[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 ( File Transfer - Whonix ) 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 ( Tools and utilities for Windows ):
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!

1 Like


This is like

File Transfer - Whonix

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?
File Transfer - Whonix

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:
File Transfer - Whonix

Could you please document it?