Possible Memory Leak in VBoxIntNetSwitch Process on macOS Caused by Whonix - EDIT: VirtualBox 7 issue, not related to Whonix.

I’ll see about posting this to the VirtualBox bugtracker.

After closing Whonix Workstation, Gateway, and VirtualBox itself, the process VBoxIntNetSwitch remains alive. Under the Memory tab in macOS’ Activity Monitor, the RAM usage of that process somehow correlates to the amount of material downloaded, but not exactly. For instance, the process starts with Gateway, and when I downloaded a high resolution 52 MB image, the RAM usage increased to 20 MB. However, I then downloaded a 77 MB one, and it only increased by around 4 MB. When I close the Whonix VMs, it decreases very slightly. Strange behavior.

The process doesn’t stop if I press Quit in Activity Monitor, I have to use Force Quit.

I tried replicating the behavior with a different OS. I opened a Windows 10 VM, downloaded and installed several updates, keeping it open for a while and restarting after updates, but the VBoxIntNetSwitch process never started.

I’ve been using Tor with an obsf4 bridge, configured in Whonix Gateway. I’m unsure if disabling it makes a difference, but I’d rather not because I don’t like my ISP seeing I’m using Tor.

VirtualBox, the extension pack, both Whonix VMs, and macOS Monterey are all up to date.

Thank you!

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I wouldn’t say caused by Whonix.

Most likely unspecific to Whonix.

Whatever Whonix does, shouldn’t have any bad influence on what VirtualBox does on the host. No VM operating system at all, Whonix or any other, should be able to have any bad effect on the host operating system. If that happens, that this must be considered bugs in VirtualBox and the VirtualBox issue tracker is the only realistic place where something might be done about it.

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Good to know. I just came across a post on the VirtualBox forums from late January of this year where someone had a huge memory leak with the VBoxIntNetSwitch process, causing their Mac to run out of memory. They said they’re “using Internal networks to communication between virtual machines.” This must be why the process starts with the launch of Whonix Gateway since it and Whonix Workstation communicate with each other, so it’s definitely not a Whonix problem! They downgraded from VirtualBox 7 to 6, and that solved the issue for them.

I’ll definitely submit a bug report over there. Thanks for your input!

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