Qubes, an open source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing and which is based on Xen, X Window System, and Linux, and can run most Linux applications and utilize most of the Linux drivers, is now at version 2 Beta 1.
The first edition of Qubes was released just a few months ago and the developers have been hard at work ever since. The first beta of the second release is now out and supports Windows-based AppVMs.
Introducing support for HVMs means that users can now install a large number of operating systems as Qubes VMs, such as Linux distros, BSD, and of course, Windows.
“Additionally we provide a set of tools for Windows-based AppVMs (Windows 7 specifically) which allow for tight integration with the rest of the Qubes system.
“This currently includes support for secure (and policy controllable) clipboard and file exchanges between the Windows-based AppVMs and other AppVMs, integration with Qubes advanced networking infrastructure, and PV drivers for faster operation” states the official announcement.
Highlights of Qubes 2 Beta 1:
• Support for generic fully virtualized VMs (without qemu in the TCB) has been introduced;
• Support for Windows-based AppVMs integration (clipboard, file exchange, qrexec, pv drivers) has been added;
• Secure audio input to select AppVMs is now available;
• Clipboard is now also controlled by central policies, unified with other qrexec policies;
• Out of the box TorVM support is now provided;
• Experimental support for PVUSB has been added;
• Xorg packages have been updated in Dom0 in order to support new GPUs;
• DisposoableVM customization support is now available;
• Various fixes and other improvements have been implemented.
Keep in mind that unlike the rest of Qubes, which is distributed under a GPL v2 license, the Qubes Windows Support Tools are not open sourced and are distributed as binaries only, under a proprietary license.
Check out the official announcement for a complete list of updates and upgrade instructions.
Download Qubes 2 Beta 1 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a beta version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.