Other Desktop Environments

From Whonix
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Organize-27344 640.png

Current Situation[edit]

The Downloadable Whonix ™ versions are available with either:

  • XFCE desktop environment; OR
  • CLI text terminal only (no desktop environment).

However, other desktop environments like Gnome, KDE, LXDE and so on can be manually installed.

Risks[edit]

When installing your own desktop environment such as GNOME, you're on your own. If you are going that path, start with Whonix ™ CLI, the text terminal only version of Whonix, which comes without a desktop environment installed by default, and install a desktop environment of your choice there. This is much better than starting with Whonix ™ XFCE and then uninstalling XFCE to install another desktop environment.

In theory (also tested a little bit), everything should work except Whonix ™ open-link-confirmation (asking for confirmation, if you want to open a link you click outside the browser in Tor Browser to avoid linking) and Tor Browser won't be the default browser by default. [1]

Other desktop environments install other background services. We haven't researched the privacy implications of having these installed. For example, Gnome automatically installs GeoClue. (Whonix ™ prevents installation of that very package, but still...) Other desktop environments also ship a different selection of default applications that have not necessarily been checked for privacy. For example, Thunderbird is the only recommended mail client (as explained on the E-Mail and Encrypted Email with Thunderbird page). Installing your own desktop environment may result in installing software packages such as KMail, which is discouraged to use in context of Whonix ™, since there is no TorBirdy-like extension for KMail.

Future[edit]

Since Whonix ™ is an Open Source / Freedom Software project, Whonix ™ developers are hoping that other developers join the project and maintain other desktop environments. That someone could be you?

See Also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. The tb-default-browser package has not been made to work / tested with Gnome yet.