Tails

Tails 4.0

Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity on any computer.

Download options:
Freeware
Windows
1.1 GB
66,892
4.6 92 votes

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

What's New:

Changes and upgrades

  • Replace KeePassX with KeePassXC, which is more actively developed.
  • Update OnionShare from 0.9.2 to 1.3.2, which includes a lot of usability improvements
  • Update Tor Browser to 9.0:
  • A gray border, called letter boxing, is now displayed around the content of web pages when you resize the window of Tor Browser.
    • Letter boxing prevents websites from identifying your browser based on the size of its window. Letter boxing replaces the yellow warning that was displayed until now when maximizing Tor Browser.
    • The onion icon has been removed from the top bar.
    • To switch to a new identity, choose ▸ New Identity.
    • The icon of Tor Browser is green instead of purple.
  • Update MAT from 0.6.1 to 0.8.0
  • MAT has no graphical interface of its own anymore.
  • To clean the metadata of a file:
    • Open the Files browser and navigate to the file that you want to clean.
    • Right-click (on Mac, click with two fingers) on the file.
    • Choose Remove metadata.
  • Update Linux to 5.3.2. This should also improve the support for newer hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.).
  • Update Electrum from 3.2.3 to 3.3.8. Electrum works again in Tails.
  • Update Enigmail to 2.0.12 and gnupg to 2.2.12, which mitigate OpenPGP certificate flooding.
  • Upgrade most other software, for example:
    • Audacity from 2.1.2 to 2.2.2
    • GIMP from 2.8.18 to 2.10.8
    • Inkscape from 0.92.1 to 0.92.4
    • LibreOffice from 5.2.7 to 6.1.5
    • git from 2.11.0 to 2.20.1
    • Tor to 0.4.1.6
  • Remove Scribus.
  • You can install Scribus again using the Additional Software feature.

Usability improvements to Tails Greeter

  • We improved various aspects of the usability of Tails Greeter, especially for non-English users:
  • To make it easier to select a language, we curated the list of proposed languages by removing the ones that had too little translations to be useful. We also clarified how Chinese is listed by having different entries for simplified and traditional Chinese.
  • We simplified the list of keyboard layouts.
  • We fixed the Formats setting, which was not being applied.
  • We prevented additional settings to be applied when clicking on Cancel or Back.
  • We fixed the opening of help pages in other languages than English, when available.
  • Performance and usability improvements
  • Tails 4.0 starts 20% faster.
  • Tails 4.0 requires about 250 MB less of RAM.
  • Tails 4.0 is 47 MB smaller to download than Tails 3.16, despite all these changes.
  • Add support for Thunderbolt devices.
  • The screen keyboard is easier to use.
  • Make it possible to show the password of the persistent storage when creating one.
  • Add support for USB tethering from iPhone.
  • New documentation pages
  • How to securely erasing an entire device, including USB sticks and SSDs.
  • How to backup your persistent volume.

Other changes

  • Use the default bookmarks from Tor Browser instead of our own default bookmarks. (#15895)
  • Remove the Home launcher from the desktop. (#16799)
  • Remove the default accounts in Pidgin. (#16744)

Fixed problems

  • For more details, read our changelog.
  • Allow opening persistent volumes from other Tails USB sticks. (#16789)
  • Fix the delivery of WhisperBack reports. (#17110)

Known issues

  • None specific to this release.

Apps similar to Tails 8

  • 4.3
    709 votes
    Protect your privacy. Defend yourself against network surveillance and traffic analysis. Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy.
    • Freeware
    • Windows/macOS/Linux
  • 4.6
    178 votes
    Fast, free and incredibly easy to use, the Ubuntu operating system powers millions of desktop PCs, laptops and servers around the world.
    • Freeware
    • Linux
  • 4.4
    24 votes
    Arch Linux is an independently developed, i686/x86-64 general purpose GNU/Linux distribution versatile enough to suit any role.
    • Freeware
    • Windows
  • More