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Dev/Relationship With Upstream

< Dev

Why this document?[edit]

The Debian Derivatives Guidelines encourages "derivative distributions to mention and define their relationship with Debian". Because this seems like a great idea, this statement that not only covers Whonix's relationship with Debian, but also Whonix's relationship with any one of its upstream projects.


For various reasons Whonix tries to diverge by the smallest possible amount from its upstream projects, and especially from Debian:

  • wants to share his work with the rest of the Free Software community.
  • values maintainability very much: believe users are best served if keep the amount of work needed to maintain Whonix the smallest possible.


Debian specific[edit]

Derivatives Census[edit]

Whonix participates in the Derivatives Census.


Debian Derivatives Guidelines recommends "We encourage derivative distributions to use Debian infrastructure and the software that powers Debian infrastructure where possible.".

Whonix makes heavy use of that. Only official Debian repositories are used. Whonix is very thankful, that Debian derivatives are allowed to do so. The Whonix project has neither the infrastructure, the founding nor the manpower to run its own repositories.

Debian packages[edit]

Neither binary nor source packages are modified.


Whonix does not modify keyrings.

Patrick's OpenPGP key is copied into Whonix virtual machines at build time. It is only used to ensure authenticity of Whonix News.


See About Debian for reasons to choose stable.


Whonix is and will never be called Debian. It must always be clear that Whonix is a Debian derivative or based on Debian.

Patrick Schleizer e-mailed trademark at and briefly explained Whonix. Debian Leader Stefano Zacchiroli said, there will be no trademark issues as long as Whonix will not claim to be Debian, which will of course never happen.


Not necessary. See Trademark above.

Bug reports[edit]

Reportbug is unchanged. No Debian packages are modified. This still needs discussion.

Popularity Contest[edit]

Not installed in Whonix. Reasons are in the Popularity Contest chapter.


Upstream software[edit]

When technical skills and time allows, changes are pushed upstream when we need to modify software shipped. Only package selection, configuration files and scripts are modified.

Upstream Bug tracking systems[edit]

All bugs found in Whonix, will be checked, if they also apply to upstream. If that is the case, the plan is to check if bug has already been reported. If there is something constructive to contribute, it will be done. In case there is not yet a bug report, one will be submitted.

The same goes for wishlist/enhancement requests.


Whonix RelationshipWithUpstream wiki page Copyright (C) Amnesia <amnesia at boum dot org>
Whonix RelationshipWithUpstream wiki page Copyright (C) 2012 - 2018 ENCRYPTED SUPPORT LP <>

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