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Advice for Systems with Low RAM

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Introduction[edit]

Whonix ™ with CLI (command line interface) is normally reserved for advanced users. However, the Whonix-Gateway ™ RAM and VRAM assignment can be reduced (even in Whonix ™ with the Xfce graphical user interface) unless upgrading the system or changing the configuration.

Whonix-Gateway ™ can work with as little as 256 MB RAM, but resource intensive operations like upgrades can leave the virtual machine in a frozen state. [1] Assigning less than 512 MB RAM to a Whonix ™ VM will result in RAM Adjusted Desktop Starter starting CLI but not Xfce. There are various options available; see further below.

Whonix ™ RAM and VRAM Defaults[edit]

  • Whonix ™ Xfce:
    • Whonix-Gateway ™ Xfce - 1280 MB RAM and 128 MB VRAM.
    • Whonix-Workstation ™ Xfce - 2048 MB RAM and 128 MB VRAM.
  • Whonix ™ CLI:
    • Whonix-Gateway ™ CLI - 512 MB RAM and 16 MB VRAM.
    • Whonix-Workstation ™ CLI - 512 MB RAM and 16 MB VRAM.

Advice for Systems with Low RAM[edit]

Whonix-Gateway ™ CLI RAM Saving Mode[edit]

Follow these steps in order to run Whonix-Gateway ™ after its initial first boot setup or after upgrades:

  1. Shutdown Whonix-Gateway ™.
  2. Assign less RAM Whonix-Gateway ™: Virtual machineMenuSettingsAdjust Memory slider to 256Hit: OK
  3. Assign less VRAM to Whonix-Gateway ™: VirtualBoxclick a VMSettingsDisplayGraphics ControllerAdjust slider for Video Memory to 16OK
  4. Restart Whonix-Gateway ™.
  5. Start Whonix-Workstation ™.

Done. Whonix-Gateway ™ is now serving Whonix-Workstation ™ but operates with less RAM.

Whonix-Gateway ™ Graphical Administration Mode[edit]

Follow these steps in order to upgrade Whonix ™ or change Tor settings:

  1. Shut down all VMs.
  2. Assign default RAM to Whonix-Gateway ™. (Increase Virtual Machine RAM)
  3. Assign default VRAM to Whonix-Gateway ™.
  4. Start Whonix-Gateway ™.
  5. The user will now have access to a graphical Whonix-Gateway ™ with Xfce.
  6. Perform administrative tasks such as upgrades and/or change Tor settings.
  7. Shutdown Whonix-Gateway ™.
  8. Apply RAM Saving Mode as described above.

Done. The user upgraded or changed settings using a graphical Whonix-Gateway ™ with Xfce.

Whonix-Workstation ™ CLI RAM Saving Mode[edit]

Whonix-Workstation ™ CLI can be run with with as little as 256 MB RAM when the Xfce desktop environment is not used. However, resource intensive operations like upgrades can leave the virtual machine in a frozen state. [1] Assign more RAM during upgrades; 450 MB RAM should be more than enough.

Whonix-Workstation ™ Xfce RAM Saving Mode[edit]

Whonix-Workstation ™ Xfce can be run with with as little as 512 MB RAM, but resource intensive operations like upgrades can leave the virtual machine in a frozen state. [1] Assign more RAM during upgrades; 1280 MB RAM should be more than enough. In this configuration the VM might freeze due to low RAM or some applications might have reduced performance - this is especially true for browsers (Tor Browser), particularly when too many open browser tabs are open at the same time.

Alternatives[edit]

  • Whonix-Gateway ™ Xfce RAM Saving Mode: Whonix-Gateway ™ Xfce can run with as little as 512 MB RAM, but resource intensive operations like upgrades can leave the virtual machine in a frozen state. [1] For upgrading, increase RAM/VRAM as described above for Whonix-Gateway ™ Graphical Administration Mode.
  • Whonix ™ with CLI: Advanced users who are comfortable utilizing Whonix ™ with CLI can permanently set this option.
  • Experiments: Users can experiment with RAM assignments lower than 256 MB; please share your results.

See also: Troubleshooting, Low RAM Issues.

See Also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Such as kernel package upgrades that rebuild the initrd.


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