Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Qubes Beta 1 has been released!

I'm very proud to announce that we have just released Qubes Beta 1! Some new features that have come into this release include:
  • Installer (finally!),
  • Improved template sharing mechanism: service VMs can now be based on a common template, and you can now easily create many net- and proxy- VMs; template upgrades now don't require shutting down all the VMs;
  • Standalone VMs, convenient for development, as well as for installing the least trusted software,
  • Built in, easy to use firewall VM(s),
  • Seamless integration of virtualized tray icons (check the screen shots!)
  • Redesigned file-copy between domains (easier, more secure),
  • Default template based on Fedora 14 (x64)
... and many other improvements and bug fixes!

To download the installation ISO go to this page.

You can also install Qubes on an external USB disk - this might be a convenient option if you want to just try it out, without the need to "sacrifice" your laptop.

This release is very stable, but we feel that it still requires some more polish, mostly with regards to user interface. We're planning to release at least one more beta, in about 2 months, where we will focus mostly on UI improvements, and also on upgrading Xen and kernel in Dom0 to allow for better hardware support.

The final Qubes 1.0 is planned after the summer holidays. Once we reach this milestone, further work will likely fork into two branches:
  • The "commercial branch" which will focus on adding various extensions on top of Qubes 1. One specific commercial extension that we think would be a killer is support for Windows-based domains (AppVMs),
  • The "open source branch" that will continue on implementing even more revolutionary architecture and features, such as untrusted storage domains, safe GPU multiplexing, trusted boot, etc. In the end this should lead to Qubes 2.0 sometime in 2012 or 2013.
Cross your fingers!


Anonymous said...

service VMs based on common template can be very useful.

Txalin said...

Congrats!! Downloading right now :)

Anonymous said...

Finally! I'll try it out as soon as possible!

Congratulations :D

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news! Thanx!

kryholt said...

Great! Congrats!

Jos Poortvliet said...

I'd say, once you've cleaned this up and made it easy to use, this should be the only OS allowed in security-sensitive environments like banks or the army; research departments of companies; companies that handle privacy-sensitive information etcetera... Brilliant, there should be quite a market ;-)

Unknown said...

Congrats! The integration of different serviceVM/AppVM in the UI is really great compare to the alpha releases. We all known this is a key success factor for this OS.

I totally agreed with jospoortvliet, this OS along with a strong security policy could be very sharp. Just like the bank domain example Johanna used (i.e. bank domain only having network access to the bank TLS website), we can easily image the army using a domain for MAC style system access (e.g. Top Secret Iraq domain can only access tsiraq.mil:443).

Can't wait for the trusted boot! Keep up the good work ITL!

Henry said...

Very nice idea. However, you need to remember, that virtualization is not a cure for all evil out there. In fact, in some cases it makes the whole thing a lot worse, which I'm sure is perfectly known to all researchers.

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Anonymous said...

Well done, been some time in the making and manufacturing. Hope you will continue this project to its logical conclusion. Many of your peers also pass on their accolades on this release.

All the very best regards

heidenhain said...