Tails

Tails 3.9

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.

Freeware
Windows
1.1 GB
49,392
4.7 77 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:

New features

  • Additional Software
    • You can now install additional software automatically when starting Tails. When installing an additional Debian package from Tails, you can decide to install it automatically every time. To check your list of additional software packages, choose Applications ▸ System Tool ▸ Additional Software.
  • Veracrypt Integration
    • To unlock VeraCrypt volume in Tails, choose Applications ▸ System Tool ▸ Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes. The integration of VeraCrypt in the Files and Disks utilities was done upstream in GNOME and will be available outside of Tails in Debian 10 (Buster) and Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish).
  • News Reading in Thunderbird
    • Thunderbird is now the official RSS and Atom news feed reader in Tails. Liferea will be removed from Tails in version 3.12, early 2019.

Upgrades and changes

  • Improve the configuration of the persistent storage to make it easier to scroll and consistent with the GNOME guidelines.

Included Software

  • Update Tor Browser to 8.0, based on Firefox 60 ESR.
    • Based on Firefox Quantum.
    • New Tor circuit view
  • Update Thunderbird from 52 to 60.
  • Update Tor to 0.3.4.7-rc.
  • Update Electrum to from 3.0.6 to 3.1.3.

Hardware Support

The following updates make Tails work better on recent hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.):

  • Update Linux to 4.17 which also fixes the Foreshadow attack.
  • Update the DRM and Mesa libraries to improve support for some graphics cards.
  • Update the Intel and AMD microcodes and most firmware packages.

Fixed problems

  • Stop displaying the Enigmail setup wizard every time Tails is restarted. (#15693 and #15746)
  • Show a spinner while starting Tor Browser, Tails documentation, and WhisperBack. (#15101)
  • Use Tor Browser again for browsing the documentation offline. (#15720)
  • Show Synaptic and Root Terminal even when no administration password is set. (#11013)
  • Tails Installer
    • Link to upgrade documentation when upgrading. (#7904)
    • Hide the Reinstall option when the USB stick is too small. (#14810)
    • Correct the size of the USB stick in the confirmation dialog when reinstalling. (#15590)
  • For more details, read our changelog.

Known issues

  • Starting Tails 3.9 from DVD is twice slower than earlier releases. (#15915)

What's New in Tails 3.0:

We are especially proud to present you Tails 3.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 9 (Stretch). It brings a completely new startup and shutdown experience, a lot of polishing to the desktop, security improvements in depth, and major upgrades to a lot of the included software.

Debian 9 (Stretch) will be released on June 17. It is the first time that we are releasing a new version of Tails almost at the same time as the version of Debian it is based upon. This was an important objective for us as it is beneficial to both our users and users of Debian in general and strengthens our relationship with upstream:

  • Our users can benefit from the cool changes in Debian earlier.
  • We can detect and fix issues in the new version of Debian while it is still in development so that our work also benefits Debian earlier.

This release also fixes many security issues and users should upgrade as soon as possible.

New startup and shutdown experience

  • Tails Greeter, the application to configure Tails at startup, has been completely redesigned for ease of use:
  • All options are available from a single window.
  • Language and region settings are displayed first to benefit our international audience.
  • Accessibility features can be enabled from the start.

This has been a long process, started three years ago with the UX team of NUMA Paris and lead only by volunteers. Join us on tails-ux@boum.org to participate in future designs.

The shutdown experience has also been redesigned in order to be:

  • More reliable. It was crashing on various computers with unpredictable results.
  • More discrete. The screen is now totally black to look less suspicious.

Technically speaking, it is now using the freed memory poisoning feature of the Linux kernel.

Polishing the desktop

We switched to the default black theme of GNOME which has a more modern and discrete look:

  • Tails 3.0 benefits from many other small improvements to the GNOME desktop:
  • Files has been redesigned to reduce clutter and make the interface easier to use. Several new features have been added, such as the ability to rename multiple files at the same time and the ability to extract compressed files without needing a separate application.
  • The notification area has been improved to allow easy access to previous notifications. Notification popups have also been repositioned to make them more noticeable.
  • Shortcut windows have been added to help you discover keyboard shortcuts in GNOME applications.
  • For example, press Ctrl+F1 in Files to display its shortcut window.

Complete release notes can be found here.

Previous versions:

Apps similar to Tails 7

  • 4.7
    135 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
  • 4.7
    16 votes
    Arch Linux is an independently developed, i686/x86-64 general purpose GNU/Linux distribution versatile enough to suit any role.
    • Freeware
    • Windows
  • 4.4
    59 votes
    Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. This version is known as "Wheezy".
    • Freeware
    • Linux
  • More