Whonix Host Calamares Branding Suggestion

By default, we use the default branding of Calamares installer for Debian derivatives (as provided by calamares-settings-debian package):

Fortunately, this is easily configurable:

What do you think?
I would gladly upload configuration files and pictures on github if needed.

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Yes, much better than default! (Default could even annoy Debian if someone confuses Debian for Whonix.)

Since we put calamares config files into this package too, please add modifications here too:

(I will answer the other thread when I get to it. Done fixing the root/sudo related bugs. Will commit soon.)

All right, I have forked the repository and will make a pull request once it is done.
Thanks for your feedback.

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(Sorry for the deleted post, I pushed the reply button too quickly)

OK, so I’ve uploaded everything on GitHub.

I haven’t made a pull request yet, some explanations first

It is my understanding that most if not all files and settings related to branding with debian live systems are taken care of by calamares-settings-debian package. So we have to modify some of these files for Whonix branding:

root@host:~# dpkg-query -L calamares-settings-debian

First, we need to modify the branding line in the file/etc/calamares/settings.conf from “debian” to “whonix”

Then, we create a whonix directory in /etc/calamares/ and add our own files (we don’t need to modify anything, as the branding entry in /etc/calamares/settings.conf file will automatically point to our new directory whonix):


Last thing is to take care of the Calamares Installer icon on the desktop (named “Debian Installer” by default).

To do that, at least the following files must be modified/replaced:


I have made the necessary changes in the files and changed their filenames when needed (replaced debian by whonix). I hope it won’t cause confusion:

/usr/share/pixmaps/install-debian.png -> renamed to /usr/share/pixmaps/install-whonix.png https://github.com/onions-knight/whonix-libvirt/tree/master/usr/share/pixmaps

/usr/share/applications/install-debian.desktop -> renamed to/usr/share/applications/install-whonix.desktop https://github.com/onions-knight/whonix-libvirt/blob/master/usr/share/applications/install-whonix.desktop

But now I am thinking, maybe a cleaner option would be to get rid of calamares-settings-debian altogether and create a package calamares-settings-whonix instead with our own configuration files? :slight_smile:

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onion_knight via Whonix Forum:

root@host:~# dpkg-query -L calamares-settings-debian

or: apt-file list calamares-settings-debian


Yes, we need a basic understanding of these files file by file. See what we can leave out and see what we need to emulate.

For example /etc/apt/sources.list handling is already done by Whonix and /usr/sbin/sources-final etc. can cause issues or needs to be disabled.

But now I am thinking, maybe a cleaner option would be to get rid of calamares-settings-debian altogether

Very, very worthwhile to consider.

and create a package calamares-settings-whonix instead with our own configuration files? :slight_smile:

Yes. Either a new package calamares-settings-whonix or existing package whonix-libvirt.

calamares-settings-whonix is slightly cleaner but yet another package. Maybe justified by the complexity of this. Has an advantage if someone later wants to implement Whonix Host VirtualBox.

Is there some way we could reuse that calamares-settings-whonix package also for “hardened debian”? Some more generic name?

On the other hand /etc/calamares/modules and /usr/lib/calamares/modules/bootloader-config folders contains sufficient complexity which we don’t want to understand in detail / maintain / update/compare from buster+1 release upgrade.

Hard decision. On first sight it looks like in this case it is better to curb the calamares-settings-debian package.

I could config-package-dev hide /etc/calamares/branding/debian/branding.desc. (May not even be required, see below.) (Or all files in /etc/calamares/branding/ folder although may not be necessary.)

Our /etc/calamares/settings.conf could change branding: debian to branding: whonix (or more generic name).

Or if we don’t need to make any changes to /etc/calamares/settings.conf besides that we could instead config-package-dev displace /etc/calamares/branding/debian/branding.desc with our own config.

There is probably no need to curb files such as /etc/calamares/branding/debian/debian-logo.png if our forked “/etc/calamares/branding/debian/branding.desc” no longer uses string debian-logo.png but rather our own image.

Summary best way forward as far as I can see for now:

  • Add /etc/calamares/branding/debian/branding.desc and Whonix branding images to package whonix-base-files. (“hardened debian” can later use its own branding.)
  • Create a new package calamares-settings-dist (generic name, later erusable by “hardened debian”). (Or just the files and folders. I can add the /debian folder soon after.) Add any non-branding file we need to modify there.
  • If you want to overwrite a file owned by calamares-settings-debian: just add it to the package. I will add a config-package-dev displace.
  • If you want to remove a file owned by calamares-settings-debian: just let me know. I will add a config-package-dev hide.

Ok, I’ll see what I can do (hope it’s not too much work as I don’t have that much free time).

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