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Why Whonix ™ will always be Free as in Price as well as in Freedom

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Table: Why Whonix ™ is Freedom Software

Motivation Rationale
Security Open Source software [archive] like Qubes, Linux [archive] and Whonix ™ [archive] is more secure than closed source [archive] software. The public scrutiny of security by design [archive] has proven to be superior to security through obscurity [archive]. This aligns the software development process with Kerckhoffs' principle [archive] - the basis of modern cipher [archive]-systems design. This principle asserts that systems must be secure, even if the adversary knows everything about how they work. Generally speaking, Freedom Software projects are much more open and respectful of the privacy rights of users. Freedom Software projects also encourage security bug reports, open discussion, public fixes and review.
Legal Whonix ™ is based on Freedom Software [archive]. A lot of Libre licensed software prohibits modification and distribution without sharing the modified source code.
Ethics Whonix ™ developers believe it is immoral to benefit from those Free [archive]/Freedom Software components and give back nothing. We stand on the shoulders of giants - Whonix ™ and many other Libre software projects are only made possible because people invested in writing code that is kept accessible for the public benefit.
Community It is rewarding and enjoyable to have all types of people contributing. This works best in Open Source [archive] projects.
Impact When free in price, Whonix ™ can spread faster than commercial tools that cannot provide anonymity or privacy by design.
Commerce Developers hope to make a living from Whonix ™ by selling additional services. (Priority Support | Professional Support)
Career Our experience volunteering on this project improves our skill set and makes us more valuable employees.

No Intentional User Freedom Restrictions

No Intentional User Freedom Restrictions[edit]

In the spirit of Freedom Software, Whonix ™ does not intentionally restrict user freedoms. Whonix ™ documentation might discourage certain configurations, but ultimately the user is free to ignore such advice.

In their default state, programs developed under the Whonix ™ banner may afford additional protection against unsafe user configurations. For example, users are unable to start Tor Browser in Qubes' DisposableVM Template since this is a known anonymity risk and recommended against, but documentation is still provided on how to disable this security mechanism.

Since Whonix ™ is based on Debian it is valid to state that Whonix ™ has adopted a specific Debian configuration. For this reason advanced Debian users can independently replicate the same technical implementation. Anything Whonix ™ has pre-configured can be re-/de-configured by the user without restriction. User customization is not prevented by technologies used inside Whonix ™, nor is configuration of Whonix ™ intentionally obfuscated.

Simply put, the end user maintains ultimate control over the final Whonix ™ configuration that best suits their needs.

Software Fork Friendly[edit]

Whonix ™ policy is that the name of the project should ideally be a variable so it can be easily changed through a software fork.

For example, Whonix ™ wiki markup text does not write Whonix ™ literally. Instead it uses variables such as project_name which contains variable content Whonix ™. By changing the contents of that wiki template to a different textual string such as MyForkedProject, the name of the project would change wiki wide from Whonix ™ to MyForkedProject.

This is also the reason why many packages names developed under the Whonix ™ umbrella start with anon- instead of whonix-. Whonix ™ source code such as package names avoid using the literal string Whonix ™ as much as possible. The development effort of changing legacy artefacts from for example whonixcheck to more generically names such as systemcheck is ongoing. Contributions towards that effort are welcome.

See Also[edit]

Table of Contents[edit]



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