Qubes-Whonix ™ Tor Connectivity and sdwdate Troubleshooting

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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 Project, which is an independent entity. The is the norm in Linux distributions. To learn more about such relationships see Linux User Experience versus Commercial Operating Systems. Other issues could be 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-whonix as described for developers in the Qubes-Whonix ™ qvm-tags chapter.

Qubes R4.1 was released with some "strange" connectivity bugs such as this. At the same time, 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 complicated due to Qubes Updater Issues, 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.


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]

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/2141