How to transfer from a Whonix vdi backup into a Whonix Qubes VM?

On my list of things to do to get my new Qubes setup, er uhm setup is to get all the information I had on my old Whonix setup (using virtual box) and have a vdi backup of. As I understand it Qubes doesn’t play well with virtualization software and I prefer not to goop up my clean installation with a one off install of virtbox just to get my old whonix files (though I guess I could install it on a disposibleVM? assuming virtbox can be installed in qubes).

Ideas or perhaps there is a howto out there (didn’t see one when I looked but won’t dismiss the possiblity of my perhaps having overlooked it?).

Thanks in advance!

Good day,

While there are ways of converting .vdi images to xen images (the hypervisor isued in Qubes), as explained here, as far as I can tell they won’t work with Qubes-Whonix, as it is different to VBox-Whonix in a number of ways. Reinstalling everything is your safest bet as far as this goes.

Have a nice day,


Thanks for the reply. While there are certainly some things I can redo (some rc files etc, a bit of a PITA though) there are somethings that can’t just be redone, I have my keepass database and some important text files so I’d really like to get them out.

I was looking around some more and came across the File Transfer page (a bit humbling considered I had looked before already) at https://www.whonix.org/wiki/File_Transfer and it mentions, if I understand correctly, that one can write files to an iso. If I am understanding that right wouldn’t that be something I could then extract the contents from in a WhonixVM in Qubes?


Yes, but you don’t currently have access to your files because you don’t have a virtualbox installation right?

If you’re just looking to recover data, then it should be fairly straightforward. Check this thread: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/qubes-users/54s9-OtQ_Ks/7smKMyeeJwAJ

(not tested by me) you can use qemu-img to convert your .vdi into a .raw and mount that in a qubesvm to get your data. (Keep in mind that you might need to allocate a lot of private storage to your vm.) Follow-up questions should go to qubes-users mailing list.

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