If it is not planned to be done any time soon, then that's alright, I can live with that. I'm already immensely grateful for everything the Qubes team has done. But it's not so easy for everyone though, some people are more heavily reliant on Windows than others for certain applications.
This post is NOT a complaint or anything of the sorts, but instead a question to settle expectations on the correct path, instead of looking every day for a new update, which can be a lot of uncertainty or for some people even anxiety and frustrations, when on Qubes 4 without a means to get Windows 7 installed. Essentially people who need Windows and would love to get Qubes 4, are caught in-between without any idea when or even if Windows 7 will be supported anytime in the near-term future.
In other words, just knowing it won't be anytime soon is in a way also very good news, because it puts expectations in the right place instead of uncertainty. Any such news-update on what is going on with it and what to expect, would be appreciated.
Also, I'm not entirely sure regarding the code itself, but it should be somewhat close to Qubes 4 in the current Qubes-Windows-Tools? For example the Qubes 3.2. Win7 restored from backup in Qubes 4, seems to more or less work, somewhat smoothly, but not perfect. If so, maybe someone else can help with bringing Qubes-Windos-Tools to Qubes 4? Unfortunately I have no coding skills of this sort though, otherwise I'd give it a shot.
> As far as I know, Qubes Windows Tools continues to remain on
> indefinite hold. We welcome anyone from the community with the
> requisite skills to take over development (or just pitch in here and
I wanted to be that person, and I did take an initial look. However, being an experienced Unix developer was not much help in figuring out the issues with the Windows tools.
Is there some source of information that helps explain what the problem could be, and where to start looking for it?
Thanks Andrew, this was exactly what I was looking for, much appreciated.
I'm gonna settle in for a plan B as listed below, although it looks really interesting if Elias will be looking into it. Maybe Marek or someone else with insight into the code can help a little bit to get started?
But for the time being, I might try install Qubes 3.2. as a plan B to create some temporary unlicensed clean Win7 Qubes backup's, and see if I can transfer them to various of other Qubes 4 systems. This is mostly needed for my friends though, and I still need to figure out if this is allowed within the use-cases of the Windows 7 license or not, they will use their own licenses.
This method is a bit cumberstone if the code inside the Win7 installed on Qubes 3.2. is buggy and creates unreliable issues, like unreliable transfer of data integrity. Hopefully nothing bad will happen.
Also need different types of Windows 7 copies for different types of licenses, which is a bit problematic, but not impossible.
For now this temporary plan B, this might be a work around to get a new clean Win7 on multiple of different Qubes 4 systems, although a bit cumberstone, and uncertain possibility of data integrity risk.
> Also it seems like some functions "might (maybe)" work as intended, for example
> I can copy files between VM's and Win7, on a Win7 that was installed on Qubes
> 3.2., but backup restored on Qubes 4. Others seem like they can do this too.
> Also it seems it's a common problem not to be internet in the restored Q3.2-
> Win7, perhaps the code is different in regards to how it ties networking with
> Qubes 4? I have no idea about the rest of the mechanics from a users
> perspective though, and most certainly not as a developer as I unfortunately
> don't have such skills, I wish I could help more.
I have tried this, and in my case, the win7 VM crashed hard (with the VM
immediately disappearing with not error message to be seen) after a few seconds
While it was running, things worked fine (i.e. fast graphics updates etc) which
leads me to believe that the graphics drivers are fine. It does seem to die as
soon as I open the Explorer window, which somewhat narrows down the set of
Thanks Evan! This really looks promising, I will go and try it out tomorrow if I can scrap some free-time to try it out. I'll post here the moment I've tried it, hopefully I can get the internet working.
It's also very ensuring to hear that it's safe to copy files between Win7 and other VM's. I was a bit stressed out over this one due to worry of bit-rot.
I'll get back to you when I've tried this out, thanks!
ohh, I apologize for forgetting your name at that time, back then most people were still strangers to me, and it takes a while for me to remember names. But I know I won't forget your name again now as I already remember it since a few topic discussions between back then and now ^.^
About the page-file size, I'm not sure either. I tried to restore a new Windows 7 backup again, and I tried giving the page-file 1.1GB as well as 2GB, to see if it would become unstable. It seems it was unstable on the first restart for the lower one (the one I started with), but after the second restart it became stable. This may also be due to the change of AppVM RAM which was 4GB before changing, and was given 2GB after changing the page-file. Which further complicates it. But after these two restarts, it was pretty smooth again, like the other Win7 I have tried it on before that. However, it once again became unstable during Windows updates + using the Search-files feature in Windows 7 start menu.
