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Tails report for May 2024

Highlights

  • We met IRL! It has been close to 1.5 years since we devised our 3-year strategy goals. We reflected on our progress, concluded that we had a mixed bag of results, and emerged with a good sense of what's needed to be done. And all this while discovering the wonders of vegan Francesinha and wine 🌞

  • Thanks to our volunteer translations teams, Tails' language diversity continued improving alongside the language support we added in Tails 6.2.

    Our French, Spanish, and Catalan teams reported more than 50 small issues on the content of our website, typos, inconsistency with the tools, and accessibility issues. We fixed all of them. In the process of this lovely synergy, we also identified opportunities to make this collaboration through Weblate smoother in the future.

  • And, we also completed a bunch of home improvement projects:

    • We added an animation when expanding the collapsible sections in our warnings page. Changes should be more noticeable now. (Gitlab issue)

    • We also added a "Security/Fixed" pill on security advisories that are fixed. As an example, see our advisory on "Possible remote attack on onion services".

    • We also fixed the display of SVG images when JavaScript is disabled. Now, we are using PNG by default and adding some JavaScript to enhance images back to SVG when useful. (Gitlab issue)

    • We replaced the CSS framework Bootstrap on our website with custom and modern CSS code. The most challenging page to convert was our donation page, and the resulting code is 20% smaller.

Releases

📢 6.3 is out!

In Tails 6.3, you will find:

  • improvements for configuring new printers
  • Restart later as the default button at the end of an automatic upgrade; earlier it was Restart now
  • and as usual, an updated Tor Browser

To know more, check out the Tails 6.3 release notes and the changelog.

Metrics

Tails was started more than 824,834 times this month. That's a daily average of over 27,495 boots.

Posted
Tails report for April 2024

Highlights

  • Spoiler alert! We are working on friendlier ways to back up Persistent Storage. We are working on a new flow that adapts Tails Cloner to the different stages of making backups (setting up, reminding, and updating) and integrating it with the Persistent Storage settings.

  • We continued investing in making our infrastructure and services more robust, usable, and secure:

    • We continued making the development at Tails more pleasurable. Our test suite is much kinder to Tails developers now.

    • We fixed all the broken links on our website (hundreds!). We have now implemented a monthly automated check for new broken links.

    • Our new server is now breaking into a sweat! We deployed new internal services and made good progress in creating redundancies of our website and email systems.

  • We have a new sponsor: Start Small Foundation! The generous (our largest ever, too) donation significantly prolongs our financial runway in the short to medium-term. We plan to use this platform to keep improving our infrastructure, and build on this platform to bring exciting, new functionality to Tails!

Releases

📢 We put Tails 6.2 out in the world!

Tails 6.2 carries:

  • support for 21 new languages on the Welcome Screen!
  • the final set of improvements for better detection of hardware failures on Tails USB sticks
  • updates to Tor Browser and Tor client

To know more, check out the Tails 6.2 release notes and the changelog.

Also, we're always looking for volunteers to help increase Tails's language diversity. If that sounds like it could be you, do consider contributing to the Tor Project Weblate.

Metrics

Tails was started more than 821,380 times this month. That's a daily average of over 27,379 boots - the highest this year.

Posted
Tails 6.3

Changes and updates

  • Add back translations in Romanian and Malayalam.

  • Update Tor Browser to 13.0.15.

  • Disable temporarily the PDF reader of Thunderbird to protect from a security vulnerability related to the handling of fonts in PDF files. (CVE-2024-4367)

    You can still open PDF files in the Document Viewer from Thunderbird.

  • Make Restart later the default button, instead of Restart now, at the end of an automatic upgrade.

Fixed problems

  • Fix the configuration of new printers when some printers were already configured in the Persistent Storage in Tails 5.23 or earlier. (#20271)

  • Remove the long delay between the Welcome Screen and the GNOME desktop when MAC address anonymization fails. (#17813)

Per ulteriori dettagli, leggi il nostro changelog.

