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Uninstall Qubes-Whonix ™

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Introduction[edit]

This procedure is useful before a complete re-installation of Qubes-Whonix ™. [1]

Alternatively, it is possible to Reinstall Qubes-Whonix ™ TemplateVMs without a complete uninstallation of Whonix ™ as documented on this page.

Before Qubes-Whonix ™ TemplateVM packages can be uninstalled, the TemplateVM must not be used as the underlying template by any VMs. Otherwise Qubes prohibits removal. Therefore, choose either to delete the VMs as documented below, or follow the step to: Stop using Whonix ™ TemplateVMs in VM Template Settings.

Users can replace version 15 with 14 or any other version number if that is the goal.

Whonix-Workstation ™ Removal[edit]

Remove Whonix-Workstation ™ TemplateBasedAppVMs[edit]

The anon-whonix Whonix-Workstation ™ TemplateBasedAppVM [2] must be manually removed. Alternatively, you can Stop using Whonix ™ TemplateVMs in VM Template Settings.

In the case of previously used anon-whonix, strongly consider backups of any important files before proceeding.

1. Remove anon-whonix.

Qube Managerright-click Whonix ™ TemplateBasedAppVM anon-whonixDelete qube [3]

2. Repeat the above step for any other TemplateBasedAppVMs based on Whonix-Workstation ™ TemplateVM whonix-ws-15 that you might have created earlier. Replace vm-name with the actual name of the VM.

Qube Managerright-click Whonix ™ TemplateBasedAppVM vm-nameDelete qube [4]

Remove the Whonix-Workstation ™ DisposableVM Template[edit]

The whonix-ws-15-dvm domain must be manually removed. Alternatively, you can Stop using Whonix ™ TemplateVMs in VM Template Settings.

In the case of customized Whonix-Workstation ™ DVM template, strongly consider backups of any important files before proceeding.

Launch a dom0 terminal.
Click the Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")Open the Terminal Emulator (Xfce Terminal)

Qubes-whonix1.png

1. Set the default DispVM for anon-whonix to "". This is only required if you chose to skip removal of anon-whonix as documented above.

qvm-prefs anon-whonix default_dispvm ""

2. Repeat the above step for all other TemplateBasedAppVMs that are based on Whonix-Workstation ™ TemplateVM whonix-ws-15 that you might have created earlier. Replace vm-name with the actual name of the VM.

qvm-prefs vm-name default_dispvm ""

3. Set the default DispVM for whonix-ws-15-dvm to "".

qvm-prefs whonix-ws-15-dvm default_dispvm ""

4. Remove whonix-ws-15-dvm.

qvm-remove whonix-ws-15-dvm

5. The process of removing whonix-ws-15-dvm is now complete.

Whonix-Gateway ™ Removal[edit]

Stop using Whonix-Gateway ™ as Qubes UpdateVM[edit]

Set Qubes dom0 UpdateVM to sys-firewall or any VM of your choice.

Note: Upgrades will be no longer torified.

This is only required if you previously elected to update dom0 through Whonix ™. In any case it is a good idea to check the Qubes dom0 UpdateVM setting.

Qubes ManagerSystemGlobal SettingsDom0 UpdateVM: sys-firewallOK [5]

Stop using Whonix-Gateway ™ as NetVM for any VM[edit]

If you configured any VM to use sys-whonix as NetVM, this change needs to be undone.

Note: The VM's traffic will be no longer torified.

This is only required if you previously elected to torify a VMs network traffic through Whonix ™. In any case it is a good idea to check the NetVM setting of Qubes VMs.

To set the NetVM of any VM to None, in other words, to disable networking.

Qube Managerright-click vm-nameQube settingsNetVMNoneOK [6]

Alternatively, you can set the NetVM to sys-firewall or another ProxyVM of your choice. However, traffic will not be torified (unless you are using cloned VMs).

Remove Whonix-Gateway ™ TemplateBasedProxyVMs[edit]

The sys-whonix Whonix-Gateway ™ TemplateBasedProxyVM [2] must be manually removed. Alternatively, you could Stop using Whonix ™ TemplateVMs in VM Template Settings.

In the case of a previously used sys-whonix ProxyVM, consider backups before proceeding. This might be a custom Tor configuration, Onion Services configuration, Bridges configuration or Tor data to persist Tor Entry Guards.

1. Remove sys-whonix.

Qube Managerright-click sys-whonixDelete qube [7]

2. Repeat the above step for any other TemplateBasedProxyVM based on Whonix-Gateway ™ TemplateVM whonix-gw-15 that might have been created earlier. Replace vm-name with the actual name of the VM.

Qube Managerright-click vm-nameDelete qube [8]

Qubes Adjustments[edit]

Stop using Whonix ™ TemplateVMs in VM Template Settings[edit]

If a Whonix ™ TemplateVM is set as the underlying TemplateVM for any VMs, the TemplateVM cannot be removed. Therefore, choose either to delete the VM as documented above or unset the TemplateVM using Qube Manager. [9]

Optionally, the VMs can be set to use a dummy template. The advantage of setting a dummy template as the underlying TemplateVM is the ability to retain any VMs along with the user storage contents.

