The Minimal TemplateVMs are lightweight versions of their standard TemplateVM counterparts. They have only the most vital packages installed, including a minimal X and xterm installation. The sections below contain instructions for using the template and provide some examples for common use cases. There are currently two Minimal TemplateVMs corresponding to the standard Fedora and Debian TemplateVMs.
The Minimal TemplateVMs are intended only for advanced users. If you encounter problems with the Minimal TemplateVMs, we recommend that you use their standard TemplateVM counterparts instead.
If something works with a standard TemplateVM but not the minimal version, this is most likely due to user error (e.g., a missing package or misconfiguration) rather than a bug. In such cases, you should write to qubes-users to ask for help rather than filing a bug report, then contribute what you learn to the documentation.
The Minimal TemplateVMs are intentionally minimal. Do not ask for your favorite package to be added to the minimal template by default.
The Minimal TemplateVMs can be installed with the following command (where
X is your desired distro and version number):
[user@dom0 ~]$ sudo qubes-dom0-update qubes-template-X-minimal
If your desired version is not found, it may still be in testing. You may wish to try again with the testing repository enabled:
[user@dom0 ~]$ sudo qubes-dom0-update --enablerepo=qubes-templates-itl-testing qubes-template-X-minimal
The download may take a while depending on your connection speed.
It is an intentional design choice for Passwordless Root Access in VMs to be optional in Minimal TemplateVMs.
Since the Minimal TemplateVMs are minimal, they are not configured for passwordless root by default.
To update or install packages, execute the following command in dom0 (where
X is your distro and version number):
[user@dom0 ~]$ qvm-run -u root X-minimal xterm
This opens a root terminal in the Minimal TemplateVM, from which you can use execute root commands without
You will have to do this every time if you choose not to enable passwordless root.
If you want to be able to use
sudo inside a Minimal TemplateVM (or TemplateBasedVMs based on a Minimal TemplateVM), open a root terminal as just instructed, then install the
Optionally, verify that passwordless root now works by opening a normal (non-root) xterm window in the Minimal TemplateVM, then issue the command
This should give you output that includes the
You may wish to clone the original template and make any changes in the clone instead of the original template. You must start the clone in order to customize it.
Customizing the template for specific use cases normally only requires installing additional packages.
This following sections provide information that is specific to a particular Minimal TemplateVM distro.
The following list provides an overview of which packages are needed for which purpose.
As usual, the required packages are to be installed in the running template with the following command (replace
packages with a space-delimited list of packages to be installed):
[user@your-new-clone ~]$ sudo dnf install packages
- Commonly used utilities:
- FirewallVM, such as the template for
sys-firewall: at least
iproute, and also
qubes-core-agent-dom0-updatesif you want to use it as the
UpdateVM(which is normally
- NetVM, such as the template for
@hardware-support. If your network devices need extra packages for the template to work as a network VM, use the
lspcicommand to identify the devices, then run
dnf search firmware(replace
firmwarewith the appropriate device identifier) to find the needed packages and then install them. If you need utilities for debugging and analyzing network connections, install
- USB qube, such as the template for
- VPN qube: Use the
dnf search "NetworkManager VPN plugin"command to look up the VPN packages you need, based on the VPN technology you’ll be using, and install them. Some GNOME related packages may be needed as well. After creation of a machine based on this template, follow the VPN instructions to configure it.
You may also wish to consider additional packages from the
qubes-core-agent-qrexec: Qubes qrexec agent. Installed by default.
qubes-core-agent-systemd: Qubes unit files for SystemD init style. Installed by default.
polkit: By default, the Fedora Minimal template doesn’t have passwordless root. These two packages enable this feature.
qubes-core-agent-nautilus: This package provides integration with the Nautilus file manager (without it things like “copy to VM/open in disposable VM” will not be shown in Nautilus).
qubes-core-agent-sysvinit: Qubes unit files for SysV init style or upstart.
qubes-core-agent-networking: Networking support. Required for general network access and particularly if the template is to be used for a
qubes-core-agent-network-manager: Integration for NetworkManager. Useful if the template is to be used for a
network-manager-applet: Useful (together with
notification-daemon) to have a system tray icon if the template is to be used for a
qubes-core-agent-dom0-updates: Script required to handle
dom0updates. Any template which the VM responsible for ‘dom0’ updates (e.g.
sys-firewall) is based on must contain this package.
qubes-usb-proxy: Required if the template is to be used for a USB qube (
sys-usb) or for any destination qube to which USB devices are to be attached (e.g
sys-netif using USB network adapter).
pulseaudio-qubes: Needed to have audio on the template VM.
See here for further information on customizing
rsyslog logging service is not installed by default, as all logging is instead being handled by the
Users requiring the
rsyslog service should install it manually.
To access the
journald log, use the
As you would expect, the required packages can be installed in the running template with any apt-based command. For example : (Replace “packages` with a space-delimited list of packages to be installed.)
[user@your-new-clone ~]$ sudo apt install packages
|Use case||Description||Required steps|
|Standard utilities||If you need the commonly used utilities||Install the following packages:
|Networking||If you want networking||Install qubes-core-agent-networking|
|Audio||If you want sound from your VM…||Install
|FirewallVM||You can use the minimal template as a template for a FirewallVM, like
|NetVM||You can use this template as the basis for a NetVM such as
||Install the following packages:
|NetVM (extra firmware)||If your network devices need extra packages for a network VM||Use the
|Network utilities||If you need utilities for debugging and analyzing network connections||Install the following packages:
|USB||If you want to use this template as the basis for a USB qube such as
|VPN||You can use this template as basis for a VPN qube||You may need to install network-manager VPN packages, depending on the VPN technology you’ll be using. After creating a machine based on this template, follow the VPN howto to configure it.|
In Qubes 4.0, additional packages from the
qubes-core-agent suite may be needed to make the customized minimal template work properly.
These packages are:
qubes-core-agent-nautilus: This package provides integration with the Nautilus file manager (without it, items like “copy to VM/open in disposable VM” will not be shown in Nautilus).
qubes-core-agent-thunar: This package provides integration with the thunar file manager (without it, items like “copy to VM/open in disposable VM” will not be shown in thunar).
qubes-core-agent-dom0-updates: Script required to handle
dom0updates. Any template on which the qube responsible for ‘dom0’ updates (e.g.
sys-firewall) is based must contain this package.
qubes-menus: Defines menu layout.
qubes-desktop-linux-common: Contains icons and scripts to improve desktop experience.
Also, there are packages to provide additional services:
qubes-gpg-split: For implementing split GPG.
qubes-u2f: For implementing secure forwarding of U2F messages.
qubes-pdf-converter: For implementing safe conversion of PDFs.
qubes-img-converter: For implementing safe conversion of images.
qubes-snapd-helper: If you want to use snaps in qubes.
qubes-thunderbird: Additional tools for use in thunderbird.
qubes-app-shutdown-idle: If you want qubes to automatically shutdown when idle.
qubes-mgmt-\*: If you want to use salt management on the template and qubes.
Documentation on all of these can be found in the docs
You could, of course, use qubes-vm-recommended to automatically install many of these, but in that case you are well on the way to a standard Debian template.