Windows Installer


What do you mean by apliences?


Good day,

Sorry, meant to type “Appliances” (VBox images). So, the question is how we could import the Gateway and Workstation virtual machine images without having the user see anything of it.

Have a nice day,



In InnoSetup, these files can be installed to a temporary directory and then the Import can be triggered.


Good day,

that sounds great. Is this all possible without any extensions and to complex scripting? If so, I’ll keep exploring that concept.

Have a nice day,



It would look like this:

Source: .\Whonix-Workstation-; DestDir: {tmp}
Source: .\Whonix-Gateway-; DestDir: {tmp}

But hey, I can do a prototype installer with InnoSetup. This is what Patrick hired me for. :wink:


One thing we have to test is the runtime behavior a 4GB exe file will lead to. Windows may try to load the whole file into memory, which can lead to problems with machines with less main memory. This might be a point for downloading the images…


Good day,

yeah, that could have the effect of a zip-Bomb… However, maybe I have a solution for that. You see, compression wise, the 7-zip solution looked REALLY promessing (from 8 GB to 2,5 GB). And seeing how “Inno Setup” can seemingly extract files saved in 7-zip, we could in theory have the best of both worlds.


Installation of files:
Includes integrated support for “deflate”, bzip2, and 7-Zip LZMA/LZMA2 file compression.

Source: http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php#features

Have a nice day,



Always thought the .ova images had internal compression… This is a good point for including them in the installer.

There is also the option to have the images in external cab files, btw.

Just waiting for a go…!


Good day,

the OVF standard, which .ova follows, doesn’t really dictate anykind of compression. When I compressed the Whonix 12 Workstation appliance (size: 1,9 GB) using 7zip, I got it down to: 1,1 GB so that is pretty good.

Also, something I found out yesterday when creating my version of an installer (which really isn’t one if we’re honest) you might want to keep in mind is this: when you import the appliance, it’s usually set to use a certain folder in the “documents” directory of Windows, which may be changed. Maybe it would be a good idea to give the user the option of choosing where the virtual HDD’s are extracted to. On that note finding a good balance between “ease of use” and “not annoying advanced users” seems rather important.

Have a nice day,



You mean, not extract to a temporary directory, where they are deleted after the import? Ok, this way you annoy users by consuming 4 GB of disk space just for having the images as a backup… At least, I won’t like this.


Let’s keep the installer simple. Advanced users can still manually download ovas.


Good day,

No, what I meant was the location of the virtual HDD which the appliances create and from which VBox usually boots (ends with .vmdk). Of course, the appliances shouldn’t be saved permanetly, that wouldn’t serve any purpose.

Also good, though I assume there will always be some confusion with users. Not beeing able to choose the location of installation also seems rather sketchy to some, which I for one think is justified. After all, trust is good, but beeing in control is far better.

Have a nice day,



We are talking about Windows, don’t we? :smiley:

The machines usually reside in “C:\Users<accountname>\VirtualBox VMs”. This is pretty much standard. I don’t really see the need for customization here.

Do I have a go for a first version?


The concept is good enough from my point of view. We’re far from obtaining the funding that would be used to actually pay you.


Good day,

Heureka! Just found a solution for the licensing issues. You see, the “vbox.me” project actually just created an installer which was easier to use with thumb drives, but didn’t change anything about the “real” VBox source code. What this means is that the solution I had yesterday, can simply be created by first installing VBox and everything necessary in a folder and compressing it with the Whonix files. The best part is, that due to the support of 7-zip in “Inno Setup”, the files I’ve just created could easily be implemented with it as well. This could save a lot of time. Currently, I’m uploading everything to a file hoster, if I’m finished, I may share it as this now shouldn’t violate any liscense.

Have a nice day,



Is it usable on a system that does not have VirtualBox installed?

I think the driver / registry stuff is the non-trivial thing here. You can simulate this by uninstalling the system VirtualBox. Then try if that folder VirtualBox still works. Probably not.

Creating a custom UI for VBox the fast way - Whonix Windows GUI

Good day,

At the moment I don’t have VBox installed in any other way on the PC I’ve checked, though wether it’ll work if it simply got extracted, that’s the question for which I’m currently reinstalling Windows on my “test-bench”. If it works though, that would be great.

Have a nice day,




I’have spent about an hour or two to create a simple installer without any scripting (i.e. checking VirtualBox already installed version) and consider this ‘included’. We can talk about additional features later. But now, I ran into a problem:

So here are the options:

  • have the .ova files (or at least one) in external .cab files or actually use disk spanning
  • download the .ova files from a http server
  • have the gateway .ova in the installer and add a picker with workstation images to choose from and download the selected workstation (to make the bug a feature!), so while the gateway is being imported, the installer can download the selected workstation
  • use another installation software that may handle 4GB files

For you, to experience the look & feel, I have provided a setup with only the gateway .ova: ftp://957.no-ip.org/WhonixWinSetup- (user whonix, empty password)

Visit the Git repo: https://github.com/Thomas-Mielke-Software/Whonix-Installer


Having multiple files is awful from a usability perspective. Downloading
an external file is out of question for previously discussed censorship
issues. So not much options left. Looks like using a different
installation software then.