Tricks mentioned here are only intended for development. Please don't use them in your regular Tails!

Kernel command line options

  • early_patch: see early-patch

  • login: skip the greeter, using the default options

  • unlock=<password>: automatically unlock the Persistent Storage

  • rootpw=<password> set the root password (not the amnesia password)

  • break=init stop boot before starting the init and give you a shell. Useful for small customizations that must be done before boot. If you need to do the same thing over and over, consider using early-patch instead

Refresh patches

Sometimes, Tails FTBFS because of problems applying patches. Here is how you could fix that:

rake build
rake vm:ssh
export PATCHING_FILE='/path/to/file/'
sudo PATCHING_FILE="${PATCHING_FILE}" chroot "$(ls /tmp/tails-build.* -dt|head -n1)/chroot/"

Set PATCHING_FILE to the file Tails is trying to patch. For example, it could be /usr/share/mozilla/extensions/{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}/

sensible-editor "${PATCHING_FILE}"
diff -u "${PATCHING_FILE}.orig" "${PATCHING_FILE}"

copy-paste the output into config/chroot-local_includes${PATCHING_FILE}

Edit the patch, removing .orig from the first line:

sensible-editor "config/chroot-local_includes${PATCHING_FILE}"
git add "config/chroot-local_includes${PATCHING_FILE}"

Run iso from commandline

To run an ISO directly without clicking through virt-manager:

kvm -m 2048 -cdrom <ISO NAME>.iso

you can even share a directoy with the client system:

kvm -m 2048 -virtfs local,path=/path/to/tails-git-dir,security_model=passthrough,mount_tag=src --cdrom /path/to/tails.iso

By passing through the Tails Git directory, the early_patch kernel command-line option can be used (see early-patch). To mount the directory manually in the VM (after setting an admin password):

sudo mount -t 9p -o trans=virtio src /mnt/