Design and Goals
(Redirected from Whonix:About)
Whonix ™ is a complete operating system with advanced security and anonymity features [archive]. It consists of two virtual machines -- Whonix-Gateway ™ and Whonix-Workstation ™ -- which are designed to be used on a host operating system (OS). The host OS supporting Whonix ™ is usually the one installed on the user's computer, but OSes installed on external drives will also work. Users choose the preferred Whonix ™ configuration and may use either a Type I hypervisor (Qubes-Whonix ™), or a Type II hypervisor like KVM and Virtualbox.
Security by Isolation
Whonix ™ is divided into two VMs: Whonix-Workstation ™ for work activities and Whonix-Gateway ™ to enforce all Internet traffic through the Tor network.  This security by isolation configuration averts many threats posed by malware, misbehaving applications, and user error.
Figure: Whonix ™ Operating System Design
Online Anonymity via Tor
Whonix ™ relies on the Tor network to protect a user's anonymity online; all connections are forced through Tor or otherwise blocked. Tor helps to protect users by bouncing communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world. Without advanced, end-to-end, netflow correlation attacks, anybody watching a user's Internet connection cannot easily determine the sites visited, and those sites cannot learn the user's physical location. 
- Tor overview: Why we need Tor [archive]
- Tor overview: How Tor Works [archive]
- Who uses Tor? [archive]
Based on Debian
In oversimplified terms, Whonix ™ is just a collection of configuration files and scripts. Whonix ™ is not a stripped down version of Debian; anything possible in "vanilla" Debian GNU/Linux can be replicated in Whonix ™. Likewise, most problems and questions can be solved in the same way. For example: "How do I install VLC Media Player on Whonix ™?" -- "The same way as in Debian
apt-get install vlc. Whonix ™ does not break anything, limit functionality, or prevent installation of compatible software.
Each Whonix ™ release is based on a particular version of Debian:
|Whonix ™ version||Debian Version||Debian Codename|
|Whonix ™ 188.8.131.52.4||10||buster [archive]|
Users can manually check the Whonix ™ version at any time by following this step.
Note that Whonix ™ does not have a fixed release schedule. A new stable release only becomes available when it is deemed ready. Interested users can query the Whonix ™ phabricator manifest [archive]  and release notes to track developer progress. Stay Tuned.
New Debian Release
One month after a new stable version of Debian is released, Whonix ™ VMs may no longer be supported on any older version of Debian. All users need to upgrade the Debian platform promptly after the deprecation notice in order to use Whonix ™ safely.
New Whonix ™ Release
One month after a new stable version of Whonix is released, older versions will no longer be supported. All users need to upgrade the Whonix ™ platform promptly in order to remain safe.
The deprecation notice is provided at least one month in advance and posted in the Whonix ™ News forum [archive]. Stay Tuned! All users need to upgrade the respective platform promptly in order to remain safe. 
Debian-based and Other Hosts
As per Debian Hosts.
The support schedule is mostly undefined at present, but likely to mirror Debian Hosts.
Whonix ™ is an advanced feature in Qubes OS. Those who wish to use it must stay reasonably close to the cutting edge by upgrading to new stable versions of Qubes OS and Whonix ™ TemplateVMs within a month of their respective releases. To be precise:
- One month after a new stable version of Qubes OS is released, Whonix ™ TemplateVMs will no longer be supported on any older version of Qubes OS. This means that users who wish to continue using Whonix ™ TemplateVMs on Qubes must always upgrade to the latest stable Qubes OS version within one month of its release.
- One month after new stable versions of Whonix ™ TemplateVMs are released, older versions of Whonix ™ TemplateVMs will no longer be supported. This means that users who wish to continue using Whonix ™ TemplateVMs on Qubes must always upgrade to the latest stable Whonix ™ TemplateVM versions within one month of their release.
We aim to announce both types of events one month in advance in order to remind users to upgrade.
Table: Whonix ™ Goals, Design and Limitations
|Whonix ™ is||
|Whonix ™ Helps to||
|Whonix ™ is not||
Learning more about Whonix ™ is the best way to determine whether it is a suitable solution in your personal circumstances. The following chapters are recommended:
- The Warning page to understand the security limitations of Whonix ™ and Tor.
- Further information about Whonix ™ Features.
- The implied Trust placed in Whonix ™ when it is used.
- The Security Guide, Advanced Security Guide and Design chapters detailing the Whonix ™ specifications, threat model and implementation.
- Other relevant Documentation explaining how to use Whonix ™ safely.
- https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en [archive]
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian [archive]
- In Qubes-Whonix ™, these VMs are named
- Current practical, low-latency, anonymity designs like Tor fail when the attacker can see both ends of the communication channel (traffic going into and out of the Tor network). If both flows are visible [archive], simple statistics can determine whether they match up.
- For example, for the next release use the tag "Whonix ™ 15" and status "Open".
- This also relieves Whonix ™ developers from needing to diagnose and support old-stable versions of Qubes/Debian/Whonix ™, which duplicates the maintenance burden.
Whonix ™ About wiki page Copyright (C) Amnesia <amnesia at boum dot org>
Whonix ™ About wiki page Copyright (C) 2012 - 2020 ENCRYPTED SUPPORT LP <email@example.com>
This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details see the wiki source code.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions; see the wiki source code for details.
Gratitude is expressed to JonDos [archive] for permission [archive] to use material from their website. (w [archive]) (w [archive])  The "Summary of what Whonix ™ is" chapter of the Whonix ™ About wiki page contains content from the JonDonym documentation Features [archive] page.
This is a wiki. Want to improve this page? Help is welcome and volunteer contributions are happily considered! Read, understand and agree to Conditions for Contributions to Whonix ™, then Edit! Edits are held for moderation.
Copyright (C) 2012 - 2019 ENCRYPTED SUPPORT LP. Whonix ™ is a trademark. Whonix ™ is a licensee [archive] of the Open Invention Network [archive]. Unless otherwise noted, the content of this page is copyrighted and licensed under the same Freedom Software license as Whonix ™ itself. (Why?)