Whonix User Count Statistic
Table: Whonix Project Metrics
|Date||Daily Whonix-Gateway Users|
|15 March 2019||3,682|
|24 August 2019||4,107|
|17 October 2019||4,446|
|8 February 2020||5,326|
|31 March 2020||5,887|
|1 March 2021||8,236|
The user count is manually updated on occasion, but it is a low priority.
daily Whonix-Gateway users estimate is impacted by several factors:
- Total number of Whonix users: The total Whonix user population is probably higher than the number of daily Whonix-Gateway users.
- New day, still running, new count: A Whonix-Gateway that runs longer than one day (24 hours) will re-fetch the Whonix warrant canary and therefore be counted again.
- New day, new boot, new count: A Whonix-Gateway that has not been run for more than one day (24 hours) will re-fetch the Whonix warrant canary and therefore be counted again.
- Duplication: Users relying upon multiple Whonix-Gateway are counted multiple times; this is difficult to avoid with the current design (see next section).
- Non-duplication: Boots are not explicitly counted. Users counts that rely upon the number of Whonix-Gateway boots would lead to overestimates because many users start and shutdown their computers several times a day.
- Non-Live: Live users are not counted.
Whonix User Count Design
There are strict requirements for the Whonix user count:
- no transfer of private information
- no unique identifiers are utilized
- no collection of IP addresses 
- count only once within a 24 hour period
- provide an option to disable user counts
- a by-product of, and based on systemcheck's automated Warrant Canary Check 
- downloaded over Tor using the Whonix v3 onion service 
- secure operation 
The census design was inspired by Clean Insights (Privacy-Preserving Measurement),  Matomo,  Tor Metrics, Tails boot statistics , Prio  Privacy-Preserving Telemetry by Mozilla.  and Divvi Up. For further details, see: Warrant Canary Check.
Whonix User Count Rationale
A user count statistic provides several benefits:
- Whonix maintainers can track if the user population is increasing over time.
- Certain people or organizations decide whether to contribute based on the estimated impact of the Whonix project.
- Statistics can help answer certain questions such as the estimated user population of different anonymity platforms.
- Direct comparisons between the number of Tor, Tails and Whonix users become possible.
- Users can make an informed decision about fingerprinting risks. 
- User counts can inform broader Internet and network fingerprinting considerations.
- The data is already available due to systemcheck's automated verification of the Whonix warrant canary. 
Disable Whonix User Count
Refer to the following systemcheck chapters:
By using an onion service, the server has no way to log originating IP addresses.
- Which verifies the Whonix warrant canary.
- This is similar to how sdwdate fetches time from onion time sources.
- This process has identical security to the Warrant Canary Check.
- Developed by the Guardian Project.
- Formerly Piwik, which is a free and open source web analytics application.
- Private, Robust, and Scalable Computation of Aggregate Statistics by Stanford University.
- Like whether they prefer sharing the same network fingerprint as thousands of other users (Whonix) versus millions of other users (Tor Browser in isolation).