Whonix System Requirements

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System Requirements for Whonix

Supported Host Operating Systems[edit]

Any operating system that can run a supported virtualizer can run Whonix, including Windows, macOS, 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 select and boot a host operating system (usually a Linux distribution) 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-Whonix). 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]

Non-Qubes-Whonix includes Whonix for VirtualBox and KVM.

Table: Non-Qubes-Whonix System Requirements

Category Description
  • Additional hard drive space when installing applications into the Whonix-Workstation.
For Best Performance
  • A solid state drive (SSD).
  • 8 GB of RAM.
  • Additional RAM to dedicate to the Whonix-Workstation when multitasking. [6]
  • Why 8 GB of RAM? See the following table.
Machine RAM Total
Host Operating System 2 GB
Whonix-Gateway + 2 GB
Whonix-Workstation + 4 GB
= 8 GB
Additional Notes

Qubes-Whonix System Requirements[edit]

Qubes-Whonix does not have any special system requirements over and above Qubes own system requirements. In other words, it is only necessary to fulfill the minimal system requirements for Qubes compatibility.

Refer to the Qubes documentation for further information:

Architecture Support[edit]

info amd64 might imply AMD only. This is wrong.

amd64 means Intel and AMD.

For technical reasons, in Debian (and in many other Linux / Freedom Software related places) both, Intel and AMD, is called amd64. This is common knowledge without controversy among technical people, in doubt see Wikipedia X86-64archive.org.

See also Dev/64bit and Dev/Porting.

See Also[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. 5.0 5.1 The virtual machine 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. It might run with 196 MB RAM or even less. Experimentation with RAM lower than 256 MB is up to the user; please share your results.
  6. Increase Virtual Machine RAM
  7. Debian + KVM + Whonix 16 (Flashing underscore on black screen)archive.org.
  8. display manager - lightdm, gdm3archive.org.

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