Whonix https://www.whonix.org/blog Privacy and Anonymity OS Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Download Page Changes https://www.whonix.org/blog/download-page-changes https://www.whonix.org/blog/download-page-changes#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:25:17 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1653 The Whonix download page was recently updated to reflect the supported platforms that have been available for some time.

Please check it out:


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Documentation Updates https://www.whonix.org/blog/documentation-updates https://www.whonix.org/blog/documentation-updates#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 15:42:48 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1655 The documentation on the wiki saw many changes lately. Thanks to all who contributed.


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What’s in a Nym? https://www.whonix.org/blog/whats-in-a-nym https://www.whonix.org/blog/whats-in-a-nym#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 15:29:34 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1647 ]]> I’ve recently taken to documenting and simplifying the steps for using Mixmaster with Nymservers – a setup that allows sending and receiving email pseudonymously without reliance on a service provider. Mixmaster comes with Whonix. Feel free to give it a try and post feedback in the forums.

Years later, the Mixmaster remailer network is still around even if its not what it used to be. The focus has since shifted from Mixmaster to Tor because it can anonymize a variety of communications and not just email, also it can do so efficiently, meeting high performance demands. However, as long as the legacy SMTP mail protocol hangs around, Mixmaster remains a very powerful and relevant option.

Sending pseudonymous mail promises to be simpler still thanks to Nymphemeral, a nym management Swiss army-knife GUI, written in Python. Its built around next-generation Nymservers that support Perfect Forward Secrecy.

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The Cold Hard Truth Behind VPNs https://www.whonix.org/blog/the-hard-cold-truth-behind-vpns https://www.whonix.org/blog/the-hard-cold-truth-behind-vpns#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 23:08:39 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1650 ]]> The “Virtual” in Virtual Private Networks is just that: “Existing in the mind, especially as a product of the imagination.”

There is an entire market of scam artists playing on people’s fears of mass surveillance, and trying to sell them VPNs as a privacy/anonymity solution. They spout illusory promises, unbackable claims and outright lies to part with people’s cash while giving them a false sense of security.

For a brief list on why a VPN’s are a failure by design, look here. They can never provide the anonymity guarantees of Tor and no one serious about their safety online should ever consider them as a solution.

The money wasted on these services is better donated to projects like Tor and Whonix where resilient and well-tested Libre Software is being developed transparently and made accessible to everyone without cost in freedom or price.

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Why I prefer PGP/INLINE over PGP/MIME in Thunderbird/Enigmail https://www.whonix.org/blog/pgp-inline-vs-mime https://www.whonix.org/blog/pgp-inline-vs-mime#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 22:47:51 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1636 ]]> Due to the recent Enigmail security issue, where e-mail drafts could end up unencrypted on IMAP servers. (You might wonder, no, Whonix was luckily not affected by this, because the version in Debian wheezy did not have that bug.)

In the PGP/INLINE example I can be more assured, that the text was that it really converted to encrypted ciphertext before sending – because I can see it.


As opposed to PGP/MIME, where I need to trust more, that Enigmail won’t mess that up.


Using option ‘Confirm, before sending’ set to ‘Always’, that I highly recommend to prevent messing up.

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Testers Wanted! Whonix 11 ( ) – Release Candidate https://www.whonix.org/blog/testers-wanted-rc-11-0-0-3-0 https://www.whonix.org/blog/testers-wanted-rc-11-0-0-3-0#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 14:53:49 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1621 ]]> The version number for this testers-only release is, which will become Whonix 11 the moment it’s blessed stable.

Major changes are port of Whonix from being Debian wheezy (that is Debian oldstable) based to Debian jessie (that now is Debian stable) based. And port from sysvinit to systemd among other enhancements, see changelog below.

Download link for Virtual Box images (.ova), kvm / qemu images and OpenPGP signatures (.asc):

Upgrading Whonix 10 to Whonix 11:

If you want to build from source code, see:

Thanks to everyone who made this test release possible!

Forum Discussion:

Changelog between Whonix and Whonix


Changelog between Whonix and Whonix

– tb-starter: Made path to Tor Browser configurable by tb_home_folder variable. Renamed variable home_folder to tb_home_folder to synchronize it with tb-updater. – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T338
– anon-meta-packages: added dependency on ‘gir1.2-gtk-3.0′ to ‘anon-workstation-default-applications’ because ‘mat’ misses it – http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=788099 – https://www.whonix.org/forum/index.php/topic,1287.0.html
upstream bug report: mat missed dependency gir1.2-gtk-3.0 – http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=788099
– genmkfile: cleanup debian.tar.xz (jessie support)
– tb-updater: output: improved message in case hash verification failed – https://github.com/Whonix/tb-updater/commit/285cb5c0ed3bb77c1f9d6a4c3e01a62b1fc7a650
– msgcollector: progress bar initial value fix for Debian jessie – https://github.com/Whonix/msgcollector/commit/bc26aee153a5a939a621ac198b11a445e2b74a38
– grub-enable-apparmor: backwards compatiblity fix with Whonix 10, restore original /etc/default/grub – https://github.com/Whonix/grub-enable-apparmor/commit/b99978709575365b99bebf4ca3bda129890f7d97
– rads: backwards compatiblity fix with Whonix <= 10.x: https://github.com/Whonix/rads/commit/cf0267514e6f2e472466ce30aaa4b6f3d807fb65
– whonixcheck: fixed Tor Config Check Result issue that was caused by the Tor upgrade; improved output for Tor Config Check Result – https://www.whonix.org/forum/index.php/topic,1295 – https://github.com/Whonix/whonixcheck/commit/bf55af20a5856d8a024a7eb821f5d54692dc5b15
– whonix-legacy: anon-gw-first-run-notice has been deprecated, merged into whonix-setup-wizard, therefore get rid of “/etc/xdg/autostart/gateway_first_run_notice.desktop”; Get rid of “/etc/grub.d/30_apparmor.cfg”, because that file has been moved from /etc/grub.d/30_apparmor.cfg to /etc/default/grub.d/30_apparmor.cfg since the path has changed since release of jessie. – https://github.com/Whonix/whonix-legacy/commit/9b50b5c33acee1a260acae2c1abccbef8f47663f
– vbox-disable-timesync: Do not try to (re-)start the service after package install/upgrade, because it could fail if kernel was upgraded, which would make the whole postinst script fail. – https://github.com/Whonix/vbox-disable-timesync/commit/f18af1107cedfc50ef06b054d1463835376e0415
– whonixcheck 2.2.1-1 / Whonix 10: stable fix, no longer run test check_tor_config, because it false positively detects an issue since the Tor upgrade – https://www.whonix.org/forum/index.php/topic,1295.0.html – https://github.com/Whonix/whonixcheck/commit/44b8921a214799b2d3e17281b2f4b0ee04643295
– debian-systemd mailing list: cannot extend network-manager unit file by using network-manager.service.d – https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-systemd-maintainers/2015-June/007613.html
– control-port-filter-python: added apparmor profile
documentation: Improved gpg import instructions. Key fingerprint is now checked before importing the key for better security. – https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Template:Build_Documentation_Get_Source_Code#Get_the_Signing_Key – https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Whonix_Signing_Key#Download_the_key
– msgcollector: increased MinimumSize so first line of gpg output is not needlessy line broken into two – https://www.whonix.org/forum/index.php/topic,261.150.html
– rads: silence by default when disabled – https://github.com/Whonix/rads/commit/270db5b186417dc38d938f014bd8006aeaf6cdc0
– repository: updated repository as per
– build script: added grub-screen-resolution and grub-output-verbose as weak recommended packages – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T354

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Testers Wanted! Upgrading Whonix 10 to Whonix 11 ( ) https://www.whonix.org/blog/testers-upgrade-10-to-11 https://www.whonix.org/blog/testers-upgrade-10-to-11#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 04:11:46 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1615 Instructions for upgrading Whonix 10 to Whonix 11 are ready. A few more steps are required than the usual steps for upgrading.

Check out the instructions:

Please test and report back.

Forum discussion:

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Testers Wanted! Whonix 11 ( ) https://www.whonix.org/blog/whonix-11-testers-wanted https://www.whonix.org/blog/whonix-11-testers-wanted#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 16:26:35 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1597 ]]> The version number for this testers-only release is, which will become Whonix 11 the moment it’s blessed stable.

Major changes are port of Whonix from being Debian wheezy (that is Debian oldstable) based to Debian jessie (that now is Debian stable) based. And port from sysvinit to systemd among other enhancements, see changelog below.

Download link for Virtual Box images (.ova), kvm / qemu images and OpenPGP signatures (.asc):

Upgrading Whonix 10 to Whonix 11:

If you want to build from source code, see:

Thanks to everyone who made this test release possible!

Forum Discussion:

Changelog between Whonix and Whonix

– fixed custom workstation build
– build script: refactoring, use errtrace rather than many traps – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T48
– build script: refactoring, use exit trap to reduce code duplication – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T269
– whonixcheck: warn if whonix-gateway / whonix-workstation package is not installed – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T264
– whonixcheck: warn if there is low entropy – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T202
– build, anon-apt-sources-list, anon-shared-build-apt-sources-tpo, whonix-repository: changed release codename from wheezy to jessie – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T270
– grub-enable-apparmor: Refactoring. Simplified for Debian jessie. Thanks to the new `/etc/default/grub.d` configuration folder, the `grub-enable-apparmor` has been greatly simplified. No longer need to config-package-dev divert `/etc/default/grub`.
– genmkfile: if debuild not available, recommend installation of the devscripts package
– build script: added fakeroot to whonix_build_script_build_dependency (required for verifiable builds)
– genmkfile: if debuild not available, recommend installation of the devscripts package
– genmkfile: fix, do not set automatically make_use_gain_root_command to true if fakeroot is not installed
– genmkfile: run dpkg-checkbuilddeps before lintian to show better hint if build dependencies are missing
– build script: build-steps.d/1200_create-debian-packages: commented out get_extra_packages, no longer need to download packages from testing
– build script: refactoring, created separate help step, help-steps/git_sanity_test
– whonixcheck: verbose output for check_tor_socks_port_reachability
– all packages: packaging, bumped Standards-Version from 3.9.4 to 3.9.6 for jessie support
– lintian warning copyright fix
– tb-updater: show “highest version number is not necessarily the best one” message also on first run if no Tor Browser is installed yet – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T283
– build script: No longer install acpi-support-base by default on jessie, because systemd now implements that functionality. – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T284
– whonixcheck: added link to Whonix Build Version documentation https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Whonixcheck#Whonix_Build_Version – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T276
– build script: Fix commit 287bdcf6ddee007ba579e3ee9a1997edc8188581 ‘”makefile: added –pedantic to default DEBUILD_LINTIAN_OPTS because we are going to fix the last remaining “missing upstream changelog” warning’ – added –pedantic help-steps/variables.
– all packages: added debian/source/lintian-overrides with debian-watch-may-check-gpg-signature to fix lintian warning – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T277
– whonix-setup-wizard, anon-gw-anonyminizer-config, whonixcheck, whonix-ws-start-menu-additions, whonix-host-firewall: added ‘Keywords=’ to ‘.desktop’ files to fix lintian warning ‘desktop-entry-lacks-keywords-entry’ – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T281
– anon-shared-helper scripts: replaced dependency ‘python-support (>= 0.90)’ with dh-python to fix lintian warning
– control-port-filter-python: packaging, use debhelper with python2 to fix lintian warning
– modify apt-get parameters during build to prevent need to remove apt-listchanges – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T282
– build-script: refactoring, moved variables DEBIAN_FRONTEND DEBIAN_PRIORITY DEBCONF_NOWARNINGS APT_LISTCHANGES_FRONTEND from help-steps/variables to buildconfig.d/30_apt_opts
– genmkfile: hint “Is the build dependency genmkfile installed?” if genmkfile is not installed
– genmkfile: hint ‘dpkg-parsechangelog not found. Do you have the “build-essential” package installed?’ if dpkg-parsechangelog is not available
– sdwdate: removed dependency on ruby1.9.1-dev to fix lintian warning ‘E: sdwdate: depends-on-obsolete-package depends: ruby1.9.1-dev’
– whonixcheck: show diagnostic message on whonixcheck Whonix News gpg verification failure by default
– build script: Fix building Whonix on Whonix, fix if `lsb_release –short –i` returns ‘Whonix’. Temp hack ‘export whonix_build_on_operating_system=”debian”‘ no longer required. Thanks to @nrgaway for the bug report and the analysis. – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T278
– tb-updater: tbbversion_installed parser fix
– anon-meta-packages: removed dependency on libupower-glib1 which is no longer available in Debian jessie (which has been replaced by upower, that already gets installed)