Get Tails 6.3

To upgrade your Tails USB stick and keep your Persistent Storage

  • Automatic upgrades are available from Tails 6.0 or later to 6.3.

    You can reduce the size of the download of future automatic upgrades by doing a manual upgrade to the latest version.

  • Se non puoi eseguire un aggiornamento automatico o se Tails non si avvia dopo un aggiornamento automatico, ti preghiamo di provare a eseguire un aggiornamento manuale.

To install Tails 6.3 on a new USB stick

Segui le nostre istruzioni d'installazione:

The Persistent Storage on the USB stick will be lost if you install instead of upgrading.

Per scaricare solamente

If you don't need installation or upgrade instructions, you can download Tails 6.3 directly:

Tails report for March 2024

Highlights

March spotlighted many vulnerabilities in FOSS infrastructure globally, sparking some welcome conversations around the sustainability requirements of FOSS projects.

  • First, there was the RFDS Intel CPU vulnerability. The fixed CPU firmware shipped in Tails 6.1 addresses the vulnerability!

  • Then, March ended with the xz/liblzma almost-apocalypse that the world avoided, including Tails users.

In March, we continued investing in the long-term sustainability of Tails:

  • We improved the reliability of our test suite. With @segfault, we have been working extra hard to make our automated test suite more robust. We are going to keep working on improving the experience of development work at Tails in the coming months.

  • We made good progress in improving redundancies for our most essential services. We added backend capacity, and deployed fallback options for our website. This had been a priority since earlier this year, when our website went down.

Releases

📢We put Tails 6.1 out in the world!

Tails 6.1 carries:

  • updated Tor Browser and Thunderbird

  • improvements to Tails Cloner: it can now unmount all filsystems on the target device. Since Tails 6.0 auto-mounts partitions on plugged removable media, this is quite an important fix!

  • fixes to Video

To know more, check out the Tails 6.1 release notes and the changelog.

Metrics

Tails was started more than 873,028 times this month. That's a daily average of over 28,162 boots - the highest this year. Yet!

Posted
Tails 6.2

New features

We added 21 new languages to the Welcome Screen: Albanian, Armenian, Basque, Bengali, Bulgarian, Estonian, Galician, Icelandic, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Malay, Norwegian Nynorsk, Polish, Serbian, Slovak, Swahili, Thai, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Some of these languages only have little of our custom Tails applications translated, but other applications included in Tails are better translated.

If you want to translate Tails better in these languages or translate Tails into other languages, you can contribute to the Tor Project Weblate.

New languages will be included automatically in future versions of Tails as soon as 25% of strings are translated.

Changes and updates

  • Update Tor Browser to 13.0.14.

  • Update the Tor client to 0.4.8.11.

  • Rename the localization section of the Welcome Screen as Language and Formats.

  • Make Upgrade later the default option in the dialog opened by Tails Upgrader.

  • Include more errors in the detection of read and write errors on the USB stick.

Fixed problems

  • Fix a reliability issue that disabled Wi-Fi on some hardware. (#20045)

  • Disable SysRq keys, which allowed crashing a Tails session from the keyboard and bypass the lock screen. (#20334)

  • Disable Speculative Store Bypass to improve our mitigation of Spectre v4. (#20335)

  • Improve the error message when creating a Persistent Storage is impossible. (#20328)

Per ulteriori dettagli, leggi il nostro changelog.

Get Tails 6.2

To upgrade your Tails USB stick and keep your Persistent Storage

  • Automatic upgrades are available from Tails 6.0 or later to 6.2.

    You can reduce the size of the download of future automatic upgrades by doing a manual upgrade to the latest version.

  • Se non puoi eseguire un aggiornamento automatico o se Tails non si avvia dopo un aggiornamento automatico, ti preghiamo di provare a eseguire un aggiornamento manuale.

To install Tails 6.2 on a new USB stick

Segui le nostre istruzioni d'installazione:

The Persistent Storage on the USB stick will be lost if you install instead of upgrading.

Per scaricare solamente

If you don't need installation or upgrade instructions, you can download Tails 6.2 directly:

Tails 6.1

Changes and updates

  • Update Tor Browser to 13.0.13. This includes the changes brought by 13.0.12.

  • Update Thunderbird to 115.9.0.

Fixed problems

  • Fix Onion Circuits. #20233

  • Fix Welcome Screen frequently showing a "Welcome to Tails!" is not responding error. #20236

  • Fix Videos showing an error message during playback. #20243

  • Fix problems with changing the passphrase of the Persistent Storage. #20217

  • Tails Cloner can now install and upgrade to devices with multiple mounted partitions. #20149

  • The Persistent Storage settings now display all enabled custom Persistent Storage features. #19267

  • Mitigate the RFDS Intel CPU vulnerabilities. #20274

Per ulteriori dettagli, leggi il nostro changelog.

Get Tails 6.1

To upgrade your Tails USB stick and keep your Persistent Storage

  • Automatic upgrades are available from Tails 6.0 to 6.1.

    You can reduce the size of the download of future automatic upgrades by doing a manual upgrade to the latest version.

  • Se non puoi eseguire un aggiornamento automatico o se Tails non si avvia dopo un aggiornamento automatico, ti preghiamo di provare a eseguire un aggiornamento manuale.

To install Tails 6.1 on a new USB stick

Segui le nostre istruzioni d'installazione:

The Persistent Storage on the USB stick will be lost if you install instead of upgrading.

Per scaricare solamente

If you don't need installation or upgrade instructions, you can download Tails 6.1 directly:

Tails report for February 2024

Highlights

Despite the bonus day this year, February flew by pretty quickly! Here's what we were up to:

  • We ended February more resilient and collaborative than when we started. We have new tooling to make it easier to work on shared documents, and use XMPP more effectively. We also worked to strengthen our front-end services and set up the back-end infrastructre to build redundancies into our services.

  • In 2021 and 2022, our usability tests with human rights defenders in Mexico and Brazil prompted several improvements in the installation instructions for Tails. Fixing 16 of the identified usability issues were remaining, and we fixed them all this month. These tests, experiences, and improvements will greatly shape our future trainings.

  • We finished updating our website for Tails 6.0. Check out the rewritten recommendation on secure deletion

Releases

📢 Tails 6.0 is out

Tails 6.0 is the first version of Tails based on Debian 12 ("bookworm"), and is the sexiest, slickest, and sleekest Tails yet. It brings:

  • several important security updates: more robust error detection for the Persistent Storage, protections against malicious USB devices, and Diceware word lists in Catalan, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish

  • some more usability features: new light modes—dark, night, and a combination of both; easier screenshoting and screencasting; and easier Gmail configuration in Thunderbird

  • and, updated version of most of the applications in Tails

To know more, check out the Tails 6.0 release notes and the changelog. Thank you to everyone who helped us out by testing the release candidate.

Metrics

Tails was started more than 806,714 times this month. That's a daily average of over 27,817 boots.

Posted
Tails 6.0

We are very excited to present you Tails 6.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 12 (Bookworm) and GNOME 43. Tails 6.0 brings new versions of most of the software included in Tails as well as several important security and usability improvements.

New features

Error detection on the Persistent Storage

Tails 6.0 warns you about errors when reading or writing from your Tails USB stick.

These alerts can help you diagnose hardware failures on your USB stick and backup your Persistent Storage before it's too late.

Mount external devices automatically

When you plug in an external storage device, a USB stick or an external hard disk, Tails 6.0 mounts it automatically. If the storage device contains an encrypted partition, Tails 6.0 offers you to unlock the encryption automatically.

Authentication Required. A
passphrase is needed to access encrypted data.

This feature also simplifies how to unlock VeraCrypt encrypted volumes.

Protection against malicious USB devices

If an attacker manages to plug a malicious USB device in your computer, they could run software that breaks the security built in Tails without your knowledge.

To protect from such attacks while you are away from your computer, Tails 6.0 ignores any USB device that is plugged in while your screen is locked.

You can only use new USB devices if they are plugged in while the screen is unlocked.

Notification: Reconnect
USB device. New device has been detected while you were away. Please disconnect
and reconnect the device to start using it.

Dark Mode and Night Light

From the system menu of Tails 6.0, you can now switch between:

  • La modalità predefinita luce con colori più freddi e maggiore luminosità

  • Una modalità scura

  • A night light mode with warmer colors and less brightness

  • A combination of both the dark mode and night light mode

Easier screenshots and screencasts

GNOME 43 introduces a new Take Screenshot shortcut in the system menu that makes it easier to take a screenshot or record a screencast.

Easier Gmail in Thunderbird

Thanks to changes in both Thunderbird and Gmail, it's much easier to configure a Gmail account in Thunderbird in Tails 6.0.

  • You don't have to configure anything special in your Gmail account, other than the usual 2-Step Verification.

  • You can sign in to your Gmail account directly when configuring it in Thunderbird.

Gmail: Sign in to continue
to Mozilla Thunderbird

Diceware passphrases in 5 more languages

When creating a Persistent Storage, suggested passphrases are now also generated in Catalan, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Thanks to jawlensky who created the word lists for Catalan, Italian, and Spanish for Tails, but also made them available to all users of diceware.

Changes and updates

Included software

Tails 6.0 updates most of the applications included in Tails, among others:

  • Tor Browser to 13.0.10.

  • Electrum from 4.0.9 to 4.3.4

    • Improve support for the Lightning protocol and hardware wallets.
  • KeePassXC from 2.6.2 to 2.7.4

    • Add entry tags.
    • Support dark mode.
    • Redesign history view.
  • Metadata Cleaner from 1.0.2 to 2.4.0

    • Redesign the whole user interface.
    • Support dark mode.
    • Add support for AIFF and HEIC files.
  • Text Editor from gedit to gnome-text-editor

    • Support dark mode.
  • Inkscape from 1.0.2 to 1.2.2

  • Audacity from 2.4.2 to 3.2.4

  • Gimp from 2.10.22 to 2.10.34

  • Kleopatra from 4:20.08 to 4:22.12

Removed features

  • Remove the icons on the desktop.

    The extension of GNOME Shell that we used to provide this feature is not well integrated into GNOME and created other problems. (#19920)

  • Remove the item Wipe and Wipe available disk space from the shortcut menu of the Files browser.

    Secure deletion is not reliable enough on USB sticks and Solid-State Drives (SSDs) for us to keep advertising this feature.

    We updated our documentation on secure deletion to new recommendations: use encrypted volumes, overwrite the entire device, or disintegrate it physically.

  • Remove the item Remove metadata from the shortcut menu of the Files browser.

    The developers of MAT2, the metadata removal library used by Metadata Cleaner are not providing this option anymore.

  • Remove GtkHash

    You can still install GtkHash as Additional Software.

Fixed problems

  • Fix several issues with special characters and non-Latin scripts in the screen keyboard. (#18076)

Per ulteriori dettagli, leggi il nostro changelog.

Known issues

  • Onion Circuits incorrectly claims Tor is not connected. (#20233)

  • The Welcome Screen sometimes displays a warning: "Welcome to Tails!" is not responding. (#20236)

    If you see this warning, click on the Wait button.

  • Playing a video displays an error: Failed to query: In service 'dbus:org.freedesktop.Tracker3.Miner.Files': Unit tracker-miner-fs-3-service is masked. (#20237)

    If you see this warning, click on the OK button.

  • OnionShare is still included as version 2.2.

    We tried to include OnionShare 2.6 in Tails 6.0, but it has several issues that had security implications. (#20135 and #20140)

  • Mounting external devices automatically interferes with the Back Up Persistent Storage utility. (#20143)

Get Tails 6.0

To upgrade your Tails USB stick and keep your Persistent Storage

  • Automatic upgrades are only available from Tails 6.0~rc1 to 6.0.

    All other users have to do a manual upgrade.

To install Tails 6.0 on a new USB stick

Segui le nostre istruzioni d'installazione:

The Persistent Storage on the USB stick will be lost if you install instead of upgrading.

Per scaricare solamente

If you don't need installation or upgrade instructions, you can download Tails 6.0 directly:

Tails report for January 2024

Highlights

  • Help us test Tails 6.0! A release candidate of the upcoming Tails 6.0 is out. Tails 6.0 promises to have a lot of exciting upgrades and new features. You can help us by testing the release candidate. We welcome your feedback by February 18 to either:

  • It is all hands on deck for Tails 6.0! We have been upgrading Tails to Debian 12 ("bookworm"). We were also busy updating all our documentation to be ready for Tails 6.0. 1378 edited lines of HTML and Markdown code later, the documentation for Tails 6.0 is almost ready.

  • We were in the media! Here's @sajolida riffing with our long-time illustrator and comrade Anhdres about all things Tails. And here's @groente in conversation with Software Engineering Daily about how we interpret our values and mission in light of the various use cases of Tails.

Releases

Tails 5.22 was our first release of 2024! In Tails 5.22:

  • we continued improving the Persistent Storage:

    • Tails now tries to repair the Persistent Storage if it is broken when you unlock it.
    • Tails now does not try to unlock or delete a Persistent Storage that's on a read-only USB stick.
  • you can now download and upload files using Tor Browser to/from more folders.

  • we introduced more robust error messages when installing Tails with Tails Cloner. Thanks again to @BenWestgate for the efforts to improve Tails Cloner!

Metrics

Tails was started more than 806,263 times this month. That's a daily average of over 26,008 boots.

Posted
Test Tails 6.0~rc1

We are very excited to present you a release candidate of the upcoming Tails 6.0.

We plan to release Tails 6.0 officially on February 27. You can help us by testing already a release candidate of Tails 6.0 before February 18.

Tails 6.0 will be the first version of Tails based on Debian 12 (Bookworm) and GNOME 43. It will bring new versions of most of the software included in Tails as well as several important security and usability improvements.

We will provide security upgrades for Tails 6.0~rc1 like we do for regular versions of Tails.

New features

Mount external devices automatically

When you plug in an external storage device, a USB stick or an external hard disk, Tails 6.0~rc1 mounts it automatically. If the storage device contains an encrypted partition, Tails 6.0~rc1 offers you to unlock the encryption automatically.

Authentication Required. A
passphrase is needed to access encrypted data.

Protection against malicious USB devices

If an attacker manages to plug a malicious USB device in your computer, they could run software that breaks the security built in Tails without your knowledge.

To protect from such attacks while you are away from your computer, Tails 6.0~rc1 ignores any USB device that is plugged in while your screen is locked.

You can only use new USB devices if they are plugged in while the screen is unlocked.

Notification: Reconnect
USB device. New device has been detected while you were away. Please disconnect
and reconnect the device to start using it.

Dark Mode and Night Light

From the system menu of Tails 6.0~rc1, you can now switch between:

  • The default light mode with colder colors and more brightness

  • A dark mode

  • A night light mode with warmer colors and less brightness

  • A combination of both the dark mode and night light mode

Easier screenshots and screencasts

GNOME 43 introduces a new Take Screenshot shortcut in the system menu that makes it easier to take a screenshot or record a screencast.

Easier Gmail in Thunderbird

Thanks to changes in both Thunderbird and Gmail, it's much easier to configure a Gmail account in Thunderbird in Tails 6.0~rc1.

