From Whonix wiki

Whonix is not amnesic

Unlike Tails, Whonix is not an Amnesic Live CD. If you install Whonix on your computer this will leave local traces on the harddrive, that you installed Whonix on that device. Any files you create will still exist after powering off or rebooting unless you securely wiped all signs of their previous existence.

There are no special measures to limit what is written to disk. This includes (non exhaustive list) user created files, backup files, temporary files, swap, chat history, browser history and so on. Whonix acts like an ordinary installed operating system. It can also not be prevented, that the host memory swaps to the host disk. There is a Recommendation to use multiple VM Snapshots and it is recommended to apply Full Disk Encryption on the host.

For more information on this topic, see also: Is there a substitute for Whonix's lack of an Amnesic feature / Live CD/DVD? Forensics?"

I translated amnesic in my native languages and still don't understand 100% what this means. I have only a vague understanding. With a search engine you don't find amnesic related to Computer science.

1 Answer 1


Amnesic in terms of, for example Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) it is the same as is meant by the medical term. From Wikipedia: "Anterograde amnesia is the inability to transfer new information from the short-term store into the long-term store."

Tails has a long-term memory, which is the basis of the operating system and stored on the live media you boot it from but nothing that happens or changes that you make will make it into the long-term memory. It forgets anything that happened and reverts to it's long-term memory and exactly the same state it was in before you'd done anything or made any changes.

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