Whonix 15 is blurry compared to Whonix 14?

I use VirtualBox Whonix.

Out of the box, in the same VirtualBox instance on the same computer and with the same VM settings, Whonix 15 is simply more blurry than Whonix 14. It is not nice and sharp like my Whonix 14 is.

Anyone else noticed this? Any ideas on how we can fix it?

Screenshots to compare:

Whonix 14:

Whonix 15:

Two imgur links to compare properly:

W14: https://i.imgur.com/iYFqRze.png
W15: https://i.imgur.com/DD6dsIw.png

Thanks for any help.

I don’t know. Whonix does not ship any source code that influences this.

  • Whonix 14 (stretch based) comes with an older version of XFCE (those from Debian stretch repository).
  • Whonix 15 (buster based) comes with a newer version of XFCE (those from Debian buster repository).

I guess the same would happen in Debian stretch XFCE vs Debian buster XFCE.

As per Free Support for Whonix ™ could you please ask in an XFCE support place?

Right, there’s a Debian repo version upgrade of XFCE from 4.12.3 to 4.12.5.

OK, I have posted a thread on XFCE forums: XFCE 4.12.5 (Debian Buster) is blurry compared to 4.12.3 (in Stretch)? / Desktop / Xfce Forums

I note that XFCE 4.14 is now in the official Debian sid repo. But I’ve just tried playing around in forcing the install of that and haven’t really found it to help this blurry issue / don’t think it fully installed 4.14 anyway.

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My own update: actually XFCE 4.14 does solve the problem. 4.14 did install via my hacky attempt to do it in my W15 (at least most of it did), and its newly included “Window Scaling” setting does the trick.

See it at bottom of this page: xfce:xfce4-settings:appearance [Xfce Docs]

I have a HiDPI display (very common now), and for some reason Whonix 15 with 200% VirtualBox scaling is way more blurry compared to Whonix 14.

This is one of the many reasons I’m excited about XFCE 4.14.

But it’s really bad to have a regression from W14 to W15 for HiDPI users. I hate it when Linux does that.

So having said that, @Patrick, what do you think about trying to incorporate XFCE 4.14 into the Whonix 15 OVA, now that it’s in sid (which, I read, is considered quite ‘stable’ anyway)? Just pin Buster repo as the priority but bring the benefits of 4.14 after 4 years of waiting?

After years of crappy blurriness, Whonix could now look as crisp as a native OS. Do we really have to wait 2 more years for that?..

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Most likely yes.

Installing packages from Debian sid by default for this is not going to happen. Too difficult for me.

  • distribution maintainers cannot maintain apt pinning files
  • grave risk of instability


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