So the regular recommendation is to use the Tor browser at all times because it includes no-script, https-everywhere etc by default as well as a number of other tweaks.

However I'd like to know if there's any problem with using the regular Firefox browser in Qubes-OS specifically. Basically the virtual machine is setup to use the Whonix-Gateway as it's network-vm meaning all networking is transparently proxied through the gateway. No browser bug, JavaScript, security hole etc will ever be able to leak my IP.

So assuming leaking isn't possible, and no changes to the root directory are persistent, is it safe to use Firefox (And really, any application) with Tor?

I often hear this makes me 'Pseudonymous" because my fingerprint may be somewhat unique (Private browsing is on by default so no coockies, cache or other identifiers are stored)

The only reason I can think of for why I'd want to use the Tor browser (or Whonix workstation) is because it makes me blend in with other Tor users.

2 Answers 2


Short answer: If you're sure you understand and accept the fingerprinting risks, then yes, it's fine to use regular Firefox (or any application) in an AppVM connected to a Whonix-Gateway.

Longer answer:

It sounds like you may be conflating Qubes OS with Qubes-Whonix. Qubes OS can run many different types of VMs in addition to Whonix-based VMs.

So, the answer to your question depends on your goal. Are you attempting to hide just your external IP address, or other information as well?

If your AppVM OS environment is uniquely fingerprintable (due to a unique set of installed packages, for example), and if it's the same as a clearnet VM (because they're both children of the same TemplateVM, for example), then an adversary might be able to correlate your identities even though one AppVM is connected to a Whonix-Gateway.

This is why it's better (from a anti-fingerprintability standpoint) to run Tor Browser rather than regular Firefox, and why it's even better to run Tor Browser in a Whonix-Workstation VM than in a regular (Fedora or Debian) AppVM.

If, for some reason, those fingerprinting issues are not part of your threat model, then by all means, use regular Firefox. (I'd recommend creating a separate AppVM for this, so as not to contaminate your Whonix-Workstation.)


You can safely use a Firefox + FoxyProxy in a separate VM. Remember, that VM in most of the virtualisation environments has a very handy feature - snapshoting! Use a snapshot that was made before ever running a web browser, and revert a VM to this snapshot every time you're flushing your identity. Or if you know, that's an upgrade is available - you're upgrading the snapshot itself

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