Qubes-Whonix Tor Connectivity and sdwdate Troubleshooting

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Troubleshooting Tor, Network and sdwdate Issues with Whonix


Occasionally, mostly since the release of Qubes R4.1, Qubes-Whonix user are reporting connectivity issues as well as sdwdate issues. However, a lot issues Qubes-Whonix connectivity issues are unspecific to Whonix. These issues are often misattributed to Whonix.

Even though the issue is happening inside Whonix, the cause is most often unrelated to Whonix source code. Qubes is developed by Qubes OS Projectarchive.org, which is an independent entity. The is the norm in Linux distributions. To learn more about such relationships see Kicksecure logo Linux User Experience versus Commercial Operating Systems The Web Archive Onion Version . A different issue could be a Network Obstacle.

Whonix does integration work Whonix integrated into the Qubes platform. To use a simple analogy, Whonix stays "on the outside". Very few modifications are made to Qubes through Qubes dom0 package qubes-core-admin-addon-whonixarchive.org as described for developers in the Qubes-Whonix qvm-tags chapter.

Qubes R4.1 was released with some "strange" connectivity bugs such as thisarchive.org.

A Qubes user might think the user has updated Qubes which should include bug fixes but actually the update might not have happened due to Qubes Updater issues. Quote:

The situation is however complicatedarchive.org due to Qubes Updater Issuesarchive.org, most notably such as:

To remedy this kind of issue, there are a few approaches.

Qubes sdwdate specific[edit]

It is often suspected that sdwdate might be the cause.

This is unlikely. No issues are reported for Whonix on other platforms such as Whonix for VirtualBox which has a magnitude of more users but no (or very rare) similar connectivity bug reports.

sdwdate-gui makes Tor issues in Qubes-Whonix more visible due to its graphical indication and easily accessible logs.

However, at time of writing sdwdate-gui is mostly a unsuitable connectivity troubleshooting tool.

To exclude the possibly that sdwdate is the cause, the user could attempt to disable the autostart of sdwdate.

Connectivity Troubleshooting Approaches[edit]


1. The user is encouraged to learn about general (unspecific to Whonix) Qubes Updater issues and make sure updates are really installed. See also Qubes/Update.

2. Connectivity Troubleshooting

3. Tor Connectivity Troubleshooting

Qubes sys-net workaround[edit]

Complete the following steps:

  1. Shut down sys-whonix.
  2. Change the sys-whonix NetVM setting from sys-firewall to sys-net.
  3. Restart sys-whonix.

This procedure might help, but should not be considered a final solution. [1]

Please report if this workaround helped.



suspend resume related[edit]

Potential fix:

Properly suspend all VMs, not only those with PCI devices #473archive.org

clocksource tsc vs xen[edit]


The community is encouraged not to wait for Whonix to fix these connectivity issues since this unfortunately is unlikely to happen. This is because Whonix developers are not affected by these connectivity issues, these are non-reproducible issues and sometimes these are caused by already fixed Qubes bugs which are not yet fixed on Qubes due to Qubes Updater issues.

Related Qubes Bugs[edit]

Unexpected autostart of sys-whonix[edit]

If using multiple Qubes-Whonix VMs, the user should make sure to have followed the relevant documentation.

3 components are related here.

On the Multiple Qubes-Whonix Templates wiki page take special note of the warning box in the UpdatesProxy chapter.


sdwdate-gui qrexec settings[edit]

sdwdate-gui qrexec settings fix[edit]

  • A) New installation of Qubes R4.2: These steps are very most likely not required.
  • B) A fully updated Qubes should not require any of the following steps.

1. 80-whonix.policy on githubarchive.org (rawarchive.org) should look same as /etc/qubes/policy.d/80-whonix.policy in dom0.

2. The following files are legacy and could optionally be safely removed if step 1 was confirmed.

sudo rm /etc/qubes-rpc/policy/whonix.GatewayCommand

sudo rm /etc/qubes-rpc/policy/whonix.NewStatus

sudo rm /etc/qubes-rpc/policy/whonix.SdwdateStatus

sdwdate-gui qrexec debugging[edit]

dom0 journal log file reading[edit]

Check, follow dom0 journal log file while reproducing sdwdate-gui qrexec messages.

Look for denied: messages.

In dom0.

sudo journalctl


sudo journalctl -f

sdwdate-watcher debugging[edit]

1. Inside the Whonix-Workstation App Qube.

2. Kill sdwdate-watcher.

sdwdate-watcher is the part of sdwdate-gui which watches sdwdate events from /var/run/sdwdate folder and notifies the gateway configured in /usr/local/etc/sdwdate-gui.d/50_user.conf.

killall sdwdate-watcher

3. Start sdwdate-watcher.


4. Restart sdwdate.

This is to produce new sdwdate activity that sdwdate-watcher can observe.

sudo systemctl restart sdwdate

5. See if there are any error messages.

qvm-tags verification[edit]

Debugging Qubes qrexec is largely unspecific to Qubes-Whonix. Qubes qrexec debugging instructions from other resources such as perhaps the Qubes website should equally apply.

Note: Any commands that follow must be run inside Qubes dom0.

1. Background information on qvm-tags.

See if you can make head or tail of qvm-tags developer notes. If not, skip this step.

2. Check qvm-tags of Whonix-Gateway net qube.

Note: Replace sys-whonix with the actual name of the Whonix-Gateway you are using.

qvm-tags sys-whonix

Expected printout should include:


3. Check qvm-tags of Whonix-Workstation App Qube.

Note: Replace sys-whonix with the actual name of the Whonix-Workstation you are using.

qvm-tags anon-whonix

Expected printout should include:


4. Check qvm-tags of Whonix-Gateway Template.

Note: Replace whonix-gateway-17 with the actual name of the Whonix-Gateway Template you are using.

qvm-tags whonix-gateway-17

Expected printout should include:


5. Check qvm-tags of Whonix-Workstation Template.

Note: Replace whonix-gateway-17 with the actual name of the Whonix-Workstation Template you are using.

qvm-tags whonix-workstation-17

Expected printout should include:


See Also[edit]


  1. This procedure was useful for Qubes-Whonix R3.2 users, although the Qubes bug report is now resolved: https://github.com/QubesOS/qubes-issues/issues/2141archive.org

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