Gateway startup Error: Not Syncing: no working init found

This is the first time i’m booting whonix.

Windows 10, Virtual Box. Just downloaded latest versions today, from official websites.


Does this happen with both, Whonix-Gateway and Whonix-Workstation?

Did not try starting w/s - but I will try ?

Yes, appears identical:

Could you try please if a Debian Live ISO can be booted inside your VirtualBox?

Debian Live ISO can be found here: Debian -- Live install images

Choose amd64 which works on both Intel and AMD.

Downloading the iso now. I may be in and out. Trying to also work from home. :slight_smile:

Debian Boots !




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Hi guy’s any idea what could be the reason for this ? Looking for some guidance or directive.

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Thank you for trying to fix this!

What is VirtualBox version?
Should be 6.1.6 or 6.1.8. Not older.

Can you boot into Recovery Mode?

You could try to change kernel boot parameters. In grub boot menu press E to edit. Use arrow keys.


spectre_v2=on spec_store_bypass_disable=on tsx=off tsx_async_abort=full,nosmt mds=full,nosmt l1tf=full,force nosmt=force kvm.nx_huge_pages=force random.trust_cpu=off intel_iommu=on amd_iommu=on efi=disable_early_pci_dma slab_nomerge slub_debug=FZP mce=0 pti=on vsyscall=none extra_latent_entropy

(Also others. Not have full list handy.)

boot using

ctrl + x

Search engines will have instructions too for how to edit kernel parameters in grub boot menu.

Can you boot that Whonix VM (the workstation) from that Debian Live DVD that you downloaded (which works for you)? Please try to insert it into the workstation and boot from virtual DVD (Debian Live) rather than virtual hard drive (Whonix). (This is to find out if Whonix’s VirtualBox host settings are the cause.)

You could try to re-install VirtualBox.

You could try on a different host (computer).

You could try on a different host operating system such as Debian.

You could also report a bug against upstream VirtualBox [archive], VirtualBox bugtracker [archive] / VirtualBox forums [archive], but it needs to be a good bug report. Otherwise the report will not lead to a solution. They’ll require VirtualbBox logs. Instructions:

Please post related VirtualBox forums threads here too so I can jump in.

You could try a Serial Console.

initramfs unpacking failed : odd error that shouldn’t happen.

Maybe your downloaded ova file is corrupted? Maybe you should try first to delete your current Whonix VBOX install and redownload/reimport it?

Yep, just did that and got the same errors as documented prior. The bizarre thing is I have a dual boot system two separate hard drives, one Windows and other is Linux Mint. When I boot into Linux and start the VM and import the ova file it just works as expected. I am about to say :screw Windows and stay on the Linux side :slight_smile:

That’s great but it would even better if you had some time to try to debug and solve this error :slight_smile: Might be affecting other users.

Did you try that?

(delete all kernel boot parameters and then boot by typing ctrl x -> see if it boots)

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Hi Patrick, I did as suggested by editing in the grub menu. I deleted the long kernel boot string as suggested, did the ctrl x and it Booted both gateway and workstation. Hope that helps getting to a root cause?

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Noticed when I did the sudo apt-get-update-plus dist-upgrade in terminal:
Unpacking linux-image-4.19.0-9-amd64 (4.19.118-2) …
dpkg-deb (subprocess): decompressing archive member: lzma error: compressed data is corrupt
dpkg-deb: error: subprocess returned error exit status 2
dpkg: error processing archive /tmp/apt-dpkg-install-PG9m8i/86-linux-image-4.19.0-9-amd64_4.19.118-2_amd64.deb (–unpack):
cannot copy extracted data for ‘./lib/modules/4.19.0-9-amd64/kernel/drivers/edac/e752x_edac.ko’ to ‘/lib/modules/4.19.0-9-amd64/kernel/drivers/edac/e752x_edac.ko.dpkg-new’: unexpected end of file or stream
Preparing to unpack …/87-linux-image-amd64_4.19+105+deb10u4_amd64.deb …
Unpacking linux-image-amd64 (4.19+105+deb10u4) over (4.19+105+deb10u3) …
Preparing to unpack …/88-linux-libc-dev_4.19.118-2_amd64.deb …
Unpacking linux-libc-dev:amd64 (4.19.118-2) over (4.19.98-1) …
Preparing to unpack …/89-openssl_1.1.1d-0+deb10u3_amd64.deb …
Unpacking openssl (1.1.1d-0+deb10u3) over (1.1.1d-0+deb10u2) …
Preparing to unpack …/90-whonix-legacy_3%3a7.8-1_all.deb …
Unpacking whonix-legacy (3:7.8-1) over (3:7.7-1) …
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

This would mean that one or several boot parameters would make the VM unbootable on Windows 10 (at least in your case). Good to know. I noticed you have an AMD processor. Could it be related?

It’s difficult to debug without the particular hardware and software handy (I don’t use Windows). In your particular case I would recommend either using Whonix on Linux (since you reported it worked flawlessly), or continue looking for the culprit in the kernel boot parameters that somehow seem to mess with your Windows installation. This would need taking each parameter, reading up on them and trying to see if similar errors have already been reported online.

This is still on Windows, not on Linux, right?
To me it seems that the package archive is corrupt, may be unrelated to your issue. Try cleaning apt cache first and do it again?

sudo apt clean
sudo apt update  && sudo apt dist-upgrade

Yes. Now we need to find out which one specifically is responsible. Removing as few as possible is best for security. The only way to find that out is removing kernel parameters one by one. (Or few by few.) To narrow down which one is causing it.