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Manually Create Whonix VM Settings

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Introduction[edit]

Advanced users only!

The following instructions are useful, if you have a backup of Whonix .vmdk hard disk images but want to restore them. This could be the case if your VM settings file is damaged or missing for some reason or if you only made a backup of the .vmdk files.

In case you want to use other operating systems behind Whonix-Gateway, other than the default Whonix-Workstation, then rather read the Other Operating Systems page.

Whonix-Workstation[edit]

Easy[edit]

This is the easiest, but least secure option.

Create a VirtualBox VM

VirtualBox -> Machine -> New -> Next -> Enter Name -> Enter Operating System and Version (ex: Debian 32-bit) -> Next -> Define RAM -> Next -> Attach your existing HDD -> Next -> Create

Switch VirtualBox VM settings

Choose the newly created VM -> Settings -> System -> Motherboard -> Hardware Clock in UTC

System -> Processor -> Enable PAE/NX if available

USB -> Uncheck Enable USB controller

Network -> Adapter 1 -> attached to Internal Network (Important!)

Network -> Adapter 1 -> Name (of Internal Network) (Important!): Whonix

-> OK

More Security[edit]

General[edit]

Combine the information from this chapter to the Easy chapter.

Qubes-Whonix users can skip this.

For Non-Qubes-Whonix, click on Expand on the right.

If the Whonix-Custom-Workstation template was downloaded and imported, this section can be skipped. [1]

If a VirtualBox VM was manually created, click on Expand on the right.

Find out the name of the VM you are using.

vboxmanage list vms

Apply these settings. [2]

VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --synthcpu on
VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --acpi on
VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --ioapic on
VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --rtcuseutc on
VBoxManage setextradata "yourvmname" "VBoxInternal/Devices/VMMDev/0/Config/GetHostTimeDisabled" "1"

Disable clipboard sharing. [3]

VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --clipboard disabled

Disable Drag'n'Drop support. [4]

VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --draganddrop disabled

Assistance is welcome in verifying that the settings on this wiki page match those we are using in Whonix source code. This ensures that no settings have been forgotten. If interested, click on Expand on the right.

In Whonix source code, examine build-steps.d/2500_create-vbox-vm for the functions general_setup and workstation_specific. Apply any missing settings from build-steps.d/2500_create-vbox-vm. It is also sensible to drop the "sudo -u $USERNAME" setting.

The following settings are not required. They are either recommended earlier on, or done by the gui creation process:

  • --name
  • storagectl
  • storageattach
  • --memory
  • --pae
  • --intnet1
  • --cableconnected
  • --macaddress1
  • --audiocontroller
  • --audio
  • --rtcuseutc

Whonix-Workstation Specific[edit]

Nothing to do yet.

Whonix-Gateway[edit]

Easy[edit]

This is the easiest, but least secure option.

Create a VirtualBox VM

VirtualBox -> Machine -> New -> Next -> Enter Name -> Enter Operating System and Version (ex: Debian 32-bit) -> Next -> Define RAM -> Next -> Attach your existing HDD -> Next -> Create

Switch VirtualBox VM settings

Choose the newly created VM -> Settings -> System -> Motherboard -> Hardware Clock in UTC

System -> Processor -> Enable PAE/NX if available

USB -> Uncheck Enable USB controller

Network -> Adapter 1 -> NAT

Network -> Adapter 2 -> attached to Internal Network (Important!)

Network -> Adapter 2 -> Name (of Internal Network) (Important!): Whonix

-> OK

More Security[edit]

General[edit]

Combine the information from this chapter to the Easy chapter.

Qubes-Whonix users can skip this.

For Non-Qubes-Whonix, click on Expand on the right.

If the Whonix-Custom-Workstation template was downloaded and imported, this section can be skipped. [5]

If a VirtualBox VM was manually created, click on Expand on the right.

Find out the name of the VM you are using.

vboxmanage list vms

Apply these settings. [6]

VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --synthcpu on
VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --acpi on
VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --ioapic on
VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --rtcuseutc on
VBoxManage setextradata "yourvmname" "VBoxInternal/Devices/VMMDev/0/Config/GetHostTimeDisabled" "1"

Disable clipboard sharing. [7]

VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --clipboard disabled

Disable Drag'n'Drop support. [8]

VBoxManage modifyvm "yourvmname" --draganddrop disabled

Assistance is welcome in verifying that the settings on this wiki page match those we are using in Whonix source code. This ensures that no settings have been forgotten. If interested, click on Expand on the right.

In Whonix source code, examine build-steps.d/2500_create-vbox-vm for the functions general_setup and workstation_specific. Apply any missing settings from build-steps.d/2500_create-vbox-vm. It is also sensible to drop the "sudo -u $USERNAME" setting.

The following settings are not required. They are either recommended earlier on, or done by the gui creation process:

  • --name
  • storagectl
  • storageattach
  • --memory
  • --pae
  • --intnet1
  • --cableconnected
  • --macaddress1
  • --audiocontroller
  • --audio
  • --rtcuseutc

Whonix-Gateway Specific[edit]

Combine the information from this chapter to the Easy and the General chapter

VBoxManage modifyvm "$VMNAME" --natdnsproxy1 on
VBoxManage modifyvm "$VMNAME" --natdnshostresolver1 on
VBoxManage modifyvm "$VMNAME" --natdnspassdomain1 off

Footnotes[edit]

  1. The Whonix-Custom-Workstation template already comes with these settings by default.
  2. For further reading on why these settings are beneficial, see build-steps.d/2500_create-vbox-vm in the Whonix source code folder.
  3. This is a precautionary measure.
  4. This is a precautionary measure.
  5. The Whonix-Custom-Workstation template already comes with these settings by default.
  6. For further reading on why these settings are beneficial, see build-steps.d/2500_create-vbox-vm in the Whonix source code folder.
  7. This is a precautionary measure.
  8. This is a precautionary measure.

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