Introduction to the WhonixOS

15.08.18 в 14:38 Reviews and cases 17759

Whonix is a system for hackers and fans of anonymous visits to web resources. With proper configuration, this specialized Linux distribution allows you to walk around the network without disclosing any identity using the Tor network (The Onion Router).

The system runs from a virtual machine, if desired, it can be installed on a physical workstation.

Internal organization

Whonix is divided into two systems (images are based on Debian):

  • Whonix-Gateway;
  • Whonix-Workstation.

Anonymity is guaranteed to the user by the fact that the Gateway virtual machine is completely isolated from direct contact with the Internet. All traffic is first passed through another machine (Workstation), and that in turn enters the network via Tor. As a result, the workstation can not know its external IP. In addition, the separation of the environment allows you to protect your work from harmful effects (viruses of all types).

Differences from the alternative TailsOS

Similar to Whonix is the Tails system, based on the Debian distribution. It works in Live mode from a DVD or USB drive. Whonix, thanks to the physical separation of system components, the protection is higher.

The advantages of Tails are:

  • mobility (you can start without installing a virtual or physical machine);
  • speed (an image with a capacity of 910 MB is loaded very quickly);
  • Windows Stealth Mode (allows you to represent the working environment, disguised as Windows 8).

Like Whonix, Tails works only through the Tor network. Also, the system has a Claws Mail client and an on-screen keyboard as part of the delivery.

Whonix benefits:

  • resistant to DNS-leaks (requests are redirected to the Tor-DNS ports);
  • надёжный хостинг onion-сервисов (даже взломав веб-сервис, злоумышленник не сможет похитить закрытый ключ сайта);
  • support for obfuscated bridges;
  • Support for Protocol-Leak-ProtectionandFingerprinting-Protection, which protects by default the creation of images-user clones;
  • The ease of using VPN + Tor in any combination.

The main disadvantage of the system is the fact that Tor and Whonix have different development companies. If you detect threats and security holes in Tor, this will directly affect Whonix users.

Deployment instructions

First of all, you need to download the images of Whonix-Gateway and Whonix-Workstation and VirtualBox. And only with official websites. Then VirtualBox is deployed on the computer. And already with it alternately run two images of Whonix. The RAM settings can not be changed, the default values for comfortable operation are quite enough.

After running the images of Whonix at the user's disposal - two virtual machines: Gateway and Workstation. The first one to run is Gateway. Once loaded, it displays a window in which you want to press the Understood key. Next, you need to configure bridges, proxies and firewalls (choose the first option by default and run updates in each case). After the installation is complete, the Arm-Torcontroller is started and the Tor work is checked. If the traffic passes, you can run the Workstation by filling in all the windows.

From the console enter sudosu, enter the password changeme, specify passwd and come up with a new password. Next, update the system with the sudoapt-getupdate && sudoapt-getdist-upgrade command.

To add Russian, enter: sudodpkg-reconfigurelocales.

To set the Russian language, select ru_RU.UTF-8 UTF-8.

Whonix is ready to go! For greater security, you can add a VPN, for example, implement a VPN-Tor-VPN scheme by installing a VPN on the host machine and uploading an .ovpn file to the Workstation (openvpn is installed by default).

Working with Whonix

Once the gateway is started, all other operations are performed on the side of the Whonix-Workstation workstation, which runs on a virtual machine in VirtualBox, similar to the gateway. By default, to start the system, the RAM values and the number of cores are sufficient, but it is better to increase their number for comfortable work. In addition, you will have to set the password for the user user and the password changeme. The Tor browser will be automatically downloaded and installed after running the appropriate shortcut on the desktop of the system.

In addition to the workstation's virtual machine, the Whonix-Gateway can provide access to Internet resources to any computer or third-party virtual machine. For this purpose, the gateway has two network adapters. One of the adapters is used to communicate with the Internet, and the other is used for secure interaction with the connected workstations. Over this network interface, many virtual or physical machines can connect to the Internet with the help of the Whonix-Gateway gateway without any problems.


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