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Dev/Building the Whonix-Installer for Windows

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Introduction[edit]

The Whonix ™-Windows-Installer for Windows is a simple and fast way to set-up Whonix ™ on a system running Microsoft Windows.

Compiling the Whonix ™-Windows-Installer yourself[edit]

Users can build the Whonix ™-Windows-Installer by using the source code provided via Github, as well as the required Whonix ™ and VirtualBox files.

What you'll need[edit]

1. The Whonix ™ VirtualBox XFCE ova found here: VirtualBox/XFCE [1]

2. The newest build of the VirtualBox-Installer found here under Windows hosts: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads?replytocom=98578

3. 7zSD.sfx which you may obtain under 7-Zip 9.20 Extra here: http://www.7-zip.org/download.html

You need to download the .7z compressed archive file and extract it.


Figure: Download 7zSD.sfx

  Windows installer 7zSD-sfx.png

4. 7za.exe which you may obtain under 7-Zip 16.04 Extra here: http://www.7-zip.org/download.html

You need to download the .7z compressed archive file and extract it.


Figure: Download 7za.exe

Windows installer 7za-exe.png

5. The newest version of Inno Setup Unicode, a tool for easily creating installers, found here: http://www.jrsoftware.org/isdl.php

6. Whonix ™-Windows-UI, which can be built from source via this guide: Dev/Building Whonix-UI for Windows

7. The Source for the installer, the logo, the license text, configuration files and the batch file handling the compilation, found here: https://github.com/Whonix/Whonix-Windows-Installer

Preparing the files[edit]

Note: All commands must be run from the folder containing the corresponding file(s).

1. Install Inno Setup Unicode on your system.

2. The VirtualBox-Installer .exe must be taken "apart". This is necessary because the .exe contains the Microsoft Software Installation (.msi) based Installers for x64 systems, as well as a compressed .cab file.

To separate these files, run the following in the Windows command prompt.

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

When completed, a window will open with the destination folder the following files (VirtualBox[Characters based on your version]amd64.msi, common.cab) have been extracted to.

3. Rename VirtualBox[Characters based on your version]amd64.msi to virtualbox_x64.msi.

In the Windows command prompt, run.

move VirtualBox[Characters based on your version]and64.msi virtualbox_x64.msi

All files must be located in the same folder for the Whonix Windows Installer build. Choose a folder and move all files to this folder as preparation continues.

4. Move the Whonix ™ ova image to the folder and rename it to whonix.ova. At time of writing (Aug 09 2019) Whonix-15.0.0.3.3 was stable release.

move Whonix-XFCE-15.0.0.3.3.ova C:\path\to\your_build_folder\whonix.ova

5. Move the source files (Whonix.iss, logo.ico, license.txt, MakeInstaller.bat, config.txt) to the build folder.

move <your_source_file> C:\path\to\your_build_folder\

6. Finally, move Whonix ™-Windows-UI (Whonix.exe), 7zSD.sfx and 7za.exe to the build folder.

move <your_file> C:\path\to\your_build_folder\

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

  • Whonix.exe
  • virtualbox_x64.msi
  • common.cab
  • whonix.ova
  • Whonix.iss
  • logo.ico
  • license.txt
  • 7zSD.sfx
  • 7za.exe
  • MakeInstaller.bat
  • config.txt

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

Building the Installer[edit]

Building the installer itself is very easy once everything has been properly set up. All you need to do is launch MakeInstaller.bat. Now, the compilation via InnoSetup, the packaging and the combination of all files via 7-Zip, as well as any other required steps are handled automatically. The result is going to be named Install Whonix.exe.

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

The deprecated Installer[edit]

There used to a version of this installer based on NSIS which has been discontinued, due to stability and a host of other issues. It may still be found here: https://github.com/Whonix/Whonix-Windows-Installer-deprecated



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  1. VirtualBox/CLI unsupported.