Google Season of Docs 2019

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Welcome to the Whonix ™ Project's Season of Docs Wiki![edit]


The Whonix ™ project has applied for the Google Season of Docs 2019 [archive]. We are very excited for an opportunity to work with some great tech writers from the greater open-source community for three months. For the inaugural Season of Docs, we have some fun and exciting project ideas waiting for you. If you have an interest in working alongside top-notch technical writers, then this is the organization you've been looking for. We eagerly await all your great project proposals so this initiative can be successfully launched!

Whonix ™ Overview[edit]

If you are interested in privacy then you have likely heard of the Whonix ™ project. If the Whonix ™ OS is unfamiliar, refer to the brief overview below to get started.

Whonix ™ is a free and open-source desktop operating system (OS) that is specifically designed for advanced security and privacy. Based on Tor, Debian GNU/Linux and the principle of security by isolation, Whonix ™ addresses common attack vectors while maintaining usability. Online anonymity and censorship circumvention is attainable via fail-safe, automatic and desktop-wide use of the Tor network, meaning all connections are forced through Tor or blocked.

Whonix ™ uses an extensively reconfigured Debian base which is run inside multiple virtual machines (VMs) on top of the host OS. This architecture provides a substantial layer of protection from malware and IP leaks. Applications are pre-installed and configured with safe defaults to make them ready for use with minimal user input. The user may install custom applications or personalize their desktop without fear of information leaks that could lead to de-anonymization. Whonix ™ is the only actively developed OS designed to be run inside a VM and paired with Tor.

The following resources can assist in familiarizing yourself with Whonix:

Project Ideas[edit]

Before submitting your project idea be sure to have a solid understanding of the problem and solution the software provides. We encourage individuals to push themselves outside their comfort zone -- this is how you'll grow as a writer -- so don't be afraid to challenge yourself. To increase the chances of a successful Season of Docs project it is important to choose an idea that you find personally exciting and enjoyable.

Do you have a great idea that would make a big impact on our project? We want to hear your project proposal; don't be shy!

Patrick (admin/mentor)

sys_whonix (admin/mentor)

Improving documentation prose, formatting and structure is a never-ending process. If you have an hour to spare, this video is well worth the time.

Aral Balkan: Superheroes & Villains in Design [archive]

Project Name: Document Installation and Setup of the New Security-focused Hardened Debian Linux Distribution.

Description: Hardened Debian is a new and exciting desktop OS developed by the Whonix ™ project. Unlike the Whonix ™ anonymity distribution, this OS does not force network traffic through Tor. Initial documentation will focus on Hardened Debian inside VirtualBox, with other platforms to be documented in the future. Hardened Debian targets beginner to advanced Linux users and has a particular focus on educating first-time Linux users so they have the necessary skills to stand on their own two feet.

This project will focus on core documentation for Hardened Debian, along with additional learning areas for first-time Linux users.

The documentation can be broken up into the following areas.

1. Overview
2. Download: VM image and VirtualBox (tutorial)
3. First steps: Setup/configuration inside VirtualBox (tutorial)
4. Learning area(s): Basic information to get new users started with Linux

  • Terminal/CLI
  • sudo
  • Text editors
  • Directory structure
  • File system navigation
  • File permissions
  • Man pages
  • Create files/directories
  • Miscellaneous (ls, cat, less)
  • ?

Due to the Debian trademark policy a new name must be found for Hardened Debian Linux. Think of potentially catchy names and include that in your project proposal!



Note: There is no singular "right way" to write documentation. Fresh ideas for formatting, tutorials, look and feel are encouraged!

Project Name: Refactor "Combining Tunnels with Tor" Tutorials.

Description: Whonix ™ documents multiple configurations for combining tunnel-links (VPN, SSH, proxies, JonDonym) with Tor. The instructions are split into a general introduction and required knowledge page, followed by links to specific pages containing the configuration tutorials. While the documentation is accurate, a number of long-standing structural issues have caused support requests to remain stubbornly high for this topic. For instance:

  • Related information is not localized on a single page.
  • Visual aids (warning and information boxes) are large in number and very intrusive.
  • Educational or baseline information/knowledge is mixed with tutorials, leading to confusion.
  • Tutorial steps are not clearly defined or differentiated.
  • Identical templates are used excessively; for example "Edit with root rights."
  • The multiple configuration options are excessive, causing information overload.
  • The VPN configuration example uses a provider which is not accessible to all users.

For this project each specific tunnel-link configuration will become standalone documentation:

  • Each tunnel-link page will contain its own required knowledge.
  • Content will be centralized for each tunnel-link configuration.
  • Specific warnings will be migrated to each individual page; new formatting for non-intrusive warnings can be considered.
  • Tutorials can be simplified by reformatting, removing both excess content and templates.
  • New VPN configuration examples should be provided for each page.


Project Name: Refactor Whonix ™ in VirtualBox Tutorial for First-time Linux Users.

Description: For many users in our community, Whonix ™ in VirtualBox was their first experience with a Linux distribution. This can be quite a culture shock for anyone accustomed to using a proprietary OS like Windows. Tasks that might seem simple to an experienced Linux user -- such as interacting with the terminal and changing file permissions -- can be a frustrating experience for newcomers. While our current tutorials step users through the Whonix ™ setup, it does not sufficiently educate Linux beginners to develop the skills they need to stand on their own two feet. Further, excessive content in some areas leads to information overload which causes confusion and frustration.

Each step in the tutorial should be clear and well defined, with simplicity trumping all other approaches. Integrate new learning areas which educate beginners in the key areas they need to utilize a Linux distribution effectively and with confidence.

  • Remove and/or relocate excess content
  • Simplify formatting: remove excessive red text
  • Define goals clearly. Each step should have a single purpose
  • Document learning areas for new Linux users
    • Man pages
    • File system navigation
    • File system permissions
    • ?



  1. Meet the Whonix ™ contributors.
  2. Our regular contributors use this thread to propose and review edits. For large or technically challenging projects (Season of Docs), a new thread will be started for you.

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Copyright (C) 2012 - 2020 ENCRYPTED SUPPORT LP. Whonix ™ is a trademark. Whonix ™ is a licensee [archive] of the Open Invention Network [archive]. Unless otherwise noted, the content of this page is copyrighted and licensed under the same Freedom Software license as Whonix ™ itself. (Why?)

Whonix ™ is a derivative of and not affiliated with Debian [archive]. Debian is a registered trademark [archive] owned by Software in the Public Interest, Inc [archive].

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