Allow us to download the VM files in a compressed format like ZIP, 7Z, GZIP Etc

For me the download usually takes a few hours.
Even a tiny amount of compression would help with downloading the VM installation files.

I know there are some concerns from the Whonix dev team that adding more download options would make the download process more difficult for new users, however for me downloading is currently very difficult due to the time it takes. Adding a compressed download wouldn’t really hurt, I think it should be added.

Not sure what you’re downloading. Whonix KVM are already compressed archives and VirtualBox ova’s are compressed by VirtualBox (ova standard) default.

I’m trying to download the Windows .ova XCFE files. Yes the .ova files use VirtualBox compression but that isn’t enough, it is still 2.1 gigabytes large.
Downloading it takes a few hours for me. If I use my medium-slow speed home internet it always takes many hours. If I use TBB on a fast internet it also takes a few hours to download.
Only when I download it through clearnet on a fast network, will the download time be bearable. Not to mention downloading on the .onion site it’s straight up impossible.

The large download files should use some additional file compression like .ZIP .7Z .GZIP. BZIP etc. with the max compression settings.
Even if the 2.1 gibabytes becomes 1.8 gigabytes it would already be a considerable improvement. A file compression compressed download should at least be an option for users who want it.

cant be smaller than this in an effective way, 2.1GB for two systems is considered good compared to other systems.

also problematic because some might use auto-deploy mechanism directly into the hypervisor which need to be in a form that is identified/used to the hypervisor like .ova or .iso or …etc.

not worth the headache that come of it just for 300mb.

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Similar to:
upcoming usability improvements that will hurt, TLS downloads, abolishing torrent downloads

Added to Declined Feature Requests just now:

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Looking at for version

  • Whonix KVM qcow2.libvirt.xz Xfce image
    • 1393332016 bytes

    • 1.39 GB

  • Whonix VirtualBox .ova Xfce image
    • 2235339264 bytes

    • 2.23 GB

In conclusion, in theory since Whonix VirtualBox Xfce .ova image is much bigger than Whonix KVM qcow2.libvirt.xz Xfce image there is potential to improve compression .ova images.

derivative-maker (build script for Kicksecure and Whonix) is already using:

  • zerofree, and
  • VBoxManage modifymedium --compact

If compression of the existing .ovas can be improved depends on whether VirtualBox allows to increase the compression level somehow or at least allows to pass through some parameter, configuration options and/or environment variable to the compression tools internally used during VBoxManage export. This is unspecific to Whonix.

Perhaps using the TAR_OPTIONS with --xz / --use-compress-program and/or environment variable XZ_OPT set to -9 (compression level) would help?

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I tested this…

…But unfortunately the size for Kicksecure Xfce is still at time of writing 2.1 GB. With and without these environment variables. That didn’t help. Perhaps VirtualBox is filtering these environment variables, setting their own environment variables with lower compression settings or some other issue.

VirtualBox forum:
How to compress disk images (VMDK) inside an OVA with GZIP during VirtualBox export?

VirtualBox forum:
How to create a GZIP compressed OVA file?