Qubes OS, the security-focused operating system that Edward Snowden said in November he was “really excited” about, announced this week that laptop maker Purism will ship their privacy-focused Librem 13 notebook with Qubes pre-installed.
Built on a security-hardened version of the Xen hypervisor, Qubes protects users by allowing them to partition their digital lives into virtual machines. Rather than focus solely on security by correctness, or hide behind security by obscurity, Qubes implements security by isolation – the OS assumes that the device will eventually be breached, and compartmentalises all of its various subsystems to prevent an attacker from gaining full control of the device. Qubes supports Fedora and Debian Linux VMs, and Windows 7 VMs.
Purism is also aiming to eventually have a completely open laptop – top to bottom – but they’re not quite there just yet (e.g. BIOS is still a major issue).