Qubes can be installed on systems which do not meet the recommended
requirements. Such systems will still offer significant security
improvements over traditional operating systems, since things like GUI
isolation and kernel protection do not require special hardware.
Qubes can be installed on a USB flash drive or external disk, and testing
has shown that this works very well. A fast USB 3.0 flash drive is
recommended for this. (As a reminder, its capacity must be at least 32 GB.)
Simply plug the flash drive into the computer before booting into the Qubes
installer from a separate installation medium, choose the flash drive as the
target installation disk, and proceed with the installation normally. After
Qubes has been installed on the flash drive, it can then be plugged into
other computers in order to boot into Qubes. In addition to the convenience
of having a portable copy of Qubes, this allows users to test for hardware
compatibility on multiple machines (e.g., at a brick-and-mortar computer
store) before deciding on which computer to purchase. (See hcl-report for
advice on hardware compatibility testing.) Keep in mind to also change
assigned devices for your netvm and usbvm, if you move between different
There is also a live USB option available, which may be even easier for
Installing Qubes in a virtual machine is not recommended, as it uses its own
bare-metal hypervisor (Xen).
Macintosh PCs are not currently supported due to keyboard and mouse problems.
(See #230 for details. Patches welcome!)