Recommended VirtualBox Version for use with Whonix

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This wiki page provides information on the recommended version of VirtualBox for use with Whonix, along with installation instructions.

It is strongly advised to use the recommended VirtualBox version with Whonix, otherwise there can be issues. [1]

Info Recommended VirtualBox version.

Recommendation might change from time to time. It is recommended to check in case of issues and re-install.


Download and install VirtualBox for your operating system.

Download VirtualBox for Windows (FREE!) WINDOWS

Optional: Digital signature verification.

VirtualBox for Windows is not signed with OpenPGP / gpg. It is signed with authenticode.

After downloading the VirtualBox installer exe and starting it, the user should verify that sure that Verified publisher: is Oracle Corporation.

Figure: Windows signature signature verification window for VirtualBox

Advanced users might wish to learn more about Kicksecure logo Authenticode (Windows Digital Software Signatures) The Web Archive Onion Version to perform a deeper verification.

macOS

Download VirtualBox for macOS (FREE!) OSX

Optional: Digital signature verification.

VirtualBox for macOS is not signed with OpenPGP / gpg. It is notarized for macOS's gatekeeper. See also Apple's official documentation Safely open apps on your Macarchive.org.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu host operating systems:

Chose an option from the following table. Choose either Option A) or Option B).

Option Name Details
A) Automated VirtualBox Installation Ubuntu users could alternatively use the Whonix Linux Installer for VirtualBox. In this case, this wiki page can be completely ignored. No other steps from this wiki page need to be applied because the automated installer will handle everything.
B) Manual VirtualBox Installation Follow the instructions below.

Tested on October 2022 using Ubuntu version 22.04. Older versions are not recommended.

Command Line (All Users)

1. On the host.

Open a terminal.

2. Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

3. Install VirtualBox and Linux kernel headers.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends virtualbox-qt linux-headers-generic

4. Add your current user to group vboxusers. [2]

sudo adduser $(whoami) vboxusers

5. Done.

The procedure of installing the VirtualBox host software is complete.

Software Center (only if not using SecureBoot)

Ubuntu Software Center can be used to install VirtualBox. The process is similar to installation of most other applications.

This only works for users with computers that do not have "SecureBoot" enabled. If the user's computer is using "SecureBoot" the user need to either disable "SecureBoot" in the BIOS or use the command line based instructions. [3]

1. Open the start menu.

2. Click on the Ubuntu Software Center icon.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center icon

Ubuntu Software icon

3. Click on the magnifying glass to search. → Type virtualbox. → Press enter. → In the search results, click on VirtualBox.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center - Search For VirtualBox

search for virtualbox

4. Click on Install and wait.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center Search Result

Install Virtualbox

5. Installation of VirtualBox has been completed.

When the installation has completed, the install icon changes to the uninstall icon. Do not click the uninstall button.

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center - VirtualBox has been installed

Uninstall Virtualbox

6. Click on Show Applications. → Click on Virtual Box start the VirtualBox graphical user interface (GUI).

Figure: Ubuntu Software Center #4

Show Applications

7. Done.

The procedure of installing and starting VirtualBox is complete.

Debian

.

Debian host operating systems:

Chose an option from the following table. Choose either Option A) or Option B).

Option Name Details
A) Automated VirtualBox Installation Debian users could alternatively use the Whonix Linux Installer for VirtualBox. In this case, this wiki page can be completely ignored. No other steps from this wiki page need to be applied because the automated installer will handle everything.
B) Manual VirtualBox Installation Follow the instructions below.

Select your Debian release.

Debian bookworm (stable) or bullseye (oldstable)

To acquire the Recommended VirtualBox version tested with Whonix, package virtualbox-qt should be installed from Debian fasttrack repositoryarchive.org according to the following instructions. [4]

1. On the host.

Open a terminal.

2. Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

3. Install the Debian fasttrack signing key.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends fasttrack-archive-keyring

4. Add the Debian fasttrack repository.

echo 'deb https://fasttrack.debian.net/debian/ bookworm-fasttrack main contrib non-free' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/fasttrack.list

5. Add Debian the backports repository. [5]

echo 'deb https://deb.debian.org/debian bookworm-backports main contrib non-free' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list

6. Update the package lists again. [6]

sudo apt update

7. Install VirtualBox and Linux kernel headers.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends virtualbox-qt linux-headers-$(dpkg --print-architecture)

8. Add your current user to group vboxusers. [2]

sudo adduser $(whoami) vboxusers

9. Done.

The procedure of installing the VirtualBox host software is complete.

