From Whonix

Recovery Mode[edit]

Info Non-Qubes-Whonix only.

If an error occurs that prevents Whonix ™ from booting, it is possible to try and boot Whonix ™ in recovery mode to fix the problem. It is advisable to learn how to use recovery mode while everything is still functional in case of future issues.

  1. After powering on a Non-Qubes-Whonix VM, you will see the virtual BIOS for a second, then the grub boot menu. The grub boot menu is easily identified by the first line of text which begins with GNU GRUB.
  2. Use the arrow keys to navigate and select Advanced Options for Whonix GNU/Linux.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Choose the second option which at the end displays (recovery mode).
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Somewhere in the output, a message similar to the following will appear (it might be entangled with other debug output):

    Give root password for maintenance (Or press control + d to continue):

  7. Enter the root password.
  8. While typing, no asterisk symbols (*) will appear; the password must be typed "blind". [1]
  9. Press Enter.
  10. The default keyboard layout will be en-US. To change this setting, see: Keyboard Layout.
  11. Enter exit to continue booting or poweroff or reboot.

TODO: Explore whether networking is possible and how to transfer files out of the VM.

Unlock User Account: Excessive Wrong Password Entry Attempts[edit]

See: Unlock User Account: Excessive Wrong Password Entry Attempts.


If an error occurs that prevents Whonix ™ from booting, it is possible to chroot into Whonix ™ from a live CD to fix the problem.

A disk image must be downloaded for this purpose -- Debian Live images or Archiso are useful options for this procedure.


In Virtualbox, navigate to the VM storage settings. At the second controller, click the optical disk icon and add the disk image.

In the Motherboard settings, move the Optical disk component to the top of the boot order, press OK and start the VM.


In virt-manager, click on the VM, click the settings icon at the top and click "Add Hardware". In "Storage", change the device type to "CDROM device" and add the disk image. Click "Finish" and at the boot options setting, move the CDROM to the top of the boot order.


This procedure is undocumented.

Booting into the Live CD[edit]

After booting into the Live CD, follow these steps.

1. List the available drives and partitions.

fdisk -l

2. Mount the partition.

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

Replace "/dev/sda1" with the drive partition name.

3. Chroot into the partition.

chroot /mnt /bin/bash

4. Optional: If the PATH variable is incorrect, it can be fixed with the following command.

source /etc/profile


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