Whonix XFCE Development


Question: Accessibility feature/options do we need it for whonix?

Big, difficult subject. Please discuss in separate forum thread.

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This is discussed somewhere + sensors in general r dangerous for anonymity.

Sensors are unwanted in Whonix VMs. However if there are sensor widgets
showing sensor information then this is only a usability bug. And a
problem for screenshots perhaps. This sensor widgets make only visible
what’s available anyhow. Let’s hope we can get rid of them by package
selection of pre-configuration.

hmm remove them?

Algernon explained a technical limitation which is too difficult to fix
for the Whonix project. If we could avoid them, we would. Removal may
require forking XFCE, code changes to XFCE, and recompilation. Too much
work. Let’s hope we can get rid of them by pre-configuration.

Should be.

Build config / commands could be different?

export WHONIX_APT_REPOSITORY_OPTS='--enable --repository stable'
export REPO_PROXY=""
target_opts="--target virtualbox"

sudo -E ./whonix_build --flavor "$vm" $target_opts --unsafe-io true
$opts --build "$@"

[quote=“Algernon, post:37, topic:6213”]
I could not reproduce the failed services. I maybe need to take a closer
look at the virtualbox guest utils? What exactly is not working?

The weird sounds, everything is working for vbox , but not really on reality.

Could you please describe in how far guest additions are not working?
Like, mouse/input is trapped in VM and requires host key to exit VM?



Kgpg has huge dependencies with KDE (ofcourse its built for it), better to be removed:

After this operation, 277 MB of additional disk space will be used.

277 MB savings in disk space and no more KDE default dependencies sounds
good. Let’s consider not installing kgpg by default. How important is
kgpg? How popularity used is it used by our users?

What hurts Whonix more, kgpg installed by default or having users to
manually install kgpg?

Thats the huge issue with KDE , everything depending on each other leading to remove one thing will remove everything. Thats why DE dependent packages better to be avoided to be installed by default.

Not a universal truth.

More issues:

  • Remove PulseAudio from GW:

This was a horrible extra package in GW-KDE, hope we dont repeat the same mistakes in xfce.

Quite likely not a KDE vs XFCE issue. Ticket:

consider installing phonon4qt5-backend-null by default on Whonix-Gateway

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Cool , but i think removing it as well will damage xfce core? (since i assume it has been installed by default)

like this:

Work around:

after playing with xfce (because i liked it) , i found the solution.

  • once you open whonix-xfce , then maximize the window of Vbox while just whonix running at the beginning (before fully loading) then you will see this result:

i would go with kgpg installed by default , because user if he want it there is no simpler way to more than apt install kgpg. but installed by default would harm the users who dont use it or need it or like it by default (and being there with xfce making more nonsense).

i meant we faced that already in KDE , and again its happening in xfce. i think phonon ticket more for KDE ?


i meant we faced that already in KDE , and again its happening in xfce. i think phonon ticket more for KDE ?

It’s more likely not KDE vs XFCE related.

That’s true but this is a general issue with meta packages. Either you only install a very minimal desktop and then the enduser has to install editors, vlc, … themself but he can also remove them without problems. Or you use metapackages for a better user experience but then you can’t remove the packages easily.
PulseAudio can be added only to the WS, currently it is pulled in by two meta packages, an XFCE one and a general non-qubes one. I guess the second one can also be removed @Patrick ?

Those are the taskbar icons like terminal, home …

Yes, but not in a way that I would expect a difference. I just tested most of the steps from the 1300 script on with some of your options but everything still worked as expected. I will try a full build again but some stuff like repo proxy does not apply. I also run a newer version of virtualbox and extpack than @nurmagoz but I don’t know if this causes the difference.

I agree that Kgpg pulls in a lot of other packages even with --no-install-recommends. However, gnugpg as an alternative is only CLI and Kgpg is rather convenient. imho having kgpg installed by default only" hurts" development and image sizes of the ova and qcow2 files. There does not seem to be any decent alternative for Kgpg with GUI.


I am not sure we can fix that VirtualBox guest additions vs screen issue. On second screenshot looks like guest additions are properly working. Which means they are probably installed. That’s what we can work on in Whonix. However, the bug of not initially using all the screen is a guest addition bug which we most likely can’t fix at Whonix.

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Yes, please remove pulseaudio from hardened-desktop-applications-xfce since we arelady have it in non-qubes-vm-enhancements-gui.

Newer version of virtualbox might have more/less bugs related to guest additions vs initial non-full screen bug.

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Whonix-Gateway XFCE (and CLI) keyboard layout bug confirmed and fixed in git.

At least until/if we figure out how to disable that scary warning.

One option is to chmod +x but that breaks on package upgrades (when xfce terminal is upgraded that package upgrade would result in loosing the chmod +x so it’s not a reliable option.)

A post was split to a new topic: replacing kdesudo with gksudo

Confirmed. Only happening for me for Whonix-Workstation-XFCE. Can’t reproduce with Whonix-Gateawy-XFCE. “Hopefully” a heisen bug which we’re lucky to not hit in then next build.


  • Whonix-Workstation-KDE by default freezes with 8 Tor Browser tabs.
  • Whonix-Workstation-XFCE by default still works fast with 8 Tor Browser tabs.

So now I am on a rampage to get Whonix XFCE the default Whonix stable download ASP.

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Could you please explain (so I can add) or add how to change the keyboard layout in XFCE?

Similar to Whonix CLI Development I also reduced the delta between non-qubes-whonix-gateway-xfce and non-qubes-whonix-workstation-xfce.

Either use the cli: “setxkbmap us” with the language you want. In the gui go to applications --> settings --> keyboard --> layout --> disable “use system defaults” --> add your layout at the bottom --> remove the old layout --> close