Another way to run Whonix, which I find exciting, is having a bootable USB stick with a host OS, virtualbox/kvm, and whonix ready to start up (or autorunning!). We could provide an image file that users install onto a spare usb stick. Benefits might include: No download/install of virtualbox (and the virtual devices it puts on your everyday machine); No importing images; Only one download to gpg verify; Less worry about user accidentally polluting whonix with stuff from questionable windows host; Compartmentation of your whonix activities (just put in your pocket! Not tied to any computer); Portable; Easier to follow some aspects of the Pre-install advice (https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Pre_Install_Advice#Recommendation_to_use_a_dedicated_host_operating_system)
tempest has already written a guide about how to build an encrypted whonix usb stick manually (https://www.whonix.org/forum/index.php/topic,156.0.html). I expect his help to invaluable.
I imagine that it would be a UNetbootin compatible image (could those also be dd’ed?)
Using old usb sticks would mean a big performance hit. But don’t USB 3.0 sticks (and computers) solve this?
The USB needs to be encrypted. It would be beautiful if this were a simple and near-automatic process.
(If Truecrypt-for-windows “encrypt this OS while already running” feature ever comes to linux, Whonix itself would be encrypted and we wouldn’t need the host OS to be encrypted. This might be preferable to those who like to “hide in plain sight” with a “mostly unused, just-in-case linux distro” they were carrying in their pocket while crossing the border.)
Who knows what computer people will be running. The host OS needs to have driver support.
This will place an additional burden on whoever has to build the images.