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Building the Whonix-Installer for Windows


The Whonix-Installer for Windows is a simple and fast way to set-up Whonix on a system running Microsoft Windows. The following instructions will tell you how to build the Whonix-Installer for Windows using the source code provided via Github, as well as base Whonix and VirtualBox files.

What you'll need[edit]

Preparing the files[edit]

We start by "taking" the VirtualBox-Installer .exe "apart". This is necessary because the .exe actually contains two Microsoft Software Installation (.msi) based Installers, one for x64 and one for x86 systems, as well as a compressed .cab file. To seperate these files, we have to run the following command on the command line.

VirtualBox[Characters based on your version].exe -extract

Once this has been finished, a window will open telling you where these three files (VirtualBox[Characters based on your version]amd64.msi, VirtualBox[Characters based on your version]x86.msi, common.cab) have been extracted in. Rename "VirtualBox[Characters based on your version]amd64.msi" to "virtualbox_x64.msi" and "VirtualBox[Characters based on your version]x86.msi" to "virtualbox_x86.msi" and save all of them in a folder, because they will be needed later. Furthermore, put the Whonix-Workstation and Whonix-Gateway Images in the same folder and rename them "whonix_gateway.ova" and "whonix_workstation.ova" respectively.

Next up, put 7za.exe in the same folder and execute the following two commands in this directory:

7za a gateway.7z whonix_gateway.ova
7za a workstation.7z whonix_workstation.ova

Now you have two highly compressed 7zip files, "gateway.7z" and "workstation.7z". This is done to make the Installer as compact as is possible.

You may now remove the .ova files from the folder as they won't be needed anymore.

Now, put the source files (Whonix.nsi, logo.png, license.rtf) inside the same folder as the other files. Furthremore, include Whonix-UI (Whonix.exe).

Now, you should have the following files in the folder:

  • Whonix.exe
  • 7za.exe
  • virtualbox_x64.msi
  • virtualbox_x86.msi
  • common.cab
  • gateway.7z
  • workstation.7z
  • Whonix.nsi
  • logo.ico
  • license.rtf

With this, the preparation is finished and we can get on to building the Installer.

Building the Installer[edit]

If you recall, at the beginning I mentioned that NSISBI would be necessary. Run "makensisw" from the version of NSISBI you've obtained. Click on "File -> Load Script...", navigate to the folder you've saved the prior files in and select Whonix.nsi. This should start building the Installer. The Output can be found in the folder you've stored all the other files in named "Whonix-Installer.exe".

This concludes the guide to building the Whonix-Installer for Windows from source.