1. Create the dummy TemplateVM. [10]

Launch a dom0 terminal.
Click the Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")Open the Terminal Emulator (Xfce Terminal)

Qubes-whonix1.png

Execute the following commands.

Qubes R3.2:

mkdir -p /var/lib/qubes/vm-templates/dummy

touch /var/lib/qubes/vm-templates/dummy/{root.img,private.img}

qvm-add-template dummy

Qubes R4:

qvm-create --class TemplateVM --label red dummy

The process of creating the dummy TemplateVM is now complete.

2. Shut down the Whonix ™ TemplateVM if already running: Qube Managerright-click Whonix ™ TemplateVMShutdown qube [11]
3. Set the dummy template as the TemplateVM: right-click VMQube settingsTemplate: dummy [12]

The process of setting the dummy template as the VMs underlying TemplateVM is now complete.

Stop using Whonix-Gateway ™ for torified TemplateVM Updates[edit]

In case you intent to:

  • B) Not install Qubes-Whonix ™ again: Apply the following steps

In technical terms, stop using Whonix-Gateway ™ as dom0 UpdatesProxy for any TemplateVMs. This is only required if you previously elected to update Qubes TemplateVMs through Whonix ™.

1. Open /etc/qubes-rpc/policy/qubes.UpdatesProxy with root rights.

2. Search for.

$type:TemplateVM $default allow,target=sys-whonix

3. Comment out that line. i.e. add a hash (#) in front of it.

#$type:TemplateVM $default allow,target=sys-whonix

[13]

4. Save.

5. The steps to remove Whonix-Gateway ™ as dom0 UpdatesProxy is now complete.

Uninstall Whonix ™ TemplateVMs[edit]

Introduction[edit]

Whonix ™ first time users warning Note that the root filesystem will be lost when uninstalling the TemplateVM.

In the case of customized TemplateVMs, you should strongly consider backups of anything important before proceeding.

Ambox warning pn.svg.png Whonix ™ (or any) TemplateVM in Qubes cannot be removed if any other VM is still using them. See introduction.

Whonix-Gateway ™[edit]

  1. Open a dom0 terminal: Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")System ToolsXfce Terminal
  2. Uninstall all Qubes-Whonix ™ Whonix-Gateway ™ template packages matching qubes-template-whonix-gw*: [14]

sudo dnf remove qubes-template-whonix-gw*

Review the dnf confirmation output before proceeding.

Whonix-Workstation ™[edit]

  1. Open a dom0 terminal: Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")System ToolsXfce Terminal
  2. Uninstall all Qubes-Whonix-Workstation ™ template packages matching qubes-template-whonix-ws*: [14]

sudo dnf remove qubes-template-whonix-ws*

Review the dnf confirmation output before proceeding.

All Whonix ™ Template Packages[edit]

  1. Open a dom0 terminal: Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")System ToolsXfce Terminal
  2. Uninstall all Qubes-Whonix ™ template packages matching qubes-template-whonix*: [14]

sudo dnf remove qubes-template-whonix*

Review the dnf confirmation output before proceeding.

Troubleshooting[edit]

If you receive the following error when removing the TemplatesVMs a manual fix is required.

“ERROR: VM installed by package manager: template-vm-name”

For instruction on how to work around this issue see: Remove VM Manually [archive].

Done[edit]

The process of uninstalling Qubes-Whonix ™ is now complete.

In order to use Qubes-Whonix ™ again in the future, follow the Install Qubes-Whonix ™ instructions.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Or if deciding not to use Whonix ™ at all.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Qubes glossary [archive] documents TemplateBasedVM, TemplateBasedVMs and TemplateBasedHVM. So the spelling of TemplateBasedAppVMs and TemplateBasedProxyVMs should be correct.
  3. qvm-remove anon-whonix

  4. qvm-remove vm-name

  5. To revert this change, run.
    qubes-prefs updatevm sys-firewall

  6. qubes-prefs --set vm-name netvm ""

  7. qvm-remove sys-whonix

  8. qvm-remove vm-name

  9. Or command line.
  10. qvm-shutdown vm-name

  11. qvm-prefs --set vm-name template dummy

  12. The entry
    $tag:whonix-updatevm $default allow,target=sys-whonix

    and

    $tag:whonix-updatevm $anyvm deny

    can remain. These won't have any effect once Qubes TemplateVMs are removed since no VM has the tag whonix-updatevm.

  13. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Note the matching syntax below and the effect of running qubes-template-whonix-gw* or qubes-template-whonix-ws*. Also note the asterisk * wildcard at the end. Depending on the Whonix ™ version, this leads to multiple template packages being uninstalled if they are present:
    • qubes-template-whonix-gw (Whonix ™ 13)
    • qubes-template-whonix-ws (Whonix ™ 13)
    • qubes-template-whonix-gw-14 (stable Whonix ™ release)
    • qubes-template-whonix-ws-14 (stable Whonix ™ release)
    • qubes-template-whonix-gw-15 (future Whonix ™ release)
    • qubes-template-whonix-ws-15 (future Whonix ™ release)
    Wildcards are used so these instructions are valid for all old and future versions of Whonix ™. Alternatively, the asterisk * syntax could be replaced with a specific template package listed above.


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