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Tails (operating system)

Tails or The Amnesic Incognito Live System is a security-focused Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at preserving privacy and anonymity.[5] All its outgoing connections are forced to go through Tor,[6] and 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.[7]

Tails
Tails logo
Tails desktop 3.7.png
Tails 3.7 Desktop
DeveloperThe Tails project
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseJune 23, 2009; 9 years ago (2009-06-23)
Latest release3.10.1 / October 23, 2018; 26 days ago (2018-10-23)
Latest preview3.6 RC 1 / March 2, 2018; 8 months ago (2018-03-02)[1]
Marketing targetPersonal computers
Update methodTails Upgrader[2]
Package managerdpkg
Platformsx86-64[3]
Kernel typeMonolithic
UserlandGNU
Default user interfaceGNOME 3
LicenseGNU GPLv3[4]
Preceded byIncognito
Official websitetails.boum.org

Contents

HistoryEdit

Tails was first released on 23 June 2009. It is the next iteration of development on Incognito, a Gentoo-based Linux distribution.[8] The Tor Project has provided financial support for its development.[7] Tails has also received funding from the Debian Project, Mozilla, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.[9]

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.[10][11][12]

As of release 3.0, Tails requires a 64-bit processor to run.[13]

Bundled softwareEdit

NetworkingEdit

Encryption and privacyEdit

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

Release historyEdit

Legend:
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release
Release history
Version[14] Release date[14] Notes
Old version, no longer supported: 0.1 June 20, 2009
  • Unreleased, but listed in official changelog
Old version, no longer supported: 0.2 June 23, 2009
  • First public release.[15]
  • The project was called Amnesia.[15]
Old version, no longer supported: 0.3 November 26, 2009
Old version, no longer supported: 0.4 February 5, 2010
Old version, no longer supported: 0.4.1 February 6, 2010
Old version, no longer supported: 0.4.2 February 7, 2010
  • Last release as "amnesia"[14]
Old version, no longer supported: 0.5 April 30, 2010
  • First release since the project was renamed to The Amnesic Incognito Live System.[14][16]
Old version, no longer supported: 0.6 October 20, 2010
  • Unreleased versions: 0.6~1.gbpef2878 (Sep 26), 0.6~rc2 (Sep 29), 0.6~rc3 (Oct 2)
Old version, no longer supported: 0.6.1 December 24, 2010
Old version, no longer supported: 0.6.2 January 19, 2011
Old version, no longer supported: 0.7 April 6, 2011
  • 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
Old version, no longer supported: 1.0[15] April 27, 2014
  • 36th stable release.[15]
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
Old version, no longer supported: 1.5[17] August 10, 2015
  • Disabled access to the local network via the Tor Browser.[17]
1.5.1, 1.6
Old version, no longer supported: 1.7[17] November 3, 2015
  • Replaced the Claws Mail email client with Icedove, which is based on Mozilla Thunderbird.[17]
  • Enabled booting Tails in offline mode, with networking disabled.[17]
1.8, 1.8.1, 1.8.2 (last version to fit 2GB flash drive)
Old version, no longer supported: 2.0[18] January 25, 2016
  • It used Debian 8 as its base and included a new Gnome shell desktop environment, systemd, and a new installation process.[18]
2.0.1
Old version, no longer supported: 2.2[17] March 7, 2016
  • Enabled viewing DRM-protected DVDs.[17]
  • Added a new “Onion Circuits” interface for viewing Tor routing information.[17]
2.2.1, 2.3
Old version, no longer supported: 2.4[17] June 6, 2016
  • Automatic account configuration of Icedove, harden kernel and firewall, update the DRM and Mesa graphical libraries.[19]
  • New version of Tor Browser.[17]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.5[20] July 31, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 2.6[21] September 20, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 2.7[22] November 13, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 2.7.1[23] November 30, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 2.9.1[24] December 14, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 2.10[25] January 24, 2017[25]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.11[26] March 7, 2017[26]
  • The last version to include I2P
Old version, no longer supported: 2.12[27] April 19, 2017[27]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.0[28] June 13, 2017[28]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.1[29] August 8, 2017[29]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.2[30] October 3, 2017[30]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.3[31] November 14, 2017[31]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.4[32] January 9, 2018[32]
  • 3.4 fixes the widely reported Meltdown attack, and includes the partial mitigation for Spectre
Old version, no longer supported: 3.5[33] January 23, 2018[33]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.6[34] March 13, 2018[34]
  • 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.
Old version, no longer supported: 3.7[35] May 9, 2018[35]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.8[36][37] June 26, 2018[36]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.9[38][39] September 5, 2018[39]
  • Firefox 60.2, major release; will include VeraCrypt support and major Additional Software Packages improvements.[39]
Old version, no longer supported: 3.9.1[40] October 3, 2018[40]
  • Update Tor Browser to 8.0.2. This fixes 2 critical security vulnerabilities in JavaScript in Firefox.
  • Update Thunderbird to fix these same vulnerabilities.[41]
Current stable version: 3.10.1[42] 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 mediaEdit

