Whonix-KVM for Qemu on Windows

is the KVM images compatible with Qemu emulator? if so this is great alternative for whonix over vbox as another (better) free software cross platform hypervisor.

Vbox having terrible issues with Debian due to its lack of development/upgrades in Debian leading to severe bugs like recently one upgrade deleted/corrupted vbox which needed to be installed again from debian sid. (even installing vbox from vbox repository on debian buster it will not make it through, only sid version currently working which not is wise to mix contents with stable repo…).

Qemu supports GNU,Mac,Windows:


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Would need conversion of libvirt xml into qemu commands. Easily doable, but emulator perf is too slow to make it a viable alternative.

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Performance might have become better. See this blog post from 2017 Accelerating QEMU on Windows with HAXM. Created investigate QEMU with HAXM acceleration on the Windows platform as VirtualBox replacement for it.

I’ve downloaded VirtualBox source 6.1.2 from Debian sid, rebuild for Debian buster and uploaded to Whonix testers repository.


This indicates even libvirt runs on Windows:

This indicates even virt-manager runs on Windows:


That’s excellent news. That basically means QEMU for Windows is a viable platform.

@TNT_BOM_BOM I will need your help testing this as I don’t run Windows and never will. I am prepared to maintain and document it. Our current images should be reusable as is. Please install qemu and libvirt on Windows and create a new VM then share its XML settings so I can change adapt the current files to run on Windows. Then it’s just a matter of running import commands with current images.

I think the days for our VBox support are numbered.


Awesome! , i dont use windows as well but i can have access to a machine
when im in need (which is our case currently). so write the
commands/instructions and tell me what you want to test.

HulaHoop via Whonix Forum:

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It’s still a lot development work as per quote https://phabricator.whonix.org/T959

  • fast enough with HAXM?
  • virt-manager or another good GUI on Windows?
  • usability?
  • shared clipboard?
  • shared folders?
  • installer installing QEMU, HAXM?
  • or portable version?
  • probably other stuff that needs to be considered

For now most interesting: performance endurable (HAXM) and usability. Then the other things from list above.

Then also installation of HAXM + QEMU + whatnot isn’t easy. This would require an installer to have usability anywhere near where VirtualBox or Whonix Windows Installer is.

Good list. Without access to Windows, these questions will be very difficult to answer and this won;t go anywhere.

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Problem is, there is no “QEMU distribution”. There any many components but nobody as far I know working towards a nice out of the box user experience.

QEMU feature request: bundle QEMU installer with HAXM accelerator for Windows

Let’s see if / how they react.

Other potential feature requests:

  • bundle QEMU installer with a QEMU GUI (virt-manager) for Windows
  • Windows portable QEMU bundle (QEMU + HAXM + GUI)

Would be perfect for the current ticket. Perhaps append them? If you mention this as a viable replacement for VBox on Windows they may be more motivated to do it IMO.


QEMU feature requests:

All of these feature requests were automatically mirrored to qemu-devel mailing list:

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