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Tails or The Amnesic Incognito Live System is a security-focused Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at preserving privacy and anonymity.<ref name="lwn" /> All its incoming and outgoing connections are forced to go through Tor,<ref name="tc" /> and any and all non-anonymous connections are blocked. The system is designed to be booted as a live DVD or live USB, and will leave no digital footprint on the machine unless explicitly told to do so. The Tor Project has provided financial support for its development.<ref name="finances" />

It's safe to use Tails or Whonix when you build your own darknet site since you can't use Tor Browser with "Safest" "Security Settings" on Freedom Hosting Reloaded or Daniel's Hosting.

See the Security article.

Installation and use

USB flash drive vs. SD card

You can install Tails on a USB flash drive or an SD card. If you want to use a micro SD card, you can use a micro SD card USB adapter to connect to your laptop or desktop.

A micro SD card is easier that a USB stick to hide from an agency or a law enforcement agency.

Making a bootable USB stick

Download tails-amd64-4.3.img file from https://tails.boum.org/ . The USB image's size is 1.1 GB so you have to prepare at least a 2 GB USB stick or SD card.

You can make a bootable USB stick by using Rufus. https://rufus.ie/

USB boot and choosing a language

At UEFI or BIOS, change the booting priority as USB is the first. And after boot, you can choose a language.

Network error and MAC Address Spoofing

If there is a network error, you can turn off MAC Address Spoofing. When your computer boots, choose the + button below Additional Settings and turn off MAC Address Spoofing. You can see the + button at the same screen when you choose a language.


Tails was first released on 23 June 2009. It is the next iteration of development on Incognito, a Gentoo-based Linux distribution.<ref name="lj" /> The Tor Project has provided financial support for its development.<ref name="finances">Template:Cite web</ref> Tails has also received funding from the Debian Project, Mozilla, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Barton Gellman have each said that Tails was an important tool they used in their work with National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

As of release 3.0, Tails requires a 64-bit processor to run.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Bundled software



Encryption and privacy

One may choose among a large number of languages and keyboard layouts when the system is booted.

