ZeroNet - Decentralized websites


ZeroNet uses Bitcoin cryptography and BitTorrent technology to build a decentralized censorship-resistant network.

Users can publish static or dynamic websites into ZeroNet and visitors can choose to also serve the website. Websites will remain online even if it is being served by only one peer.

Connecting to Tor before ZeroNet[edit]

User -> Tor -> ZeroNet -> Internet

Since ZeroNet is not yet packaged for Debian, it must be manually installed. [1] [2]

Inside Whonix-Gateway (Qubes-Whonix: sys-whonix).

Extend onion-grater Whitelist

On Whonix-Gateway.

Create a new directory. [3]

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/etc/onion-grater-merger.d/

Symlink the onion-grater profile to the onion-grater settings folder.

sudo ln -s /usr/share/onion-grater-merger/examples/40_zeronet.yml /usr/local/etc/onion-grater-merger.d/

Restart onion-grater.

sudo service onion-grater restart

To download and verify Zeronet via git, run the following commands in a terminal inside Whonix-Workstation:

First install dependencies.

Qubes-Whonix: If the ZeroNet qube is based on a Qubes TemplateVM, complete this action in the TemplateVM.

Update the package lists.

sudo apt-get update

Install git python-msgpack python-gevent.

sudo apt-get install git python-msgpack python-gevent

Install ZeroNet:

Qubes-Whonix: The actual install can be done in the ZeroNet qube.

Retrieve ZeroNet's signing key. [4]

gpg --recv-keys "960F FF2D 6C14 5AA6 13E8 491B 5B63 BAE6 CB96 13AE"

Download ZeroNet.

git clone

Change into the ZeroNet folder.

cd ZeroNet

Check the ZeroNet signature.

git log --show-signature

Start ZeroNet:


./ --tor always --fileserver_ip $(qubesdb-read /qubes-ip)


./ --tor always --fileserver_ip

(Note: the following will be no longer required once Whonix releases a custom Tor Browser for connecting to alternative networks. [5])

Configure Tor Browser to connect to localhost.

In Tor Browser type about:config into the URL bar -> press Enter -> search for network.proxy.no_proxies_on -> Set to 0

Start Tor Browser.

If you are using Qubes-Whonix.

Qubes Start Menu -> Whonix-Workstation AppVM (commonly called anon-whonix) -> Tor Browser

If you are using Non-Qubes-Whonix.

Start Menu -> Tor Browser

If you are using a terminal (Konsole).


Navigate to the ZeroNet web interface. Paste into Tor Browser's url field and press enter.

The process is now complete and ZeroNet can be used. Note that full ZeroNet functionality has been confirmed in Whonix. [6]


  3. Using /usr/local/etc/onion-grater-merger.d/ because that onion-grater settings folder is persistent in Qubes-Whonix TemplateBased ProxyVMs, i.e. Whonix-Gateway (commonly called sys-whonix). Non-Qubes-Whonix users could also use /etc/onion-grater-merger.d/. Qubes-Whonix users could also use /etc/onion-grater-merger.d/ but then users would have to make /etc/onion-grater-merger.d/ persistent, which would require doing this inside the Whonix-Gateway TemplateVM (commonly called whonix-gw-14) and restart their Whonix-Gateway ProxyVM or to use bind-dirs. Both is more more complicated than simply using /usr/local/etc/onion-grater-merger.d/ which is persistent either way and even allows multiple Whonix-Gateway ProxyVMs based on the same Whonix-Gateway TemplateVM for lets say one Whonix-Gateway ProxyVM extending and relaxing onion-grater's whitelist and the other Whonix-Gateway ProxyVM with the default more restricted onion-grater whitelist.
  5. Except in the case of YaCy that needs internet access.
  6. As at May 2018.

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