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
We are especially proud to present you Tails 5.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 11 (Bullseye). It brings new versions of a lot of the software included in Tails and new OpenPGP tools.
- We added Kleopatra to replace the OpenPGP Applet and the Password and Keys utility, also known as Seahorse.
- The OpenPGP Applet was not actively developped anymore and was complicated for us to keep in Tails. The Password and Keys utility was also poorly maintained and Tails users suffered from too many of its issues until now, like #17183.
- Kleopatra provides equivalent features in a single tool and is more actively developed.
Changes and updates
- The Additional Software feature of the Persistent Storage is enabled by default to make it faster and more robust to configure your first additional software package.
- You can now use the Activities overview to access your windows and applications. To access the Activities overview, you can either:
- Click on the Activities button.
- Throw your mouse pointer to the top-left hot corner.
- Press the Super () key on your keyboard.
- You can see your windows and applications in the overview. You can also start typing to search your applications, files, and folders.
Most included software has been upgraded in Debian 11, for example:
- Update Tor Browser to 11.0.11.
- Update GNOME from 3.30 to 3.38, with lots of small improvements to the desktop, the core GNOME utilities, and the locking screen.
- Update MAT from 0.8 to 0.12, which adds support to clean metadata from SVG, WAV, EPUB, PPM, and Microsoft Office files.
- Update Audacity from 2.2.2 to 2.4.2.
- Update Disk Utility from 3.30 to 3.38.
- Update GIMP from 2.10.8 to 2.10.22.
- Update Inkscape from 0.92 to 1.0.
- Update LibreOffice from 6.1 to 7.0.
- The new support for driverless printing and scanning in Linux makes it easier to make recent printers and scanners work in Tails.
- Fix unlocking VeraCrypt volumes that have very long passphrases. (#17474)
- For more details, read our changelog.
- Additional Software sometimes doesn’t work when restarting for the first time right after creating a Persistent Storage. (#18839)
- To solve this, install the same additional software package again after restarting with the Persistent Storage for the first time.
- Thunderbird displays a popup to choose an application when opening links. (#18913)
- Tails Installer sometimes fails to clone. (#18844)
- We added a utility to make a backup of the Persistent Storage to another Tails USB stick.
- Change the custom bridge interface to only allow entering 1 bridge. (#18550)
- Allow saving 1 custom bridge in the Persistent Storage. (#5461)
- Allow fixing the clock manually when connecting to Tor using bridges fails. (#15548)
- Reduce the timeout that determines whether we can connect to Tor at all from 30 seconds to 10 seconds. Increase the timeout to start Tor entirely from 120 seconds to 600 seconds. (#18501).
- Allow trying again to connect to Tor from the error screen. (#18539)
- Stop restarting Tor when exiting the Unsafe Browser. (#18562)
- Only mention the Persistent Storage in the Unsafe Browser warning when there is already a Persistent Storage. (#18551)
- Make sure that automatic upgrades are downloaded from a working mirror. (#15755)
- Add Russian to the offline documentation included in Tails.
- Fix connecting to Tor using the default bridges. (#18462)
- Fix connecting to Tor when the Wi-Fi settings are saved in the Persistent Storage. (#18532)
- Stop trying to connect to Tor in the background when Tor Connection reaches the error screen. (#18740)