Update: Since this announcement was originally published, the Qubes Forum has moved to a new home. The forum link below has been updated to point to the new address.

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new forum for Qubes OS users: https://forum.qubes-os.org/

This is an official user forum where you can ask questions, get help, share tips and experiences, and more! For a long time, members of our community have sought a privacy-respecting forum experience with modern features that traditional mailing lists do not support. The open-source Discourse platform fills this need for us, as it does for many other open-source projects. Thanks to their generous free hosting for open source projects, we’re pleased to be able to create this space for our community.

Why create a forum now?

Previously, the only option for a forum-like experience was to interact with our mailing lists via Google Groups, but we understand all too well that the privacy implications and user experience were unacceptable for many members of our community, especially with the recent addition of a sign-in requirement to view threads. Many of you value the lower barrier to entry, organization, ease-of-use, and modern social features that today’s forums support. Moreover, Discourse features email integration for those who still prefer the traditional mailing list format.

How is this different from our mailing lists?

To be clear, this is not a replacement for our mailing lists (such as qubes-users and qubes-devel), which will continue on as they are. This new forum is simply an additional place for discussion. Certain types of discussions naturally lend themselves more to mailing lists or to forums, and different types of users prefer different venues. We’ve heard from some users who find the mailing lists to be a bit intimidating or who may feel that their message isn’t important enough to merit creating a new email that lands in thousands of inboxes. Others want more selective control over topic notifications. Some users simply appreciate the ability to add a “reaction” to a message instead of having to add an entirely new reply. Whatever your reasons, it’s up to you to decide where and how you want to join the conversation.

Will this split the community?

Many open-source projects (such as Fedora and Debian) have both mailing lists and forums (and additional discussion venues). In fact, Qubes already has non-mailing-list discussion venues such as IRC and Reddit. We believe that this additional venue will foster the continued growth of community participation and improve everyone’s experience. In addition, we fully expect that many community members – especially the most active ones – will choose to participate in both venues. (Again, for those who still prefer interacting via email, Discourse supports that too!)

Special thanks to Michael Carbone for spearheading the creation of this forum and to deeplow who, as our first forum administrator, has done much of the legwork to help get it looking good and working well!