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Old 10-23-2017, 02:18 AM   #1
dchmelik
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Question Slackware setup like Qubes?


Is it possible to use Xen from SlackBuilds.org to set up Slackware like Qubes? I'd like to be able to install other operating systems (OS) then run programs from them without even logging into them. So, the reason isn't paranoia (Qubes is suggested for high security,) just wanting to run more pre-built packages from some other OS distributions (distros.) In Qubes, you can just set X/KDE/etc. programs from other distros to run from the X/KDE menu (maybe also command-line programs somehow.) What I don't like about Qubes (besides Redhat/systemd style) is I've heard you only have a root account, and while it was fun in the days of DOS to not even have an account, I'm used to having a wheel user, and non-privileged user now, and need that... of course, Slackware already allows that. I know you can already login to an entire distro's X desktop with Xen, but it'd be too inconvenient to have to, or to have to set up dozens of menu entries manually.
 
Old 10-23-2017, 05:30 AM   #2
Noryungi
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That's a good question.

I am a little bit doubtful about the security of Qubes myself, I don't think running a virtual machine is necessarily "better", in terms of security. It is interesting, however, if you need to run this or that software that only exists under another operating system.

This being said, as far as I know, Qubes runs Xen so if you can get Xen running on Slackware (you mentioned a package on slackbuilds), you can get the exact same setup with a little bit of work.

The same possibilities are offered by running qemu and/or Virtual Box on your Slackware machine, for instance, the rest is a question of configuration, and working on the security of your virtual machines and the security of the Slackware host.

Actually, running qemu on Slackware could be a good solution, since it's a fairly "lightweight" solution.

Keep in mind that, no matter which solution you choose, you will need to update it regularly, just like any other software, given that it has a number of issues that pop up.

Just a few random thoughts, I hope this helps!
 
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:04 AM   #3
Aeterna
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not possible:
1) qubes is not linux distro. Qubes is running linux distro (fedora) to manage VMs. This (thinking that Qubes is some sort of linux Fedora distro customization) is causing all the confusion.
2) qubes vs vbox:
type 1 vs type 2 hypervisor

you can try to install qubes as VM guest for testing but results are quite mixed (maybe assign 16GB RAM? for good results).

Qubes is quite interesting approach to security definitely worth trying.

hope this will help.
 
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:40 PM   #4
dchmelik
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So far (apart from saying it can be done, not details) people seem to have also answered on other topics, inaccurately. Obviously Qubes ('Qubes OS is a security-focused desktop operating system that aims to provide security through isolation.[6]'--Wikipedia:Qubes ... Qubes distributes their own ISOs with their own added software, which fits standard definition of OS/distro; so I don't care if you have your own definition of OS/distro; I won't be using it) can do more than just a standard emulator/VM (QEMU, Virtualbox, etc.)... watch a Qubes video on how you don't have to login to VMs' guest OS desktops to use their programs; you run them directly in host OS' GUI as if part of that rather than separate (so there's no inset VM window,) so you can move them all individually in host OS GUI, copy & paste between guest & host OS' GUI programs, all impossible in standard emulators/VMs as they have only their inset window (a friend described this as Qubes uses its hypervisor, i.e., emulator/VM, as if it's a cache kernel, a kernel being a.k.a. a supervisor, and a cache kernel letting you run more than one kernel.) It seems pretty clear you could do that in Slackware, and now I'd like to hear how to do it... not here to talk about stuff off-topic top this thread, like related system requirements & security or various posters' own eccentric private language definitions of 'OS'/'distro.'

Last edited by dchmelik; 11-13-2017 at 06:34 AM.
 
Old 11-12-2017, 11:24 PM   #5
Richard Cranium
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lxc or docker should allow you to run other OS/apps in their own containers.

Allowing access to the host machine's X server would be be more difficult. I've only dealt with docker under OS-X, which runs the docker containers within a linux VM and thus makes it more difficult to route TCIP traffic to the host machine.

I suggest that you read up on docker if you want accurate details.
 
Old 11-12-2017, 11:48 PM   #6
dchmelik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
lxc or docker should allow you to run other OS/apps in their own containers.[...]
Wow, people always mention those in an unrelated thread. I used one (didn't find it useful) and will read about the other, but they do different things than Xen. This thread is titled to clearly be a specific question on SBo's Xen: how to set it up like Qubes (not alternatives to Xen on Slackware, and not using Qubes either.)
 
Old 11-13-2017, 03:10 AM   #7
Richard Cranium
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You assume that there's someone other than you who has used Qubes and then decided that they'd rather do it with Slackware as the host. Since this itch appears to be unique to you, perhaps you should start scratching it and answer your own question.
 
