Friday, September 26, 2014

Announcing Qubes OS Release 2!

Today we're releasing Qubes OS R2! I'm not gonna write about all the cool features in this release because you can find all this in our wiki and previous announcements (R2-beta1, R2-beta2, R2-beta3, R2-rc1, and R2-rc2). Suffice to say that we've come a long way over those 4+ years from a primitive proof of concept to a powerful desktop OS which, I believe, it is today.

One of the biggest difficulties we have been facing with Qubes since the very beginning, has been the amount of this extra, not-so-exciting, not directly security-related work, but so much needed to ensure things actually work. Yet, the line between what is, and what is not-security related, is sometimes very thin and one can easily cross it if not being careful.

It's great that we're receiving more and more community contributions. This includes not only bug fixes, but also invaluable efforts related to documentation, HCL maintenance, as well as some really non-trivial new features (advanced backups support, Debian and Arch templates, TorVM, Whonix port, etc). Thanks!

I'm also happy to announce that Caspar Bowden, a well known privacy advocate, expert on EU data protection law, member of the board of Tor, former Microsoft Chief Privacy Adviser, etc, will be taking a role as Qubes Policy Adviser, helping us to make Qubes OS more suitable for a wider audience of people interested in privacy, and be liaising  with other projects that would like to build privacy services with Qubes as a base.

And there is still a lot in front of us. Using the obligatory car analogy, I would say Qubes OS is currently like a racing car that just went into production as a road vehicle: one hell of an engine under-the-hood, and powerful new technologies until now unavailable even for professional use, yet lacking leather interior with 12-speaker audio system, and still with a manual transmission... This is just the beginning for making security by isolation on the desktop as "driveable" as a [insert your fav make of German fine cars] :)

Exciting stuff is coming next: the Release 3 (“Odyssey”) and more, stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone who has made Qubes OS possible, as well as all the upstream projects without which we would probably never even try this journey: Xen, Linux, Xorg, and many others!


marytee said...

I like manual transmission cars. That's all I drive! Congratulations on the release of your excellent OS.

Narrow Daylight said...

congratulations on the final release! been waiting & moving over to download. keep up the good work...

Matt T said...

Congratulations and thanks to Joanna and ITL for yet another Qubes OS release!

Will qubes-tor-repo become available for this R2 release sometime soon?

TBeck said...

Yay, I'm so excited! Can't wait until I get to try it :-) Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I really like Qubes approach. Security by isolation is only approach which may work in current state of our digital realm. Moreover Qubes is very quickly becoming mature and usable for power users/sysadmins but I'm not sure if it ever will be usable for my mum. Anyway I must admit I'm in love with Qubes.

Thank you Joanna and Team.

You are doing amazing job!

Anonymous said...

I'm loving Qubes OS since it's first release. But in fact there is a need for 'automatic transmission' when it comes to inexperienced users. Many friends of mine are note willing to try this system right now because they think it's way to complex.

I guess we can manage to build a product which feels like a 'manual transmission' Audi R8 to anyone with advanced IT knowledge, but at the same time makes a simple user think that he or she is driving a A8 with all the 'make my life easier' features you can get.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you (and everyone on your team), for your vision and hard work. Congratulations on this release! Can't wait to begin using a truly secure desktop.
Very Best,
Chas Austin

Hugo Saiz said...

Amazing. I've tested it and I love it. I have to try some things yet, but it looks great. You've done a great job. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

is it possible to make this idea like an 'app' or 'added' feature to other system?
e.g. being value-added services for the project atomic from redhat?