What does "Research project" mean?

Upon first booting Whonix, there’s a box with a lot of text that states that Whonix is “research” project. What exactly is it researching?

Whonix also regards itself to be the most watertight Linux distro in terms of security, but also says it is built by volunteers, hobby-ist with no guarantee of it’s efficacy and that there are many areas where “it fails”. So it safe or not? Also, what are those areas that it fails at?

I’m very sceptical of this application. The horrible text capitalization in the GUI welcome screen doesn’t help…

Yeah, the stuff Whonix does is being done by almost nobody else. So, we research and implement various things. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s why it’s a research project carried out by volunteers, not a mega company or anything like that.

Although Whonix has a unique design, it doesn’t develop each and every app it includes. We don’t develop Tor, Debian, or the hypervisors like KVM, VirtualBox, or Xen. As a result, Whonix is designed using components that we don’t own; thus, there are no guarantees that everything will work well all the time.

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That’s just a legal disclaimer.

It’s an old project. No credible proof of concept, design flaws exists on how the IP of a Whonix user could be leaked.

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Technical Introduction chapter Security Overview in Whonix wiki

Quote Whonix ™ Documentation

This documentation is a crash course in anonymity and security on the Internet. Whonix ™ is a technological means to anonymity, but staying safe necessitates complete behavioral change; it is a complex problem without an easy solution. The more you know, the safer you can be.

See also: