Whonix-Host Operating System (OS) ISO

Debian Live:

cat /etc/fstab
overlay / overlay rw 0 0
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs nosuid,nodev 0 0

purism calamares configuration:

grub feature request:
Add All Keyboard Layouts and Selector to Early GRUB Core Image (grubx64.efi)

question about calamares for CLI version:

Was fixed by upstream and will appear in Debian 13 / trixie most likely.

This was resolved. The ISO (in development) is now compatible with all major environments on Intel / AMD64:

  • legacy BIOS boot from hard drives
  • legacy BIOS boot from ISO
  • SecureBoot EFI boot from hard drives
  • SecureBoot EFI boot from ISO

This was tested with QEMU. It’s in the usual repository here for now:


Does not seem having ISO support but might be useful to create a bootable USB drive.

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Hello, I’m new to this forum, and to Whonix in general, I want to start by thanking you all for all the work you do.

This project (Whonix-Host OS ISO) is really great, it allows users with smaller RAM to run the OS in a secure way without using Qubes (needs lot of RAM) especially since many computers still use 4Gb of RAM now (in Cyber cafés, libraries…). The fact that it’s amnestic/portable is also great, the fact that it’s using the workstation/gateway system + having the advantages of amnestic/live Operating systems is a game changer.

I just had a proposition (or idea), since many users who use these tools focus on anti forensics, portability and amnestic usage (like Tails) and of course anonymity, why not publishing an ISO with only the amnestic/non-persistant/live version, then implementing the persistant mode.

I’m referring to this "
By default, Whonix-Host runs from a USB flash drive as a Live ISO, as any modern Linux distribution does. This means that you can use and test the whole system, including Whonix-Gateway and Whonix-Workstation, without making any changes to your computer (“live” or “amnesic” mode).
Whonix-Host can also be installed from the USB flash drive onto an internal hard drive or onto an external drive such as another USB flash drive to be used as a permanent Operating System (“persistent” mode)." (link : Whonix-Host Operating System Live ISO, Whonix-Host Installer)

Many users can use persistant mode via lot of ways (VMs, Qubes…) so I was thinking that Whonix-Host is especially of great benefit to users asking for non-persistant/portable/amnestic solutions.

Why I gave this proposition ? (releasing the non persistant version first, then implementing the persistant version in another update)

It’s mainly because I know the persistant version is difficult to develop, and that maybe it can be good to release first the non persistant while developing the persistant instead of developing both at the same time then releasing them at the same time. It’s because (and please correct me if I’m wrong I’m just a novice) I think (again I’m not sure but you guys can know better than me) that most users interested in Whonix Host are interested in non persistance/portability/anti forensics (like Tails) (those who are interested in persistance and have enough RAM already use Qubes).

That’s why I made this proposition of releasing the non persistant/portable/anti forensic version first while developing at the same time the persistant one.

I don’t have experience in OS developing, when it comes to Network I know the abstractions and can think about solutions, but almost nothing when it comes to coding (I can help if someone is interested, just I don’t know how)

Edit : One last thing I wanted to add, I also proposed this idea because I think that if there is something that makes progression harder in the development of the persistant mode, at least the non persistant mode won’t be impacted (in the way that it’s development is retarded because of some problems found when developing the persistant) + we will have at least one fully functional mode (non persistant) while developing the other one (persistant). Of course these are only propositions I’m really just a novice in this domain

Thanks again for everything


How (not) important is it to have separate Xfce vs CLI builds for the ISO?

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Good news for Kicksecure:

Once the Kicksecure ISO issues are fixed, Whonix ISO development will continue.


Great news I have loved my Kicksecure experience so far, have been waiting on this for awhile.

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Open tasks: