Verify the virtual machine images using the command line

From Whonix

You need to have GnuPG installed. GnuPG is the common OpenPGP implementation for Linux: it is installed by default under Debian, Ubuntu, Whonix and many other distributions.

Import the signing key, refer to the Whonix Signing Key instructions.

Now, download the cryptographic (OpenPGP) signature corresponding to the virtual machine images you want to verify and save it in the same folder as the virtual machine images:

[[{{{download_signature_link}}}|Download Whonix Signature]]

Then, start the cryptographic verification, it can take several minutes.


If the Virtual Machine image is correct the output will tell you that the signature is good:


This might be followed by a warning saying:

gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
gpg:          There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.

This message does not alter the validity of the signature related to the downloaded key. Rather, this warning refers to the level of trust placed in the Whonix signing key and the web of trust. To remove this warning, the Whonix signing key must be personally signed with your own key.

warning Check the GPG signature timestamp makes sense. For example, if you previously saw a signature from 2018 and now see a signature from 2017, then this might be a targeted rollback (downgrade) or indefinite freeze attack. [1]

The first line includes the signature creation timestamp. Example.

gpg: Signature made Mon 19 Jan 2015 11:45:41 PM CET using RSA key ID 77BB3C48

warning Note: OpenPGP signatures sign files, but not file names. [2]

To help you check, that the file name has not been tampered with, beginning from Whonix version 9.6 and above, by convention, the file@name OpenPGP notation includes the file name. See example below.


If the Virtual Machine image is not correct the output will tell you that the signature is bad:

gpg: Signature made Sun Nov 25 21:48:54 2012 UTC
gpg:                using RSA key 77BB3C48
gpg: BAD signature from "Patrick Schleizer <>"

Repeat these steps for Whonix-Workstation ™ as well.



When a GPG error is encountered, first try a web search for the relevant error. The security stackexchange website can also help to resolve GPG problems. Describe the problem thoroughly, but be sure it is GPG-related and not specific to Whonix ™.

More help resources are available on the Support page.



Whonix Verify_the_virtual_machine_images_using_the_command_line wiki page Copyright (C) Amnesia <amnesia at boum dot org> Whonix Verify_the_virtual_machine_images_using_the_command_line wiki page Copyright (C) 2012 - 2018 ENCRYPTED SUPPORT LP <>

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