also focuses on the security through isolation approach to information assurance.

Unfortunately, I can not install it bare metal on my System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) notebook PC just yet as it does not support Intel 3rd Generation “Ivy Bridge” CPUs and Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated GPUs at all. A future updated version may correct this issue. If it does, then I will make the switch to Qubes-OS.

Qubes-OS version 1.0.0 64 bit is based off of Red Hat Fedora 17 64 bit, but the lab aspires to switch to Ubuntu as it is the most popular desktop GNU/Linux distribution. They want to grow their audience it seems to me.

While I am happy with OpenSuSE 64 bit Tumbleweed currently, I do have plans to make the switch to Qubes-OS 64 bit in a future version that supports my notebook PC if it becomes available. I am intrigued by the notion of using the Xen bare metal hypervisor to create and dispose of App VMs.

Would you please do your research into this Qubes OS and compare it to OpenSuSE 64 bit? Please reply with your thoughts, opinions, experiences if you have tried both operating systems, and criticisms.

Finally, just how secure is OpenSuSE 64 bit especially version 12.2 and Tumbleweed? In general, I find it to be very secure and comparable to Ubuntu after perusing the official OpenSuSE 12.2 security guide and hardening your operating system and software applications appropriately. It is exceedingly difficult to penetrate, compromise, and attack a hardened OpenSuSE 64 bit system in my opinion and experience.

I find that OpenSuSE 64 bit Tumbleweed to be much more stable and robust in terms of security features and tools than Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition and 8 64 bit Pro version. This is not to say that GNU/Linux is invincible because that is not true. However, Qubes-OS appears to have the key elements in place for strong desktop security if you are willing to undergo the learning curve to create the appropriate disposable App VMs in order to secure your data across networks and locally. It requires retraining of traditional GNU/Linux mindset towards security, but it seems to be well worth the efforts.

I have not tried Qubes-OS yet, but I am eager to make the switch when it becomes available and compatible for my System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) notebook PC.