Whonix ™ Tuning
Applying steps in this chapter can improve Whonix ™ performance, but often at the cost of reduced security or an increased fingerprinting risk. Earlier entries in this chapter are easier to apply, while later tuning entries require a greater skill level.
At present the tuning steps are primarily focused on the VirtualBox virtualizer. However, contributions for other virtualizers will be happily considered.
Tested Tuning Steps
To enable hardware-accelerated graphics for Whonix-Workstation ™, perform these steps on the host:
- Power off the VM.
click a VM→
Enable 3D Acceleration→
- Restart the VM.
Increase Virtual Machine RAM
If minor identifiers are not of any concern,  then the RAM available to Virtual Machines can be increased via VirtualBox settings. This is most useful for Whonix-Workstation ™ if it runs into low RAM. Whonix-Gateway ™ can also profit if a large number of circuits are created and Tor is kept busy. To check how much RAM is free, use
free -m in a Terminal. Consider the example below:
See also: Advice for Systems with Low RAM.
Additional CPU Cores
Do not use the maximum since that could lead to system instability! Always leave at least one CPU unassigned; for example, if you have four CPUs then assign a maximum of three CPUs to the VM. 
Untested Tuning Steps
Disable CPU Mitigations
Nested Paging and VPIDs
It is possible to increase performance by using largepages and/or Virtual Processor Identifiers (VPIDs). It is unknown if this decreases security or stability. For further information refer to the VirtualBox manual: Nested Paging and VPIDs [archive].
vboxmanage modifyvm Whonix-Workstation-XFCE --largepages on
vboxmanage modifyvm Whonix-Gateway-XFCE --largepages on
vboxmanage modifyvm Whonix-Workstation-XFCE --vtxvpid on
vboxmanage modifyvm Whonix-Gateway-XFCE --vtxvpid on
Memory Ballooning, Page Fusion and Memory Overcommitment
Undocumented Tuning Settings
There are probably more tuning-related settings, but these are currently undocumented at Whonix ™. Interested readers can review the VirtualBox manual for relevant settings, which are unlikely to be bundled under a "tuning" chapter.
To view all settings, run.
vboxmanage showvminfo Whonix-Workstation-XFCE
Since the Whonix ™ concept is flexible and distribution-agnostic, it is possible to create your own implementation. For example, Gentoo could be used with optimized build flags for a personal system. See:
This setting can improve graphics performance dramatically, but it worsens security because VMs should not have direct access to physical hardware.
In simple terms, this feature allows the direct use of physical PCI devices on the host by the guest even if the host does not have drivers for the particular device. For further information, refer to VirtualBox Manual: PCI Passthrough [archive].
- The amount of detectable VM RAM is considered a minor risk.
- Adding CPU cores is considered a minor risk.
- VirtualBox ticket: VirtualBox should now prohibit assigning all physical CPUs to a VM and/or fix VirtualBox CPU assignment manual [archive].
- This entry relates to KVM but the research similarly applies to other virtualizers unless they have implemented and documented specific protections.