Meta package whonix-workstation is not installed. Did you accidentally uninstall it?


I revceived this message from whonix check today. Did I accidentally delete something important? Show I be worrying?

If possible, how do I check what did am I missing and what to do to reinstall it? thanks for reading

============= message ==================

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WARNING: Whonix Meta Packages Test Result: Whonix-Workstation detected, but the meta package whonix-workstation is not installed. Did you accidentally uninstall it?
See also: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Whonix_Debian_Packages
If you know what you are doing, feel free to disable this check. Create a file /etc/whonix.d/50_whonixcheck_user and add:
whonixcheck_skip_functions+=" check_packages "



6 posts were split to a new topic: uninstallation of 7zip lead to missing Whonix meta package


I’m using Qubes-Whonix, and I just received this message in both whonix-gw and whonix-ws. I didn’t manually uninstall any packages. All I did was allow my automatic background TemlpateVM update script to run, as it does every day. In whonix-* TemplateVMs, it just does the standard apt-get -y update && apt-get -y dist-upgrade.

After an update i get a WHONIXCHECK Failure:

same here , happened with me when i updated whonix 12 lastly. without removing of anything.


I decided to just uninstall my existing whonix-* templates and re-install from the repo packages. No problems after that.


If you follow the instructions for upgrading…

…there will not be that issue since the installation of that meta package is advised.


This is now documented here:

Could you please add a higher quality screenshot? @TNT_BOM_BOM


sure, check now:- (this is the nearest screenshot i can get)


So, does this mean that I shouldn’t set my whonix-* templates to automatically update? Or should I exclude dist-upgrade if I do that?

As I mentioned before, the update was unattended. I didn’t realize I was upgrading from Whonix 12 to Whonix 13. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that Whonix 13 was available from stable repos. If I had, I would have waited for a more opportune time to upgrade manually.

(Come to think of it, it doesn’t really matter if the updates are “automatic” or not. I would like to know if I’m about to upgrade to a new version or just update my existing version even if the update is attended (e.g., so I can make appropriate backups). Is it “permitted” for users to remain on Whonix 12? I don’t personally want to; I’m just curious what the “policy” is.)


Can you please add it to the wiki page?

Dunno. I’ve never been a fan of unattended upgrades.

The previous plan was “please user find some way to stay tuned” (important blog, subscribe by mail, mailing list, Whonix News) to inform about such issues before they happen. Since that mechanism is probably largely unknown or ignored…

The practice has been to support the older version for one month and to encourage upgrading. From then, the longer the upgrade has not been done, the less effort is spend on support.


Would definitely advise not using unattended upgrades with custom apt-pinning preferences (unless someone here has a solution). Recently ran into an issue that would’ve upgraded my Stable Whonix to Testing if I wasn’t paying attention (or using auto-updates). Posted to debian-user but no replies:



Have you considered separating updates and upgrades? In other words, make it so that when users follow the normal update procedure, they do not accidentally upgrade to a new version. Instead, upgrading to a new version could require an explicit command or procedure so that it must be done intentionally. (Of course, the user can still be asked/prompted to take that action.)


Ideally to be avoided. Complex. Difficult to get right. See
qubes-upgrade-vm ticket discussion. I really would like to avoid having
this for Qubes as well as for Whonix.


Given your answer, I think this would be a good situation to use the new Whonix News functionality that you described here:
whonixcheck Whonix 14 ideas

Some advance notice should be provided before a version upgrade so users know to backup and/or expect a big update. Ideally, users should confirm the updates that they apply anyway but it’s safe to say that’s probably not the case.


Whonix XX will be released on Jan 1, 2017. Please prepare your system by reading the upgrade instructions here: www…


I also did update without knowing it will upgrade the versions and Im now stuck with that error message about the meta package that everyone else has.

I read the whole thread but still unsure, should I fix it and how? Should I leave it? Or just backup my data and start with clean whonix 13. (that will probably take me whole day)


Follow https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Upgrading_Whonix_12_to_Whonix_13 and you will be fine.


I think a lot of the confusion / panic / mystery surrounding this warning message is because people don’t know what a meta-package is.

Here’s a nice description:

TL;DR: A Meta-package doesn’t contain code. It’s just a list of packages - in this case, all the packages that make up Whonix 13. Having the meta-package guarantees that you have at least all of the packages that you should. Not having the meta-package doesn’t necessarily mean that you are missing something but why take the chance?


To describe myself as upset right now is a major understatement. One of the major justifications to adding Whonx to Qubes was that much of the updating and maintaining of VMs would be handled by the Whonix templates within Qubes. Now, we find that this totally untrue.

I spent two hours downloading and installing regular updates and dist upgrades and only at the very end when I get this error message do find out that I did it all wrong. Worse, now that I am root there are packages to be installed that I just auto-removed when I was updating as non-root because that it what the upgrade program told me to do. I want to cry.

Not everyone is a forum junkie. Not everyone keeps up to date on what Whonix is doing. We should be able to rely on the regular update process to upgrade Whonix without any special instructions to following Qubes has an updater, use it!

If the net result of using Qubes with Whonix is that one has to go through the exact same nonesense to upgrade that one has to under KVM or Windows I’d rather go back there–all I have to do then is download the new release and start all over again. The amazing thing is that is would have been faster to download gigbytes over clearnet than all this non-sense over Tor and I doubt sincerely that I would be less safe.


Good day,

Please understand, that Whonix is far more complex than most standard issue virtual systems.

Also, if redownloading and installing the entire system isn’t a problem, this may be done on Qubes at least as fast as on other systems, probably even faster. If you look at the guide, non Qubes users have to go through a similar amount of stress when trying to purely upgrade.

Furthermore, the fact that you were informed this late about issues and that some packages are reinstalling themselves sadly isn’t a Whonix related issue, but just created by how Debian (and most Linux based OS’s in general) handle updates.

Have a nice day,