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(End of testing.) Testers-Only version Whonix 7.7.2 Debian Packages

No more testing of this version required.

testers-only, which means apt-get could hang in half-broken state which
can likely be manually fixed. (Advanced Linux users, those comfortable
with Debian sid or so can even fix them themselves.) There is never 100%
security. Having snapshots/backups around is recommended. No
anonymity/privacy/security issues expected. By switching to the
testers-only repository you’ll help a lot improving Whonix and speeding
up development (more eyeballs catching bugs). Stable releases will then
work better for everyone.

If you want to build images from source code:

Currently not possible (or at least very difficult), due to two bugs which have been recently introduced in Debian testing.

It might take a while until these get fixed. I plan to base next Whonix version on Debian stable instead of Debian testing to avoid that kind of build bugs and to avoid

If you want to upgrade from Whonix’s repository:

Switch to Whonix’s ”’testers-only”’ apt repository.

First do these steps on Whonix-Gateway, then repeat on
Whonix-Workstation. There might be small bugs related to
whonixcheck/timesync, and you may need to reboot.

export WHONIX_APT_REPOSITORY_DISTRIBUTION_ENV=testers

Apply changes to which Whonix apt repository will be used.

sudo -E whonix_repository

The usage of the whonix_repository tool will be greatly simplified after
this upgrade, because a graphical user interface has been added so it
becomes easier to switch around.

Update and upgrade.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If you want to upgrade from source code:

The tag for this ”’testers-only”’ version is ”’7.7.2”’ (don’t use 7.3.7). Please refer to https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Dev/Build_Documentation and see “Build Documentation for upgrading Whonix debian packages from source code”.

Bonus: this is the first upload of Whonix’s Debian Packages that is
verifiable [1]. If one would care to check if they can get the same
checksums as uploaded to Whonix’s repository, that’ll be awesome.

[1] https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Verifiable_Builds#Verifiable_Whonix_Debian_Packages

Changelog between Whonix 7 and Whonix 7.7.2 (testers-only version):

  • In new installations, automatic updates of Whonix’s debian packages are disabled by default. During first start, users can decide if they want to enable Whonix’s APT repository or want to leave it disabled.
  •  Fixed Whonix’s Tor Browser download and start script for TBB 3.5.
  • Fixed physical isolation build script.
  • Verifiable Builds. Whonix now has a feature which allows the community to check that Whonix .ova releases are verifiably created from project’s own source code. Also made ade Whonix’s APT repository verifiable (even deterministic!). Please see https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Verifiable_Builds for details.
  • Made Whonix build script configurable (can now build terminal-only Whonix-Gateway’s and/or Whonix-Workstations; 64 bit builds and more)
  • Improved Whonix News’s security. All Whonix News Files are now inside one tarball, which is signed. This stops leaking how many users are using a particular version.
  • whonixcheck’s Whonix News download now checks if Whonix News are still valid (currently up to 4 weeks) and therefore detects indefinite freeze and replay attacks.
  • whonix_repository tool now has a graphical user interface; added more command line switches.
  • Set default locale to en_US.UTF-8.
  • Simplified custom user installation of TorChat, thanks to dummytor.(Protecting from Tor over Tor.)
  • Removed apper and synaptic from default installation, because they are too confusing / have too many bugs, do not always work in all cases for all users, #104, can still be manually installed if wanted, see also https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Dev/Automatic_Updates
  • whonixcheck: more configuration options, any function can now be disabled, this is useful for users who wish to disable control port filter proxy, they can disable the check_tor_bootstrap function
  • whonixcheck: added protection against possibly malicious strings from check.torproject.org (in case of a bug, compromise of check.tpo server or CA compromise), IP strings are now max 50 characters long. User will be warned in case the limit is exceeded.
  • Whonix-Workstation: no longer installing Tor Browser by default, this simplified implementing verifiable builds (#113), installing iceweasel by default, which can be used to download Tor Browser, added local iceweasel browser homepage saying that iceweasel should not be used for anything other than downloading Tor Browser, unless one knows what one is doing.
  • Removed galternatives from whonix-workstation-default-applications because galternatives has been (temporarily) removed from Debian testing
  • Building Whonix from frozen repository, from snapshot.debian.org to make the build script more resistant from upstream changes and also to
    make Whonix verifiable.
  • The Whonix Team can now use separate keys for Whonix’s APT Repository and Whonix News.
  • Added technical documentation about keys in Whonix whonix_shared/usr/share/whonix/keys/readme.
  • new man page: man/whonix_shared/sdwdate.8.ronn
  • Deactivated Maximizing Windows by dragging them to the top of the screen to prevent users from accidentally maximizing their browser window when they are using resolutions higher than 1024×768. See https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Higher_Screen_Resolution ;
    https://github.com/Whonix/Whonix/issues/110 and
    https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/7255 for more information. #108
  • added udisks to whonix-shared-packages-recommended for mounting removable drives
  • KDE settings changes, set to oxygen as suggested by scarp in “[Whonix-devel] Plastique kwin style & Widget Style”
  • whonixcheck: increased timeout for the tor bootstrap.py utility from 5 to 10 seconds to make it compatible with slow systems as per bug report https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Special:AWCforum/st/id248/whonixcheck%3A_tor_bootstrap_statu….html
  • added secure-delete, because it contains sfill, which can be used to zero out free space, which is required for disk shrinking
  • Deactivated running update-command-not-found during build, since not deterministic (verifiable). Manually running is of course still possible.
  • whonix_shared/etc/apt/sources.list.d/torproject.list: removed the “deb http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org tor-0.2.4.x-jessie main” repository, since that repository has been removed by The Tor Project (Tor is now in their Debian testing repository, which is already added)
  • fixed a bug reported by scarp, whonix_shared/usr/share/whonix/postinst.d/70_disable_kdm_autostart: was not disabling other display managers other than kdm. Now using the more generic
    /usr/lib/whonix/display-manager-dpkg-post-invoke.
  • msgcollector: fix race condition not always closing progress bar when it reached 100%
  • Whonix-Gateway: Workaround for http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=732578 https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Download#Connection_Issues_-
    _Tor_stops_working_after_an_Upgrade_and_needs_a_Workaround https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Special:AWCforum/st/id287/
    new_tor_and_debian_updates_today….html Set in /etc/default/tor: USE_AA_EXEC=”no” Can be commented out when that bug gets fixed.
  • optionally (opt-in) building qcow2 images, first rudimentary implementation, build target (VirtualBox or qcow2 or both) should probably be configurable in whonix_build script (#122)
  • Whonix News Blog Download / Whonix News: Whonix News Blogs (Whonix Feature Blog and Whonix Important Blog) are now deployed over the same mechanism as Whonix News.
  • Improved messages.
  • Lots of smaller fixes.
  • Code refactoring.
  • For more details, see the git log.

Announcing Whonix’s First Implementation of Verifiable Builds

Hi,

you may or may not be interested, that Whonix [1] (a derivative of Debian) first implementation of verifiable builds has been finished. It should make it reasonable to believe, that the original Whonix.ova images have been build from the source code that has been published for that Whonix version with no malicious additions by the Whonix builder or build machine. Next Whonix version will be build that way.

It’s not as good as reproducible-builds [0], where you can simply compare the hash of the resulting image, but without any
deterministically build operating systems, that’s impossible for the Whonix project to archive.

How it works (very brief)… Whonix does not add binary packages. All binary packages are taken from Debian repositories. Whonix is only a collection of config files and scripts. Images is extracted, MBR, VBR gets dumped and compared, checksums of all files within the image are created. All information is written into a report file. When having two reports (one of official builds and a own build), those can be compared. The full documentation of that feature and links to the related scripts can be found in whonix.org wiki. [2]

I am happy to hear if I have overseen any holes, where backdoors could still be hidden.

And I also have a question. During Whonix’s build process, after installing all packages inside the image, commands like

/var/lib/dpkg/info/docbook-xml.prerm remove
/var/lib/dpkg/info/docbook-xml.postrm purge

are run. And during first boot, commands like

/var/lib/dpkg/info/docbook-xml.preinst install
/var/lib/dpkg/info/docbook-xml.postinst configure

are run. Is there perhaps a better way of temporarily getting rid of non-deterministic files than manually running these scripts, for example letting dpkg call those scripts?

Cheers,
adrelanos

[0] https://wiki.debian.org/ReproducibleBuilds
[1] https://www.whonix.org
[2] https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Verifiable_Builds

Domain Update

The Whonix team is proud to announce our new secondary .onion domain: http://kkkkkkkkkk63ava6.onion

It should now be easier to remember the domain name. This was a suggestion by anon.

Our old .onion domain will remain available for a while.

(The purpose of the .onion domain is to offer an alternative end-to-end encrypted connection to whonix.org, not to hide the location of the server.)

Building Whonix from frozen sources, snapshot.debian.org, security discussion

Beginning from Whonix 7.4.0 (not released yet), Whonix’s build script has been adapted to build from snapshot.debian.org instead of from the more popular ftp.us.debian.org. This has pros and cons, which are discussed here:

https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Dev/BuildDocumentation_8#CurrentSources_Builds_.28Optional.29

instructions for using arbitrary operating systems behind Whonix-Gateway updated

They have been simplified. It is now easier to exactly match the settings of the standard download version.

https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Other_Operating_Systems

new documentation: Manually Create Whonix VM Settings / Restoring .vmdk files

This is useful, if you have a backup of Whonix .vmdk hard disk images and want to restore them. This could be the case if your VM settings file is damaged or missing for some reason or if you only made a backup of the .vmdk files. See:
https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Manually_Create_Whonix_VM_Settings

MAC Spoofing Development

Tails developers are working on MAC spoofing. If you care about this feature which might get used in Whonix some day. At least their thoughts on that topic are very valuable. You may be interested to join their Whonix unspecific development discussion:

[Tails-dev] [RFC] Design (and prototype) for MAC spoofing in Tails

https://mailman.boum.org/pipermail/tails-dev/2013-October/003835.html