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:18 AM   #8
dchmelik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
You assume that there's someone other than you who has used Qubes and then decided that they'd rather do it with Slackware as the host. Since this itch appears to be unique to you, perhaps you should start scratching it and answer your own question.
That's not helping. I don't even assume I (let alone anyone) used Qubes, but people assume by the name of this website they can ask questions, and people who see this post entry should've assumed because of the icon, it's a question. If you're not going to answer anything not answered yet, maybe just read threads with different icons.

This seems to be the first thread I keep getting notifications to see they're off-topic including claims as if LQ isn't for questions. I'm leaving this thread unsolved until either I or someone else solves it in detail; certainly not if there's more off-topic/argument stuff.

Last edited by dchmelik; 11-13-2017 at 06:34 AM.
 
Old 11-13-2017, 06:21 AM   #9
Noryungi
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The issue with your question is that it is very generic: from what I understood: "How to get a Qubes-like OS, using Slackware + Xen?".

The answer is: it depends on what your needs are and how much work you are ready to put into it! As Richard Cranium said: this is "your" hitch, and you may need to scratch it yourself...

The closest I have to what you request is this: I am running Virtual Box, and, with some minor scripting, I can create a Virtual Box machine automatically, install an OS on it with all the software I need (this is mostly manual, but it could be automated), then once the VM is installed + powered off, I create a snapshot of it.

Whenever I need that particular OS+VM combination, I just start it from Virtual Box, do what I have to do on it, then power it off. Using another script, I then "wipe" the VM clean and revert it to the snapshot I made.

Is this equivalent to Qubes? No, it is not, but it proves it can be done. There is nothing in that setup that cannot be reproduced on Slackware.

On the other hand, this is a forum: as far as I know, people posting here are not supposed to do your work for you. Having a Qubes-like Slackware solution is (very) interesting, but it is also a very complex project, and probably not one that can be solved here.
 
Old 11-13-2017, 08:25 AM   #10
bassmadrigal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchmelik View Post
That's not helping. I don't even assume I (let alone anyone) used Qubes, but people assume by the name of this website they can ask questions, and people who see this post entry should've assumed because of the icon, it's a question. If you're not going to answer anything not answered yet, maybe just read threads with different icons.

This seems to be the first thread I keep getting notifications to see they're off-topic including claims as if LQ isn't for questions. I'm leaving this thread unsolved until either I or someone else solves it in detail; certainly not if there's more off-topic/argument stuff.
Your question seems to be along the lines of, I have this Ford Taurus, how do I put a Mustang engine in it?

There's nothing saying you can't do it, but asking in the Ford Taurus forum (or even the Mustang forum) isn't likely to provide you with decent answers. The reason? Because while it may be technically possible, people just aren't doing it, so people can't respond back with concise instructions to help you with it. This is why Richard Cranium was suggesting that you may be on your own (different words, same meaning).

That being said, if you do end up doing this, I'm sure https://docs.slackware.com would benefit from an article detailing your work.

Good luck!
 
Old 11-13-2017, 09:07 AM   #11
Gerard Lally
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I've done this in reverse - with NetBSD Xen, running a Slackware domU and multiple NetBSD instances as well. I really struggled to get a Slackware Xen dom0 working, probably because I had a somewhat exotic setup, with RAID-1, LVM, and GPT. The slackbuild gives instructions for lilo booting with a single MBR-partitioned disk. Nothing else.

NetBSD, on the other hand, was a piece of cake. However, that was with NetBSD 6; I couldn't get a graphical desktop running under NetBSD 7 Xen and the upcoming 8 Xen. I tried with amd and nvidia cards. NetBSD developers tell me work is ongoing in this area. The problem is with the video drivers in the dom0 kernel, not the normal NetBSD kernel or the Xen kernel.

There were some aspects of the slackbuild I didn't like. With NetBSD Xen you can build the package and its dependencies as an ordinary user. With the Slackbuild you build and install everything as root, including what seemed to me a string of questionable dependencies, stored on a personal server somewhere in Croatia. That leaves a question mark over the host's security, which goes against why you'd use Xen in the first place.

Once up and running with the NetBSD dom0 I used a tmux session and SSH keys to automate multiple simultaneous logins and then launch whatever I needed on the local desktop - mainly xterms but also browsers, forwarded over X. One-click solution. Not quite what you were looking for but I'm fairly sure, behind the scenes, Qubes must be doing something similar. I don't see how they can launch apps from a domU without logging in first. Insecure if they are?

Last edited by Gerard Lally; 11-13-2017 at 09:19 AM.
 
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