Perhaps this instability is related to the drive's file-system (NTFS) of different and various sorts? It seems the page-file can remove the most frequent crashes by far, but a few others can cause it too, like searching the file-system while the system is busy with something else perhaps?
I have a weak CPU on this laptop though, it's an Intel Core M-5Y10c @ 800Mhz. 8GB RAM. So I haven't used a strong system to test Win7 on. Although Windows 7 aside, everything in Qubes which is within normal-use runs more or less smoothly, and Windows 7 can run almost smoothly on this poor laptop. Although I'm not yet sure if running it on a stronger machine may make Win7 more smooth, or cause less crashes.
Have you ever experienced crashes while running search files on disk from the Windows menu? If so, maybe we can turn off the search function to avoid any issues?
Will do, hopefully it'll make a difference. It's frustrating that anti-virus does it too though. Maybe we can disable it on the AppVM, but only keep it enabled on the template of Windows? I never got around to get Windows template to work though, but I imagine it might be a way to bypass the anti-virus issue on daily use-cases.
I'm pondering about the Superfetch service too, I recall from earlier days that Windows Superfetch could give issues, but as far as I remember it was never truly verified, at least not as an official note. Situations seem to be when having too little RAM on a hardware Windows install, perhaps it causes issues too with too little RAM on a VM install? I'll try disable mine, but I'm not sure if it will change anything related to the stability, other than its intended function of a bit faster application-start of course.
Another issue I found, which I'm not yet sure is a problem or not, seems to be when closing Windows via the Qubes 4 widget, that it happens a lot, lot faster, compared to if you close Windows with the Windows own shutdown button, which is slow, but will eventually shutdown entirely in Qubes as well. I haven't verified it yet, but it does look like the Qubes 4 doesn't give room for updates to tick. Perhaps the intention here is that Qubes 4 widget is meant for AppVM versions of Windows, while the template should be shutdown with Windows's own shutdown command? It's fortunate that seamless mode doesn't have to be enabled on the Windows template to make use of the AppVM seamless mode.
It's looking really good, it looks like you got every currently confirmed Windows issues on there in a well-written and easy to read page. This will definitely be helpful to point to for those switching from Q3.2. to Q4.0. and are asking about Windows support.
I like your idea about an official Wiki page too for Qubes, in the fashion you described it. I imagine an easy to find link to such a Qubes wiki on the www.qubes-os.org website might be really good, so that more people may discover it and use it. And considering it's available on github, which seems like a big plus as well. It'd be interesting to know what the Qubes developers/staff feel about your wiki suggestion. Also the current doc section on the official website is becoming a bit over-cluttered as its growing over time. A wiki indeed seems like it might make good sense at this point, especially if more doc's are to appear on-wards.
Speaking of graphic errors, there is another one I noticed that was around in Qubes 3.2. but I noticed it's now also be present in Qubes 4. I did not realize earlier since until last few days, I had not used Windows my self at all on Qubes 4.
The behavior is the interface locking and becoming immune to mouse clicks only (left and right mouse buttons), but keyboard and moving the cursor around still works fine, it's essentially only left+right mouse-buttons that stops working by the looks of it. The odd thing is it's relatively easy to quick-fix, since every time it's happened, clicking the middle mouse-button (or scroll-wheel mouse-button for those few mouses that have this ability), seems to fix this issue, 100%, always.
The problem here is not so much the annoying thing that it happens, especially when it's this easy to fix. But more so if people using Windows are not aware of this quick-fix, and moreover, perhaps not everyone have a mouse with a middle-button or other mouse-button that resets the bug. Worse yet, may be laptop mouse-pads.
Perhaps there are sufficient clues to track another quick-fix for people without a mouse with a middle-button to reset this bug?
It'd also be interesting to see how common this issue is. I've seen it on three vastly different hardware setups running Qubes+Windows. So far if including past Qubes 3.2. installations where the bug also was present, this bug seems common? Does it happen to you as well?
I've seen this issue at least once every Windows start over longer extended use (10+ minutes, and only happens if you click on the Windows interface menu's like folder and menu navigation buttons).