Whonix APT Repository

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Graphical Whonix Derivative Repository Tool (GUI)

Whonix stable / testers / developers APT Repository. How to change from one suite to another? How to disable Whonix APT Repository?

Whonix APT Repository Overview[edit]

Whonix currently provides four repository choices:

  • Whonix stable APT repository: Recommended for most users. The production level packages focus on providing the most reliable Whonix experience. [1]
  • Whonix stable-proposed-updates APT repository: After testing by a wider audience, these packages migrate to the stable repository. [2]
  • Whonix testers APT repository: Recommended for testers, since it is only briefly tested by Whonix developers. It could break APT during an upgrade, requiring terminal commands to rectify the problem. [2]
  • Whonix developers APT repository: As above, except it includes untested changes. These changes may eventually migrate to the testers repository there is reasonable certainty that these changes will not break the update system. It is not recommended, unless the user is in touch with the development team.

Due to the Whonix design, a user's security is unlikely to be materially affected by preferring the "beta" (stable-proposed-updates) or "alpha" (testers) repositories over the default stable one. [3]

Change Whonix APT Repository[edit]

It is easy for users to switch between Whonix repositories using the Graphical Whonix Derivative Repository Tool (GUI).


If you are using Qubes-Whonix, please press Expand on the right.

Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")Template: whonixRepository

Figure: Wizard Repository Selection

Figure: Wizard Auto-update Configuration


If you are using Whonix, please press Expand on the right.

Start MenuSystemDerivative Repositorychoose either "stable", "stable-proposed-updates" , "Testers" or "Developers" repository

Figure: Start Menu

Figure: super user password

Afterwards, the following window will appear.

Figure: Auto-update Configuration

Figure: Repository Selection

Command Line Interface[edit]

If you are a terminal user, please press Expand on the right.

In Terminal, run.

sudo repository-dist

Figure: Launch Terminal

Figure: Run repository-dist

Choose one of the following repositories based on personal preferences.

sudo repository-dist --enable --repository stable

sudo repository-dist --enable --repository stable-proposed-updates

sudo repository-dist --enable --repository testers

sudo repository-dist --enable --repository developers

To use the repository, follow the usual update instructions.

Onionizing Repository[edit]

This is not yet possible with the GUI. Only with the CLI.

See Onionize derivative.list.

Disable Whonix APT Repository[edit]

For Trust reasons some users may prefer not to use Whonix APT Repository. In that case, it is necessary to update Debian packages in Whonix from source code, which is inconvenient.

All Default-Download-Version Whonix variants have the Whonix APT repository enabled. It can be disabled via the GUI or in a terminal with the Derivative Repository Tool.

Table: Whonix APT Repository Disabling

Platform / Method Instructions
Whonix Built from Source Code If Whonix is built from source code, Whonix APT Repository is not added by default. The only exception is if users opt in using a build configuration. It is also possible to verify that it is already disabled.
Whonix Default-Download-Version: GUI
  • Qubes-Whonix: Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")Template: whonixRepository"No, I will manually update from source code."
  • Whonix: Start MenuApplicationsSystemWhonix Repository"No, I will manually update from source code."
Whonix Default-Download-Version: Terminal To disable it in a terminal, run.

sudo repository-dist --disable

Users can optionally verify Whonix APT repository is disabled after this procedure.

Verify Whonix APT Repository is Disabled[edit]

To check the Whonix APT repository was successfully disabled, run the following tests.

1. Use apt-key.

sudo apt-key finger

This test should not show any Whonix-specific keys, such as Patrick Schleizer's OpenPGP key.

2. Check if file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/derivative.list exists.

If it does not exist, the procedure was successful.

3. Optional: conduct additional tests as a precaution.

Examine the /etc/apt/sources.list file. It should not include the Whonix APT Repository.

cat /etc/apt/sources.list

Next examine the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ folder as well.

cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*

Further Reading[edit]


  1. If possible, users are requested to run a separate testers-only Whonix-Gateway (sys-whonix) and Whonix-Workstation (anon-whonix) that has the testers repository enabled. If too few people test Whonix, undiscovered issues might migrate to the stable repository.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Users are recommended to make a VM clone for this repository just in case it breaks. That way changes can be rolled back if necessary.
  3. The terms alpha and beta are avoided because they have generally lost their meaning in the software field; many applications remain in alpha or beta status for years, even though they work perfectly well.

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