Qubes R3.0 Release Notes

This Qubes OS release is dedicated to the memory of Caspar Bowden.

New features since 2.0

  • HAL (Hypervisor Abstraction Layer) - based on libvirt, opens a whole new possibilities of using different hypervisors. Currently Qubes OS uses Xen.
  • Xen 4.4 - many new features, but for us the most important is much more mature libxl toolstack.
  • Qrexec 3 - greatly improved performance by using direct VM-VM connections and bigger buffers.
  • Debian templates gets official support.
  • Whonix templates
  • Build system improvements - especially support for distribution-specific plugins (makes supporting multiple distributions much easier) and building templates using DispVM.
  • Automated tests - makes much easier to find bugs, before its even shipped to users

Known issues

  • Windows Tools: qvm-block does not work

  • UEFI is not supported, you need to enable “legacy boot” in BIOS before installing Qubes OS

  • Some icons in the Qubes Manager application might not be drawn correctly when using the Xfce4 environment in Dom0. If this bothers you, please use the KDE environment instead.

  • If your GPU is not correctly supported by the Dom0 kernel (e.g. the 3D desktop effects do not run smoothly) then you might experience “heaviness” with Windows 7-based AppVMs. In that case, please solve the problem with your GPU support in Dom0 in the first place (by using a different kernel), or install Qubes OS on a different system.

  • For other known issues take a look at our tickets

It is advised to install updates just after system installation to apply bug fixes for (some of) the above problems.


See Qubes Downloads.

Installation instructions

See Installation Guide.


From R3.0 release candidate

If you are using Qubes R3.0rc1, R3.0rc2 or R3.0rc3, just install system updates, there is no special steps required.

From R2.0 or earlier

The easiest and safest way to upgrade to Qubes R3.0 is to install it from scratch and use qubes backup and restore tools for migrating of all of the user VMs.

Users of Qubes R2 can upgrade using experimental procedure.