Other Desktop Environments

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How to use Other Desktop Environments other than Xfce with Whonix ™. Current situation. Risks. Future. (GNOME, KDE, LXDE, MATE, ...)

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.

Other desktop environments install other background services. The Whonix ™ project hasn't researched the security/privacy implications of having these installed. For example, GNOME automatically installs GeoCluearchive.org. (systemcheckarchive.org warns if that very package is installed, but still... Other desktop environments also ship a different selection of default applications that have not necessarily been checked for security/privacy. Installing your own desktop environment may result in installing software packages not well hardened or chosen based on security wise.

Future[edit]

Since Whonix ™ is an Open Source / Freedom Softwarearchive.org 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]

We believe security software like Whonix needs to remain open source and independent. Would you help sustain and grow the project? Learn more about our 10 year success story and maybe DONATE!