Installation of Whonix on a USB

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Whonix can be used as a plug-and-play operating system on a USB data stick. This is particularly interesting for users looking for a portable persistent or live operating system.

Current Situation[edit]

Yes, Whonix can be used on a USB.

  1. Select a suitable host operating system.
  2. Install it on USB.
  3. Install a supported virtualizer.
  4. Finally install Whonix.

At this time, Whonix does not provide a USB creator / image.

There are a number of online guides explaining how to install Linux on a These instructions can be followed to create a live Whonix USB, with the exception that both a supported virtualizer and Whonix must also be installed on the external media.

If it is actually booting into non-persistent live boot is what you're interested in, look into Live Mode.

Specifically useful as a host operating system on USB is Kicksecure The Web Archive Onion Version which comes with the grub-live software package installed by default, which makes it possible to boot the host operating system into Live Mode.


A higher level of security is attained by installing the host operating system(s) required for Whonix on a dedicated, (encrypted), external disk(s) like a USB flash drive, FireWire or eSATA device:

  • Using external media reduces the risk of other operating system(s) infecting the Whonix host operating system.
  • When Whonix disk(s) are not in use, they can either be removed or hidden.
  • Optional Live Mode.



Whonix-Host Operating System Live ISO, Whonix-Host Installer. Community contributions are most welcome.

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