  • You don't have to configure anything special in your Gmail account, other than the usual 2-Step Verification.

  • You can sign in to your Gmail account directly when configuring it in Thunderbird.

Gmail: Sign in to continue
to Mozilla Thunderbird

Diceware passphrases in 5 more languages

When creating a Persistent Storage, suggested passphrases are now also generated in Catalan, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Thanks to jawlensky who created the word lists for Catalan, Italian, and Spanish for Tails, but also made them available to all users of diceware.

Changes and updates

Included software

Tails 6.0~rc1 updates many of the applications included in Tails, among others:

  • Electrum from 4.0.9 to 4.3.4

    • Improve support for the Lightning protocol and hardware wallets.
  • KeePassXC from 2.6.2 to 2.7.4

    • Add entry tags.
    • Support dark mode.
    • Redesign history view.
  • Metadata Cleaner from 1.0.2 to 2.4.0

    • Redesign the whole user interface.
    • Support dark mode.
    • Add support for AIFF and HEIC files.
  • OnionShare from 2.2-3 to 2.6-5

    • Redesign the whole user interface.
    • Allow creating chat rooms.
    • Allow hosting static websites.
  • Text Editor from gedit to gnome-text-editor

    • Support dark mode.
  • Inkscape from 1.0.2 to 1.2.2

  • Audacity from 2.4.2 to 3.2.4

  • Gimp from 2.10.22 to 2.10.34

  • Kleopatra from 4:20.08 to 4:22.12

Removed features

  • Remove the item Remove metadata from the shortcut menu of the Files browser.

    The developers of MAT2, the metadata removal library used by Metadata Cleaner are not providing this option anymore.

  • Remove the item Wipe and Wipe available disk space from the shortcut menu of the Files browser.

    Secure deletion is not reliable enough on USB sticks and SSDs for us to keep advertising this feature. We are still discussing which alternatives to explain in our documentation on secure deletion. (#19121)

  • Remove GtkHash

    You can still install GtkHash as Additional Software.

Fixed problems

  • Fix several issues with special characters and non-Latin scripts in the screen keyboard. (#18076)

Changelog

For more details about what has changed in Tails 6.0~rc1, read our changelog.

Known issues

  • Tails 6.0~rc1 is not reliably reproducible (#20165, #20166).

  • OnionShare 2.6 has several issues in Tails and Debian 12 (Bookworm) in general that have security implications:

    • OnionShare stays open in the background and fails to reopen. (#20135)

    • OnionShare crashes when stopping and restarting file shares in OnionShare. (#20140)

    Despite the very interesting new features in OnionShare 2.6, we are considering keeping OnionShare 2.2 in Tails 6.0 because of these issues.

  • Mounting external devices automatically interferes badly with some other features:

    • The Back Up Persistent Storage utility (#20143)

    • Tails Cloner (#20154)

  • The pointer doesn't change into a spinner anymore in some cases when launching applications. (#19920)

Send us feedback

Keep in mind that this is a test image. We tested that it is not broken in obvious ways, but it might still contain undiscovered issues.

Please, report any new problem before February 18 to either:

Get Tails 6.0~rc1

To upgrade your Tails USB stick and keep your Persistent Storage

Automatic upgrades are not available to 6.0~rc1.

You have to do a manual upgrade.

You will be able to automatically upgrade from 6.0~rc1 to 6.0 when it is released.

To download 6.0~rc1

Direct download

  • For USB sticks (USB image) (OpenPGP signature)

  • For DVDs and virtual machines (ISO image) (OpenPGP signature)

BitTorrent download

  • For USB sticks (USB image)

  • For DVDs and virtual machines (ISO image)

To install Tails 6.0~rc1 on a new USB stick

Follow our installation instructions:

The Persistent Storage on the USB stick will be lost if you install instead of upgrading.