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How to install Whonix to enjoy the safest Linux distribution? Step by step guide

There are several valid reasons why you want to surf the internet safely, maybe for protect information about your work, perhaps because you do government work and maybe because you have a millionaire personal project in mind that they can plagiarize you.

Whatever the reason, that’s what Whonix is ​​for which works as a privacy-based Linux distro and security of your personal data and the information of your hardware, so it combines three technologies to make this possible.

We will tell you what are all the advantages of this operating system, the minimum characteristics that your machine must have and you will learn how to install this initiative on any personal or business computer.

What is Whonix and what are the main features of this Linux distribution?

This is an idea that was born in 2012, under the premise of keeping user data safe and hiding internet browsing data. What’s more, for malicious software it is impossible to reach the IP of the computer that people use to access the network.

Whonix uses two different images, controlled by a central operating system that is based on Debian. Has a GNU General Public License, so it has the endorsement of the Linux developer community. You should not think that it is a pirate OS, it is very far from that reality.

It has some cool features that you should keep in mind:

  • Red Tor: This is a technique that manages to route all Internet connections in the form of an “onion”. It works as a filter and a layer that hides the type of navigation and the content that users have access to.
  • IP protection: As all access is done anonymously, third-party applications and websites cannot identify the real IP of the users, because Tor is in charge of hiding it and masking it with other false IPs.
  • There is a record: the operating system hides your data from third parties, but it does not mean that everything is forgotten. On the user’s side, there is a detailed record of visits and Internet browsing, even when the computer is restarted. People are always going to prefer certain information to be stored locally.
  • It is based on Debian: This is another initiative that builds on the power of Debian, but eliminates any possibility of personal information being leaked. The best thing about it is that your APT takes care of keeping the entire system up to date without you lifting a finger.
  • It has Firefox: navigation is done with this program that has been modified so that there are no invasions of privacy or data theft. This setting is licensed by Mozilla.
  • Work with virtual machines: It is because of this quality that the data on your computer is protected. Supported engines are VirtualBox, Qubes-OS, and Linux KVM.

What are the minimum features that my computer must have in order to install Whonix?

Working under a protective layer is costly for your team, which must have high minimum characteristics so that Whonix can work without problems.

This is what your computer should have:

  • An 8-core processor, regardless of the brand or its architecture.
  • 6Gb RAM memory As minimum.
  • Screen resolution 1366px x 768px.

Whonix has additional solutions for Windows and macOS, but only in Linux it must be installed as an operating system, that is why it requires high standards in terms of physical resources. If you want to install the developer version, a good monitor is not required as all work is done through a terminal command.

Learn step by step how to install Whonix on your computer correctly like an expert

During the entire installation, you are going to require three different things, but they are connected and one goes after the other. You must be patient, most of these steps are accomplished with an installation wizard, but the rest are done through a command console.

Go for it:

Before starting

Whonix interface on Linux

To avoid complications, it is better if you are clear about the resources that are required in terms of software to complete this task:

  • Installation corresponds only to Linux users.
  • Is required the program VirtualBox.
  • Installers required from Whonix Gateway and Whonix Workstation.
  • Is required that your team has the hardware features mentioned above.

Download “.ova” files

Whonix workstations on Linux

These are the files that both versions of Whonix contain and that you should have on hand before starting the installation:

  • Go to the web whonix.org/wiki/VirtualBox.
  • Download both files “.Ova”.
  • Unzip if necessary and keep them handy.

Install VirtualBox

VirtualBox website

All this process is done with an installation wizard, so it is not complex to do:

  • You must go to the web by VirtualBox virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads.
  • Select Linux base that has your distribution.
  • If you don’t get it, Choose “All distributions”.
  • Run The installer.
  • Choose the eyelash “File” and later “Import Appliance”.
  • Choose First the packet that corresponds to Whonix Gateway. Press “Continue”.
  • Press “Import”. And later “Agree”.
  • Makes the same procedure for add the Whonix Workstation package.
  • Once you import it, press the checkbox “Connect”. Then mark “Next”.
  • Follow the steps until the installation reaches the 100%.
  • A window will pop out with a warning, you just have to press “OKAY”.

Configure Whonix

Whonix configuration

At this point, we already have the virtual machine and the packages that are required to have this safe operating system on our computer.

You only need to make some final adjustments, but they must be done from a command console on your Linux distributor:

  • Open the console and type the command line: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade.
  • You must place a username and password. Press “Enter” at the end.

When the process is finished you will see in the command console, you can now close it and start browsing safely from the Whonix interface, which has work interfaces and assistance so that you can take the first safe steps in its use.

Remember that you must always keep VirualBox installed so that Whonix continues to be active on your computer. If you have doubts about how to use safe browsing, it is better that you see a tutorial to make sure that you comply with the steps once you want to start working.

List of the safest Linux distributions you can use as an alternative to Whonix

Before you start point out that Whonix is ​​one of a kind, actually it is so. This is the only operating system based on a virtual machine that protects your security to the extreme. There has not been another similar project that is on the border of being a pirate application and a legal application, well documented, with the benefits that it offers.

However, we must leave a list of solutions that also think about user safety:

IprediaOS

This is a bet that also thinks about anonymity, but with lower results than Whonix.

It has more insecurity hole than any other operating system, and this one does not work with a virtual machine, so it is installed directly without VirtualBox:

  • Encrypt all traffic with the protocol I2P.
  • Work with the graphical environment by Gnome and Lxde.
  • It is completely free, but not very reliable.

Liberté Linux

In addition to being user-friendly in terms of interface, it is fast and light, because it has fewer features than Debian, for instance.

It only focuses on the safe navigation of users through the internet:

  • Can be installed on a pendrive, and that leaves a lot to say.
  • The advantage is that Tor is in charge of managing browsing traffic, through its encryption technique.

Privatix

It is a portable distribution, which means that it can be installed on a USB stick or portable hard drive. It is based on Debian, but with fewer benefits that this robust system has.

Let’s see:

  • Your encryption system it’s more efficient than the previous ones.
  • Protects end-to-end communications between people, so it looks more like a spy machine.

Tails

It is a small system, but what pack all documents in a safe environment that you share as emails, images, videos and audios. It also builds on the Debian kernel.

But it does not have all its functions:

  • Browse safely because he uses the technique Tor to protect data.
  • Completely block connection attempts with the user and the machine that have not been recognized by you.

Anonum.OS

It does not have a good reputation for being full of malicious programs, although it is a distribution of Linux. It was removed from the Surceforge site, which recommends the best operating systems.

It is based on OpenBSD and is the successor to Incognito LiveCD:

  • No longer has the backing of the community of developers.
  • It is one of the Linux distributions that has been forgotten by his inefficiency and ease to be attacked.