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 or The Amnesic Incognito Live System is a security-focused Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at preserving privacy and anonymity. All its incoming and outgoing connections are forced to go through Tor, 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. According to the Whonix Project, in comparison with other anonymity-focused software or platforms, “Tails is better suited for high-risk users who face aggressive, targeted surveillance.
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.
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, and 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.
- GNOME desktop
- Tor with: Stream isolation, regular, obfs2, obfs3, obfs4, and ScrambleSuit bridges support.
- NetworkManager for easy network configuration
- Tor Browser, a web browser based on Mozilla Firefox and modified to protect anonymity with:
- HTTPS Everywhere transparently enables SSL-encrypted connections to a great number of major websites
- uBlock Origin to remove advertisements.
It is to note, that due to the fact that Tails include uBlock Origin (compared to the normal Tor Browser Bundle), it could be subject to an attack to determine if the user is using Tails (since the userbase for Tails is less than the Tor Browser Bundle) by checking if the website is blocking advertising.
- Pidgin preconfigured with OTR for end-to-end encrypted instant messaging
- OnionShare for anonymous filesharing
- Thunderbird email client with Enigmail for OpenPGP support
- Liferea feed aggregator
- Aircrack-ng for Wi-Fi networks auditing
- Electrum, an easy-to-use bitcoin client
Encryption and privacy software
- LUKS and GNOME Disks to install and use encrypted storage devices, e.g. for USB sticks
- GnuPG, the GNU implementation of OpenPGP for e-mail and data encryption and signing
- Monkeysign, a tool for OpenPGP key signing and exchange
- PWGen, a strong random password generator
- Shamir’s Secret Sharing using gfshare and ssss
- GNOME virtual keyboard as a countermeasure against hardware keyloggers
- MAT to anonymize metadata in files
- KeePassXC password manager
- GtkHash to calculate checksums
- Keyringer, a command line tool to encrypt secrets shared through Git
- Paperkey, a command line tool to back up OpenPGP secret keys on paper
- DeepOnion wallet, an anonymous cryptocurrency using Tor network
- We included several command line tools used by SecureDrop users to analyze the metadata of leaked documents on computers that cannot use the Additional Software feature:
Changes and upgrades
- Update Tor Browser to 9.0.6.
- Update Thunderbird to 68.5.0.
- Update Linux to 5.4.19. This should improve the support for newer hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.).
- Tentatively fix Wi-Fi interfaces with Realtek RTL8822BE and RTL8822CE chipsets.