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".[43][44]

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..."[45][46]

Tails PartnersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Call for testing: 3.6~rc1". 2018-03-02. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  2. ^ design documentation
  3. ^ Tails - System requirements
  4. ^ "Tails 0.11 incognito live system released", The H, 30 Apr 2012, retrieved 12 Aug 2012
  5. ^ Vervloesem, Koen (27 Apr 2011), "The Amnesic Incognito Live System: A live CD for anonymity", LWN.net, retrieved 12 Aug 2012
  6. ^ "Anonym im Netz" [Anonymous on the Net], TecChannel (in German), 6 Feb 2012, retrieved 12 Aug 2012
  7. ^ a b "Finances". Tails. 4 Apr 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  8. ^ Gray, James (16 Sep 2011), "The Tails Project's The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails)", Linux Journal, retrieved 12 Aug 2012
  9. ^ "Tails report for May, 2014". Tails. 14 Jun 2014.
  10. ^ Timm, Trevor (2 Apr 2014). "Help Support the Little-Known Privacy Tool That Has Been Critical to Journalists Reporting on the NSA". Freedom of the Press Foundation. Retrieved 18 Apr 2014.
  11. ^ Finley, Klint (14 Apr 2014). "Out in the Open: Inside the Operating System Edward Snowden Used to Evade the NSA". WIRED. Retrieved 18 Apr 2014.
  12. ^ Condliffe, Jamie (15 Apr 2014). "Try the Super-Secure USB Drive OS That Edward Snowden Insists on Using". Gizmodo. Retrieved 15 Apr 2014.
  13. ^ "Tails - Tails 3.0 is out". tails.boum.org. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d Tails Developers (n.d.). "[no title]". Tails. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  15. ^ a b c d Murphy, David (1 May 2014). "Secure OS Tails Emerges From Beta". PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  16. ^ "version 0.5". Tails. n.d. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hoffman, Chris (9 June 2016). "Tails, the anonymity-focused Linux distribution with deep Tor integration, reaches version 2.4". PCWorld. IDG. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  18. ^ a b Paul, Ian (27 January 2016). "The ultra-secure Tails OS beloved by Edward Snowden gets a major upgrade". PCWorld. IDG. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Tails 2.4 is out". Tails. 2016-06-07. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  20. ^ "Tails 2.5 is out". 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  21. ^ "Tails 2.6 is out". 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  22. ^ "Tails 2.7 is out". 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  23. ^ "Tails 2.7.1 is out". 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  24. ^ "Tails 2.9.1 is out". 2016-12-14. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  25. ^ a b "Tails 2.10 is out". 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  26. ^ a b "Tails 2.11 is out". 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  27. ^ a b "Tails 2.12 is out". 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  28. ^ a b "Tails 3.0 is out". 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  29. ^ a b "Tails 3.1 is out". 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  30. ^ a b "Tails 3.2 is out". 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
  31. ^ a b "Tails 3.3 is out". 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  32. ^ a b "Tails 3.4 is out". 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  33. ^ a b "Tails 3.5 is out". 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  34. ^ a b "Tails 3.6 is out". 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  35. ^ a b "Tails 3.7 is out". 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  36. ^ a b "Tails 3.8 is out". 2018-06-26. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  37. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 770, 2 July 2018
  38. ^ "Tails - Tails 3.9 is out". tails.boum.org. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  39. ^ a b c "Tails - Calendar". 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  40. ^ a b "Tails - Release notes". tails.boum.org. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  41. ^ "Tails - Tails 3.9.1 is out". tails.boum.org. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  42. ^ "Tails 3.10.1 is out". tails.boum.org. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  43. ^ Jacob Appelbaum, A. Gibson, J. Goetz, V. Kabisch, L. Kampf, L. Ryge (3 Jul 2014). "NSA targets the privacy-conscious". DasErste.de.
  44. ^ Bruce Schneier (3 Jul 2014). "NSA Targets Privacy Conscious for Surveillance". Schneier on Security.
  45. ^ SPIEGEL Staff (28 Dec 2014). "Prying Eyes: Inside the NSA's War on Internet Security". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 23 Jan 2015.
  46. ^ "Presentation from the SIGDEV Conference 2012 explaining which encryption protocols and techniques can be attacked and which not" (PDF). Der Spiegel. 28 Dec 2014. Retrieved 23 Jan 2015.

External linksEdit