Kicksecure ™ for VirtualBox with XFCE

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Kicksecure ™ in VirtualBox

1. Download Kicksecure ™ Logo box.png XFCE for Windows Windows logo - 2012.svg.png, MacOS Rsz osx.png and Linux Tux.png FREE

Ambox warning pn.svg.png By downloading, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agreed to our Terms of Service and License Agreement.


Type Connection Link Download Security
without Verification
Download Security
with Verification
Download.png Https long.png

Download (TLS)

Medium High [1]
Download.png Iconfinder tor 386502.png

Download (Onion)

Medium High
Button sig.png Https long.png - -
Button sig.png Iconfinder tor 386502.png - -
Crypto key.png Verify images using this Signing Key

Verify the Kicksecure ™ Images Template:Verify the virtual machine images

Download Kicksecure ™ XFCE

2. Install VirtualBox Virtualbox logo.png

Recommended VirtualBox version: latest

  • Linux Tux.png: please press expand on the right side.

info Recommendations for Linux users:

  • The recommended host Linux kernel version is the same version that Debian bullseye is using, see linux-image-amd64.
  • Linux users only: use the recommended Linux distribution as a host for Kicksecure ™ VirtualBox is Debian Linux version bullseye.

Hosts using a non-Debian OS: Tux.png

Install VirtualBox as per the normal mechanism for your Linux distribution. Kicksecure ™ has has been tested with, expects VirtualBox version latest

For example VirtualBox version 5.2.18 has been reported to not be compatible.

Ubuntu hosts: Logo-ubuntusvg.png

Ubuntu bionic (18.04LTS) APT repository ships only VirtualBox version 5.2.18 and Kicksecure ™ will probably not work.

You might want to release-upgrade to Ubuntu hirsute (21.04) and install the virtualbox package from the hirsute-updates backports repository which provides at time of writing VirtualBox version 6.1.26.

Debian hosts: Debian.png


  • These instructions are for host operating systems running Debian bullseye, which is recommended.
  • Other Debian releases might work, but this is untested.
  • To acquire the Recommended VirtualBox version tested with Kicksecure ™, package virtualbox should be installed from Debian fasttrack repository according to the following instructions. [2]

1. On the host.

Open a terminal.

2. Add Debian the fasttrack repository.

Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

Install the Debian fasttrack signing key.

sudo apt install fasttrack-archive-keyring

Add the Debian fasttrack repository.

echo 'deb bullseye-fasttrack main contrib non-free' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/fasttrack.list

3. Update the package lists again. [3]

sudo apt update

4. Install VirtualBox and Linux kernel headers.

sudo apt install virtualbox linux-headers-$(dpkg --print-architecture)

5. Add your current user to group vboxusers. [4]

sudo adduser $(whoami) vboxusers

6. Done.

The procedure of installing the VirtualBox host software is complete.

3. Import Kicksecure ™ Logo box.png into VirtualBox Virtualbox logo.png

For Kicksecure ™ VirtualBox import instructions, please press on expand on the right.

Start VirtualBox

Click on File then choose Import Appliance...
Select Import2.png

Navigate and select Kicksecure ™ image and press next
Select whonix ova image3.png

Do NOT change anything! Just click on Import
Click import4.png

Then press Agree

Wait until Kicksecure ™ .ova has been imported

Now start both Kicksecure ™ and Kicksecure ™
Start both of them7.png


There are also Video Tutorials.

If you still need help, please check the Support page.

For command line import instructions, see footnote. [5]

4. Start Kicksecure ™

Starting Kicksecure ™ is simple.

Start VirtualBoxDouble-click the Kicksecure ™ and Kicksecure ™.

First time user?

Kicksecure default admin password is: changeme default username: user
default password: changeme

first time users warning Warning:

If you have no idea how Kicksecure ™ works, then read the Design and Goals, Kicksecure ™ Limitations and Tips on Remaining Safe pages to decide whether Kicksecure ™ is the right tool for you based on its limitations.

See Also

Footnotes and Experimental Spectre / Meltdown Defenses

Please press on expand on the right.

VirtualBox Stable Version | VirtualBox Testers Only Version

Testers only! For more information please press on expand on the right.

