How-to: Use Wickr Me in Whonix ™

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Wickr Logo


Wickr Me can be installed in Debian and provides various functionality in addition to end-to-end encrypted messaging: [1]

With Wickr Me, you can instantly connect with your friends 1:1 or in groups - now with fully encrypted voice calling, voice memos - new additions to the trusted end-to-end secure sharing of files, images, and videos. Take full control over who has access to your content and how long it remains accessible.

The application touts various privacy and security benefits, including: [1]

  • no access to messages or contact lists
  • users' address books remain private and not stored on Wickr servers
  • each message being encrypted with a new key
  • no phone number or email address registration required
  • nil storage of meta-data
  • communication in private groups of up to 10 users
  • partial open source code [2]
  • an expiration time can be set on messaging content
  • incorporation of perfect forward and backward secrecy for user content

To learn more, refer to the parent website [archive].


Ambox warning pn.svg.png Wickr Me is considered a security risk and installation is discouraged as per software installation best practices:

  • Unsigned software: It is not possible to follow the security advice of always verifying software signatures, since installation is through snap which does not yet verify software signatures. [3]
  • Installation procedure: The third party package manager snap is required, which is generally discouraged. [4]
  • Proprietary software: Only the Wickr Me encryption protocol is open source. The rest of the client application source code and other elements remain proprietary and unavailable for public scrutiny. [5] Avoid non-freedom software.

If proceeding despite the risk, it is recommended to use a separate Whonix-Workstation ™ for greater safety.


Info Non-Qubes-Whonix ™ only. Efforts to persistently install Wickr Me in Qubes-Whonix ™ via bind-dirs [archive] or with snap proxy settings have proven unsuccessful. This means it needs to be installed in a TemplateBasedVM on every occasion it is required. Efforts to improve this situation are most welcome, see: Wickr Me vs Qubes-Whonix Persistence [archive].

1. Open a terminal.

Open a terminal.

If you are using Qubes-Whonix ™, complete the following steps.

Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q")Whonix-Workstation ™ AppVM (commonly named anon-whonix)Xfce Terminal

If you are using a graphical Whonix with XFCE, run.

Start MenuXfce Terminal

2. Install dependencies.

Update the package lists.

sudo apt-get update

Install dependencies.

sudo apt install snapd

3. Reboot.

A reboot is required so snap can add itself to the PATH environment variable. [6]

4. Install Wickr Me.

snap install wickrme

The installation process is now complete.

Start Wickr Me[edit]

To launch Wickr Me, run.


Figure: Wicker Me in Whonix ™



error: snap "wickrme" not found[edit]

As a workaround, try to install any other snap package first.

snap install vlc

Then try to install Wickr Me again. [7]

read: connection refused[edit]

The following error occasionally appears when trying to install Wickr Me (snap install wickrme): [8]

error: cannot install "wickrme": Post dial tcp: lookup on [::1]:53: read udp [::1]:60220->[::1]:53: read:
       connection refused

It is suspected the server sometimes bans certain Tor relays from connecting. Try changing the Tor circuit, then repeat the command.

realpath: No such file or directory[edit]

Sometimes running:


Results in the terminal displaying this message:

realpath: '': No such file or directory
realpath: '': No such file or directory
realpath: '': No such file or directory
realpath: '': No such file or directory
Could not create NETLINK socket: Operation not permitted (1)
Failed to initialize udev, possibly due to an invalid system configuration. Various device-related browser features may be broken.

With Wickr Me still starting and showing an error during sign in that it could not connect to the Wickr Me Network (attempting to reconnect). This might be caused during the original installation of Wickr Me through snap install wickrme. Try reinstalling Wickr Me with the --devmode flag enabled and it should fix the issue. To do that, follow the steps below.

1. Remove Wickr Me.

snap remove wickrme

The command needs to be run twice. The first run will disable the "wickrme" package, while the second invocation will remove "wickrme".

snap remove wickrme

2. Verify Wickr Me is no longer installed.


snap list

It should no longer show wickrme.

3. Reinstall Wicker Me.

Use the following command.

snap install --devmode wickrme

4. Relaunch Wicker Me.

Start "wickrme" again.


Forum Discussion[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 [archive]
  2. The encryption protocol Wickr-Crypto-C source code is available on GitHub [archive].
  3. For better security and stability, could provide Debian downloads, or better yet an apt repository for Debian.
  4. [archive]
  5. By comparison, the Signal protocol, client application and server are fully open source [archive].
  6. Otherwise, following installation it can be launched from the absolute path:

  7. A bug report was drafted, but could not be submitted to [archive] because of the following error:
    Timeout error
    Sorry, something just went wrong in Launchpad.
    We’ve recorded what happened, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Apologies for the inconvenience.
    Trying again in a couple of minutes might work.
    snap install wickrme reports 'snap "wickrme" not found' even though 'snap find wickrme' had found it
    Actual Result:
    Debian buster based.
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install snapd
    snap find wickrme
    Name     Version  Publisher  Notes  Summary
    wickrme  5.48.9   tleavy     -      E2E Encrypted Anonymous Messaging
    snap install wickrme
    error: snap "wickrme" not found
    Expected result:
    wickrme gets installed or shows a better error message than 'snap "wickrme" not found' if not available for this system.
    System information:
    lsb_release -a
    No LSB modules are available.
    Distributor ID:	Debian
    Description:	Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
    Release:	10
    Codename:	buster
    dpkg --print-architecture
    uname -a
    Linux host 4.19.94-1.pvops.qubes.x86_64 #1 SMP Sun Jan 12 05:45:26 UTC 2020 x86_64 GNU/Linux
  8. [archive]

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