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Debian + KVM + Whonix 16 (Flashing underscore on black screen)

Well as total linux noob I can’t believe I even got this far lol

Managed to get debian bullseye setup ok
KVM seems setup ok
Whonix giving me issues though.

In KVM, gateway is available and so is workstation.
However when I enter gateway I notice a message something about guest turned off. Is that normal?

Anyway I ignored that and pressed the play button. First of all giving me a load of options about username being user and password being changeme. I kept those as is for now.

Done all that then restarted the laptop.

After the restart I went back into KVM and started gateway which shows me a little blue box for the 3 options. Box stays there for about 5 secs and Which ever option I choose I then get a black screen with blinking underscore cursor and does nothing.

As someone very new to this I wondered if I could be instructed on how to combat this?

I noticed on here a discussion about creating a file but I don’t know how to get root privs in DIRs to create files in them… I’m that new!

Please assist because I can’t get any further than this. Thanks.

Try increasing the RAM available to the Gateway VM from 512 to 1024 megabytes.

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How is this done? I see a lot of mention of it but how do I do it exactly? Thanks

All good managed to figure it out. Thats fixed it :smiley:

The XFCE desktop no longer works if less than 1gb ram is assigned. A gig for the gateway is excessive and I will never bump it up that much so if you need to temporarily adjust the settings via GUI, just bump the RAM up and reboot the vm.

No longer the case, its a gdm thing

Thanks for getting back to me. Bumping gateway up to beyond 1gb has fixed the issue. However do i do the same with workstation or can that remain the same? Thanks again

WS ships with 2GB so no changes needed.

lxdm works with 512mb but it isn’t logging in

cc/ @Patrick

When I start Whonix gateway after installing it, it won’t start properly. The grub screen appears but then it results in a blank screen with a blinking cursor. The Workstation works fine though. I gave it 512mb ram and 2 threads but I’m not sure whats going on.

This is on KVM.

Ok so increasing ram to 1024mb seems to fix this. It used to work with 512mb before so I’m not sure what the extra resources are used for :confused:

It’s just down to the change of display manager used in Debian 11 versus Debian 10. Debian 10 used ‘lightdm’ which could boot the X server with only 512 MB of ram, whereas Debian 11 is using ‘gdm3’ which needs more than that. Since Whonix 16 is based on Debian 11 it is using gdm3 instead of lightdm like it used to. As to why gdm3 needs more resources than lightdm, you’d have to take that up with the gnome developers–my guess is that they decided to be inefficient with memory use since there is so unlikely to be any systems with less than 1 GB of ram.

Whonix-Gateway Xfce for VirtualBox uses 1280 MB RAM by default at time of writing.

I have also noticed Whonix 16 to be more laggy compared to 15. Could this be the issue?

I don’t expect any solution can be found to lower gdm3 memory requirements, at very least not in the short term.

In that case I would suggest to lower the default RAM to boot into CLI mode, document that and advice to increase RAM to however much is required for first boot (to use GUI for initial setup) and/or whenever GUI is required. Messy usability wise and not great to have such platform specific differences but possible for Whonix KVM maintainer decision.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: no login prompt / getty started on tty1 anymore in Whonix 16 (Debian bullseye based)

Slashed all VMs’ RAM and edited GW description to let them know how to turn the DE on.

Let me know what stable branch I can build to put this out ASAP please.

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With 256 MB RAM…

Did you try kernel upgrade?

Did you try kernel modules rebuild?

  • sudo apt install --reinstall tirdad
  • sudo apt-get install lkrg-dkms linux-headers-amd64

There is quite a chance to have freezing issues during upgrades or above operations. (First one happening during upgrades, second one happening later during the release cycle.)

There’s none. Latest git currently “unstable” (not ready for point release soon).

With the git submodules it requires quite some git knowledge and is even a bit cumbersome to create a stable branch. You could

  • (Whonix/Whonix) base on git tag 16.0.3.1-stable,
  • (Whonix/Whonix) create a new git branch,
  • (whonix-libvirt) git add, commit the commit to the whonix-libvirt package
  • (Whonix/Whonix) git add add, commit the updated whonix-libvirt package to the git branch
  • (Whonix/Whonix) push a new git tag 16.0.3.1.1-developers-only (or keep it private)
  • test
  • (Whonix/Whonix) push a new git tag 16.0.3.1.1-stable (appended a .1)
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All work.

OK I’ll decide on something.

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