Release history

Release history
Version<ref name="changelog">Template:Cite web</ref> Release date<ref name="changelog"/> Notes
Template:Version Template:Dts
  • Unreleased, but listed in official changelog
Template:Version Template:Dts
  • First public release.<ref name="Murphy-2014-05-01"/>
  • The project was called Amnesia.<ref name="Murphy-2014-05-01"/>
Template:Version Template:Dts
Template:Version Template:Dts
Template:Version Template:Dts
Template:Version Template:Dts
  • Last release as "amnesia"<ref name="changelog"/>
Template:Version Template:Dts
  • First release since the project was renamed to The Amnesic Incognito Live System.<ref name="changelog"/><ref name="version0.5">Template:Cite web</ref>
Template:Version Template:Dts
  • Unreleased versions: 0.6~1.gbpef2878 (Sep 26), 0.6~rc2 (Sep 29), 0.6~rc3 (Oct 2)
Template:Version Template:Dts
Template:Version Template:Dts
Template:Version Template:Dts
  • Unreleased versions: 0.7~rc1 (Mar 11), 0.7~rc2 (Mar 25)
0.8, 0.8.1, 0.9, 0.10, 0.10.1, 0.10.2, 0.11, 0.12, 0.12.1, 0.13, 0.14, 0.15, 0.16, 0.17, 0.17.1, 0.17.2, 0.18, 0.19, 0.20, 0.20.1, 0.21, 0.22, 0.22.1, 0.23
Template:Version<ref name="Murphy-2014-05-01">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
  • 36th stable release.<ref name="Murphy-2014-05-01"/>
1.0.1, 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.4, 1.4.1
Template:Version<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/> Template:Dts
  • Disabled access to the local network via the Tor Browser.<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/>
1.5.1, 1.6
Template:Version<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/> Template:Dts
  • Replaced the Claws Mail email client with Icedove, which is based on Mozilla Thunderbird.<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/>
  • Enabled booting Tails in offline mode, with networking disabled.<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/>
1.8, 1.8.1, 1.8.2 (last version to fit 2GB flash drive)
Template:Version<ref name="Paul-2016-01-27">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
  • It used Debian 8 as its base and included a new Gnome shell desktop environment, systemd, and a new installation process.<ref name="Paul-2016-01-27"/>
Template:Version<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/> Template:Dts
  • Enabled viewing DRM-protected DVDs.<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/>
  • Added a new “Onion Circuits” interface for viewing Tor routing information.<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/>
2.2.1, 2.3
Template:Version<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
  • Automatic account configuration of Icedove, harden kernel and firewall, update the DRM and Mesa graphical libraries.<ref name="version2.4">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • New version of Tor Browser.<ref name="Hoffman-2016-06-09"/>
Template:Version<ref name="version2.5">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
Template:Version<ref name="version2.6">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
Template:Version<ref name="version2.7">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
Template:Version<ref name="version2.7.1">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
Template:Version<ref name="version2.9.1">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts
Template:Version<ref name="version2.10">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version2.10" />
Template:Version<ref name="version2.11">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version2.11"/>
  • The last version to include I2P
Template:Version<ref name="version2.12">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version2.12"/>
Template:Version<ref name="version3.0">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.0" />
Template:Version<ref name="version3.1">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.1" />
Template:Version<ref name="version3.2">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.2" />
Template:Version<ref name="version3.3">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.3" />
Template:Version<ref name="version3.4">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.4" />
  • 3.4 fixes the widely reported Meltdown attack, and includes the partial mitigation for Spectre
Template:Version<ref name=version3.5>Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.5" />
Template:Version<ref name="version3.6">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.6" />
  • 3.6 adds a new lock screen feature that, when enabled, can be unlocked with the administrator password that was set when tails booted up. Otherwise, you can set up a password to unlock your screen when locking your screen for the first time.
  • Install drivers for the Video Acceleration API to improve the display of videos on many graphics cards.
Template:Version<ref name="version3.7">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.7" />
Template:Version<ref name="version3.8">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 770, 2 July 2018</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="version3.8" />
Template:Version<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="tails_calendar">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Dts<ref name="tails_calendar" />
  • Firefox 60.2, major release; will include VeraCrypt support and major Additional Software Packages improvements.<ref name="tails_calendar" />
Template:Version<ref name=":0">Template:Cite web</ref> October 3, 2018<ref name=":0" />
  • Update Tor Browser to 8.0.2. This fixes 2 critical security vulnerabilities in JavaScript in Firefox.
  • Update Thunderbird to fix these same vulnerabilities.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
Template:Version<ref name="version3.10">Template:Cite web</ref> October 23, 2018
  • Hide the PIM option when unlocking VeraCrypt volumes because PIM won't be supported until Tails 4.0. (#16031)
  • Rename the buttons in the confirmation dialog of Tails Installer to Install (or Upgrade) and Cancel to be less confusing. (#11501)
  • Update Linux to 4.8.
  • Update Tor Browser to 8.0.3.
  • Update Thunderbird to 60.2.1.
Version Release date Notes

In mainstream media

On 3 July 2014, German public television channel Das Erste reported that the NSA's XKeyscore surveillance system contains definitions that match persons who search for Tails using a search engine or visit the Tails website. A comment in XKeyscore's source code calls Tails "a comsec mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums".<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

On 28 December 2014, Der Spiegel published slides from an internal NSA presentation dating to June 2012 in which the NSA deemed Tails on its own as a "major threat" to its mission, and when used in conjunction with other privacy tools such as OTR, Cspace, RedPhone, and TrueCrypt was ranked as "catastrophic," leading to a "near-total loss/lack of insight to target communications, presence..."<ref name="spiegel1" /><ref name="spiegel2" />

Tails Partners

See also


<references />

External links