These experimental Spectre/Meltdown defenses are related to issues outlined in Firmware Security and Updates. Due to the huge performance penalty and unclear security benefits of applying these changes, it may not be worth the effort. The reason is VirtualBox is still likely vulnerable, even after:

  1. A host microcode upgrade.
  2. A host kernel upgrade.
  3. A VM kernel upgrade.
  4. A "not vulnerable" result from spectre-meltdown-checker run on the host.
  5. Installation of the latest VirtualBox version. [6]
  6. All Spectre/Meltdown-related VirtualBox settings are tuned for better security as documented below.

To learn more, see: VirtualBox 5.2.18 vulnerable to spectre/meltdown despite microcode being installed and the associated VirtualBox forum discussion. [7] Users must patiently wait for VirtualBox developers to fix this bug.

On the host. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --ibpb-on-vm-entry o VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --ibpb-on-vm-exit on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --l1d-flush-on-vm-entry on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --l1d-flush-on-sched on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --spec-ctrl on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --nestedpaging off VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --mds-clear-on-vm-entry on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --mds-clear-on-sched on

VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --ibpb-on-vm-entry on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --ibpb-on-vm-exit on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --l1d-flush-on-vm-entry on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --l1d-flush-on-sched on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --spec-ctrl on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --nestedpaging off VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --mds-clear-on-vm-entry on VBoxManage modifyvm "Kicksecure" --mds-clear-on-sched on

Info These steps must be repeated for every Whonix or non-Whonix VirtualBox VM, including multiple and custom VMs.

The above instructions only apply to the default VM names Kicksecure ™ and Kicksecure ™. Therefore, if Multiple Kicksecure ™s and/or Multiple Kicksecure ™s are configured, then repeat these instructions using the relevant name/s.


  1. It does not matter if the bulk download is done over an insecure channel if software signature verification is used at the end.
  2. This is non-ideal but required since VirtualBox in unavailable in official Debian bullseye repository and difficult to install due to VirtualBox Installation Challenges. Alternatively you could install VirtualBox from the Oracle ( Repository, but this comes with different risks. VirtualBox might be updated by VirtualBox developers before being tested with Kicksecure ™ which could then lead to issues. (Described in footnote here.)
  3. This is to acquire the Debian fasttrack repository package sources.
  4. Optional: See: Also spams ~/.config/VirtualBox/VBoxSVC.log log if not done.
  5. On the Linux platform.
    1. Read License Agreement:
    vboxmanage import Kicksecure-XFCE- --vsys 0 --eula show --vsys 1 --eula show
    2. Import Kicksecure ™ and Kicksecure ™.
    vboxmanage import Kicksecure-XFCE- --vsys 0 --eula accept --vsys 1 --eula accept
  6. VirtualBox version 5.2.18 or above is required since only that version comes with Spectre/Meltdown defenses. See
  7. Also see the following Whonix forum discussion: Whonix vulerable due to missing processor microcode packages? spectre / meltdown / retpoline / L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF)
  8. --ibpb-on-vm-[enter|exit] on|off: Enables flushing of the indirect branch prediction buffers on every VM enter or exit respectively. This could be enabled by users overly worried about possible spectre attacks by the VM. Please note that these options may have sever impact on performance.

    There is a mistake in the VirtualBox manual stating enter which does not work. It is actually entry.


    --l1d-flush-on-vm-enter on|off: Enables flushing of the level 1 data cache on VM enter. See Section 13.4.1, “CVE-2018-3646”.

  10. --l1d-flush-on-sched on|off: Enables flushing of the level 1 data cache on scheduling EMT for guest execution. See Section 13.4.1, “CVE-2018-3646”.


    For users not concerned by this security issue, the default mitigation can be disabled using

    VBoxManage modifyvm name --l1d-flush-on-sched off

    Since we want to enable the security feature we set --l1d-flush-on-sched on.

  12. --spec-ctrl on|off: This setting enables/disables exposing speculation control interfaces to the guest, provided they are available on the host. Depending on the host CPU and workload, enabling speculation control may significantly reduce performance.

  13. According to this VirtualBox ticket --spec-ctrl should be set to on.
  14. --nestedpaging on|off: If hardware virtualization is enabled, this additional setting enables or disables the use of the nested paging feature in the processor of your host system; see Section 10.7, “Nested paging and VPIDs” and Section 13.4.1, “CVE-2018-3646”.

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