I've been working on a setup using VirtualBox that uses the Whonix Gateway as a Tor middlebox and I am planning on using Ubuntu for the workstation. I don't plan on storing any information on the Ubuntu VM since I only want to use it for secure browsing.

My question is whether or not it would be more secure to simply create the virtual machine, click "Try Ubuntu," setup the configuration I need to access the internet through the Whonix gateway, and save a snapshot of the system rather than creating a virtual hard drive and installing Ubuntu.

I feel like this method would be substantially more secure due to the fact that there is no persistence from one session to another, since I would just be reloading the snapshot whenever I want to use it. However, it would be lacking security in the sense that I would not have the option to use Ubuntu's drive encryption to protect the machine that way (as far as I know). Any advice on the subject would be appreciated

For what it's worth, the data for the virtual machines are already inside an encrypted volume on the host, so I guess that may at least help with the encryption issue mentioned above.

1 Answer 1


Why not install however you want, then mark the disk immutable, then take a snapshot? Every time it restarts, you'll get back to the disk image as you set it up. This way you can use FDE if you like, and still not have any persistence session to session.

  • Yes, this is what I do as well. To add on, once every week or so, it is good to unmark it, update all packages to patch vulnerabilities and mark it immutable again. Package updates applied when unmutable as not persisted. Jul 29, 2015 at 11:26

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