[Virtualbox] Transfer files from whonix to host with disk images



I’m a new user to Whonix and used Tails before (in a VM). Since it seems that getting files from the VM to the host is a difficult topic ( https://www.whonix.org/wiki/File_Transfer ) I want to present you an easy way how I did it on Tails and how it works on Whonix.
As for security reasons I didn’t want to have virtualbox guest additions installed (I uninstalled them with sudo apt-get purge virtualbox-guest-* ).

Basically we use a new hard disk that we mount in whonix, whose container we can also mount on the guest OS.
Problems with this solution: You (might) have to shutdown the Whonix Workstation to read the container.

Creating the Container

  1. Shutdown the Workstation, go in the settings of it and add a new hard disk to the first (SAS) controller (if you add it to the second, it will not boot). Choose a fixed size vmdk Container.

  2. Start the workstation and do the following:

To create a FAT device, we have to install the fat drivers:
sudo apt-get install dosfstools

To have a partition and mount manager (this is superior to the KDE one since we can one-click mount volumes):
sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility

Start “disks” via GUI (if you start it via console it will not work):
Applications - Utility - Disks

  1. Select device and format it with FAT32 (cogwheel symbol). You could use NTFS I guess (that would allow files >4GB), but I never needed that and never tested it.

  2. Mount it with the “play” button.

Mounting the virtual disk on the host OS
On Windows you can use ImDisk ( http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/ ):
Shutdown the Workstation and then you can right-click the vmdk main file and select “Mount as ImDisk Virtual Disk”.
If the VM is still running it will give an error. There is a way to still mount them by using VMWare Workstation and mount it via “File - Map Virtual Disks” (As far as I know the free VMWare Player does not offer this feature). There are also other ways to mount vmdk files but I didn’t test them if they work if the workstation VM is still running.

On Linux, google for “linux mount vmdk” - there are lots of ways.

Feel free to add this to your wiki.

greetings and thank you for creating Whonix!



This is like


but for Windows rather than Linux?

What about installing an ext4 file system driver instead? That way one might be able to skip creating a second partition. Then you might theoretically be able to just access the vmdk / ext4 disk from a Windows host.


ext4 file system driver

I don’t know, since I didn’t want to install additional drivers (ImDisk is running anyway).


Could you please add it here?

Actually, mounting vmdk on linux with Libre Software is not simple. Because virtualbox-fuse is no longer available in jessie and QEMU based ways require QEMU version equal or bigger than 2.8.

Anyhow. I added a stub here:

Could you please document it?