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The first release candidate for Qubes OS 4.2.1) is now available for testing. This release candidate brings together all of the security patches, bug fixes, and other updates that have been implemented since the release of Qubes 4.2.0. Whether or not the release will be stable is contingent on the number of bugs found in the RC and the severity of those bugs. As part of the process, bug reports are gathered, the bugs are prioritized, and issues are resolved. The process is repeated until a stable release is declared, and if it is deemed necessary, a new release candidate (RC) is issued, which includes the fixes. The stable release is anticipated to be around March 25th, 2024.

Qubes OS 4.2.1-rc1 is available for testing

We’re pleased to announce that the first  release candidate (RC) for Qubes OS 4.2.1 is now available for  testing. This  patch release aims to consolidate all the security patches, bug fixes, and other updates that have occurred since the release of Qubes 4.2.0. Our goal is to provide a secure and convenient way for users to install (or reinstall) the latest stable Qubes release with an up-to-date ISO. The ISO and associated  verification files are available on the  downloads page. For more information about the changes included in this version, see the  full list of issues completed since the release of 4.2.0.

When is the stable release?

That depends on the number of bugs discovered in this RC and their severity. As explained in our  release schedule documentation, our usual process after issuing a new RC is to collect bug reports, triage the bugs, and fix them. If warranted, we then issue a new RC that includes the fixes and repeat the process. We continue this iterative procedure until we’re left with an RC that’s good enough to be declared the stable release. No one can predict, at the outset, how many iterations will be required (and hence how many RCs will be needed before a stable release), but we tend to get a clearer picture of this as testing progresses. Here is the latest update:

At this point, we expect the stable release sometime around 2024-03-25.

Testing Qubes 4.2.1-rc1

If you’re willing to  test this new RC, you can help us improve the eventual stable release by  reporting any bugs you encounter. We encourage experienced users to join the  testing team. The best way to test Qubes 4.2.1-rc1 is by performing a  clean installation with the new ISO. We strongly recommend  making a full backup beforehand.

As an alternative to a clean installation, there is also the option of performing an in-place upgrade without reinstalling. However, since Qubes 4.2.1 is simply Qubes 4.2.0 inclusive of all updates to date, this amounts to simply using a fully-updated 4.2.0 installation. In a sense, then, all current 4.2.0 users who are keeping up with updates are already testing 4.2.1-rc1, but this testing is only partial, since it does not cover things like the installation procedure.

Qubes OS 4.2.1-rc1 is available for testing