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Most secure Linux distros in 2018 | Gallery

A more suitable distribution for your home use, Qubes OS is an operating system that splits itself into two virtualized environments to boost security by isolation.

The virtualisation creation and management is based on the Xen hypervisor, and Qubes environments can be based on Fedora and Debian – as well as Whonix (more on that later).

When the distro was launched in 2012, founder of Invisible Things Lab – which created Qubes OS – said at the time that it was a “reasonably secure OS” because it can be unwise to use definite statements in security unless the developer is 100 percent confident that it is secure (in which case, you might be looking at snake oil).

“In Qubes OS we took a practical approach and we have tried to focus on all those sensitive parts of the OS, and to make them reasonably secure,” she said. “And, of course, in the first place, we tried to minimise the amount of those trusted parts, in which Qubes really stands out, I think.” 

It is regularly updated. Note that while it can be booted via USB it’s not a particularly stable way to run the distro so your mileage may vary. And while it can be booted up inside a virtual machine, this method won’t take advantage of all the security that’s baked in to the OS.

Edward Snowden endorsed Qubes OS in September 2016. “No one does VM isolation better,” he said, adding that it’s “not bulletproof” but “nothing is”.

“It’s as close as you can get right now,” Snowden added.


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