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 2.
The Qubes development is progressing quite nicely and the second beta version should prove to be even more hardware compatible after the developers have upgraded the Dom0 distribution and Linux kernel.
“The upgrade of KDE in Dom0 is mostly an eye-candy type of improvement (but then, who doesn't like eye candies!), as is the introduction of the Xfce4 as its alternative, although, arguably, Xfce4 is considered faster and lighter than KDE.”
“In Qubes, the choice of an actual desktop environment that runs in Dom0 is not as important as it is on traditional Linux systems,” stated the developer.
Highlights of Qubes 2 Beta 2:
• The Dom0 distribution has been upgraded to the latest Fedora 18 (all previous releases used Fedora 13);
• The default VM template was also upgraded to Fedora 18;
• The Dom0 kernel has been updated to version 3.7.6;
• The KDE environment in Dom0 has been updated to version 4.9;
• The Xfce 4.10 environment has been added as an alternative to KDE;
• A few other fixes and improvements, including the recently discussed Disposable VM-based PDF converter, were 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 2 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.