– anon-base-files, whonix-developer-meta-files: implemented WHONIX_BUILD_QUBES=true environment variable support – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T298
– anon-meta-packages: whonix-gateway and whonix-workstation package no longer depend on anon-shared-build-fix-grub because it has been made a weak dependency for better physical isolation and Qubes support
– code simplification, removed support for environment variable ANON_BUILD_INSTALL_TO_ROOT=true because anon-shared-build-fix-grub now gets only installed on required platforms
– implemented build parameter ‘–unsafe-io true’, that speeds up builds, that uses ‘-o Dpkg::Options::=–force-unsafe-io’, eatmydata and ignores ‘sync’. – Thanks to @nrgaway for the suggestion!  – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T295
– implemented $apt_misc_opts – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T295
– whonixcheck: new –verbose debug feature, showing output of systemd-detect-virt
– vbox-disable-timesync: more robust implementation that is compatible with systemd – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T106
– timesync: compatibility with systemd – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T106
– whonixcheck, msgdispatcher: ported to systemd – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T106
– qubes-whonix: skip rads on Qubes – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T306
– systemd unit files: workaround/fix, removed spaces from ‘WantedBy = ‘, likely bug in ‘deb-systemd-helper’ that prevents enabling the service by default – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T316
– created a hellodaemon package, useful for Debian systemd packaging debugging – not part of Whonix – https://github.com/adrelanos/hellodaemon
– whonixcheck: debian/control: fix, added to ‘Build-Depends:’ ‘ruby-ronn (>= 0.7.3)’
– disable torsocks warning spam – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T317
– whonix-libvirt: fixed CI builds
– whonix-libvirt: added driver name=’qemu’ – Thanks to HulaHoop! – https://github.com/Whonix/whonix-libvirt/pull/20 https://github.com/Whonix/whonix-libvirt/pull/19 https://github.com/Whonix/whonix-libvirt/pull/18
– anon-meta-packages: added obfs4proxy to anon-gateway-packages-recommended – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T323
– anon-meta-packages: added apt-transport-tor to anon-shared-packages-recommended – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T92
– whonix-gw-network-conf, whonix-ws-network-conf: Removed ‘pre-up /usr/bin/whonix_firewall’, because /etc/network/if-pre-up.d to load the firewall, because of a Debian upstream bug interface comes up even if a script in /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/ fails http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=700811 was fixed. – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T68
whonix-gw-firewall, whonix-ws-firewall, whonix-host-firewall: Made package more standalone. Requiring ‘pre-up /usr/bin/whonix_firewall’ in /etc/network/interfaces is no longer necessary. Added etc/network/if-pre-up.d/30_whonix_firewall to load the firewall, because of a Debian upstream bug ‘interface comes up even if a script in /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/ fails’ http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=700811 was fixed. – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T68
– whonixsetup, whonix-setup-wizard: fix ‘Tor fails after reload related to torrc DisableNetwork setting issue’ by only restarting Tor, no longer trying to reload Tor – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T320
– rads: Improved implementation. When there is enough RAM… On ‘enter': instantly start login manager. On ‘ctrl + c': instantly abort and do not start login manager. On ‘timeout': start login manager. Thanks to ‘dh_systemd_start –no-start’ we can now use ‘StandardInput=tty’ and ‘read’ instead of ‘systemd-ask-password’. Now we could even implement an interactive menu at boot (that allows to configure wait time and/or disabling rads). – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T57
– whonixcheck: abolished random wait by default – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T299
– anon-ws-disable-stacked-tor: fixed ‘insserv: script tor.anondist-orig: service tor already provided!’ warning during upgrades – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T303
– anon-ws-disable-stacked-tor: systemd compatibility – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T303
– anon-base-files: no longer ‘set -o pipefail’ in /usr/lib/pre.bsh. config-package-dev doesn’t like ‘set -o pipefail’ – http://mailman.mit.edu/pipermail/config-package-dev/2015-May/000041.html – https://phabricator.whonix.org/T329
– upstream bug report: spaces in Tor’s systemd unit file causes issues – https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/16162
– upstream bug report: Tor dies on reload when swichting to ‘DisableNetwork 0′ when using ‘DnsPort′ – https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/16161
build script: fix, support ‘–verifiable false’ (was ‘–verifiable minimal’ while build documentation said ‘false’)
– uwt: multi user fix – https://www.whonix.org/forum/index.php/topic,1267
– Qubes: WiFi Realtek RTL8191SEvB Issue and Solution – https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/qubes-users/kMGTSwP72aU
– whonix-setup-wizard API proposal: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Dev/whonixsetup

