[tor-talk] How to make Whonix really user friendly? Looking for your suggestions!

Zenaan Harkness zen at freedbms.net
Wed Mar 26 21:50:42 UTC 2014

On 3/27/14, Patrick Schleizer <adrelanos at riseup.net> wrote:
> Future Directions - Where Whonix wants to be in 2 or 5 years?
> Do we want Whonix to be for average users or just for those with unix
> knowledge?
> Whonix is a useful tool for some already, got many fans. How can we make
> Whonix really user friendly to allow mass adaption by regular people who
> need anonymity most?

I haven't yet read about how whonix works, but this has been on my mind:

Have a VM creator driven by debootstrap or similar type script that
depends on debootstrap to do early install.

I believe that a lot of developers and even some non-developers have
local or local-partial mirrors, and so debootstrap is in these cases
very quick.

Also, for those who have a (partial) local mirror, building an image
may well be quicker than downloading an image.

There are also those of us (like me) who live in rural areas and
mostly only have access to slow high-latency and low bandwidth (1GiB
per month) links to the internet - but I do sync a local debian mirror
every week or two.

So for me with a local mirror, if there were a small debootstrap like
package for creating a whonix image, that is certainly what I'd use.

That script or program could also be used to create a Linux
lightweight container too, rather than a full VM (breathes more life
into older hardware).

Now if that script is driven by a YAML configuration file (or .INI or
whatever you guys have chosen already, but I don't like XML), then it
should be easy to build a GUI on top of this Whonix-creator script for
customization of your new image (ie customization of the config file,
before the script is run).

This might be considered 'advanced install' only, but I do believe
that by facilitating the so-called advanced or power users, or
developers, you actually build a far higher loyalty to your project
much more quickly than you would otherwise. You see, we are the ones
who would build such images and install them for our friends and
acquaintances. We are the ones who advocate a particular solution/
option/ set-up, and more often than not do that installation.

So, you want to be pleasing us! Well, I should say, _we_ want to be
pleasing ourselves by making our own lives easier - we should firstly
target ourselves.

And of course, such a simple 'advanced user' design, of course lends
itself to easy image creation for download, for those who find the
'advanced' configuration gui too, daunting shall we say :)

Good luck

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