A new Linux operating system called Qubes OS strives to set the bar for “ultra-secure” desktop computing. Its developers describe the architecture as a “security by isolation” or sandboxed approach. Networking, an activity fraught with potential vulnerabilities, is kept isolated from the rest of the operating system. Lightweight virtual machines allow users to isolate their application use by activity type, i.e., they can separate “high risk” web browsing from the activity they hope to keep secure such as online banking.
The limitations of this operating system are obvious. Not everyone wants to have to isolate their various networking activities—there is a loss of convenience. Linux in general has compatibility issues that would make this OS unattractive to the typical home user.
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