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Whonix-Gateway System DNS

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DNS on Whonix-Gateway[edit]

Introduction[edit]

Advanced users only!
Usually recommended against and unnecessary.

All traffic from Whonix-Workstation and Whonix-Gateway is routed over Tor. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Whonix-Workstation is configured to use various SocksPorts, DnsPort and TransPort, see also Stream Isolation. Whonix-Gateway is only configured to use various SocksPorts. A global system DNS resolver is not required for Whonix-Gateway for any common use case to justify enabling it by default. Use cases where this could be useful include:

  • resolving the hostname of a proxy used in /etc/tor/torrc through Tor would be useful (technical explanation)
  • resolving the hostname of a VPN. But then using a VPN configuration using IPs only would be better.
  • Perhaps we could use /etc/hosts for such use cases rather than enabling system DNS?

How[edit]

Working. Using Whonix-Gateway's user clearnet.

Disable /etc/dhcp/dhclient-enter-hooks.d/nodnsupdate by making it no longer executable so DHCP will write to /etc/resolv.conf

sudo chmod -x /etc/dhcp/dhclient-enter-hooks.d/nodnsupdate

Make /etc/resov.conf mutable. Don't worry if the next command causes an error. It's not required anymore in recent Whonix versions.

sudo chattr -i /etc/resolv.conf

Delete /etc/resolv.conf so we can regenerate it.

sudo rm /etc/resolv.conf

Restart networking.

sudo service networking restart

Login as user clearnet.

sudo su clearnet

Test it, for example using ping.

ping google.com

See Also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Since Whonix 0.2.1, Whonix-Gateway traffic is also routed over Tor. In this way, use of Whonix is hidden from persons or systems observing the network.
  2. To preserve the anonymity of a user's Whonix-Workstation activities, it is not necessary to torify Whonix-Gateway's own traffic.
  3. For reader interest: If DNS settings on Whonix-Gateway are changed in /etc/resolv.conf, this only affects Whonix-Gateways's own DNS requests issued by applications using the system's default DNS resolver. By default, no applications issuing network traffic on Whonix-Gateway use the system's default DNS resolver. All applications installed by default on Whonix-Gateway that issue network traffic (apt-get, whonixcheck, timesync) are explicitly configured, or forced by uwt wrappers, to use their own Tor SocksPort (see Stream Isolation).
  4. Whonix-Workstation's default applications are configured to use separate Tor SocksPorts (see Stream Isolation), thereby not using the system's default DNS resolver. Any applications in Whonix-Workstation that are not configured for stream isolation - for example nslookup - will use the default DNS server configured in Whonix-Workstation (via /etc/network/interfaces), which is the Whonix-Gateway. Those DNS requests are redirected to Tor's DnsPort by Whonix-Gateway's firewall. Whonix-Gateway's /etc/resolv.conf does not affect Whonix-Workstation's DNS requests.

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