Install Additional Software Safely

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Installing additional Software on Whonix. Safety considerations.

General Advice[edit]

Whonix users are free to install their favorite software packages.

Almost any application can be installed, with a few exceptions for programs that are impossible to In addition, Whonix provides:

Users are responsible for trying to prevent any other protocol using the "Torify: How-to", but most of those are mitigated by Whonix.

Since Whonix is a Debian derivative, new users should always follow Debian when installing or removing packages to avoid common mistakes which can break or destabilize the system.

The user should be aware that additional software increases the attack of the platform.


Warning Warning:

In Whonix, for better anonymity it is recommended to use only Tor Browser for browsing the internet. Use of any browsers such as Chromium, Kicksecure logo Firefox The Web Archive Onion Version , Opera and others is discouraged. Reasons for that are elaborated on the Tor Browser wiki page.

info Whonix is The Everything Tor operating system (OS). All internet traffic is routed through the Tor anonymity network, without exceptions. Whonix is the "All Tor Operating System", featuring reliable IP hiding.

This of course also includes Chromium, Firefox, Opera and other browsers. Due to Whonix's Watertight Privacy, Whonix provides the strongest protection of your IP address.

The reason why browsers other than Tor Browser are discouraged is because hiding your identity is harder than just hiding your IP. See also IP Hiding is an Outdated Threat Model. This is also elaborated on the Tor Browser wiki page.

Whonix-Workstation is Firewalled[edit]

Info Note: This section is relevant to server software or other advanced / uncommon applications.

The Whonix-Gateway firewall [1] has several effects upon Whonix-Workstation.

Table: Whonix-Gateway Firewall Effects

Category Notes
Additional Firewall Restrictions The firewall on Whonix-Gateway is very restrictive. It can be made even more restrictive by activating options within the firewall script. [2] It is possible to limit which outgoing ports are redirected to Tor's TransPort. Depending on user intentions, it could also be useful to remove all SocksPorts.
DNS Requests Standard DNS requests on UDP port 53 are redirected to Tor's DnsPort. [3]
Incoming Connections
  • Incoming connections are not supported.
  • If programs make outgoing connections, then incoming connections are accepted for web browsing, IRC, or other relevant applications.
  • Server ports ("open ports") are blocked.
  • Unless explicitly configured, the Ident Protocol / web server listening port is not reachable.
IPv6 Tor only partially supports, although full implementation is likely in the near term. [4] This is not a Whonix-specific issue. [5]
Server Services Onion Services and/or Location Hidden Services can be hosted.
Tor Routing All traffic originating from Whonix-Workstation and Whonix-Gateway is routed over Tor. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] Refer to the footnotes for further information.
UDP Tor does not support UDP. This is not a Whonix-specific issue.

Related topics:

Install Software General[edit]

Since Whonix is based on Kicksecure, the user can follow these instructions Kicksecure logo Install Software The Web Archive Onion Version (links to the Kicksecure website)


  1. The firewall is found on Whonix-Gateway: /usr/bin/whonix_firewall
  2.          ## Optionally restrict TransPort.
             ## Replace above rule with a more restrictive one, e.g.:
             #$iptables_cmd -t nat -A PREROUTING -i "$int_if_item" -p tcp --match multiport --dports 80,443 --syn -j REDIRECT --to-ports "$TRANS_PORT_WORKSTATION"
  3. If the DNS server is changed in Whonix-Workstation /etc/resolv.conf, this will likely have no effect. The reason is the firewall on Whonix-Gateway will redirect all those requests to Tor's DnsPort. The working exception to this rule is when users tunnel / encrypt DNS requests (DNSCrypt, httpsdnsd), as per the secondary DNS resolver instructions.
  4. The only missing elements at the time of writing were automatic client connections and inter-relay connections via IPv6. Bridges are fully supported. See also: IPv6
  6. Starting from Whonix version 0.2.1, traffic from Whonix-Gateway is also routed over Tor. This approach conceals the use of Whonix from entities monitoring the network.
  7. For preserving the anonymity of a user's Whonix-Workstation activities, it isn't essential to route Whonix-Gateway's own traffic through Tor.
  8. For those interested: Altering DNS settings on Whonix-Gateway in /etc/resolv.conf only impacts DNS requests made by Whonix-Gateway's applications that utilize the system's default DNS resolver. By default, no applications on Whonix-Gateway that generate network traffic utilize this default resolver. All default applications on Whonix-Gateway that produce network traffic (like apt,, sdwdate) are explicitly configured, or force by uwt wrappers, to use their dedicated Tor SocksPort (refer to Stream Isolation).
  9. Whonix-Workstation's default applications are configured to use dedicated Tor SocksPorts (see Stream Isolation), avoiding the system's default DNS resolver. Any applications in Whonix-Workstation not set up for stream isolation - such as nslookup - will employ the default DNS server configured in Whonix-Workstation (through /etc/network/interfaces), which points to Whonix-Gateway. These DNS requests are then redirected to Tor's DnsPort by the Whonix-Gateway firewall. Changes in Whonix-Gateway's /etc/resolv.conf don't influence Whonix-Workstation's DNS queries.
  10. Traffic produced by the Tor process, which by Debian's default operates under the user debian-tor originating from Whonix-Gateway, can access the internet directly. This is permitted because Linux user account debian-tor is exempted in the Whonix-Gateway Firewall and allowed to use the "regular" internet.
  11. Tor version (with no changes announced at the time of writing), the Tor software predominantly relies on TCP traffic. For further details, see Tor wiki page, chapter UDP. For DNS, please refer to the next footnote.
  12. Tor doesn't depend on, nor uses a functional (system) DNS for most of its operations. IP addresses of Tor directory authorities are hardcoded in the Tor software by Tor developers. Exceptions are:
    • Proxy settings that use proxies with domain names instead of IP addresses.
    • Some Tor pluggable transports such as meek lite, which resolves domains set in url= and front= to IP addresses or snowflake's -front.

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