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Whonix Host Operating System, Announcing Sponsorship by OTF https://www.whonix.org/blog/host-and-sponsorship-by-otf https://www.whonix.org/blog/host-and-sponsorship-by-otf#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 11:57:33 +0000 https://www.whonix.org/blog/?p=1601 ]]> A Whonix Host Operating System has been a long standing TODO item that hasn’t made much progress over the years. Providing more usable user interface than VirtualBox, the ability to easily fire up additional VMs, to open potentially dangerous files in a disposable VM, easier file transfer in and out VMs, backups, host firewall and so forth. Not to mention hardware driver support Whonix would have to offer. While the Whonix project has insufficient funding as well as contributor manpower to realize any of that anytime soon, fortunately there is the Qubes OS Project. A Xen / Linux based distribution that focuses heavily on security compartmentalization. That means, for example, network devices are running in their own virtual machine. Any vulnerability in the network stack or card would be contained in that virtual machine. Firewall runs in another virtual machine. So does an untrusted browser. Everything can be compartmentalized into domains. An exploit inside an untrusted domain is contained and cannot compromise a private or work domain as long as the adversary cannot compromise Xen as well. Fortunately, Xen has a smaller attack surface than Linux. You can read more about Qubes architecture on the Qubes website. Furthermore Qubes implemented all of that while providing user interface with good usability.

Over the last few months Qubes-Whonix, a port of Whonix to Qubes has been developed. There has been a lot interest in this. And there is more to do.

After the release of Whonix 11, which is a port from Debian wheezy, sysvinit based Whonix to Debian jessie, systemd based Whonix [and more], my personal focus will shift more and more towards development of Qubes-Whonix.

This work will be supported by the Open Technology Fund. You can learn more about the history of that sponsorship and its details on the Qubes blog.

Work related to Qubes will be under the sponsor-c tag as well as the Qubes tag. More tickets to be added. Stay tuned.

For now, physical isolation (“–target root”) is not planned to be deprecated, because the Qubes-Whonix build process uses something similar to “–target root”. Neither the VirtualBox builds of Whonix are planned to be deprecated. Those are still a good way for new users to get in touch with Whonix and Linux in general.

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Whonix Project looking for Translations Coordinator https://www.whonix.org/blog/translations-coordinator https://www.whonix.org/blog/translations-coordinator#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 15:00:10 +0000 http://www.whonix.org/blog/whonix-project-looking-for-translations-coordinator ]]> Whonix is an anonymous general purpose operating system based on Virtual Box, Debian GNU/Linux and Tor. It has its focus on anonymity, privacy, security and usability.

The Whonix project is looking for a volunteer Translations Coordinator.

Your task:

If you are interested, please sign up for the Whonix Development Forum [2] and say hello.

[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_Language_Extension_Bundle
[2] https://www.whonix.org/forum/index.php/board,5.0.html

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