VirtualBox/Other Versions

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< VirtualBox



The virtualization platform is an essential component of a secure Whonix ™ system. A vulnerable virtualizer may provide opportunities for attackers to perform a breakout from a virtual machine in order to undo the security by isolation features that Whonix ™ provides. The decision to install an alternative virtualizer should not be taken lightly.

There are two methods that can be used to install VirtualBox and these are recommended over downloading, verifying, and installing binaries manually. The two repositories below are maintained by different teams, Whonix ™, Debian and, respectively.

Recommended Version[edit]

Recommended VirtualBox version: 6.1.6 [1]

Instructions for installing Whonix ™ on VirtualBox such as flavor Whonix ™ for VirtualBox with XFCE contain a quote:

  • Linux Tux.png: please press expand on the right side.

Once expanded, instructions there will be the recommended instructions on how to install VirtualBox.

Newer Version[edit]

Install VirtualBox from Debian Unstable[edit]

This is no longer recommended at this time. [2]

Install from Oracle Repository[edit]

Free Support Principle applies.

Latest Oracle VirtualBox package information [archive]

Warning: This is a foreign source.

Note: if you upgrade the VirtualBox host version this can cause issues with the guest VMs such as broken VM size adjustment (full screen) [3] unless you also upgrade the VirtualBox guest additions inside your virtual machine which is not covered in these instructions.

Add oracle apt sources list.

(Change buster to the current name of your stable distribution.)

sudo su -c "echo -e 'deb buster contrib' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/oracle.list"

Add Oracle's signing key to apt-get keyring.

Securely download the key.

curl --tlsv1.2 --proto =https --location --remote-name-all --remote-header-name

Display the key's fingerprint.

gpg --keyid-format long --import --import-options show-only --with-fingerprint oracle_vbox_2016.asc

Verify the fingerprint. Should show.

pub rsa4096/A2F683C52980AECF 2016-04-22 [SC]
Key fingerprint = B9F8 D658 297A F3EF C18D 5CDF A2F6 83C5 2980 AECF
uid Oracle Corporation (VirtualBox archive signing key) <>
sub rsa4096/AD18C79D920E471F 2016-04-22 [E]

Ambox warning pn.svg.png Warning:

Do not continue if the fingerprint does not match! This risks using infected or erroneous files! The whole point of verification is to confirm file integrity.

Add the signing key.

sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/oracle.gpg add oracle_vbox_2016.asc

Update the package lists.

sudo apt-get update

Install VirtualBox and Linux Kernel Headers, which are a dependency.

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-6.1 linux-headers-$(uname -r)

VirtualBox Guest Additions ISO is included in the package. Mount ISO in guest virtual machine to install. Instructions [archive]


  1. Whonix ™ was built and tested with VirtualBox version 6.1.6. Newer VirtualBox are untested by Whonix ™ developers and can cause issues such as instability (VirtualBox suddenly closing, host freezing, black screen).

    Newer VirtualBox versions are hard to install on Debian buster. Perhaps the VirtualBox host software is available (even as a Debian package) but VirtualBox guest additions are not available as a Debian package. Using an older version of VirtualBox guest additions (such as the pre-installed ones) might lead to broken functionality such as inability to resize the VM or instability. Installation of VirtualBox guest additions from ISO might also cause issues. [archive]

    Therefore we are stuck with VirtualBox version 6.1.6.

  2. Dependencies such as for package glibc are to new. Too many updated dependencies from Debian unstable are pulled and mixed with Debian stable. This can cause many issues such as system instability.
  3. [archive]

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