Qubes-Whonix Overview

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Qubes-Whonix is the seamless combination of Qubes OSarchive.org and Whonixarchive.org for advanced security and anonymity.


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In this configuration Whonix runs on top of Qubes inside virtual machines (VMs), just like any other OS on the same platform (Fedora, Debian, Arch Linux and so on).

The Qubes bare-metal hypervisor is based on Xenarchive.org and Fedoraarchive.org. Via hardware support like VT-xarchive.org and VT-darchive.org Qubes has successfully implemented a comprehensive yet strict security-by-isolation architecture. Hardware controllers and multiple user domains (qubes) are isolated using separate VMs that are explicitly assigned different levels of trust, yet the desktop experience is user-friendly and well-integrated.

Whonix is based on Debianarchive.org and Torarchive.org. The design provides a two-VM, split security architecture: an isolated Whonix-Gateway (ProxyVM; sys-whonix) for complete routing of traffic over Tor; and Whonix-Workstation (App Qube; anon-whonix) for all desktop applications, which serves as a tailored OS environment for Tor-based privacy/anonymity.

To use Qubes-Whonix, Qubes must first be installed as a hypervisor on the physical host computer, followed by installation of the two separate Whonix Templates -- whonix-gateway-17 and whonix-workstation-17 -- on top of Qubes. From this point, the Whonix Templates can be used for customization and creation of multiple Whonix-Gateway ProxyVMs and Whonix-Workstation AppVMs, enabling enhanced compartmentalization of user activities for better privacy. [1]

For a more in-depth consideration of Qubes-Whonix advantages, see: Why use Qubes over other Virtualizers?

Qubes-Whonix Security Disadvantages - Help Wanted!archive.org

Figure: Qubes OS Design [2]


Common Tasks[edit]

For major Template and AppVM operations, refer to the following guides:

Security and Anonymity[edit]

For improved security and anonymity after installing Qubes-Whonix, refer to the following guides:


Qubes Persistence[edit]

Qubes (non-)persistence is a Qubes default and unspecific to Whonix.

Table: Qubes R4 Inheritance and Persistence

Inheritance [3] Persistence [4]
Templatearchive.org [5] [6] n/a Everything
App Qubesarchive.org [7] /etc/skel/ to /home/ /rw/ (includes /home/ and bind-dirsarchive.org)
Disposable Templatearchive.org [8] [9] /etc/skel/ to /home/ /rw/ (includes /home/, /usr/local and bind-dirsarchive.org)
Disposablearchive.org [10] [11] /rw/ (includes /home/, /usr/local and bind-dirsarchive.org) Nothing

Qubes Template Modifications[edit]

If a Qubes template has been modified, to make changes in App Qubes based on that Template take effect, it is required to shutdown the Template and restart the App Qubes based on that Template. This is a Qubes default and unspecific to Whonix.


Before seeking personal support, please first search for the issue and a possible, documented solution. In many cases the issue can be solved by inspecting the phabricator issues tracker, reading Whonix guides/documentation, conducting web searches, and examining past support requests.

If a search yields no results, support requests should be directed to the most appropriate forum:


  1. The only limitation on the number of possible VMs is available disk space.
  2. https://www.qubes-os.org/intro/archive.org
  3. Upon creation.
  4. Following shutdown.
  5. https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/templates/archive.org
  6. The former name was Template.
  7. The former name was AppVM or TemplateBasedVM.
  8. https://github.com/QubesOS/qubes-issues/issues/4175archive.org
  9. Former names included Disposable Template, DVM Template, and DVM.
  10. https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/glossary/#disposablearchive.org
  11. Former names included Disposable and DispVM.
  12. The former discourse forumarchive.org was discontinued on 1 July, 2021.

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