Debian Testing

VirtualBox can be installed by adding the Debian unstable (sid) repository and APT pinning. The details of this are unspecific to Whonix and undocumented.

Debian Unstable

VirtualBox can be installed by adding the Debian unstable (sid) repository.

sudo apt update

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends virtualbox-qt linux-headers-$(dpkg --print-architecture)

sudo adduser $(whoami) vboxusers

The details of this are unspecific to Whonix and undocumented.

Other Debian Releases

Other Debian releases might work, but this is untested. In case of other Debian release:
See also "Linux host operating systems" below.
See also "Linux" on the right.

Kicksecure

Kicksecure host operating systems:

Chose an option from the following table. Choose either Option A) or Option B).

Option Name Details
A) Automated VirtualBox Installation Kicksecure users could alternatively use the Whonix Linux Installer for VirtualBox. In this case, this wiki page can be completely ignored. No other steps from this wiki page need to be applied because the automated installer will handle everything.
B) Manual VirtualBox Installation Follow the instructions below.

Instructions for Kicksecure are simpler than instructions for Debian. [7]

1. On the host.

Open a terminal.

2. Update package lists.

sudo apt update

3. Install VirtualBox and Linux kernel headers.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends virtualbox-qt

4. Add your current user to group vboxusers. [2]

sudo adduser $(whoami) vboxusers

5. Done.

The procedure of installing the VirtualBox host software is complete.

Linux

Hosts using a non-Debian operating system:

  • Install VirtualBox as per the normal mechanism for your Linux distribution. No special instructions for Whonix are required. The installation of a recent VirtualBox host software is unspecific to Whonix. Consult the documentation of your Linux distribution.
  • Whonix has has been tested with, expects VirtualBox version latest.
  • For example the outdated VirtualBox version 5.2.18 is incompatible.

info General recommendations for users using Linux as a host operating system:

  • Linux kernel version:
    • The recommended host Linux kernel version is the same version that Debian bookworm is using, see linux-image-amd64archive.org.
    • Newer host Linux kernel versions are likely to break VirtualBox VMs in many ways since these are unsupported by VirtualBox. [8]
  • Host operating system: The recommended host Linux distributions are:
    • preferably the stable version of Kicksecure 17, or
    • Debian Linuxarchive.org version bookworm.


Latest VirtualBox Version[edit]

How to find out what the latest VirtualBox version is?

The latest version of VirtualBox can be seen on virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloadsarchive.org, virtualbox.org/wiki/Newsarchive.org and VirtualBox announcements newsletter archivearchive.org.

Alternatively the version number can be seen on the VirtualBox Wikipedia pagearchive.org, although there might be times when Wikipedia is outdated.

The user could also consider to subscribe to the VirtualBox announcements newsletterarchive.org.

See Also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Whonix 17.1.1.5 was built and tested with VirtualBox version latest. Newer VirtualBox versions not listed on the stable version of Whonix for VirtuallBox, testers-only version of Whonix for VirtuallBox or otherwise in Whonix News are untested by Whonix developers. This can cause issues such as instability (VirtualBox VMs not startingarchive.org, VMs suddenly closing, host freezing, VM black screen). It is advised to wait until newer versions of VirtualBox are recommended for use with Whonix.

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

    References:
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Optional: See: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch02.html#install-linux-vboxusersarchive.org Also spams ~/.config/VirtualBox/VBoxSVC.log log if not done.
  3. This is unspecific to Whonix. This is because during package installation of a package that requires kernel modules when "SecureBoot" is enabled, Ubuntu's dkms is prompting the user for a password to encrypt the key which will be used to enroll the kernel module signing key. This is Ubuntu usability issue. It is unknown if any bug report / feature request for this exists. Please contribute, research, report this issue on Ubuntu's issue tracker.
  4. This is Kicksecure logo non-ideal The Web Archive Onion Version but required since VirtualBox in unavailable in official Debian bookworm repository and difficult to install due to VirtualBox Installation Challenges. Alternatively you could install VirtualBox from the Oracle (virtualbox.org) Repository, but this comes with different risks. VirtualBox might be updated by VirtualBox developers before being tested with Whonix which could then lead to issues. (Described in footnote here.)
  5. This is required because the Debian fasttrack repository depends on the Debian the backports repository.
  6. This is to acquire the Debian fasttrack repository package sources.
  7. This is because by Kicksecure default:
  8. https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/17055#comment:3archive.org

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