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System Requirements

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Supported Host Operating Systems[edit]

Any operating system that can run a supported virtualizer can run Whonix, including Windows, Mac, BSD, and Linux. Most users get started by installing VirtualBox on their current operating system and importing the Whonix images. Advanced users may wish to boot a host operating system (usually a Unix variant) dedicated solely to running the Whonix virtual machines.

For the best possible security, users can choose to run Whonix virtual machines on the Qubes platform. Qubes is a Xen-based hypervisor (virtualizer) that runs on the bare metal of the hardware instead of within a host operating system. [1]

Supported Platforms[edit]

Non-Qubes-Whonix System Requirements[edit]

Minimum[edit]

  • 1 GB free RAM (with Whonix-Gateway lowered to 256 MB). [5]
  • 10 GB free hard drive space.

Recommended[edit]

  • Additional hard drive space when installing applications into the Whonix-Workstation.
  • A CPU with AMD-V or Intel VT-x.

For Best Performance[edit]

  • A solid state drive (SSD).
  • Additional RAM to dedicate to the Whonix-Workstation when multitasking.

Notes[edit]

  • Whonix-Workstation can be run with 196 MB RAM when not using a desktop environment.
  • For low memory and console-only configurations, see Ram Adjusted Desktop Starter.
  • If you do not have AMD-V or Intel VT-x and you encounter a PAE or "VERR_SSM_FIELD_NOT_CONSECUTIVE" error, please read PAE Crash for a workaround.
  • Linux users with low RAM might save some RAM on the host if they use a lighter desktop environment like Xfce or LXDE, rather than KDE, GNOME etc.

Qubes-Whonix System Requirements[edit]

Minimum (Qubes 3.X)[edit]

  • A 64-bit Intel or AMD processor (x86_64 aka x64 aka AMD64). [6]
  • 4 GB RAM.
  • 32 GB disk space.
  • Legacy boot mode (required for R3.0 and earlier; UEFI is supported beginning with R3.1).

Minimum (Qubes 4.X)[edit]

  • As per Qubes 3.X minimum requirements above, plus Intel VT-x with EPT or AMD-V with RVI.


Note: "Qubes can be installed on systems which do not meet the recommended requirements. Such systems will still offer significant security improvements over traditional operating systems, since things like GUI isolation and kernel protection do not require special hardware." [7]

Recommended[edit]

  • A fast SSD (strongly recommended).
  • Intel IGP (strongly preferred).
    • Nvidia GPUs may require significant troubleshooting.
    • ATI GPUs have not been formally tested (but see the Hardware Compatibility List).
  • Intel VT-x or AMD-V (required for running HVM domains, such as Windows-based AppVMs).
  • Intel VT-d or AMD-Vi (aka AMD IOMMU) (required for effective isolation of network VMs and PCI passthrough).
  • TPM with proper BIOS support (required for Anti Evil Maid).
  • 8 GB+ RAM. [8]
  • A non-USB keyboard or multiple USB controllers to enable creation of a USB VM. [9]


Before purchasing any hardware specifically for Qubes, always check the hardware compatibility list first for suitable models.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. This is more secure because an attacker must subvert the hypervisor, which is far more difficult than exploiting a host operating system.
  2. Custom-Workstation: Self-made builds can be run on any real or virtual hardware, so long as they are behind a Whonix-Gateway. Tor Browser binaries are only available for a limited number of platforms (Windows, Linux, BSD and MacOS).
  3. Unsupported: QEMU
  4. Unsupported: VMware
  5. The Whonix-Gateway can work with as low as 256 MB RAM, but resource intensive operations like kernel package upgrades that rebuild the initrd might leave the virtual machine in a frozen state.
  6. Qubes system requirements are directly sourced from https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/system-requirements/
  7. https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/system-requirements/
  8. Users report problems in creating DisposableVMs and running multiple VMs in parallel with only 4 GB RAM.
  9. To prevent malicious compromise of dom0 via USB mice, keyboards or other USB devices.

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