Whonix's Host naming

I am not good at names but Whonix-Host is not good.
All Whonix-Hosts are Whonix’s host, but not the opposite.
Many other OSes can be a Whonix’s host.
When you are reading for a long time, it is easy to not get the point that Whonix-Host is meant to be an OS developed to be a Whonix’s host, not any other disribution with different purposes.

When talking about Whonix OSes, there are two deployed as of now, Gateway and Workstation. Gateway could be named proxy, but Gateway is a much better name for people to imagine what it does, it is the gate to the internet. Workstation could be named userspace, but it actually conveys the meaning of the station the user should work. I think “Host” is ambiguous and should be changed to another word.

Searching for synonyms of host does not lead to relevant alternatives, but searching synonyms for manager and control does.


Maybe these names are not good, but Whonix-Host is easy to be confused.

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Problem with this name is that Kicksecure is Whonix’s base.

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As I keep writing in forums all over the place:

(Whonix is based on Kicksecure.)

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What about Whonix-Native?

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whoot (whonix root).

Just Whonix.

When we run Debian in a KVM VM, we call it Debian.

When we run Debian in VirtualBox we call it Debian.

When we run Debian on a laptop/desktop we call it Debian.

When we run Debian without a gui, we call it Debian


If we stick to the naming used so far, it would have to be:
Whonix or Kicksecure-Whonix

  • Whonix
    I assume, that from most users perspective ‘Whonix-Host’ is simply an evolution of Whonix (Whonix, how it should be). I assume, most future users will be using the ready-to-use ‘Whonix-Host’, and it will become the main Whonix release. Thus it also makes sense, to name it in such fashion.
    The current Whonix variant could then be renamed to something like ‘Whonix for VirtualBox’.

  • Kicksecure-Whonix
    Considering Qubes-Whonix does exist. Kicksecure-Whonix would make a lot of sense. After all, it sounds a lot like ‘Whonix-Host’ is basically Kicksecure + KVM with Whonix?
    In such a case, maybe the current release should be renamed VirtualBox-Whonix. To create a uniform naming scheme.

Considering the name ‘Whonix-Host’, one might say ‘Kicksecure’ is ‘Whonix-Base’. Such naming is not pretty, but informative. It may be useful for new users, which come to read the wiki/about pages, or for internal use.

Reading that ‘Whonix-Host’ (based on ‘Kicksecure’), comes with pre-installed Whonix virtual machines (again based on ‘Kicksecure’), feels a bit weird. It raises more questions than it answers.
Using names like Base, Host, Workstation and Gateway makes it easier to keep track of everything in relation to each other.

I see potential for an info graphic, which shows how Whonix-Base is released standalone under the name Kicksecure, while its children (Host, Workstation + Gateway) combine into Whonix.

Such a chart would of course also enable a distinct new name for ‘Whonix-Host’, but then Whonix (current) would have to be renamed as well. Otherwise the naming would be confusing again.

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