Whonix 17 wont work directly on debian 12 bookworm host (no iptables)

Debian removed the dependency on iptables since bullseye, and bookwork by default doesnt ship iptables and replaced with nftables.

This caused a blocker to run whonix when this command wont work anymore:

sudo virsh -c qemu:///system net-start Whonix-External

Error starting domain: Requested operation is not valid: network 'Whonix-External' is not active

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/share/virt-manager/virtManager/asyncjob.py", line 72, in cb_wrapper
    callback(asyncjob, *args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/share/virt-manager/virtManager/asyncjob.py", line 108, in tmpcb
    callback(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/share/virt-manager/virtManager/object/libvirtobject.py", line 57, in newfn
    ret = fn(self, *args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/share/virt-manager/virtManager/object/domain.py", line 1402, in startup
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/libvirt.py", line 1373, in create
    raise libvirtError('virDomainCreate() failed')
libvirt.libvirtError: Requested operation is not valid: network 'Whonix-External' is not active

So can this be changed to use nftables? or we need to add iptables as extra package (which is sorta backward degradation)?

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depend on iptables, though when installed with --no-install-recommends doesnt install iptables (?)

Upstream though saying they are not depending on iptables:

So this change made by Debian Libvirt Maintainers

This issue fixed in debian hosts if iptables installed.

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Old Debian upstream bug report:
Dependency problem with iptables and libvirt-daemon-system

But it’s from 2019.

So unfortunately it seems the maintenance of KVM in Debian seems less than stellar.

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