Release Upgrade Whonix 15 to Whonix 16

Well, once again, I have returned from an extended break with using technology.

I followed this page to avoid uninstalling Whonix 15 and then installing Whonix 16. I tried this route because I don’t want to reconfigure everything, and move everything.

After step 2 below the following qubes were running:

  • dom0
  • disp#####
  • sys-firewall
  • sys-net
  • sys-usb
  • sys-whonix

When attempting the instructions from the link above I did the following in order:

  1. Backup/clone all qubes using Whonix 15 templates

  2. Updated everything that could be updated.

  3. Performed Sanity Tests on whonix-ws-15:

  4. Ran systemcheck on whonix-ws-15

  5. Performed Sanity Tests on whonix-gw-15

  6. ran systemcheck on whonix-gw-15

  7. Shutdown whonix-gw-15 qube

  8. View release-upgrade command version on whonix-ws-15 qube

user@host:~$ cat /usr/sbin/release-upgrade | grep version=
version="1.5"
user@host:~$ 
  1. Perform the automated release upgrade using release-upgrade command on whonix-ws-15

  2. Shutdown whonix-ws-15

  3. Start whonix-gw-15

  4. View release-upgrade command version on whonix-gw-15

user@host:~$ cat /usr/sbin/release-upgrad | grep version=
cat: /usr/sbin/release-upgrad: No such file or directory
user@host:~$ cat /usr/sbin/release-upgrade | grep version=
version="1.5"
  1. Perform the automated release upgrade using release-upgrade command on whonix-gw-15
  2. Reboot whole system
  3. ‘systemcheck’ on whonix-gw-15
user@host:~$ systemcheck
[INFO] [systemcheck] whonix-gw-15 | Whonix-Gateway | TemplateVM | Sun 30 Jan 2022 09:56:30 PM UTC
[INFO] [systemcheck] Whonix APT Repository: Enabled.
When the Whonix team releases BULLSEYE updates,
they will be AUTOMATICALLY installed (when you run apt-get dist-upgrade)
along with updated packages from the Debian team. Please
read https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Trust to understand the risk.
If you want to change this, use:
    sudo whonix_repository
[INFO] [systemcheck] Debian Package Update Check: Checking for software updates via apt-get... ( Documentation: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Update )
[INFO] [systemcheck] Debian Package Update Check Result: No updates found via apt-get.
[INFO] [systemcheck] Please donate!
   See: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Donate
  1. ‘systemcheck’ on whonix-ws-15
user@host:~$ systemcheck
[INFO] [systemcheck] whonix-ws-15 | Whonix-Workstation | TemplateVM | Sun 30 Jan 2022 09:57:53 PM UTC
[INFO] [systemcheck] Whonix APT Repository: Enabled.
When the Whonix team releases BULLSEYE updates,
they will be AUTOMATICALLY installed (when you run apt-get dist-upgrade)
along with updated packages from the Debian team. Please
read https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Trust to understand the risk.
If you want to change this, use:
    sudo whonix_repository
[INFO] [systemcheck] Debian Package Update Check: Checking for software updates via apt-get... ( Documentation: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Update )
E: Release file for tor+https://fasttrack.debian.net/debian/dists/bullseye-fasttrack/InRelease is not valid yet (invalid for another 2min 2s). Updates for this repository will not be applied.
[WARNING] [systemcheck] Debian Package Update Check Result: Could not check for software updates! (apt-get code: 100)
Please manually check inside this TemplateVM ('whonix-ws-15').
1. Open a terminal. (dom0 -> Start Menu -> Template: whonix-ws-15 -> Terminal)
2. Update. upgrade-nonroot
[INFO] [systemcheck] Please donate!
   See: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Donate

Clearly I’m doing something wrong, and I have no idea what that is :cry:

run this command on whonix-ws-15, and perform release-upgrade.

Why is that command not listed in the release upgrade instructions?

(and only in message from systemcheck)

More importantly (to me), I did that then followed the rest of the release-upgrade insturctions and still have whonix 15 instead of 16, here’s the log

systemcheck after restarting:

user@host:~$ systemcheck
[INFO] [systemcheck] whonix-ws-15 | Whonix-Workstation | TemplateVM | Tue 01 Feb 2022 12:20:14 PM UTC
[INFO] [systemcheck] Whonix APT Repository: Enabled.
When the Whonix team releases BULLSEYE updates,
they will be AUTOMATICALLY installed (when you run apt-get dist-upgrade)
along with updated packages from the Debian team. Please
read https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Trust to understand the risk.
If you want to change this, use:
    sudo whonix_repository
[INFO] [systemcheck] Debian Package Update Check: Checking for software updates via apt-get... ( Documentation: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Update )
[INFO] [systemcheck] Debian Package Update Check Result: No updates found via apt-get.
[INFO] [systemcheck] Please donate!
   See: https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Donate

It would be easier just to download fresh Whonix 16 templates rather than trying to perform an in-place upgrade from Whonix 15 to 16. Just a suggestion. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Question for you then, since the documentation here says:

If Qubes-Whonix ™ 15 is installed and you want to get Qubes-Whonix ™ 16, there is no need to uninstall Qubes-Whonix ™ 15 before proceeding according to the instructions on this wiki page. This is because the new templates ( whonix-ws-16 , whonix-gw-16 ) will be installed alongside the old templates ( whonix-ws-15 , whonix-gw-15 ).

Does that mean that after the install of qubes-whonix 16 I can easily move files from the old template to the new?

Sure, you can use qvm-move/qvm-copy (or GUI equivalents) to move/copy files between any qubes, including templates. However, if you have extensively customized a template, then merely copying files may not be enough. For example, you may also need to install the same packages. It may also not be obvious which files need to be copied over (e.g., obscure config files buried deep within hidden directories).

1 Like

Okay, well if it’s challenging to directly explain how to upgrade the existing template, then I’ll just have to do the fresh template, and reconfigure and move everything. Thanks for your input @adw

What I have learned while upgrading Whonix in-place, Qubes or non-Qubes is that it eats so much space to the point it becomes unbearable by any means. My last try was from 14 to 15, and then finally give up when it took40-60GB of space.
Which lead me to learn that fresh install is much more convenient, even more for my computer than for me.
Which also thought me to get a list of essential packages to install/(re)configure after fresh install so I can start to use it. All other packages I install on the way, when they are needed, one by one. For example, I never install LibreOffice on a fresh install, until I need to open some office document.
That way I am always happy with 8-16GB fresh, fully updated and reconfigured Whonix. My computer too.

1 Like

You might have better luck asking about doing an in-place upgrade on the Whonix forum.

1 Like

I personally would also start with a new 16 template. In case of the data replication, I was just thinking, if you have a trusted storage device one could probably also utilize rsync to contain the folder structures which would be a faster and more convenient procedure, if your threat model allows such a thing… :slight_smile:

1 Like

Why rsync, though? Why not just use qvm-copy/qvm-move?

Well, no really “meaningful” reason besides habit I suppose.

I just have found myself doing all of my Qubes backups to a “backup” qube to replicate them to a NAS with rsync scripts, do some clean-up and such. Simple automation basically. As I do not only have 1 huge backup, but segregate them by “type” and other parameters which can be parsed to store them based on those parameters…

1 Like

Since Qubes 4.1.0 is out, should I just do a clean install of that instead of first doing whonix 16?

It all depends on your situation and needs, but that sounds like a reasonable course of action. In general, a clean reinstallation is simpler, and there are fewer places where things can go wrong.