Qubes OS and FQVM Exec

For the past month I’ve been using a Xen/Linux distro called Qubes OS as my main desktop OS. It’s a really techy OS that enforces you to adapt new ways of computer desktoping security.

I’ve spent lots of time adjusting how the OS behaves and tonight I created yet another simple bash script that makes things easier for me.

Basically, the idea of Qubes OS is to create different virtual machines that lets you isolate the different things (or software) that you work with.

A pretty straight forward example is separating different kinds of web pages. You’d probably don’t want to access your bank’s web site in the same VM as the one you use for visiting random “funny picture web sites” or whatever.

It simply won’t really matter if the “random web site” VM gets infected with malware, since you don’t use that VM for anything important anyway. Security through isolation.

The project has made it really simple to accomplish these things and I think that it works pretty well.

More information about the OS can be found on the project’s website.

There’s lots of room for improvement though. One of many things that I’ve found pretty cumbersome is launching additional programs in the same VM as you’re currently working with. This could be done using the Qubes VM Manager, or through the various shortcuts that are automatically created in the KDE Menu.

But I dislike all this clicking around – I only want to use the keyboard.

So I created a bash script that I named fqvm-exec.

The script finds out which VM the currently focused window belongs to, pops up a dialog, and instantly lets you write the command you’d like to execute. The default is to start a terminal emulator. By adding a keyboard binding in KDE for this bash script, this works really smooth.

The script can be found at the Projects page in the BASH scripts (.sh) category.

It’s quite likely that I’ll continue writing about the Qubes OS project… 🙂

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