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Whonix Census - Counter the Number of Whonix Users

If its too much work, probably not. However its interesting to gather this data like how Tor keeps track of what OS it runs on. Might be useful info to mention when writing proposals.


Edit by Patrick:

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Is this a call home feature? if you do implement it, please make it optional to begin with or easily removable.

Hi chicken

Bear in mind this is just casual talk about something that would be interesting to know (how many KVM, VBox users etc.) This would not be a “phone home” feature like other distributions such as Fedora have and would only be done if it was safe i.e stats gathered blindly with no user specific stats.

With that said, its probably not something that would get implemented in Whonix since resources would be better spent with other developmental tasks.

You should make sure you have hardware that is compatible with Qubes before switching. Qubes R3.2 hardware requirements are less stringent.

(You should prefer Qubes over KVM if your hardware is compatible)

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There is no private info transferred at all and it adds no additional risk than that of apt communicating with our servers which you are doing anyway to keep your systems patched.

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The fact that I am connected and when, and through what kind of setup is already something I prefer won’t be recorded in yet another place.

I realize that using apt and whonixcheck does something similar. In the case of apt I have the choice of when to do it. In the case of whonixcheck it’s an open bash scrupt that I can easily disable it if I so choose and I am happy with that. In practice, I run apt often enough and I don’t disable whonixcheck - but I appreciate that I have a choice, unlike many other operating systems that do stuff for “users own good” without allowing a choice.

chicken:

if you do implement it, please make it optional to begin with or easily removable.

Easily disabled. See:

https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Whonixcheck_Hardening#Prevent_Downloading_Whonix_.E2.84.A2_News_and_Whonix_.E2.84.A2_User_Census_Counting

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What about just gathering the data on the server similar like it’s done for the tor browser: https://metrics.torproject.org/webstats-tb-platform.html
i.e. count downloads for the windows installer, virtualbox, kvm images. Qubes will probably be harder since it ships by default with Whonix and I don’t know how many of the Qubes users actually run it. In this case some kind of feature on the client side would be required to “call home” but only once.
I guess VirtualBox would still be the clear winner. KVM is not even listed in the official download section. Also for the torbrowser the major platform is still Windows and I guess the same would be true for Whonix which implies Virtualbox. Though you can’t be sure about that without gathering some data.

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