Tails helps you to:
- use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship
- all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network
- leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly
- use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging
Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.
It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card independently of the computer's original operating system.
Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image and sound editor, etc.
If you are interested in giving Tails a try on your current computer without running any risk, please check out our Guide: Running Linux From a USB Drive As a Virtual Machine or Bootable Disk.
Online anonymity and censorship circumvention with Tor
Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy online:
- all software is configured to connect to the Internet through Tor
- if an application tries to connect to the Internet directly, the connection is automatically blocked for security.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.
Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.
Using Tor you can:
- be anonymous online by hiding your location
- connect to services that would be censored otherwise
- resist attacks that block the usage of Tor using circumvention tools such as bridges
- We enabled address space layout randomization in the Linux kernel (kASLR) to improve protection from buffer overflow attacks.
- We installed rngd to improve the entropy of the random numbers generated on computers that have a hardware random number generator.
Upgrades and changes
- Upgrade Tor to 0.2.8.7.
- Upgrade Tor Browser to 6.0.5.
- Upgrade to Linux 4.6. This should improve the support for newer hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.)
- Upgrade Icedove to 45.2.0.
- Upgrade Tor Birdy to 0.2.0.
- Upgrade Electrum to 2.6.4.
- Install firmware for Intel SST sound cards (firmware-intel-sound).
- Install firmware for Texas Instruments Wi-Fi interfaces (firmware-ti-connectivity).
- Remove non-free APT repositories. We documented how to configure additional APT repositories using the persistent volume.
- Use a dedicated page as the homepage of Tor Browser so we can customize it for our users.
- Set up the trigger for RAM erasure on shutdown earlier in the boot process. This should speed up shutdown and make RAM erasure more robust.
- Disable the automatic configuration of Icedove when using OAuth. This should fix the automatic configuration for GMail accounts. (#11536)
- Make the Disable all networking and Tor bridge mode options of Tails Greeter more robust. (#11593)
- For more details, read our changelog.
- For some users memory wiping fails more often than in Tails 2.5, and for some users it fails less often. Please report any such changes to #11786.
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